Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire: Janet Koth reveals how women used condoms on The Amazon
With Survivor filming for seasons 41 and 42 indefinitely postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, EW is reaching back into the reality show's past. We sent a Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire to a batch of former players to fill out with their thoughts about their time on the show as well as updates on what they've been up to since. Each weekday, EW will post the answers from a different player.
Let's set the record straight: Janet Koth did NOT smuggle a granola bar into Survivor: The Amazon. But no matter how many times she pleaded with her Jaburu tribemates that she was not responsible for the granola wrapper at the bottom of their supplies barrel, Jeanne Hebert's accusation stuck, and the tribe voted her out second in the game on day six. But Jeanne's accusation didn't just stick with tribemates. Thanks to some selective editing, it stuck with many viewers as well.
"The edit I got on the show makes my blood boil," says Janet. "I almost declined going to the finale after seeing how I was portrayed. Even some of my family members thought I snuck in the granola bar after seeing how they took a scene of one day, and edited it to another day, making me look guilty."
Get ready old school Survivor fans as we are taking it all the way back to season 6 as Janet reminisces about her time in the jungle, why she stopped watching the series, and what the women of Jaburu did with all those condoms they were given for the show!
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First off, give the update as to what you've been up to since appearing on Survivor.
JANET KOTH: Since Survivor, I returned to my life as usual. Initially, after our series aired, I did a few speaking engagements. Speaking at schools was my favorite, as the kids really like Survivor! It's one of the few shows on TV the family can actually watch together. I also did a segment on our local CBS station the morning after consequent Survivors and reviewed the show. I went back to college to further my nursing education. I resumed my role as a part-time RN and full-time wife, mom, and now grandmother.
What is your proudest moment ever from playing Survivor?
I think my proudest moment would have to be just making the show. When you get chosen out of 60,000 applicants, you feel pretty good about yourself.
What is your biggest regret from your Survivor experience?
My biggest regret would have to be that I didn't fight harder against the untrue allegations of having brought in a granola bar. I think I was just too weak at that point from dehydration. I learned that when I am really dehydrated and sleep-deprived, my normally gregarious personality takes a huge hit!
What's something that will blow fans' minds that happened out there in your season but never made it to TV?
What didn't make the show? The fact that a tribe of all women was given condoms in our first aid kit! A lot of condoms! Christy and I sat out one night on a jaguar watch, and I couldn't stop laughing as she put them on her blistered feet for protection!
How do you feel about the edit you got on the show?
The edit I got on the show makes my blood boil. I almost declined going to the finale after seeing how I was portrayed. Even some of my family members thought I snuck in the granola bar after seeing how they took a scene of one day, and edited it to another day, making me look guilty.
What was it like coming back to regular society after being out there? Was there culture shock or an adjustment coming back?
It was a little strange coming back home after being away for seven weeks. I missed the other contestants that I had spent so much time with. My family also grew weary of having to talk Survivor wherever we went! I don't blame them a bit!
Was there ever a point either during the game or after you got back where you regretted going on the show?
During the game, there were definitely times when I thought to myself, "What in the world am I doing out here!?" We were all so weak, and dizzy most of the time. This was back in the day when water wasn't provided. That would have made a huge difference!
Did I ever regret going on? NO. I hated how I was portrayed, but it was such an unusual experience, and I have always been adventurous!
Whom do you still talk, text, or email with the most from your season?
My contacts with cast members are only through social media these days. My husband and I visited Jeanne and her husband a few years ago. We have a blast together! Pretty ironic I think, since she's the one who said she saw a granola bar in my backpack.
Do you still watch Survivor, and, if so, what's your favorite season you were not on and why?
Ok... so here's a shocker. I do not watch Survivor anymore. I tried watching a few of the different seasons, but got too frustrated. I would see their environment, which was not nearly as harsh as ours, and they're being provided water, and it ticked me off. I would find myself thinking how much better I could have done if I had had water, or had been able to cool off in the water, etc...
Who's one player from another Survivor season you wish you could have played with or against and why?
I would have loved to be on with Russell Hantz from Samoa! What a fascinating personality! I think we would have made a great team.
If you could make one change to any aspect of Survivor, what would it be and why?
If I had to change Survivor in any way, it would be that they need more diversity in the ages of contestants. It gets tiresome seeing mostly 20 and 30 somethings making alliances. Middle-aged and older people think very differently and approach difficult personalities in a totally different manner. I also think that older people are underestimated in their abilities to play a cunning game. They are looked upon as "Moms and Dads", and that's a mistake. It's every person for themselves out there.
Finally, would you play again if asked?
Would I play again if asked? Nah... I doubt it. Unless...I knew Christy Smith would be there too — the first deaf person to be on the show. She was freaking amazing! I don't think she gets enough credit for doing that in the Amazon Jungle! I guess one should never say never!! Like I said after being kicked off the show... "Best Midlife Crisis Ever!!"
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