If you’re watching this season of Survivor and you don’t immediately know who Julia Landauer is, don’t worry. That’s not necessarily your fault. The 21-year-old race car driver has been the unfortunate victim of being overshadowed by player with bigger personalities (see also: more annoying.)
As the fans continue to struggle against the Favourites, it would seem that there was nothing Landauer could do to save herself, not that she didn’t go out without trying.
Here’s our interview.
Honestly, were you a little disappointed with your limited screen time during the first half of the season?
Oh yeah, I was definitely disappointed with my lack of screen time. It was cool to see the clips here and there, but I was disappointed.
Was it weird watching it with your family then?
Actually, Iâ€™m in school at Stanford, so all my friends are watching it in the lounge and every week, itâ€™d be like, â€œOkay, weâ€™re going to see more of Julia this weekâ€¦â€ and then we didnâ€™t. It was disappointing but at the same time, whenever I was on screen, it was like a huge celebration.
Whatâ€™s it like when you see that youâ€™re playing against the favourites?Â Is it exciting or did you immediately feel like you were at a disadvantage?
On one hand I was excited to be considered strong enough to play against the favourites, on the other hand, it was super disappointing because I had watched the previous Fans vs. Favourites where the fans got obliterated one by one. I donâ€™t think itâ€™s that fair of a battle, so to have such a lopsided turn of events, I donâ€™t think it was as exciting.
And it seems to be happening again this season, the Fans just canâ€™t seem to catch a break!
The thing is that weâ€™re always so close and had we been against other fans, we would have at least be winning half of the challenges.
You had to live with both Shamar and Phillip, is there one that you prefer?
Oh god no, I canâ€™t say I prefer either of them. Thatâ€™s a terrible selection.
Â How much does living with people like them affect your social game?
Walking on egg shells the whole time is really tough. You think, how much of an offensive game can I play without really annoying someone and trying to vote me out. The balance is just a lot harder. It also brought down morale, Shamar was tough to be around, he was annoying everyone. It definitely made for a much more annoying tribe.
After watching your episodes, do you wish you had made different decisions or moves?
In hindsight, we decided to keep Shamar because of strength, but we didnâ€™t end up winning anyway. So I wonder if we had gotten rid of him, he wouldnâ€™t have been medically evacuated, we would have had one more player, maybe weâ€™d have one more fan to keep it even. I wish they would have showed more of the strategizing, especially between me, Michael and Matt. I definitely felt like I was in a position of some control and that wasnâ€™t really shown.
Before Matt was voted out, he tried to save himself by voting for you. Did that hurt your feelings?
Maybe this is my too-caring side of my personality, but I understood that we were fighting for our lives and Matt was pretty uncomfortable that day. I thought there was very little chance that he would stick with the alliance, but I thought it was worth trying. Itâ€™s part of the game, you do what you have to do to last and he thought that was the best move. If Phillip had come to me and told me to vote for a specific person, I probably would have too.
Weâ€™re now finally at the merge, do you think the fans stand a chance of winning?
Yeah, I think so. We had no idea what was going on with the new Gota tribe, they could have had made some interesting alliances. And who knows what Michael will do, heâ€™s a pretty savvy player.