Exclusive: Alexis Jones dishes about 'Survivor: Micronesia'
By Christopher Rocchio, 05/02/2008
Alexis Jones knew she would be safe from having her torch snuffed -- until she saw fellow castaway Amanda Kimmel reach for something right before the Tribal Council votes were read.
Amanda was grabbing for the Hidden Immunity Idol -- which she subsequently played, causing Alexis to get blindsided and become the fifteenth castaway eliminated from Survivor: Micronesia -- Fans vs. Favorites during last night's broadcast of the CBS reality series.
On Friday, the 24-year-old motivational speaker from Beverly Hills, CA talked to Reality TV World about how she's confident she would have made the Final 3 had she not been blindsided; why she thinks the competition is a lost cause for the remaining Fans; what was wrong with her injured knee and why she thinks she could have continued with it; and where her strong bond with Natalie Bolton came from.
Reality TV World: What was your initial reaction when Amanda played the Hidden Immunity Idol? Did you think it was you who would be booted?
Alexis: Oh yeah. I think I knew right in that moment. As soon as I saw her standing up with the idol, I was like, "Oh man!" I knew.
Reality TV World: Once you were eliminated, did you see any situation where Natalie or Erik Reichenbach could make it to the final Tribal Council or do you think the three Favorites -- Amanda, Parvati Shallow and Cirie Fields -- would stick together?
Alexis: Yeah [I think the Favorites will stick together]. I mean at this point, so much of the game is just kind of who you happen to be in the first tribe with, because that gives you an extra twenty-something days with those people. You form bonds so quickly with these people, it's hard to break those bonds. So I would assume that the Favorites would stick together.
Reality TV World: It looked as though Amanda volunteered to go to Exile Island after last night's Reward Challenge, and you granted her wish by sending her out there. Is there a reason why you didn't send Natalie since it seemingly would have been a better strategic move?
Alexis: It probably would have been a better strategic move, but we actually talked about it. I was in an alliance with Amanda, so I thought sending her to Exile was a smart move. It was a given that if I won [the Reward Challenge] that Natalie was going with me because the family visit day is hands-down the best Reward. We've been so deprived of seeing our loved ones.
So I knew that, and I kind of made a deal during the challenge with Cirie that if she didn't cut my chord than I would take her with me. So I took her.
Reality TV World: When you were all eating chicken before Tribal, what did you think Amanda was doing? Did you ever suspect she might be looking for the idol?
Alexis: Not at all. We're out there for so long, people are always just up and leaving for like an hour or two. Just disappearing. Sometimes you just need to get away from everyone, so when someone's not around no one thinks twice about it.
Reality TV World: In hindsight do you regret sending Amanda to Exile?
Alexis: Yeah. Hindsight's 20/20. So in retrospect would I send her? No. I would send someone else. I thought I was making the best move then.
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Reality TV World: Had you not been blindsided and Amanda was voted out, what was your plan moving forward? Including yourself, what would your ideal Final 3 have looked like?
Alexis: It would have been Natalie and Erik.
Reality TV World: Are you confident you could have pulled that off?
Reality TV World: And it's because you would have had the numbers, right?
Alexis: Yep. I would have had the numbers and I would have had Cirie on my side because I had just taken her on the Reward and spent the entire day with her and her husband. We had the numbers.
Reality TV World: Parvati characterized you as a threat if you were to make it to the final jury vote, which was basically the reason why she and Amanda eliminated you. Is that a statement you agree with? Do you think you would have done well with the jury vote?
Alexis: Absolutely, and just because those are the people voting for you to win $1 million and I got along with everyone out there. I didn't have a beef with anyone. I hadn't lied to anyone at that point. I hadn't screwed anyone over. So I'm sure I was a big threat because people didn't hate me. (laughing)
Reality TV World: Even before you were voted out it looked like you were having a hard time moving around on your knee. Realistically how much longer do you think you could have made it? Do you really think you could have made it to the end without being evacuated?
Alexis: Yeah, I think I could have made it to the end. Mainly because I don't think I would have been competitive in the physical challenges necessarily, but I think I had made good enough alliances that my alliances would have kept me in the game.
Reality TV World: What happened with your knee after you left?
Alexis: [James Clement] and I actually spent some quality time in the hospital together. (laughing) In the Palau hospital, when we were both there. I got x-rays and when I got back to the States I got MRIs and was in rehab for a while. I'm good to go now.
Reality TV World: What was wrong with it? Was it just twisted?
Alexis: Yeah. It was just a bad bone contusion. The way they describe it is just a really bad bone bruise. I couldn't really apply any pressure to it.
Reality TV World: How were you cast for Survivor: Micronesia? Had you previously applied to the show before?
Alexis: I had never applied to the show. I basically called in a favor from one of my friends at USC and said, "Where's the production company?" He said, "I'll get fired if I tell you." I finally convinced him to tell me and I made a DVD and I showed up at the doorstep with a tape that was two-and-a-half months late -- pass the due date. (laughing)
Obviously I'm a huge fan and I had wanted to be on the show forever, so I basically showed up at the doorstep and was like, "They're either going to think I'm crazy or they're going to think wow this chick really wants to be on the show." It was just right place, right time and it worked out.
Alexis: Not so much. I mean you're out there, and [viewers] are getting 42 minutes for every 72 hours we're out there. So we were talking and bonding and she's a great girl -- incredibly gregarious. We just hit it off.
Reality TV World: You and Ozzy Lusth seemed to get along well after you spent time together on Exile Island. Was that a strategic move on your part and if so, do you think it played a factor in the tribe subsequently blindsiding him?
Alexis: Not at all. It was not strategic. The moment I got off the boat at Exile, the first thing I said to him was, "Flirting's not my strategy. I'm not here to try and woo you." He's like, "Good! Because it doesn't work on me." I think he meant it already worked on you. (laughing) I think we had a high mutual respect for each other. He reminds me a lot of one of my brothers. We just love the game. We love being out there.
Reality TV World: What was your reaction when you learned you'd be competing against the Favorites?
Alexis: I was ecstatic. It was such an honor because I am a genuine fan. So to see them come running out. I was shocked. I didn't know that's what it was going to be. Every name they called out, and when they called James, I was like, "No way! I love James!" (laughing) So it kind of felt like you're star-struck about it.
Reality TV World: I'm assuming you want to see Natalie win. You two had a really good relationship out there.
Alexis: Yeah. She's my girl. We're both from Texas so that's an immediate bond. We were fiercely loyal to one another. She's a great girl, so I would love to see her win.
Reality TV World: So was it a friendship first and then it became an alliance?
Alexis: No. It was literally from Day 1, she said, "I'm from Texas." I was like, "That's weird, I'm from Texas." And this is a Texas thing, so you have to excuse this. But immediately, I just looked at her -- locked eyes -- and I was like, "Done?" She was like, "Done." That was it.
Reality TV World: Personally speaking, are there any remaining castaways you don't want to see win?
Alexis: Not at all. I think that's what's cool for me. I genuinely like everyone. At this point, if you're in the Final 5, you earned it. I'm proud of everyone still left in the game.
Reality TV World: We saw the Fans tribe eliminate some of its strongest members early in the competition. In hindsight, do you regret the decision to get rid of the stronger members?
Alexis: Yeah. I look at some of them just strategically. I think that some paranoia maybe got the best of some people because I don't think we should have voted out [Michael Bortone] as early as we did. We needed his strength.
Reality TV World: So what's next for you?
Alexis: I'm launching a new interactive online magazine for girls called "I Am That Girl." We launch May 11. And I'm still doing motivational speaking for girls.