Interview: Angie Layton talks 'Survivor: Philippines'
Booted contestant talks cookies, cuddling and jealousy
When "Survivor" host Jeff Probst asked the members of the struggling Matsing tribe what they would change if they could, he probably didn't expect either of the responses he received.
Roxy Morris said that she wished her tribe could stop working so hard around camp. That wasn't the right answer and Roxy was voted out minutes later.
But Angie Layton's answer may be the one that lives on longest in "Survivor" lore.
"That we could have cookies," replied the 20-year-old former Miss Utah Teen USA.
Angie outlasted her cookies comment and she outlasted Roxy, who leveled charges that Angie and Malcolm were doing more at night than merely seeking comfort, but only by one episode. On Wednesday's (October 3) "Survivor," Matsing suffered another humiliating defeat and true power couple Malcolm and Denise decided that Russell's potential (but largely undisplayed) physical strength had more value than Angie's long-term loyalty.
In her exit interview, Angie stood by both her cookie comment -- a joke to lighten the mood, she insists -- and the nature of her relationship with Malcolm -- "mutual warmth," she insists. She also discusses her disappointment at Roxy spending an entire episode discussing her breasts.
Click through for the full interview...
HitFix: There's generally a certain amount of bitterness when contestants have their torches snuffed, but you were very content and smiley on Wednesday's episode. Were you? Or were you just putting on a happy face?
Angie Layton: No! You've gotta be optimistic about every situation. There was nothing I could do to change the vote. After my torch was snuffed, I couldn't unsnuff it, so why not take the best out of the experience? I was absolutely hurt, but I have to separate those feelings. It's a game for a million dollars and I just got bad luck. So, you've gotta take the good with the bad.
HitFix: Had you anticipated the vote? Did you think you were safe going into that Tribal Council?
Angie: I had a 50-50 change. I felt like I was gonna go in fighting and say my last speech and hopefully they choose me over him. That's how it was. I felt like it was 50-50 and I didn't know who they were going to vote for at that point.
HitFix: How much of Malcolm's mindset did you think you understood going into that vote?
Angie: Well, I know he didn't really like Russell and I hoping that he would keep me. You know, loyalty over strength. But the reality is, I guess they just chose strength. They wanted to win more challenges.
HitFix: Had you been aware when you were out there of how closely aligned Malcolm and Denise were?
Angie: Yeah, I was aware the whole time. I was just happy to be a part of their alliance. The three... We had like a three little alliances. All of us always would say, "Us three, us three." I knew they were a little bit closer and they always built the shelter together and they were always building stuff and doing things together. So I was OK with that as long as I was just in that with them. I was fine.
HitFix: When you think back on the experience out there, how do you think it ended up that your tribe was as unsuccessful as it was?
Angie: I think it's a combination between, you know, at challenges we were all put in probably not our strengths for the things that we had to do at each challenge, and then also in combination with bad luck.
HitFix: You've mentioned "bad luck" a couple times. What was the bad luck out there?
Angie: I don't know! Maybe it's the... Maybe the blue? I don't know! It was just bad luck. I felt like we're all pretty good players. If you look at all of us, we all were pretty good.
HitFix: Coming into this, what did you feel like your strengths and weaknesses were going to be?
Angie: My strengths were going to be, obviously you know like, my social skills. You know, I'm really mentally strong. I'm mentally in the game. I wanted to win. I was driven, because I wanted to win. I wasn't just there to just not play or lay low. I was there to win. That was one of my strengths, is I had that drive. Weaknesses, obviously, I ever said it in my pre-interviews, I really was kinda afraid of puzzles. I know I'm not the strongest, but I giving, you know, besides my weaknesses, I was still giving it my all, 100 percent.
HitFix: One of the things Malcolm said at Tribal Council, which I thought was interesting, was that in the other tribes, the younger female players weren't forced into the same kind of position in which strength was required of them, but you had to be. Did that sound right to you?
Angie: Yeah, it did. Two of them got to sit out, but in every single challenge, I didn't get to sit out anything. I had to push myself. I had to try to prove myself and that was really hard. I had fear, because I had so much pressure on my back to do well, that it was almost like I was in fear all the time. To do so well to prove to them that I could beat them and that I could be as strong as them, that was kind of hard on me. That was a lot of pressure.
HitFix: And how did that pressure impact you on a day-to-day level out there?
Angie: I mean, besides challenges, it was pretty fun. We would have our fun around camp. We worked really hard all the time and we were always doing something to make our camp life better, but that was about it.
