Candice Woodcock delayed her wedding to compete on Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains. Thursday night she became the fifth member of the jury. Candice had no strong allies for most of the season before making an ill-fated move to the Villains alliance. She tried valiantly to influence some of her tribemates at key moments, but experienced more setbacks than victories. Candice has since tied the knot.
I like Candice a lot as a person. She has spent much of her life in leadership positions facing bold responsibilities in collegiate sports, national student societies and now as a doctor-in-training. She could be one of those perfectionists who comes across as 'above it all', but she's actually exceptionally down to earth. In other words, she's got a lot more going on 'upstairs' than casual viewers may realize.
In our interview Candice was direct in discussing the specifics of her game play, so much so that readers may wish she had garnered more screentime. She had some very frank words about Rupert, Colby and J.T. that may surprise people.
Congratulations, Mrs. Cody! You pushed back the wedding to be on the show. How was the wedding?
The wedding was amazing. It was romantic. It was perfect. We were supposed to have the wedding outside, and on the original wedding date there was an awful storm. Last weekend it was perfect weather and ... I am a wife!
Could you tell us about the conversation you had with Sandra right before Tribal Council on the day that you flipped?
That was an interesting conversation. Sandra is very sassy and she had some choice words for me. But that was after a long day of her waffling back and forth, first saying that she wasn't going to go with the Heroes, then saying that she was. [Sandra] was trying to beg me not to vote Amanda out, and to go with the Heroes. [But] I had just had enough at that point of the waffling and the Heroes not taking me seriously. I was over it. I had an internal meltdown and clearly made the wrong choice. Sandra should have shaken me a little harder. I definitely wouldn't have flipped if I had known how set Sandra was on going with the Heroes.
By the way, did you suspect that Sandra had the latest Hidden Immunity Idol?
Would you have still flipped if you had seen Russell play previously (burning people's socks, etc.)?
Before I flipped to the Villains I knew that Russell was a liar. I knew he'd say anything and would go however far to make you believe whatever he was saying. I didn't trust him. But I did believe that he wanted to get rid of Parvati because I thought it was in his best interest, so I did believe him when he [told me that.] I thought I could use that information to tell Parvati that he was targeting her and we could get rid of Russell.
What did you see on TV that surprised you the most?
That's a tough one. I guess that Colby had a strategic conversation with Sandra. I didn't realize that Colby was even in the game anymore. I thought he had given up.
What haven't we seen that would surprise us the most?
I wish they showed a little more of the tension around the Heroes camp, and the way J.T. and Rupert were guarding the food. In my mind it got to be so mysoginistic. They were set on voting the women out. They were so scared that there was a women's alliance. They made it so that me and Amanda were stuck at camp, and we were like the stepsisters doing the dishes and their laundry and stuff.
Going back a little further, what did you think when Parvati gave Hidden Immunity Idols to both Jerri and Sandra at the merger Tribal Council?
I was shocked. I knew it was bad for the Heroes but I also recognized what a great move it was in the game. I congratulated her afterwards. [Laughs] That probably didn't make the Heroes happy! But I'm a fan of the game and the show, and that was pretty bold.
Do you think the game would have been different if you kept Tom and got rid of Colby, who pretty much wasn't there mentally?
Yes, but I don't think it would have been better for the team. I personally wanted to keep him so badly. I love Tom. I think he's so much better than most of the people that stayed. But Rupert wanted nothing to do with Tom.
I think Rupert was very threatened by Tom's popularity, and he wanted Tom gone because he was set on being Mister Survivor. He's so into his character. That caused a lot of tension around camp. Amanda wanted nothing to do with Tom because Tom had targeted her for several votes. I understand. If someone were targeting me time after time I wouldn't feel too good abut them either. But I worked really hard on Amanda, trying to get her to see that he wasn't such a bad guy. So if Tom had stayed I don't think we would have gone on the winning streak that we did because we would have still had a lot of internal issues.
Which season did you enjoy more, Heroes vs. Villains or Survivor: Cook Islands?
They were very different for me. This season was very fast paced. The people on my tribe made me miserable. They didn't want to play with me to begin with, so I was alone and I didn't have anyone to talk to. But it's definitely been more enjoyable to watch back because it's been a crazy season. There are people I was always a fan of and I've enjoyed watching them. So I think overall I have enjoyed this season more.
Given that you Mutineed on the Cook Islands, a lot of people were surprised that you were placed on the Heroes tribe. Why do you think you were?
I really don't think I have an intelligent answer for that. The only thing I can come up with is maybe that ... I don't know. In my regular life I am a medical student and that's an honorable profession. As far as the way I played the game the first time, it was definitely on the villainous side.
-Interview conducted by Henry Jenkins