By John Powell – GlobalTV.com
Losing Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X by drawing the wrong rock is both devastating and strangely comforting. To have your game end by the cruel hand of fate is a definite shock to the system but on the other hand, you can always take some comfort in the fact that your exit wasn’t based on any mistake you made. Jessica Lewis, the assistant district attorney from New York, can now laugh about being one of only a few Survivor players to leave because they picked the wrong rock.
“It was very painful on this end. It truly was. I don’t regret the decision I made. I just regret picking the rock I did. I should have moved my hand over and picked the right one,” Jessica laughed as she spoke to GlobalTV.com
“I am a prosecutor so it is a whole different practice of law but you don’t have an opportunity to explain that to someone. There are still those preconceived notions, good or bad. They might assume certain things about you that are not true. I wanted to avoid that and wanted the other people to judge me for me and not for my profession. I thought if I say photographer that is very non-threatening. It is creative and free.”
Replaying that Tribal Council over and over in her head, Jessica believes there was nothing she could have done to alter her fate.
“As I have processed what happened, there are a couple of things I could have done differently but I don’t think there was any way to change the ultimate outcome which was going to rocks. I could have tried to sway Will, maybe I might have been able to. Everyone seemed very headstrong about who they wanted to vote for. It was just one of those moments in which everyone just dug in their heels,” she explained. “I didn’t feel like anyone was willing to change their vote at that point or ultimately their game. There was a line drawn in the sand. Even though the game is fluid and some people seemed to be moving around a lot, moving around a lot didn’t necessarily help you.”
“It was one of those games where if you flipped you probably got voted out. That is why Zeke was being targeted. That is why Hannah was being targeted. I saw all of this and I knew having to make that decision was going to be extremely difficult for anyone,” Jessica continued as she related more of her insights into this season.
John Powell: What do you recall of David playing his Idol for Ken at Tribal and what led up to that?
Jessica Lewis: “Basically, Ken’s name had been coming up throughout the day as had mine and David’s so we weren’t really sure where the votes were going to fall. I didn’t know Hannah had that conversation with David and had concerns that it could be her. Ultimately, when Ken’s name was mentioned at Tribal it seemed like a plausible scenario. David played the Idol for Ken but he initially played it for himself and then ended up switching to Ken because it did make sense that they were voting for Ken. I thought for sure it would be myself or Ken because we were more solid with David. Hannah wasn’t. Hannah would have been more of an emotional vote whereas Ken or myself would have been a more strategic vote because it would have taken out someone who was very loyal to David.”
John Powell: I was really hoping that you and Chris would put the past behind and work together as a solid pair. I think you could have made a strong couple. Chris even told us, he did have some great discussions with you that were never shown. Why do you think that never happened?
Jessica Lewis: “He and I really didn’t mesh that well. I, myself, never understood why. It is one of those situations where I found out very early he didn’t want me in the original six to begin with. That is what I was told whether or not that is true, I don’t know. I saw relationships developing that he had with Paul and Bret. I knew that was going to be an unbreakable three unless we switched things up. Of course, everything was confirmed with Paul’s comment. There were all of these things mounting against myself, Sunday, and Lucy so I thought I should make the women aware of this at least but if the dynamic would have been different Chris and I could have probably done very well together but once the game starts it moves so quickly, it moves so fast and you are on that train and that is the way it is moving. Chris and I never had an opportunity to reconnect after that. It became who was going to get who first.” (Laughs)
John Powell: He told me that part of the reason you two didn’t connect was because David was making sure you were at odds with one another. Do you feel that way too?
Jessica Lewis: “I don’t know if that is entirely true. David was between both of us but honestly it was more about Sunday. Sunday was supposed to make amends for me. She had assured me after the Paul vote that she would talk to Chris and Bret and bring us all back together. Sunday didn’t do that. Because she didn’t do that it almost made it impossible for me to do that because I really needed Sunday to be part of that equation. David was probably reveling in the fact that we were gunning for each other as opposed to him. That would be great gameplay on his part.”
John Powell: I have heard from various bootees that they just couldn’t figure out Ken at all on the island. How did your bond with Ken in the game develop and what was your take on him?
Jessica Lewis: (Laughs) “Ken is a very interesting mix of an individual. He is a very old soul in a young man’s body. He is someone who is very true to himself and his beliefs. When Ken went into the game, for him, initially, it really was about survival. It wasn’t about gameplay. It was about…I want to catch fish because I am hungry. I want to build a fire because I am cold and then we will get to the gameplay component of this, but first things first. I think that is how he looked at the game. He was going to play it but at a different speed but unfortunately, the way the game is now, it is so fast and the game was on the second we hit the beach.”
“I went to Ken as well and asked him what he was thinking and he said the same thing to me…I don’t want to strategize right now. Ken is an individual who I think did very well in the game to a certain extent as far as the survival component part of it but the strategic part, he needed to move faster. Him working with me and David probably helped him with that because it forced him to make decisions faster than he necessarily wanted to.”
“One interesting moment I had with Ken is one time he spent what felt like hours talking to Will about emissions and pollution but it was on a night when we had to go to Tribal Council. I did everything in my power to try and shut down the conversation. (Laughs) I looked at Ken and said…We have Tribal Council tonight! Stuff is going down! You need to focus! He was like…What are you talking about?” (Laughs)
John Powell: Well, one person you did fool out there was Chris, a fellow lawyer. He told me, he had no idea you weren’t a photographer and had no reason to question your story. I know if I was out there, I wouldn’t tell people I am a journalist who has been covering Survivor since the second season. I would say I am a daycare worker or something neutral like that. (Laughs)
Jessica Lewis: (Laughs) “Exactly, something much less threatening. I just felt there are so many preconceived notions that people have about lawyers that it doesn’t matter what kind of law you practice. I am a prosecutor so it is a whole different practice of law but you don’t have an opportunity to explain that to someone. There are still those preconceived notions, good or bad. They might assume certain things about you that are not true. I wanted to avoid that and wanted the other people to judge me for me and not for my profession. I thought if I say photographer that is very non-threatening. It is creative and free.”
John Powell: You passed on your Legacy Advantage to Ken was there any thought to perhaps give it to David?
Jessica Lewis: “I did think about giving it to David obviously because he saved me but at the same time I knew that David wasn’t going anywhere. He was going to keep me as long as he could because I was another vote for him. I was going to be completely loyal to David until I couldn’t be any more. I told Ken that Survivor was a game of trust and I promised it to him. I wanted to stay true to that promise because you learn a lot about loyalty when you are out there.”
John Powell: What shocked you the most about the experience and what will you most remember?
Jessica Lewis: “I think what shocked me the most was the speed of the game. You are doing a lot of sitting around, doing almost nothing. You are looking for coconuts. You are making food but the game never stops and one little comment can be all that it takes to completely switch-up your game. One thing that is said can decide the fate of someone else. I was really surprised at how quickly the game is played.”
John Powell: Well, now, you are on the other side of things as a lawyer because you are a jury member, how will you approach voting for a winner?
Jessica Lewis: (Laughs) “Well, I have always wanted to be on a jury so I guess this will work. For me, I really wanted to vote for someone whose gameplay I respect. Someone who went into the game with a plan and managed to bring it to fruition in a way that was respectful and also in a way that showed that they were willing to play. You have to play this game if you want to win. If you are just carried to the end, that is not the way to win.”
Next time on Survivor…