Survivor: Jessica says she and Cole are 'currently in a friend zone'

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Jessica Johnston wanted it all. She wanted the money and the man. It turns out she got neither. Jessica was the first person voted out of the newly merged tribe on Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers this week. Her showmance with Cole made her a target. So did the fact that — unlike Cole — she actually somewhat seemed to know what she was doing out there. Once Ben and Lauren defected from the Yawa tribe, she was done.

As if that is not bad enough, it appears Jessica and Cole are not an item outside the game. We learned that when the eliminated Jessica called into EW Morning Live (Entertainment Weekly Radio, SiriusXM, channel 105), and you can now hear the entire interview on the EW Morning Live podcast. Here are a few highlights.

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On if she had any idea she was the target:
“No, I had no idea. They did a supremely great job at keeping that a secret, which adds to the heartache when you don’t know your name is out there at all. You don’t even think about saving yourself and there are things I think I could have done if I had even suspected myself at all and I didn’t.”

On what she would have done if she knew she was the target:
“I would have been a crazy person! That’s what stinks is that my craziness was not able to come to fruition. At that time, I knew Joe had an idol. I knew Mike had an idol because I found it for him. And what I feel like was not portrayed was the relationship with Joe that I had from the original Healers tribe, and the relationship I had built with Mike after we got split into Yawa. So those were two of my top two people. Had I known that my name was out there, I would have told them to play their idol for me. And I believe with my whole heart they would have, which would have been an easy save. So huge regrets on my end.”

On if she thought Ben and Lauren were with them:
“I knew at the merge that Ben had defected. I knew that I could not trust him because he wholeheartedly wanted Cole out. Lauren, however, we had built a really close relationship. So when I watched last night, it truly made my heart happy to see that she really tried to stick with us. However, she made the decision to go with the majority and it’s good for her game. Bravo for her, stinks for me. So at the merge, I knew I had a pretty tight relationship with Lauren, not so much with Ben.”

On if she has had a romantic relationship with Cole outside of the game:
“We have definitely seen each other outside of the game and are currently in a friend zone. We both leave seemingly different lives, obviously different states and have a lot of things going on. Definitely still see him and talk to him, but definitely more friend zoning it. I tend to do that in life. Was it a showmance? Maybe, but when I think about it, I am like, I am really good at ending relationships. I do it a lot. So if I had ever had the chance to end what Cole and I had in the game to benefit me, I would have, but it never got to that point in the game.

“Unfortunately, I read a lot of things about Cole and my relationship and how it was ruining my game, but that’s not how I felt on the island. It got to the point where I was like, ‘Oh, God, he’s the best person for me, He’s a shield. Everyone hates him, he’s stealing everyone’s food, no one would vote for him if he did make it to the end. My social game was huge, so he was the ultimate shield. All of those feelings got super mixed up, because obviously there’s an attraction there. So, very confusing. Still very confusing, actually.”

On her ideal final 3:
“I think at the point that I left the game, Joe would have been a great final 3. He played a villain role, I played a social game. I think I definitely could have defended myself against him. And if Cole and I had made it to the end, I think that I certainly would have beat Cole. I don’t think I would have been able to beat Dr. Mike had I gone to the end with him. So at this point where my game led me, it would have been Joe and Cole. After seeing the edits, I would have placed myself with Chrissy. I think I could have knocked her out of the water if I had made it to the end with her.”

On if she would return to play again:
“I would drop anything to play again. I don’t own a lot. I own a dog. I would sell her to a good home if I got the opportunity to play Survivor again. I think I would play it a lot differently for sure.”

To hear the entire Q&A — as well as our interviews with Jacob Tremblay and Thor: Ragnorak’s Chris Hemsworth and director Taika Waititi — click on the SoundCloud of the EW Morning Live podcast above. Or subscribe on iTunes right here to listen on the go. And for more EW Morning Live podcast news, follow us on Twitter @EWMLPodcast.

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