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Winning and Learning: An Interview with ‘Survivor: The Amazon’ Winner Jenna Morascaby David Bloomberg -- 05/30/2003
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Swimsuit model Jenna Morasca became the youngest winner of Survivor, much to the chagrin of many viewers. But after all was said and done, what did Jenna herself think of how she was shown on TV? What was her strategy, what did she learn, and what does she regret? RealityNewsOnline had a chance to talk to her about all of these things.
RealityNewsOnline: Hello, Jenna. Congratulations on your win and thanks for taking the time to answer these questions from RealityNewsOnline. Let's begin with the ending. As you're well aware, many viewers were (and perhaps still are) quite upset because you won. What do you have to say to these people who have gone so far as to say that a great season was ruined by your win?
Jenna: Well, a great season is very unpredictable and that is what this season was the whole way through. Everyone thought Matt was going to win for sure and the ending was a huge surprise! Who wants to have a predictable season of Survivor? I understand that a lot of people in the viewing audience disliked me during the show and wanted me to lose. But, six out of the seven jury members voted for me so I must have not been that bad, attitude wise. Also, Survivor is about playing the game and I did that from day one and the jury knew that.
RNO: Over the course of the show, you were called many things – self-centered, spoiled, shallow, etc. At the end, you said that looking back some of these were justified and even seemed to have some good humor about it all (such as when we met after the finale). Do you think all of those criticisms were justified?
Jenna: I think all the criticism was justified. I don't think people needed to be as mean as they were about it, but everyone has a right to their own opinion. I acted very immature, annoying, selfish, and bitchy during the show. I will be the first to admit that. But, I learned a hard life lesson and that is priceless. Plus, the friends I made on the show are once in a lifetime. So, Survivor gave me so many wonderful things that no money could ever buy.
RNO: On a related note, do you feel that what we saw on our television screens accurately represented what happened in the Amazon?
Jenna: You have to always consider that not everything can make it onto TV, that is common sense. There was a lot of downtime there and a lot of fun times. But, you cannot make the excuse that is was editing or you’re not really like that. It is an unscripted show and no matter what, you said what you said. Take responsibility for it.
RNO: Looking back, what moment(s) do you regret the most?
Jenna: I do not regret any strategic moves because of where I placed in the game. But, some of the things I said were very uncalled for. When I said, "screw you, you fat pig," to Deena. That was so wrong and I felt horrible. Deena is one of the most inspiring and strongest people I know. I am lucky she forgave me for that. Also some of the things I said about Rob when I was mad at him. He was just playing the game – and it was the best game ever! He is a master of the game and he is an amazing guy. When you are focused so much on the game you forget about people’s feelings and emotions and I just said things without thinking.
RNO: How did your family and friends react when they saw you on the show?
Jenna: My family and friends were SO supportive. My parents were so proud of me. I did it for my parents and I am glad they stuck by me through thick and thin. They are truly wonderful.
RNO: What was your original strategy and how did it change when you realized that the tribes were split by gender?
Jenna: My strategy was to adapt under any situation. Adaptation is the key to Survivor. Things are always changing. I wanted to go in and make a strong alliance from the start. When the tribes were split by gender I decided to approach Heidi for an alliance because we had a lot of things in common. Then we approached Shawna, and Shawna said something to Deena. And the alliance was born. I always wanted to stay out of the drama and trouble in the beginning. Try not to make any enemies in the game. Keep in mind a lot of the stubborn and rude things I said were in my confessional and the other Survivors did not hear me.
RNO: What was your relationship with Christy like (in an earlier interview with us, Heidi said you hated each other) and what happened to cause such problems?
Jenna: Hate is a very strong word and I do not hate Christy, nor did I in the game. Me and Christy got off on the wrong foot. The first couple days were insane in the jungle. You’re trying to build a shelter and build an alliance that will take you far. You overlook personal relationships by accident. I should have put more effort into getting to know Christy and she should have with me also. It was no one’s fault. I got to know Christy a lot after the show. She is truly a unique individual and she has many qualities I admire. She is very tough.
RNO: What are your plans for the million dollars?
Jenna: I want to make that million dollars last and last. Once I pay off my bills and my family’s it will be heavily invested. So, I do not have to worry about money.
RNO: Would you be up to compete with other winners (and non-winners) on an all-star version of the show, or have you had enough?
Jenna: Survivor has been the greatest experience of my life and I cannot thank everybody who was involved enough for giving me the chance. I would compete again in an all-star in a heartbeat.
RNO: Thanks, Jenna! And once again, congratulations!
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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