Monica Culpepper talks alliances and paranoia before Sunday's "Survivor" finale

1:47 AM, Dec 14, 2013   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- The end is in sight for Tampa's Monica Culpepper, as she heads toward Sunday's finale of "Survivor: Blood vs Water".

The two-time player is still in the running for the million-dollar prize.  10 News talked to Culpepper before she headed to Los Angeles for the finale.

Culpepper entered the game as part of a powerhouse pair. She was the determined veteran, hoping to rewrite history and outdo her performance on "Survivor: One World" when she was the fifth contestant ejected from the game.

Her former football player husband, Brad Culpepper, was looking to show her how to win. But Brad Culpepper didn't last long in the game. His big personality got him eliminated early. 

Like his wife, he was the fifth person voted off. Monica Culpepper told 10 News his ejection was when her game changed.

"Having Brad leave the game gave me a little more flexibility," said Cullpepper. "But make no mistake, I wouldn't be where I am in the game right now if it weren't for moves that Brad made in the beginning."

Monica excelled after her husband's departure. She went on to win three immunity challenges, including one where she had to eat pig intestines and live grub worms. And she formed tight alliances with fellow finalists and returning players Tyson and Gervase. But her alliance wasn't always kind, calling her paranoid.

"While it may come across as playing paranoid at times, paranoid is a negative word to me," said Culpepper. "Playing cautious so I don't get blindsided, I'd say that's what's happened."

Playing cautious may mean saying goodbye to her alliance. After all, three people can't win the game!

"You get to the point in the game where you decide, 'Am I sticking with my alliance or am I playing for me? And what is best for me to ultimately win the game?'"

You can see if Monica Culpepper brings home the title of Sole Survivor and the million-dollar prize, Sunday at 8:00 p.m. on 10 News. The two-hour finale will be followed by a live reunion.

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