‘Survivor’ Castaway Jessica: ‘I Knew I Wasn’t Going to Win If I Flipped’

"Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X" (CBS)

“Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” (CBS)

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Gordon Holmes: How are you?
Jessica Lewis: I can’t complain.
Holmes: I beg to differ.
Jessica: (Laughs)
Holmes: If I were in your shoes I’d be complaining a lot.

Holmes: Alright, you almost went out of the game early with your eye infection. You did go out of the game when you pulled the wrong rock. Which is worse?
Lewis: Oh, the rock. That was my own doing. If I’d just moved my hand to the left.
Holmes: In “Blood vs. Water” you had these tight alliances and the rock pull was going to determine the rest of the game. It seems like alliances are switching every day this season. Why stick with your vote?
Lewis: I didn’t have a lot of options on the other side. And, I didn’t come out here to get to the end. I came to win. I could already hear the questions I was going to be asked by the jury. David had played an idol to save me, so that was a hole I was going to have to dig out from. It was hard, I knew I wasn’t going to win if I flipped. And I stand by it. I pulled the wrong rock and that’s frustrating and sad.
Holmes: It feels like everyone is playing to win this season. Strong challenge threats like Ken and Jay have slipped off of the radar.
Lewis: Everybody was thinking, “How am I going to get to the end and how many moves is it going to take?” It was very strategic right from the get-go and that’s why I think the game turned out the way it did. People were just being so strategic. It wasn’t, “I need to take out physical threats.” It was, “I need to take out mental threats.”

Holmes: If David plays his idol on the right person, we’re not having this conversation.
Lewis: I knooooow! (Laughs) But, I have to give him credit. It really appeared as if the Ken whisper is what solidified it. That wasn’t the case. We had actually been hearing Ken’s name, David’s name, and my name throughout the day. We weren’t sure where the vote was going to end up. I had no idea about the conversation that David and Hannah had where she thought it might be her. Otherwise, I might have pushed a little differently. I didn’t think for a second that  it was going to be Hannah.
Holmes: Do you know what David’s idol intentions were when he went into Tribal? Did he have a name in mind?
Lewis: David was going to play the idol for himself. And, he actually did. You didn’t see that. He initially played it for himself and then changed. He was being really aggressive in hopes that they would vote for him.


Holmes: Based on the edit, it seemed like the feud with Sunday was very one sided. She was constantly targeting you, and we didn’t see you speaking ill of her. Was this something you were aware of?
Lewis: That was the most surprising aspect of the whole game. Sunday and I were close from day one. We had assured each other that we had each other’s back. Mom strong. We were going to do this. Then, when we decided that we were going to vote out Paul, that was a group decision, Lucy, Sunday, and myself had that conversation. I ultimately ended up being blamed for all of it. She had assured me that she could get Bret and Chris back on our side. So, I left that up to her. But she left me out to dry and never tried to rebuild the bridge. From that moment forward she was done with me. And after the Paul vote, when they were gunning for me, Sunday kept assuring me that I was good. And I ultimately picked Sunday over Ken because I believed her. I learned a hard lesson. I never expected Sunday to turn on me the way she did. I knew Chris, Sunday, and Bret would eventually have to be dealt with, but Sunday was not on the top of that list.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with Ken.
Lewis: Genuine.
Holmes: Hannah?
Lewis: Unfiltered.
Holmes: Zeke?
Lewis: Calculating and very intuitive.
Holmes: Jay?
Lewis: Entertaining.
Holmes: Will?
Lewis: Impressionable.
Holmes: David?
Lewis: (Laughs) He’s a maniacal genius. But, he’s so self deprecating.
Holmes: Adam?
Lewis: Impressive.
Holmes: Chris?
Lewis: Smart.
Holmes: Sunday?
Lewis: Surprising.
Holmes: Figgy?
Lewis: Charismatic.
Holmes: Taylor?
Lewis: Shocking.
Holmes: Michelle?
Lewis: Very centered.
Holmes: Lucy?
Lewis: Firm.
Holmes: Rachel?
Lewis: Lively.
Holmes: CeCe?
Lewis: Determined and unexpected.
Holmes: Bret?
Lewis: Very funny.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Paul.
Lewis: Talkative.

Holmes: You now know what the Legacy Advantage is, what did you think it was earlier in the game?
Lewis: My guesses were based on past seasons. I thought for sure it was going to be that you’d get to practice an immunity challenge ahead of time. Also, an extra vote has been used before.
Holmes: You willed it to Ken. If Ken is voted out, does he get to will it to someone else?
Lewis: Yes. That’s the way it works. You have to will it forward.
Holmes: Was there any concern that by telling Ken that he’d get a present if you get voted out that he’d be more likely to send you packing?
Lewis: No, and the reason why I did that with Ken was that I knew I needed to get him back in my good graces. And by sharing that with Ken and by knowing how he was, he would be true to me if I proved that I was true to him. And it worked, he came right back around and decided that he could work with me.

Holmes: You reach into the bag, you pull out a white rock.
Lewis: (Laughs)
Holmes: From there, what would have been your dream final three?
Lewis: It was a mix. It either would have been Ken and Hannah or Ken and Adam. Maybe even Adam and Hannah.

Holmes: So, you’re a photographer…
Lewis: (Laughs)
Holmes: And Bret is a mortician and Chris runs a football program, and I am an astronaut.
Lewis: (Laughs)
Holmes: If the photographer and the football guy met in a court of law, who do you think would be victorious?
Lewis: Me, absolutely.
Holmes: I just asked him the same question.
Lewis: And I’m sure he said himself.
Holmes: He did. He said he would destroy you.
Lewis: (Laughs) The difference between he and I is I have to represent the people. I don’t destroy the enemy, I prove my case that the other side is wrong.
Holmes: How many standing ovations do you think that football coach has gotten from a jury?
Lewis: Exactly!

Holmes: Every now and then I’ll pitch Jeff Probst some ideas. How do you feel about a season with all people who were eliminated by a rock pull?
Lewis: I think that’s great because there are only three of us! (Laughs)
Holmes: A one-in-three shot at a million bucks isn’t a bad deal.

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