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Survivor: Edge of Extinction


Survivor’s James Lim Reveals Secret Strategy

Survivor’s James Lim Reveals Secret Strategy


John Powell –

It was a plan that could have made all the difference in the world but James Lim, the latest Survivor: Ghost Island bootee, was so convinced that he had pulled Angela Perkins in that he never follow through with it.

“I had this idea right before Tribal. I was searching for idols but I didn’t find anything. I knew that Ghost Island was going to bring back past players’ idols. I remembered that the single most famous fake idol in Survivor history and the easiest one to fake was Eliza’s stick. My idea was to grab a stick, carve a face on it, wrap it in Tree Mail and use it to put on a show at Tribal Council and wreak havoc. It would have been an amazing move but I thought Angela was on our side,” said James.

“There is no exact reason why I should be Malolo and Kellyn [Bechtold] should be Naviti. Post-merger you have to have people on both sides of the aisle. That is high level Survivor gameplay. That is what I pitched. I thought it was a well-reasoned out pitch but it just didn’t sell.”

When the vote was revealed and he realized he was being voted out unanimously, James had one of the most strongest reactions in Survivor history. According to James, in that one moment, he went through the entire Survivor grief process.

John Powell: When the vote came down, you had a distinct and striking reaction. What was going through your mind? Who did you think was the target?

James Lim: “I threw Michael [Yerger] what the Internet is calling “the best glare”. (Laughs) In those few seconds, I was able to process the shock, bitterness and disappointment. I came to terms with that was how my game was ending. When Jeff [Probst] and I connected post-game he told me he literally saw the whole thing go through my eyes in those few seconds. The blindside was more about the outcome and the complete flip. I thought I had done a pretty good job of flipping Angela on our side. I was hoping for a 3-2 Desiree [Afuye] vote.”

John Powell: Obviously you and Michael were massive targets. Did you do any campaigning against him?


James Lim: “Kellyn was the one who told Michael he had to flip on me. If I am Kellyn, I see Michael as the easier number to manipulate as Michael is literally begging for his life at this point. He has been getting steamrolled by Naviti, he is at the bottom. Because of all that, even if I threw him under the bus, it probably would have backfired.”

John Powell: Did you feel betrayed by Michael as he did vote against you?

James Lim: “It hurt and it was disappointing. It is technically a betrayal against his original Malolo bro but the guy was just crawling back from the bottom and he just wanted to preserve himself so I don’t really blame him. On a personal level, I have absolutely no bitterness towards him. We are bros in real life. I wish that he and Anglea choose to stay with me but it didn’t work out that way.”

John Powell: The original Naviti, they just won’t give an inch at any time did you try to find weak links in that alliance?

James Lim: “The way I navigated through the first swap it was a classic example of finding a crack and maximizing the destruction of it. The rationale behind the Morgan [Ricke] vote was to deliver the biggest blow to them in one single vote, had it worked out that way.”

“Kellyn, Bradley [Kheihege] and the others were not budging. They were destroying Malolo. Which I find funny because I stand 100 percent behind my point at Tribal Council last night, we were the first season since [Survivor] Samoa to be randomly distributed tribe system. We have no theme. There is no exact reason why I should be Malolo and Kellyn should be Naviti. Post-merger you have to have people on both sides of the aisle. That is high level Survivor gameplay. That is what I pitched. I thought it was a well-reasoned out pitch but it just didn’t sell.”


John Powell: Some of your tribemates said they didn’t feel a strong emotional connection to you however, you seemed to connect well with people on a human level. How would your rate your social game?

James Lim: “That quote was from Desiree but with all due respect, that is a complete falsehood. We all saw right after that scene Angela saying that I had genuine bonds going on. For Desiree, we had only known each other for a few short days and we came from different backgrounds despite being close in age. My bonding experiences left an impact on my mind. As I look back those are some of the most cherished moments that I remember from my Survivor experience.”


John Powell: When it comes to your edit, is there anything you wish the producers would have shown about your time on the island?

James Lim: “We all have a long list of things we wish were shown. You probably remember Laurel [Johnson] and Donathan [Hurley] having a touching conversation at Naviti. It wasn’t shown but after that Libby [Vincek] and I joined them and we all sat watching the sun go down for hours. We talked about how much we meant to each other. We had a good cry together and hugged it out. It was one of the most memorable moments of my entire Survivor experience. I wish that was shown.”

Watch Survivor: Ghost Island Wednesdays at 8 et/pt on Global.


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