Survivor's Monica: Colton Used to Call Me "Momica"
After the Survivor: One World tribes became co-ed on Wednesdays episode, her alliance of women had the numbers stacked against them until the tide seemed to shift towards eliminating the eldest member of their physically weaker tribe. But it was all a ruse devised by Survivor's new super villain, Colton.
Culpepper, 41, a physical therapist and mother of three from Tampa, Fla., spoke to PEOPLE about the betrayal that led to her blindside, her initially very close relationship to Colton, and how she was recruited by former Survivor Russell Hantz to face off against her former supposed ally.
Were you and Colton close?
It didn't really play out on the show but I was a rock of support for him. Day two of the show Colton was in tears and very homesick and was questioning playing the game, so I spent some time with him and said, "You've got to pull yourself up by your bootstraps. One day you're going to be a parent and you kids are going to want to watch their dad be strong." At that point he called "Mom-ica."
Is it tough hearing the things Colton says?
It is very uncomfortable to watch [the show]. I didn't know that was the way Colton was. The things he said to Leif were harmful and mean. I thought the roasting that Bill got was just appalling.
So you wouldn't be on a team with him again then?
I got a nice message from Russell Hantz who said, "Let me take him. I want Russell vs. Colton." And I said, "Where do I sign up to be on Russell's team?" I feel like Russell was a villain in the game and from what I've seen from the edit, Colton is a villain in the game and real life.
Alicia also betrayed you this week.
Allying herself with Colton was a bad move. The girls are worn of Colton. He's like an infant out there: you've got to feed him, burp him, change him, put him to bed, monitor him.
Was the experience as tough as you thought it would be?
I was born and raised in Florida where a hurricane rips your roof off and you don't have power for three weeks. You do get nervous going out there with 20-year-olds, but I have a black belt in kickboxing so they were never going to break my spirit. I was fine in the elements, excelling at the challenges and leading by example. I was genuinely at peace out there.
Does your tribe have any chance at winning challenges without you?
I don't see how it's going to happen. The biggest compliment came from Jeff Probst when he said, "You all are the weakest tribe and you just voted off arguably your strongest player."