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Survivor: Jessica Johnston on Post-Showmance With Cole Medders – Exit Interview

Survivor: Jessica Johnston on Post-Showmance With Cole Medders – Exit Interview

Survivor: Jessica Johnston on Post-Showmance With Cole Medders – Exit Interview


By: John Powell – GlobalTV.com

Sometimes reality show contestants try to rewrite history. Sometimes they try to offer transparent excuses for their gameplay or their behaviour. Not Jessica Johnston from Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers. She has been quick to acknowledge her mistakes.

“My whole game was the complete opposite of what I wanted to do. I am embarrassed. I embarrassed my whole family. You just don’t realize when you are playing what you are doing and when you do, all you can think about is how to get out of the mess you are in,” Jessica said.


Although at first she denied it to herself and others Jessica now agrees she was in a showmance and honestly thought she was in love with Cole Medders.

“Wouldn’t it be great to find love and win a million dollars? That would have been awesome to find both, right? As the game went on I was quickly realizing that it wasn’t love. Love is not like that. You don’t steal from people you love. You don’t certainly don’t lie to them. The thing is we just kept winning. There was never a time where I could kick him to this curb I keep hearing about. We didn’t have a curb to kick anyone to. I had to play the cards that were in front of me,” said Jessica reflecting on her very public Survivor relationship with Cole.


Jessica has learned a lot from sitting back and watching herself and Cole play the game. Seeing twists and turns that she wasn’t privy to play out has caused her to rethink many of her assumptions about the game, the other players and how she played the game.

“I am a super dominant person. I am goal-oriented. My goal was to take Cole with me until I didn’t want him anymore. Cole was not malicious. He was just a bad player. He cannot keep a secret and that is a character flaw,” Jessica said as she filled Global TV in on what their status is now as a couple.


John Powell: Since you have been back home how were things between you and Cole?

Jessica Johnston: “Obviously it was confusing. We were both trying to figure out what was real and what was not. You are on a beautiful island together and you are both attracted to each other. We spent a lot of time together, a wonderful time. He is great but we have decided to friend zone things for now. We are living two different lives in two different states. He is great.”

John Powell: How did you feel when you actually saw what he was doing behind your back? It seemed like you were more loyal to the alliance than he was.

Jessica Johnston: “I was 100 percent more loyal to him than he was to me. The thing is he was true in the sense he wasn’t malicious. He was just playing a poor game. Mike [Zahalsky] and I had decided that Cole was a liability. I had gone from his girlfriend to his mother and Mike became his father. That is what happened. The problem was when we merged I was so focused on picking up his trash and making sure that Ben [Driebergen] trusted him that I was totally oblivious to the fact that my name was being bought up. I truly believe that if I wasn’t so clouded, making sure my boys were okay, that Joe wasn’t causing trouble and that Cole wasn’t speaking at all, I could have heard my name. My bad. Ugh. I feel so bad about that.”

John Powell: It must have been hard having to play two games, your own and then smoothing over his mistakes.


Jessica Johnston: “That is what I did. It wasn’t until I watched the show that I saw I was doing that. I did the opposite of what I wanted to do. I wanted to be selfish. I wanted to align with a villain and I wanted to play my own game but I reverted back to a healer mentality, picking up people, carrying them, healing them, fixing them, which is what I do in my daily life as a nurse. I had no idea I was doing it in the game until I watched myself.”

John Powell: You have been able to watch how things played out at home, what did you think of Ben and Lauren Rimmer‘s decisions to back out of the Yawa Five Alliance and did you see it coming?

Jessica Johnston: “I hate to admit that to you but, no. I was so overly confident in my ability to build relationships that I did not suspect that Ben and Lauren would not vote with me. I was happy to see last night how Lauren was trying to get Ben to stick with the new alliance. That meant a lot to me to see that. The thing with Ben is that he had a core alliance with Chrissy [Hofbeck]. That is why she needed to go. Ben could only have one wife on the island. She was the first and I was the second. He chose to go back home. Shame on me for not recognizing that we (the Healers) were such a powerhouse and that we would be a huge target. It was poor gameplay on my end.”

John Powell: It is too early to call a total washout but in your mind what was the downfall of the Healers?

Jessica Johnston: “The downfall of the Healers is that we were initially such a powerhouse. We were targeted at the very beginning because we kept winning. Then Cole, Mike and I got flipped together and we kept winning. So, we were already a target and I was aligned with Cole, so there is another target. The only way things would have been different is if more Healers would have been eliminated before merger.”


John Powell: When it comes to your edit is there anything you wish viewers could have seen more of whether it be gameplay or just moments that you had out there?

Jessica Johnston: “I thought about that a lot watching the show. What I didn’t want to go down in history for was having a showmance. I know it was a decision on my end but it was a decision I fell into and couldn’t escape because I didn’t have an opportunity to figure it all out. What I would say to the fans is I did have gameplay even though we kept winning because I still had to manipulate relationships.”

John Powell: Many Survivors I have talked to express how much their faith played a big role, was a comfort on the island. How was it for you and did you feel conflicted at any time?


Jessica Johnston: “I don’t know how this is going to sound but I didn’t feel any conflict. My faith is extremely important to me and I think that is what made me so strong. My mind was on point all the time. There were days I was tapping into my beliefs and thinking that everything happens for a reason. That helped me a lot. That is what is so disappointing. I felt my opportunity was cut short.”

John Powell: It seems to me that your story wasn’t fully told. Would you ever play again and would you play any differently?

Jessica Johnston: “I would 100 percent play again. I would try to do everything differently. I would take the advice I should have taken which was not align with a good looking guy. I might even turn into a villain. Who knows what I am capable of?”

Watch Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers Wednesdays at 8 et/pt on Global.

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