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Exclusive: Jessica "Sugar" Kiper talks 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains'


By Reality TV World staff, 02/13/2010 

As someone who lasted all 39 days of her previous Survivor edition, former Survivor Gabon castaway Jessica "Sugar" Kiper went into Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains with an arguably stronger Survivor resume than many of her all-star competitors.

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However once the competition began, she wasn't able to come close to replicating her previous Survivor success and became the first returning castaway voted out of Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains.

On Friday, Sugar talked to Reality TV World about why she really believes she was voted off, how she "was foolish," and why she was "scared crapless."

Reality TV World: During Tribal Council, you told [Survivor host Jeff Probst] the reason you were crying after the Immunity Challenge was because you felt that the Heroes might decide to vote off one of the people that worked on the puzzle.  Does that mean you went into Tribal Council expecting to be voted off or did it come as a bit of a surprise to you?

Sugar: No, it was not really a surprise.  (laughs)

Not because I lost that challenge single-handedly, it was just cut that way [in the editing], because there were four people up there.  I don't even know how they managed to do that but that's okay because I'd rather them think that's why I got voted off.

Reality TV World: So you don't believe that's why you got voted off?

Sugar: Not in my heart of hearts. (laughs)

Reality TV World: What do you believe was the reason?

Sugar: I'm okay with that -- I'm sticking with that story.

Reality TV World: Okay.  So during Tribal Council they also showed Candice talking about people "stepping up to do the puzzle" but last night's episode didn't show how you guys decided who would do what -- had you wanted to be on the puzzle team or did the rest of the tribe decide for you basically?

Sugar:  I'm not really -- I can't remember if I said -- I probably did say that I'd be better on the puzzle, because usually I am.  But Rupert, you know his toe was hurt and -- who else was on there, Cirie and Candice?

Reality TV World: Amanda.

Sugar: Cirie and...

Reality TV World: Amanda, I believe.

Sugar: Right. Well, anyway, I'm not the only dingbat out of four people, that's all I'm saying. So that's okay.  (laughs)

And nobody ever listens to me anyways so why would they listen to me then?

Reality TV World: It almost seemed like you guys considered the puzzle an afterthought to the boat portion.  Was that actually the case or did it just kind of come across that way?

Sugar: What do you mean?

Reality TV World: As far as who you put on it.  The Villains put some [healthy and physically] stronger players like [Rob "Boston Rob" Mariano] and [Randy Bailey] on their [puzzle] team but you guys seemed to put [Rupert Boneham] who was injured and basically your...

Sugar: Yeah, we were kind of putting the people that we thought were the weaker people that we thought might be better at the puzzle, yeah. And then Rupert was on because of the toe because otherwise he would have been on the boat.

Reality TV World: So you guys kind of figured anybody could handle the puzzle and didn't focus so much on who was good for the puzzle but more on who wasn't good for the boat?

Sugar: Um, yes.  More like who wasn't good for the boat.

Reality TV World: After Gabon ended, you made it clear that you had been playing the game for "entertainment value," which had seemed pretty likely to hurt your chances in the game this time. Do you think some of the other Heroes resented the fact that you didn't seem to play the game very seriously last time around and just felt they couldn't trust you?

Sugar: Yes.  Yes, I'm sure that a lot of people were like, you know, "She doesn't belong here" and everything and that's why I was very quickly trying as hard as I could at every challenge because I knew I had not really tried -- because I hadn't had to try too much -- in Gabon because I had that [Exile Island] idol. 

So I didn't really give that much effort in the [Gabon] challenges when I didn't have to so I was like "Crap, I really need to show that, you know, I'm really trying [this time]." 

That's why I rolled out of the bra and ran topless [during the Reward Challenge].  I was trying.

Reality TV World: What was going through your head before you made that decision, did you have any hesitation at all?

Sugar: Well, Sandra undid it and then I said "Don't undo my bra bitch!" and she was like "What, I'm a villain!"  So then I figured like -- she was hanging onto it basically, figuring I'm just going to stick my head in the sand it put it back on.  So I just took that opportunity and ran with it.

Reality TV World: Do you think your Gabon gameplay, or lack thereof or whatever, did play a big role in why they sent you home?

Sugar: Um... I know what happened so -- I just think it was more like I'm weak, you know.  I'm one of the weaker people and the thing [was] at that point I didn't have a strong enough alliance for somebody to protect me so they just went for a little fish.  That's okay.

