When the Beauty tribe lost the immunity challenge on day 8 of Survivor: Cagayan, Brice Johnston knew he was likely to be voted out.
Although he tried to sway two other contestants to his side, he believed that they ultimately felt too threatened to join forces with him.
After splitting the vote, the other contestants voted for him in a tiebreaker, making him the third person to leave the game. The 27-year-old social worker from Philadelphia talks about surviving monsoons, smelling “funky” and why he won’t remember his fellow castaways’ names.
Brice! You got booted off the show!
I know! Me and my purple pants were voted off the show! But it’s okay. I’m still beautiful.
Let’s go there immediately. You were put on the Beauty tribe. What did you think about that?
They must have noticed my boyishly good looks! [laughs] You know, I thought I could have been on the other tribes, too. I’m a runner. I’ve played soccer all my life. And I have a bachelor’s degree in education and I’m very smart and strategic. I could have been on any of the tribes. But being on the Beauty tribe was fun.
I don’t know how to put this, but there’s a perception that if you’re on the Beauty tribe, you must be …
Dumb? I know that’s the perception, and a lot of the people on my tribe didn’t have it going on strategically. I was the only one who was working every avenue. I was great around camp. But I think they saw me as their competition.
So you’re saying that you were a threat?
Yes. LJ was threatened from day one. I am a social threat. I was working hard, I never messed up any challenges. LJ was the only one thinking beside me. He knew that long-term I would be a social threat.
Were you relying on your social game to get you through?
Well, I’m just a very social person. Growing up gay and African-American, I learned how to get people to like me. I used to be very shy. I got teased and picked on a lot. So I had to come out of my shell at an early age, to be proud of who I am. So I love myself. I’m fabulous. I’m funny. I’m an amazing person.
So were you a fan of Survivor before competing on it?
You have no idea. [laughs] It was my favorite show. So about a year-and-a-half ago, I went to Atlantic City because they were having an open casting call. And I bombed it! I was so horrible. I met [Survivor: Blood vs. Water contestant] Gervase Peterson and he told me to try out again. So I was watching the show and they had a snippet at the bottom of the screen, how to apply for the show. I stayed up all night and did a video, but couldn’t get it to load. All I could send was like 45 seconds of me, and they picked me!
Wow. What did you say in those 45 seconds?
I was just being me. What you see is what you get with me! And they must have liked what they saw!
And the next think you know, you’re in the Philippines!
It was an out-of-body experience. Whenever Jeff Probst would talk, my mouth would be hanging open. I’d think, “I’m not watching him on TV. He’s right over there!” It was definitely the opportunity of a lifetime.
Yes, it’s nice to meet Jeff, but on the flip side, you got rained on.
It was a hundred times worse than you saw on TV. I can take not eating. I can take being hot. But being wet and having no end in sight, that was horrible. My purple pants got soaking wet!
In your final words, you said you don’t even remember the names of the people on your tribe. Were you that mad?
I just had a lot more playing in me. I was frustrated because the girls were lazy; they never did anything around camp. LJ wanted me gone because he was threatened by me. I would cook every day; I would get water. We had it good, and then they voted me out. There were some good times you didn’t get to see. Alexis and I would laugh a lot. She’s a hilarious girl, but she’s playing a different game than me. We’ll see if it works out for her.
What about the rest of your tribe?
Well, I love Morgan because she was on my side. But everyone else, I don’t care about. They voted me off. So yes, I don’t even remember their names. Was there a Beauty tribe out there? I don’t remember them at all!
Watching the show, was there anything that surprised you?
I didn’t know how bad the Brains tribe was doing. I knew that something bad was happening over there, but not what a mess they were!
So Survivor is over. What next?
Well, I was on the island and I smelled funky. I never want to smell that way again. So I got inspired and am creating my own fragrance line. I think it’ll be called Fragrances by Brice Izyah.
To be clear, it’s not going to smell like Survivor is it?
Absolutely not. It’ll be designed to make you not smell like you’ve been on a desert island. It’ll be fabulous.