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“I Got Portrayed As Just This Loony” – Reality News Online’s Exclusive Interview with Survivor: Nicaragua’s Jimmy T.by David Bloomberg -- 10/07/2010
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I wasn’t quite sure what to expect in talking to Jimmy T. There was the guy who seemed to keep repeating himself and wouldn’t listen to logic, and then there was the guy we saw in Tribal Council who got so emotional that he couldn’t speak. It turned out to be somewhere in between.
The Jimmy T. I spoke to was not the wild-eyed seemingly crazy-man we saw on TV, but one who put more thought into what he was saying. To me, this lends credence to some of what you’ll see him discussing as far as how he suffered from the particular conditions found on Survivor. Mind you, I’m still not sure he fully grasps how he came across to his tribemates, nor am I convinced that editing was as much to blame for seeing him repeat himself over and over as he has suggested, but at least he somewhat recognizes what his errors were in the game.
As you might have noticed on the show, Jimmy does have a lot to say, so unfortunately I was not able to ask him all the questions I wanted to. However, we definitely got to the heart of the matter and found out more about what was running through his head.
Reality News Online: Hello, Jimmy, and thanks for taking the time to talk to us here at Reality News Online!
Jimmy T.: My pleasure, this is why I loved to play.
RNO: Jumping right into things, you said in your final words that you originally planned on keeping your mouth shut. Did you know coming into the game that your mouth might be your undoing?
Jimmy T.: Oh absolutely. Everybody that knows me knows I’m passionate and have a lot of conviction when I believe something. Having reviewed past seasons, I saw people who talked a lot getting targeted and I knew I should just be quiet. Unfortunately, that’s way more easy to apply in theory than once you get out in the jungle. You have to survive and I’m not one to easily sit in the back of the bus while somebody is about to drive it off the cliff.
RNO: Aside from the idea of keeping quiet, what was your strategy coming into the game?
Jimmy T.: I knew that I was physically able, so I would be able to provide for the tribe. I have a lot of outdoor experience, so I knew that would be valuable. I knew I have value so I thought I’d bring that physically and emotionally.
As you saw, I was singing, trying to boost morale. That night, people were ready to pack it in. Probably the best thing for me personally would have been to sit back and let people suffer, but I tried to get them through the night. People were in the verge of breakdown [and I was trying to help]. But I got portrayed as just this loony acting up by the fire.
RNO: On last night’s show, you said, “I’m scared that it might be me ‘cause I keep opening my mouth.” If that was the case, why did you keep doing it and raising the same points?
Jimmy T.: Again that’s something I couldn’t resist – I can’t just sit by… If I were wiser… I went all-in from the very beginning. I slept maybe one hour each night. It meant so much for me. The smartest thing I could have done was go easy. But that’s not easy when there’s work to be done.
You spend 49 years of your life living a certain way, you can’t just change it. I had to be who I was. When you get stripped of nutrition and sleep, you go to your core.
It’s boring to show me staying up all night tending the fire while they slept. It’s boring to show me building the roof. But I did that and it weakened me mentally. I couldn’t just sit back.
You could recognize who’s out for themselves, who’s evil in the tribe. I couldn’t stop myself. You know what, I know I learned from this experience – I always try to take the positive out of things. Hindsight is 20/20. All they show is me saying things about my life and Marty calling me delusional, but these are facts, these are things I have in my experience, I’m not making them up, this is genuine, but it doesn’t come across that way.
RNO: I know the show takes several days and compresses it down to under 45 minutes, but, seriously, did you ever stop talking about how you just wanted one shot?
Jimmy T.: Absolutely. I spent very little time out of – every show is 3 days. Five minutes after each challenge, maybe 10 minutes out of three or four days, I was expressing that. They needed to show that because the ship was headed towards the rocks. Marty wanted to crash the ship and jump off to save himself. Everybody knew the ship was heading towards the rocks. If this was real life, they wouldn’t have voted me off – people are less self-serving. I was trying to avoid the rocks. I foolishly was concerned more about the tribe than I was about myself. And that cost me.1 2 Next-->
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