‘Survivor’ Castaway Interview: Jerry Sims

We’ve learned a lot from ‘Survivor’ over the years. Michael Skupin taught us not to breathe in too much smoke, Richard Hatch taught us to pay our taxes, and Corinne Kaplan taught us never to cross her…ever. Last night, Jerry Sims taught us something new: never try to get by on an all-bean diet.

We had a chance to sit down with Jerry and get his thoughts on who the most deceptive member of Timbira was, the truth behind Coach’s mysterious healing potion, and which player really has the power to communicate using only his eyes…

Gordon Holmes: I don’t want you to take this the wrong way, but I was glad to see you go last night.
Jerry Sims:
Gordon: Cause I’m tired of you guys voting off all of the attractive women.
Jerry: You are the 200th person to tell me that!

Gordon: Were you blindsided by last night’s vote?
In a way I was, and in a way I wasn’t. In the beginning we were looking at getting rid of Sierra because she was the weakest person on the tribe at the point. And with me going through what I was going through I figured I was the weakest person at that particular time.
Gordon: When Tyson said they weren’t even considering getting rid of you, did you believe him?
Jerry: I really didn’t believe too much from anybody. I knew it was a game, and the game was about deception.

Gordon: Was there anything you could have done as far as what you were eating to improve your situation?
Coach gave me a little stomach potion with the healing leaves…
Gordon: Coach gave you a healing potion?!
Jerry: Yeah, they found some stomach leaves or something and they made a potion for me. It didn’t work. I was willing to try anything.
Gordon: You sure he was trying to help you?
Jerry: (Laughs) Maybe not! He drank some of it too, so I figured it was OK.
Gordon: Once you were voted off, how long did it take before you started feeling better?
Jerry: A couple of days. They gave me some medication.

Gordon: Now for someone who I assume has had his share of Army rations, was it a shock that the beans took you out?
Yeah, it was a shock. I attribute it to the beans. I tried just eating rice, just drinking water, but it was too late.
Gordon: How useful was your military background in the game?
Jerry: It was very useful. We’re used to doing outdoor activities similar to that. The only advantage we had is we had MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) or some kind of food and plenty of water to drink all the time.
Gordon: How would you compare Afghanistan to Brazil?
Jerry: Oh, Brazil was the toughest. You have nothing, that’s what the show is about. In Afghanistan I had everything I needed.

Gordon: At Tribal Council, you said that Brendan should be a leader. Did you have any idea this would offend Coach the way it did?
I kind of figured it would. Brendan did a few things that proved to me that he’d be a good leader. Even in the truck on the way out, he was the one giving eye contact about what to grab.
Gordon: So there is a such thing as magical eye power?
Jerry: Oh yes, they can look at you with their eyes and pretty much tell you what to do. And Brendan would have been a better leader because he was more low key and willing to get everyone’s opinions.

Gordon: Did you know Brendan was lying about his time at Exile Island?
He gave us full details and some part of me believed him and some part of me didn’t believe him.

Gordon: Is Coach calling all of the shots at Timbira?
He is calling the shots. He’s got everybody.
Gordon: Had Coach expressed to you his “Let the stronger people win” strategy?
Jerry: At one time he said us men were going to be around to the end. He wanted to pick the women off one by one.
Gordon: Did it bother you when the decision was made to vote Candace off when she was clearly a strong member of the tribe?
Jerry: Strength is one thing, but you’ve got to have social skills too. And if you’ve got a strong person who brings a whole lot of negativity to the group, then that’s going to pull everybody down.

Gordon: I assume you were in charge of a pretty significant amount of people in the Army. Was it tough to hang back and not take a leadership role?
Sometimes it was, like when we first got off the truck and they were reading the compass, I was kind of looking over their shoulders to make sure they were doing it right. My thing was that I was going to make sure we weren’t getting off course.

Gordon: OK, let’s get to know your teammates better. What can you tell us about Debra?
Debra was like the Energizer Bunny. She was always jumping around, motivated, her social skills were at the top. But, she was the weakest member of the tribe.
Gordon: Tyson?
Jerry: Tyson is an animal. He has the energy of an iron man. He’s a cyclist, he can go on and on forever and ever. I liked Tyson. He’s pretty cool.
Gordon: And he got that sweet title of “Assistant Coach.”
Jerry: Yeah I just heard about that.
Gordon: He was only out there for six days and got a promotion. That’s pretty impressive.
Jerry: (Laughs)
Gordon: What’ve you got to say about Sierra?
Jerry: She surprised me. My first impression was, “This girl’s too weak to be here.” She became a real competitor.
Gordon: Erinn?
Jerry: Erinn was sneaky. Erinn would tell you one thing, but she was lying to you the whole time.
Gordon: Brendan?
Jerry: I liked Brendan. He was more like a leader, but he didn’t want to be a leader. Turns out he was a good liar too!
Gordon: Coach?
Jerry: My man Coach! As far as you see Coach on camera, that’s not the same Coach I knew. We’d talk to each other and it was just like two brothers having a conversation. He said what he wanted to do, I expressed what I wanted to do and that was the end of the story. I don’t have anything negative to say about Coach. But, what I’m seeing on TV now, if I’d have known all this I’d have a different opinion.

Gordon: What do you take from your time in Brazil?
Coach: I enjoyed the experience. It was the experience of a lifetime for me. I’m always up for an adventure, but I don’t think I’d be going on that kind of adventure again.
Gordon: Maybe an adventure with snacks…
Coach: (Laughs) Soda pop and potato chips.

Check out last night’s episode of ‘Survivor: Tocantins.’

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