Jessica Peet thought she would be staying in Fiji to play Survivor: David vs. Goliath, but that location ended up being a mere layover for her final destination of Blindside City. Jessica was ousted by the tribe after she and others made a play to get rid of their “weakest” member, Lyrsa. But Lyrsa’s ally Elizabeth then turned the tables and rallied the troops to flip the script, sending the 19-year-old waitress from Florida out instead.
Where did Jessica’s plan go wrong? Why did she lie about her age? What happened after she got voted out? We asked her all that and more when Jessica called into EW Morning Live (EW Radio, SiriusXM, channel 105) this morning. Here are some highlights from our chat.
EW RADIO: Were you cringing a little bit last night when you watched back Tribal Council and heard yourself admonishing contestants for not playing the game before they got there and saying “if that’s the way you’re playing the game, then you need to recheck yourself.”
JESSICA PEET: I knew that the plan had been to get Lyrsa out for such a long time that it was obvious to me that’s the way the votes were going. I never would have thought that my name would have come up at all. It didn’t make sense to me why they would want to keep Lyrsa over me. So I was a little confident in that, and there are so many emotions going on at Tribal Council that I obviously didn’t realize I was making those faces so it’s a little funny watching them back. But everybody at my watch party got a good laugh at it because that’s just my personality. I’m really sarcastic all the time.
Was there anything you saw in the episode that surprised you about the plan to get you out?
During the conversation I had with Gabby where she was saying that we weren’t giving her enough, I didn’t know she felt that way. I thought that we had the plan in place and I didn’t want to keep on talking about it because I didn’t want to give Lyrsa time to look for an idol or something like that. So I wish that I would have given her more of what she needed. So what was probably the most surprising part of watching it back was just not knowing that someone I had an alliance with wasn’t getting what they needed from me. That was a little hard to watch.
There was all this talk about Lyrsa being the weakest, but we didn’t really see that in last night’s challenge. The only one we really saw clearly putting you at a deficit was Bi. But, of course, you all see lots that we, as viewers, do not. What was it about Lyrsa that you all felt made her the weakest member of the tribe?
This is a hard question because I love her now, but being in the game you are playing as individuals, and going into the game of Survivor you just kind of expect to constantly do things, and she wasn’t doing anything at camp. And then at challenges, I understand that Bi may not have looked like she was going at the quickest pace, but she was the only one who was like, “You know what? I’m going to do this” and was stepping up to the plate, which I admire about her. So with Lyrsa, there were just certain things that would frustrate you. As a David tribe member, you want her to do more around camp or feel like she’s putting in effort at challenges and not always using excuse like, “Oh, well, we’re going to lose anyway because the Goliaths are bigger than us.” And that’s why Bi got so angry when we got back to camp, because she was tired of the excuses and I completely understand where she’s coming from. But in my eyes, I understand a lot of people are saying that I didn’t fit into the David tribe, like, visually, but after seeing all the people I was bonding with, I didn’t expect it. It really was a blindside.
Wait, a lot of people are telling you that you didn’t fit in visually to the tribe?
Yeah, I’ve gotten so many messages on Instagram and people that just come up to me and talk about the show. Everybody is confused, like, “Why are you on the David tribe?” They’re saying I stick out a lot and it wasn’t good, and they were worried about me because of that. I thought out on the island, they keep asking me about showmances, but then they give me two 40-year-old guys, and Nick and Christian both have girlfriends, and then there’s Davie and he’s 30. And they just said I looked different from all the girls. That was something that I never even noticed, but since I’ve bene home there have been a lot of people that have said that to me. So I don’t know if that affected anything at all, but that’s just what people are saying.
Why lie about your age and tell people you were 22 instead of 19?
I just think whenever you are a young person that wants to play this show you kind of feel like you have to either lie about it or try to prove yourself every single day, and I didn’t want to have to worry about people misjudging me because I was young. And 22 is a very dominant number in my life and has always been a lucky number, so when I was discussing “Hmmm, what number can I do? I’ll just do 22.” And it’s amazing the difference people see in you whenever you say that you’re 19 or 22. It doesn’t sound like a lot of a difference to me, but I know if I say to other people that I’m 19 they’re going to be like, “You’re 19?” But 22 sounds a little bit more acceptable. Plus, there’s a lot of life experience and growing that goes on in that age gap in my opinion. So I went in and said I was 22 and just rolled with it, and I felt more confident saying I was 22 rather than if I had said I was only 19.
You were making a lot of deals out there but who was your ride or die? Whom did you see as your biggest ally in the game?
That’s a great question. I wish they would have highlighted it more, but in my opinion, I had two number ones. Bi and I were very close, but I wish they would have shown more of my relationship with Carl, because Carl and I from day 1, there was just something about him where we just knew. A lot of times I was having numerous conversations with Carl about gameplay, so those were really my two allies and I felt like I was sitting in a good position with that because Bi had a good relationship with me as well as Carl. But then Bi also had a good relationship with Gabby and Carl had a good relationship with Davie. So I didn’t really have to talk to Davie that much. Anytime I was talking to Carl, my things were getting communicated to Davie. So I felt like I was sitting in a good position and I was a swing in the group of five. So my two top people were Bi and Carl from the beginning.
Was Pat back from the hospital when you got to Ponderosa?
As soon as I got on the boat to go to Ponderosa, one of the first questions I asked was “Is Pat okay? Because that was a genuine relationship I had also, and the vote would have been completely different if Pat had bene there. So ugh! Screw those waves! I was so mad! But I got back to Ponderosa and Pat was there. He was waiting. So that was emotional. He said, “I wasn’t expecting to see you here, kiddo, but I’m proud of you.” And as soon as he said that, there were more tears. But he’s a great guy and I was really glad I got to share a Ponderosa experience with him. He was in the hospital for three days and got back to Ponderosa the same day that I did, earlier in the afternoon.
Be honest. After his accident, what percentage of you was worried for his health and what percentage of you was worried about how it impacted your game? And I won’t believe you if you say that didn’t enter your head at all.
Honestly, I want to say it was like 50-50. I was very, very, very concerned about Pat. He was a very dominant person on our tribe and I was sad that he was leaving. But yes, of course, I’m thinking in my head, “Crap, that was one of my numbers. What am I going to do now?” Because we had all discussed, if we go to Tribal and we have Pat, it was either Nick or Lyrsa that would have been on the chopping block if we would have had Pat there. So it definitely impacted my game because first round at Tribal I didn’t have Pat there, and I didn’t have another number that we could have used to make sure that the 5-4 vote was turned around. So it definitely impacted my game.