Survivor: The Amazon – An Interview with JoAnnaby David Bloomberg -- 03/19/2003
RealityNewsOnline was once again given the opportunity to interview a Survivor contestant who had been voted out. We asked JoAnna Ward a series of questions and below you will find her answers. The answers here are just as she sent them in, with all-caps and punctuation and even some places where, I have to admit, I’m not entirely sure what she was talking about… We have also added two explanatory comments, in brackets.
Hello, JoAnna. Obviously you were quite a controversial player, so let's start with some questions that deal with that and go from there:
RealityNewsOnline: Considering the way you talked about the Immunity Idol, it had many viewers wondering if you had ever seen the show before. Didn't you realize coming in to this show that the "Immunity Idol" would be a part of the game?
JoAnna Ward: I was not a fan of the game. Even if I was, I still wouldn't touch the idol. I think contestants have this option, it is not mandatory or I wouldn't have been selected.
RNO: I've had many other Born-Again Christians e-mail me to point out that the Bible says you shouldn't worship idols – where does it say you shouldn't have little statuettes nearby that somebody happened to choose to call an "idol" for game purposes?
JoAnna: Graven images and not being among any reference of idols is mentioned in the bible. I would leave you supporting scriptures, but that would take away the fun.
Furthermore God gives those who are in personal relationship with him specific instructions, if "true" born again Christians were sending you email, then they would recognize and respect that. I don't answer to a pastor, clergy, bishops, and fellow man, I respect them, but I answer to the Most High Elyon God, my life is in his hands. I hold him responsible for my outcomes. I accept his yes, his no, the doors he opens and the ones he closes, he is God and there is none besides him. Believe that! Obedience is better than sacrifice – so question on – I will pull you into my world before you pull me into yours... SWEET!
RNO: What is your side of the situation which caused you to go off on Christy the way you did, to the point of sticking your hand in her face when you knew that the only way she could understand you was to read your lips?
JoAnna: As far a Christy goes, she was a thorn in my flesh. Christy was very vocal about her disagreement of my not wanting to touch the idol. She also held me personally responsible for the girls isolating her from the tribe... If you were listening to what I was saying, in addition to what I was doing, you would have understood from the episode – but then of course this would mean you actually wanted to understand??? –anyhow, there were several occasions that I was talking to Jeanne and Christy came and stuck her entire face between us and right in my face. My solution to this problem was to invite her face out of mine with my hand. The clip you see, the issue is being laid on the table because Christy is still talking about the idol, my stupidity (as if) and me putting my hand in her face. Outdone, I finally approached her and I reminded her that we agreed that she was going to let it go. It amazes me that you never see Christy harassing me????? But I guess it wouldn't have mattered because it would have been OK because she fell into a minority with her hearing – well I fell into several minorities – Christian, Strong, only single-parent, the sudden death of my mother DOROTHY VASSELL, but there was no pity for me – oh I forgot – I don't need pity. By the way did you notice above all else that Christy did not vote against me after I allegedly "went off on her." Makes you wonder??? Nobody voted against me at all that episode??? Then, when the did vote me off, I wasn't because of my faith, going off on people, mean, or rude??? Hmmm... I was just too strong… SPIRITUALLY, MENTALLY, and PHYSICALLY. Or maybe they just lied on national TV and said that I was just plain better – it amazes me how others try to formulate so many other reasons – I am a Mighty Woman of God. Come correct or don't come at all. It is hard to argue with absolute truth supported by evidence. Try something else – next. [RNO Note: While we obviously weren’t there, it does seem that perhaps Christy might have needed to “stick her face” in as reading lips is the only way she can understand what others are saying.]
RNO: What did you think when you saw your confrontation with Christy on TV?
JoAnna: I thought it was a slight slant in the editing. I was not bothered by it though, I know what happened and because of the skipping and jumps in the footage, my people knew it was suspect. Also, the people who I deal with on a day to day basis know that if it came to that, I was pushed there. I handle myself well. I already know what I am dealing with, and I know how it all turns out in the end. There is a bigger picture and I am glad that the eyes of my understand are alert enough to view it in its entirety. Thank you Lord Jesus!
