by Gina Scarpa
Last night, on Survivor: Nicaragua, the Espada tribe lost their immunity/reward challenge and headed to tribal council for the second time this season. Several members of the tribe felt too threatened by Jimmy Johnson and voted him out, instead of the injured Daniel, who was barely able to get around camp. Today, Jimmy spoke to RealityWanted and reporters in a press conference call about his experiences on Survivor: Nicaragua.
Q. Gina, RealityWanted: What is it about Survivor that drew you to the game?
A. Jimmy: I love the outdoors. I live on the beach down in the Florida Keys. I love that atmosphere. I like to fish, I like to scuba dive. Back when I was in Texas, I did some hunting. I love being out in nature and that's a big part of the show, having people out there against the elements.
Q. Gina, RealityWanted: Was the biggest wakeup call for you, being out in the game as opposed to watching it on tv?
A. Jimmy: I think the biggest wakeup call was the first night. The first night was probably the most difficult. I didn't expect it to be cold there. I was cold and soaking wet. There was a downpour of rain all night long. I'm laying on the hard bamboo all night long, shivering. I didn't have any idea what time it was and I was thinking, "Boy, I hope that sun comes up soon." That first night was just so difficult and the second night was just a little better.
Q. Gina, RealityWanted: Do you think you might have fared better if the tribes were mixed up instead of divided by age?
A. Jimmy: I really don't know. I don't know if the younger group would've considered me a threat or not. That was my downfall. I knew, with the celebrity status, that I was going to have to do something to offset that. I thought by convincing them that I wasn't a threat, because people wouldn't award me a million dollars, that it would work but evidently, I didn't do a good job of convincing Marty.
Q. Since Jimmy T seemed to be all about him, how would you deal with him if he were one of your Wide Receivers?
A. Jimmy: Jimmy T would have a difficult time being on my team. He's a little bit volatile. I actually helped Jimmy T stay on the tribe the first week. A lot of people wanted to vote him off. I thought he could help us in some physical challenges. As it turned out, we didn't really have any physical challenges while I was there so it didn't come into play.
Q. Why did you admit that you were the weakest player?
A. Jimmy: I was just being honest. I didn't say I was the weakest, I said I was one of the weak players. I'm 67 years old. I think that the wear of the game, no sleep, no food, no water, would have more of an effect on someone my age than someone younger. I thought the weakest player was Daniel but I was being honest.
Q. How difficult was it to lead a team with guys like Marty and Jimmy T?
A. Jimmy: I got thrown into the role. I didn't want to be the leader or the boss. I wanted to enjoy the adventure. I was like, "I'm not a threat, just let me enjoy this adventure." Everyone started arguing and came to me to help making decisions for challenges and around camp. I reluctantly went into that role.
Q. Did you become aware that Marty had it out for you while you were playing?
A. Jimmy: No! When I watch the episode last night, it was a complete surprise to me. I was surprised because I thought Marty and I had a good relationship. I thought I had convinced him that I wasn't a threat. I told him he didn't have to worry about me, sincerely. If I had gotten to final three, I would've given the money to charity anyway.
Q. Did you campaign before tribal council?
A. Jimmy: No I didn't because I didn't feel like I needed to. I thought we were voting Daniel out.
Q. Did it ever occur at tribal council to point out that Daniel was the weakest?
A. Jimmy: I didn't think I needed to because I thought everybody knew that. He pulled himself out of the first challenge. There was always concern about his knee in any challenge that involved running or moving around. Around camp, he really didn't do a lot. I'm not trying to trash Daniel. I'm trying to be up front about who was contributing on our tribe.
Q. Would you have done anything differently?
A. Jimmy: Yeah, I would've formed an alliance and voted Daniel out or Jimmy T.
Q. Would you want to play Survivor again?
A. Jimmy: No, I don't want to do it again. I love the show but I don't think, physically, I'm up for it.
Survivor: Nicaragua airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on CBS.
(Image courtesy of CBS)
Follow Gina at twitter.com/ginascarpa