HitFix: What would have been a perfect tribe for you to have been in? What would have been the perfect conditions for Angie to have gone through and won "Survivor"?
Angie: Well, obviously, Skupin's tribe! They were unstoppable and they dominated everything. I think that I would have done really well. Once you hit the Merge, you don't get rid of the weak players, they stay around. I'm not saying I'm weak, but it's 1-on-1 and I think I could have done so well in those challenges, 1-on-1 against everybody. I really wish I could have made it to the Merge, but that's how the cookie crumbles.
HitFix: [After a long pause.] Ah. So... You're still able to make cookie jokes?
Angie: No. I'm kidding. It just came to my head. And everybody else is!
HitFix: Have you heard any good ones?
Angie: Ummm... People say I'm one smart cookie... That I have nice cookies? I don't know. They just say weird things.
HitFix: When you watched that episode on TV and you saw yourself say that, what was your reaction?
Angie: I knew that that was coming, but I was just glad that I owned it. You know? I was making a joke. Obviously. I don't know if you know the story, but it was a joke to lighten the mood. There was so much going on at Tribal Council and I just made a joke and I owned it. I'm like, "Yeah, well, what? What's wrong with cookies? Come on?" I think Roxy's answer was worse than mine, saying, "Do less work around camp." More cookies. Come on.
HitFix: Were you surprised, then, that Jeff Probst didn't seem to find it quite so funny?
Angie: Oh, he did too! He winked at me.
HitFix: I don't know if we actually saw that. Mostly I think we saw him looking kinda disapprovingly.
Angie: I know! But right after that, he was trying to get more out of me and he was clapping at me. But I know why he did that. We was trying to get me riled up or something, but I never lost my composure and I didn't break. And I think that's maybe what he wanted, but I wasn't giving it to him.
HitFix: OK, but if you had a do-over on that Tribal Council and you got that question again, would you make the joke again? Or do you have a different answer that you'd give?
Angie: I mean... I might... I liked my answer! I would own it. No! No, I liked it. I wouldn't change anything.
HitFix: Watching last week's episode, were you surprised that it ended up being basically an entire hour of people talking about your body?
Angie: Uh, yeah. You know, it wasn't surprising. It happens a lot in my regular life, so it didn't come as a shock. I was a little disappointed with Roxy, just the comments she was making. I didn't think it would come from her, but whatever.
HitFix: Where do you think that animosity came from? It definitely seemed like it was personal, at least from her side.
Angie: I think from Day 1, she was just jealous and that's the truth. I think she wanted to cuddle with Malcolm. I think she was mad that I was getting attention. I don't know what it was from, but the way that she described me like, "She just showed her boobs! She showed her boobs!" after I gave 110% in that challenge and for her to say I had a cute game and all that, but I didn't see her go twice. And she's in the military, so that probably shows a lot. It's just kinda disappointing see that on TV, her talk about my boobs like that. I was just disappointed in her. But, you know, it's fine. I'm over it. It's fine now.
HitFix: Well, she was being at least *somewhat* complimentary?
Angie: I mean, she's saying "Miss America" all day long, but she's gotta get it right that it's "Miss USA," you know? But it's OK.
HitFix: And Roxy still insisted to me last week that there was more than just warmth going on with you and Malcolm. Why do you think she's still insisting on that?
Angie: I don't know! I have no idea why she would even care. I think that she is just jealous and that's all there is to it. She's nine years older than me and I was acting 10-times more mature than her in Tribal Council. That's all I have say.
HitFix: So you're still insisting there was nothing else going on?
Angie: Oh no! It was just mutual warmth. Keeping each other warm. You know how it goes.
HitFix: It was discussed several times how young you are. Would you want to go back to "Survivor" in five years or 10 years to see how it might be different for you?
Angie: I wouldn't say 10 years, because I'd really want to do it soon. I would definitely go back in a couple of years if I got the opportunity. I would definitely do it. I know I'd be a little bit more savvy, have a little more life experience and I think I would do well.
HitFix: I know it hasn't been years, but looking back on the nine days you were out there, from your perspective now, what do you wish you had done differently?
Angie: You know, I wish I would have just gotten a little bit tighter with Denise and Malcolm in their little alliance that they had going on. I kinda just like let it be, but I wish I'd gotten a little bit closer and known what was going on around the camp with everyone in my tribe, just knowing what they're talking about and what's going on with them, just being aware of everything.