Exclusive: James Clement talks about 'Survivor: Micronesia'
By Christopher Rocchio, 05/02/2008
James Clement feels that even without his injured finger, he was in a "tight spot."
Unfortunately he'll never know if he would have been able to work himself out of it, as the former Survivor: China castaway was medically evacuated from Survivor: Micronesia -- Fans vs. Favorites during last night's broadcast of the CBS reality series.
On Friday, James talked to Reality TV World about why his situation was dire even without the injured finger; how he attempted to use his China blunder to warn Ozzy Lusth about being blindsided; if he holds a grudge against Parvati Shallow for helping to orchestrate Ozzy's blindside; and how his fellow former China castaway Amanda Kimmel also played a crucial role in Micronesia.
Reality TV World: It appeared that you didn't think your finger injury was too serious until the Survivor medic mentioned it could cost you your hand. Had the medic not insisted you be evacuated, would you have still tried to continue in the competition?
James: Yes sir I would have. I don't know, I understand the reasons for taking me off. They don't want anybody to be severely injured. But I would have been alright.
Reality TV World: How's your finger currently doing?
James: Okay. I mean, it's alright. It's a finger. It's going to be alright. It's closing and grabbing and doing what it's supposed to be doing.
Reality TV World: Had the injury not occurred, it seemed pretty clear that you would have been targeted for elimination as one of the tribe's largest threats. What was your plan moving forward in the competition? Did you have one?
James: Well actually I was about to use some the James charisma and woo the women into loving me and keeping me there forever. (laughing)
I was pretty much in a tight spot. Those girls were going to get rid of me. I just had to win Immunity or something.
Reality TV World: Okay, so you think you would have had to keep winning Individual Immunity or find the Hidden Immunity Idol to have a chance?
James: I needed some help because times were hard. The mutiny was against me! (laughing)
Reality TV World: It appeared that you lost all trust in Parvati when she "bit the apple" and blindsided Ozzy. Was that the case? Do you think you would have trusted Parvati again in the game after that?
James: It wasn't the fact that I lost trust in her, it was her answer about it when it happened. If she would have come forth and said, "Hey, I had to play the game. I had to get Ozzy out because he's one of the strongest players." Which is so not true because the talk was all about the four [of us -- Ozzy, Parvati, Amanda and myself] is the strongest. If she would have come to me that route, it would have been cool.
But she came to me with something like she was at the bottom of the totem pole -- she would have been voted out first between me, Ozzy and Amanda. I'm like, "Seriously girl? You and Amanda set everything up! We're just the two dumb asses getting you' all coconuts and clams and chilling."
Everybody else were the ones who were working. Amanda and Parvati were the ones running the show. We were just kind of there to feed them and keep them fueled to give them energy to do what they had to do.
Reality TV World: Based on that answer, do you hold a grudge against Parvati?
James: With her answer, kind of. But it's just part of the game, so not really. I really don't care. We had good times. Whatever.
Reality TV World: Your relationship with Parvati seemed to be a flirty one. Were you two actually interested in each other or was it basically a strategic relationship?
James: A little of both. Something about her I really enjoyed being around, and looking at her and spending time with her. But Amanda came to me and said, "Look, you're going to have to flirt with this girl to make sure everything's good. Make her happy." I tried my best.
Reality TV World: Since I never got the chance to talk to you after you were blindsided during Survivor: China, I was wondering if you ever considered playing one of the two Hidden Immunity Idols you had in your possession at that Tribal Council?
James: I had a bad day. It's called ESP -- Extreme Survivor Paranoia. It happened to me at that time, which happened to be the worst time. I completely was out of my game at that time. When you're out of your game, that's what happens to you.
Reality TV World: How long did it take you to get over that blunder? Did you have a hard time coping with it?
James: Kind of. Not really. I mean people make mistakes. It wasn't a real life-threatening mistake. There was the money, but still, I had a great time.
Reality TV World: How quickly did the turn around from China to Micronesia happen?
James: Three to four weeks after we got back from China we left for Micronesia.
Reality TV World: Was it as simple as them asking you to do it again and you saying yes?
Reality TV World: Once you were cast, were you aware that Amanda would be joining you or did you not find out until you got to Micronesia?
James: I actually did not find out until I got there. I saw her -- honestly, I'm really not that much of a hugger or an emotional guy -- but I wanted to give her a hug. I wanted to say hi. It was like two people who hadn't seen each other in years. It honestly gave me energy to deal with this because I was stressing. China was really kind of rough.
Reality TV World: Did you and Amanda form an alliance as soon as you were out there?
James: Of course. We had been together through think and thin with the other one. So yeah, definitely. When I saw her, I definitely knew that she'd be one that I could deal with and trust.
Reality TV World: Did you two ever talk to any of the other Micronesia castaways about what had happened in China?
James: Not so much because Amanda was kind of higher up. [Editor's note: Amanda made it to Survivor: China's final Tribal Council and finished third in the jury vote.] She didn't want to present herself in a threatening manner. I needed Amanda there, so I didn't really say much. I told them I was the dumbest Survivor ever and they'd all find out when they got back home and kind of left it at that.
Reality TV World: Before Ozzy was blindsided, you told him that you had a "bad feeling" that he might be targeted. Did you ever specifically tell Ozzy you thought he should play the idol?
James: That day, yeah. I did. I was like, "Something's not right." I knew something wasn't right being that I was the guy with the two idols that got sent home. He assured me that he'd be alright. I'm like, "Seriously you and Amanda need to talk to Parvati and figure this out because they're acting shady." All that time, he kind of thought he had mapped it out -- which obviously he did not, because he did go home. But I'm not the talker. I'm basically the guy who was fixing stuff and making sure everything is comfortable.
Reality TV World: What's your take on Cirie Fields? When we talked to Ozzy, he said he never really considered Cirie to be part of your alliance. Would you agree with that?
James: Cirie... She's a character. She really was along for the ride, but she's good at sticking in there. She relates to everybody. She gets along, makes some jokes, make you laugh -- which really works with girls to keep them around. Myself personally, I watched Cirie play the game before, so I kind of knew what she was doing. But she's a good girl. She does what she does. You can only respect people that use their powers to further themselves in the game.
Reality TV World: Personally speaking, which castaway would you like to see win Micronesia? Any castaway you don't want to see win?
James: Who I want to see win is of course my baby Amanda. Just seeing her was a real inspiration, it was what I needed to get through that stuff. Who I don't want to see win? I mean whoever gets the furthest deserves to win. Whoever puts themselves in that position deserves to bring home the money. This is a game.
It seriously ain't, "I hate and I can't stand you and I don't want to look at you again!" Sure, there would be a few times when I would be really hungry and starving, and people react differently in different situations. People eating are a little bit more sane and sober and nicer.
Reality TV World: So what's next for you?
James: Right now I've just been working. Whatever comes up, I'm up for.
Reality TV World: Are you still working as a gravedigger?