RNO: Did you have a strategy going in to the game and was it altered in any way by the tribes being split by gender?
JoAnna: Part of my strategy was to lay low behind a dominant male – from the looks of things that wouldn't have worked either, for there were none, they lacked in some areas – the other part of my strategy worked... Prayer, Praise and Worship! HALLELUJAH OH GLORY HALLELUJAH AMEN I am strong in the Lord and the Power of his might! The joy of the Lord continues to be my strength. I love you all so much for this stage.
RNO: Did you think that preaching to the others and lecturing them would help you in the game, or did strategy not really come into play – in other words, was it more important for you to win the game or to say what you thought was right?
JoAnna: There are 15 losers in SURVIVOR and 1 winner. I figured if I be myself and I lose, GOOD. If I be myself and win Great! But to be anything less than what and who I am, for any reason – I lose regardless of were I fall in the numbers. Representation and Praising the Lord was and is far more important to me than pleasing people who don't care if I live or die. I never preached to anyone – I don't like that – but if you ask me I will tell you, perhaps more than you'd like to hear, and more of the truth than you have heard. As you can tell in my response to these questions. I really love you guys... you have made all of these comments possible!
RNO: Jeanne said the two of you nominated Deena as leader, hoping she would rub people the wrong way. What went wrong?
JoAnna: It was between me and Deena as leader. You have apparently more information than the general public. I did not want to be the leader and told Jeanne to vote for Deena because she wanted the title. I have been a real leader long enough to know it is not the title that makes you a leader, it is your level of influence, your credibility, and your actions. Even as chosen leader, Deena was still intimidated by my mere presence. Because of who I am, if at anytime I decided to play the game, her position would have been in jeopardy. Even with the strong three, I would have still been a major threat because of my unspoken leadership qualities and power to persuade. As you noticed it wasn't an outright face off, "JoAnna we are voting you off" deal. I know you feel the power I have even in this response. Now imagine having to eat and sleep with it 24/7... If I was to go, I wanted it to be for the reasons that they stated to America – I was just better than they were, not because I was a poor leader. [RNO Note: Regarding her statement that we have more information than the general public, in fact we have no information that was not presented on the show itself – but that’s where Jeanne said she and JoAnna nominated Deena as leader because she could be bossy and would hopefully rub people the wrong way.]
RNO: Was the vote a surprise to you or did you see it coming?
JoAnna: Shawna indicated that her alliance was locking her into the game. I did not know if they would choose logic or emotion. They chose emotion, now Deena can be Alpha female, because she sure couldn't have my title while I was still in the game. SWEET.
RNO: We have seen Heidi and the other younger women talking to the cameras about being cute and all that – did they say something out in the open that caused you to lecture the younger women on beauty being only skin deep?
JoAnna: No, I had no idea they imagined somewhere in their finite minds that they could hold a candle to me in a pitch black dark room. I had no idea we were competing against each other in a beauty contest – if so then let the games begin – I thought we were going against the guys, not trying to get with them. As far as the lecture, again if you were listening you heard Jenna ask us to sit around and talk about our families so that we could keep things in perspective. You also heard me stating that my Mom always has said this too shall pass and that SURVIVOR wasn't the first hard thing I'd done – you were listening right? Just checking – the other thing my Mom taught me was that "favor is deceitful" as in SURVIVOR I was saying to them you smile is my face and praise me, but I know you envy me, you are after a million, and your heart is not with me. "Beauty is vain" I am all that on the outside, but my Mom said have something on the inside too. "But a woman who fears the Lord shall be praised" simply means a woman with virtue, character, integrity, self-worth, self-discipline, one who walks in excellence and uses discretion in her dealings, among other things that most members of our tribe lacked. It is evident in their behavior when the mere "POSSIBILITY" of winning 1 million dollars is waved in their faces. They "are" so vain that my words hit them in their inner most being and stirred the shallow parts of their conscience and have left them with something to think about to this very day. Being in the jungle and hearing those words is one thing, but hearing them again rung around the world in the ears of your students, family, and friends... coworkers, parents, community makes them much more profound and they haunt you for the rest of your AGING life.
I’d like to thank JoAnna for replying to our questions.
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at email@example.com.
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