Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire: Jenna Morasca is 'ready to come back and kick some ass'
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.
Jenna Morasca has experienced both the highs and lows of Survivor. At just 21 years old, she became the show’s youngest winner ever (and remains the youngest female winner ever) when she was crowned the champion of Survivor: The Amazon. She also made history along the way by not only becoming the youngest player to win, but also being the first person to give up immunity at Tribal Council, and tying Kelly Wigglesworth for most individual immunity wins by a woman in a single season with four (since tied by Kim Spradlin and Chrissy Hofbeck). She ended that campaign with a dominant 6 out of 7 vote victory over Matthew von Ertfelda.
But Jenna also knows the lows of the game. After several days of struggling with being away from her mother who was battling cancer, Jenna voluntarily left Survivor: All-Stars on day 9 to go be by her mom’s side. Because of that decision, Jenna was able to be with her mother when she passed away just eight days later.
Although Jenna has appeared on numerous other reality and game shows since (including Fear Factor, Celebrity Paranormal Project, Family Feud, and season 19 of The Amazing Race with then-boyfriend and fellow Survivor winner Ethan Zohn), it has been 32 seasons since she has been on the island, although she did‚ along with yours truly, host CBS’ Survivor Live after-show for five seasons starting with Survivor: Palau.
Jenna sadly experienced another family tragedy a few years back when she lost the person she was closest to in the world, her father. And while online speculation has run rampant as to her health and well-being, Jenna remains upbeat, and tells concerned fans, “Don’t believe everything you read, everyone. I’m doing great (and I’ve NEVER been arrested or got a DUI like a million websites like to say)! I had a tough go after my dad passed away suddenly, but I was able to get myself together & keep moving forward with the help of an incredible support system.”
Not only that, but even though the season 6 champion was not part of the recent Winners at War cast, when asked if she feels she has it in her to come back and compete again, Jenna does not hesitate: “I’ve never been more ready to come back and kick some ass.” And she starts by kicking a little ass on her Quarantine Questionnaire.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First off, give the update as to what you’ve been up to since appearing on Survivor.
JENNA MORASCA: Well, I’m older now, that’s for sure! Currently I’m working as a veterinary nurse, which I’ve been doing for the last four years. I work at West Liberty Animal Hospital, where I get to see some of the exotic birds I did in the Amazon, & I also work as an ER nurse at an emergency hospital. I’ve always loved animals and I love being in this field. Don’t believe everything you read, everyone. I’m doing great (and I’ve NEVER been arrested or got a DUI like a million websites like to say)! I had a tough go after my dad passed away suddenly, but I was able to get myself together and keep moving forward with the help of an incredible support system.
What is your proudest moment ever from playing Survivor?
Obviously, winning is a proud moment for me, and being the youngest female winner ever still. But being able to share the experience with my dad when he was able to come for the family visit is my highlight. He was the biggest Survivor fan (along with my mom), and the first and only time he traveled out of the country was to see me for the family visit. It was my dad’s fondest memory, and he talked about that moment up to the day he passed. Nothing can ever surpass that for me.
What is your biggest regret from your Survivor experiences?
I usually don’t like to use the word regret because there is always a lesson to be learned from any experience. But saying some of the idiot comments I made out of immaturity did not make my highlight reel!
What’s something that will blow fans minds that happened out there in one of your seasons but never made it to TV?
One night in the Amazon, the fire went out and we left some “food” (meaning our food staple) out near the fire. A caiman crawled up out of the water and got so close to the fire we all got up and started running. It was really scary. We learned real quick not to let the fire go out ever!
How do you feel about the edit you got on the show?
Look, a lot of people like to blame the “edit” they got on the show. I don’t like to blame edit for anything. I said what I said, whether I’m proud of it or not. I was myself and that’s all I could be at the time. When I first played, I was very young and inexperienced on all things life. I learned so much from my Survivor experiences and it truly changed my life.
What was it like coming back to regular society after being out there? Was there culture shock or an adjustment coming back?
Back when I played, and won ;) it was definitely a culture shock. Survivor was so popular then due to there not being as many reality shows on TV at that time. I was constantly seeing my face on tabloid magazines every week, everyone knew my business. There was even a tabloid reporter that snuck into my mother’s funeral to get pictures of me! It was a huge adjustment. I was hiding food under my bed for months, my sleep schedule was all messed up, and my metabolism was a mess. It took over a year for me to truly adjust back to normal life.
Was there ever a point either during the game or after you got back where you regretted going on the show?
Never! Not once, not ever.
Whom do you still talk, text, or email with the most from your seasons?
I still text and keep in touch with Butch, Rob C, Dolly, Fairplay, Deena, Ethan, Jenna. I reach out to them on their birthdays and holidays. And, as all of you know, Ethan and I had a long history and we are still friends to this day.
Do you still watch Survivor, and if so, what’s your favorite season you were not on and why?
I try and watch it when I can, but I work a lot. And I’m on night shift as an ER nurse, so my schedule doesn’t allow a lot of time to watch TV. But I try and watch when it’s on. But my favorite season will always be mine.
Who’s one player from another Survivor season you wish you could have played with or against and why?
I’m not sure I have an answer to this question. I feel like both times I played I played against an amazing and smart group of players.
If you could make one change to any aspect of Survivor, what would it be and why?
When you are voted off you, don’t get to come back into the game. Unless I play again and it’s me who gets voted off, then I’ll allow it.
Finally, would you play again if asked?
YES, I would. I’ve never been more ready to come back and kick some ass.