Reality TV World: The night before Tribal Council, they showed that Night 2 situation where it looked like you were really bugging people by keeping them up.  Do you think that was legitimate or was it just the editing?

Sugar: Oh no, I did talk a lot that night.  So did Rupert and (unintelligible) too.  But yeah, I probably wouldn't have made me look that annoying but I probably was, so.  I mean I don't think I slept at all that first night, I was so wired and freaked out.  I mean there's a lot of jitters and chatter all night but definitely it was me.  Too long.

Reality TV World: You were unpopular with the cast in Gabon and kind of seemed to be on the same path this time, why do you think you ended up as a bit of an outsider in both seasons?

Sugar: In Gabon I think most people [only] hated me after I killed them except for the people that were in the Onion alliance and that was because -- I don't know why, one person just started hating you because you didn't go to college or something, and then -- that was whole different season. (laughs)

This season was all-stars with like serious players, it's not a bunch of Gaboners, it's heroes and villains.  I was scared crapless.  There was no reason to not be scared, why would I not be scared?

Reality TV World: After you guys lost the Immunity Challenge, Rupert said "nobody would in a million years" would have guessed that you guys would have lost it.   Was he speaking for just himself and his own ego or had the entire Heroes tribe really been that arrogant going into it?

Sugar: No, I think he probably means because we were soooo far ahead with the boat.  We were like way ahead or something and then we got up to the thing about the same time.  I mean I'm maybe remembering it wrong, but I'm pretty sure we had a really strong lead and then they like made the puzzle like mad and we were like looking like a bunch of dorks.

So yeah, I think that's what he meant, he didn't think we'd lose it because we were so strong.  And plus they were really sneaky by starting that fire somehow magically and then we didn't think that they had fire that night!  And then they came in [to the Immunity Challenge] looking all pathetic on purpose.

Reality TV World: So you didn't know?

Sugar: Oh no, we didn't know that they had more fire.  They were like "Oh, it's okay, we'll have fire soon."

Reality TV World: So besides [Amanda Kimmel] and [James Clement], who you obviously seemed to suspect were allied based on their earlier seasons, what other alliances were you aware of or did you suspect while you were out there?

Sugar: Like the Micronesian Five, the five people that had played together already [on Survivor: Micronesia].  But mostly [Parvati Shallow], James and Amanda, that's who I -- a lot of people thought them.

I didn't know who else was with them so, you know, you never know. you can't be like "You guys, we need to break up this alliance!" and you're maybe talking to somebody that's in the alliance. (laughs)

Reality TV World: What made you decide to throw Amanda's name out there, did you know about any of the other scrambling that was going on?

Sugar: You know, I wasn't really -- I was foolish because I talked to Rupert and I talked to [Tom Westman] and talked to James and they didn't (unintelligible) any of it.  I thought it was going to be Amanda but once we got to Tribal Council I had this horrible feeling.

I mean after we lost the challenge I was scared but after that I thought for a minute I was safe.  But when [Stephenie LaGrossa] looked at me and said something about the weaker players, immediately, like subconsciously, I was like "Oh shit!" (laughs)

Reality TV World: What were your thoughts on that Reward Challenge.  I know Jeff throws up his protests that you guys keep it clean, but it seems like it was another one of those seemingly increasingly frequent challenges that almost seem designed to end badly or create some injuries for some people.

Sugar: Oh yeah.  It's like we were warriors.  That was so tough to go into that first thing, I was like "Oh my god, this is one of the worst!"  I hate the wrestling-type challenges because there's like no protection really.  I mean did you see Coach was grabbing at, I think it was Colby.

Reality TV World: What did you think about [Russell Hantz] when you saw him out there?  I know his season hadn't aired yet [when Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains was filmed late last summer] but he was invited back and on the Villains tribe so you had to have a clue that there was something significant going on with him.

Sugar: Yeah, but I didn't get a chance in investigate. (laughs)

We knew he must have been a bad guy but all they told us was that "He was on the last season, obviously he did something incredible, but we can't tell you if he went far or didn't go far at all."

But we figured he probably went pretty far and then he was on the Villains team so he was supposedly a bad guy.  I think he's a good human with Coach. (laughs)

I don't know. (laughs)  I don't know about those guys.  I want to like them but then I didn't know, are they crazy or are they kind of cool?  I don't know.

(Photo credit CBS)


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