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Exclusive: Jenna Bowman talks 'Survivor: Ghost Island' -- I was so frustrated Laurel Johnson chose to be Domenick Abbate and Wendell Holland's puppet


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/04/2018 

Jenna Bowman was eliminated from Survivor: Ghost Island during the latest broadcast on CBS.

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Jenna Bowman and Michael Yerger were voted out of the game at back-to-back Tribal Council sessions on Night 29.

Jenna, a 23-year-old advertising account executive from Detroit, MI, was voted out at the first Tribal of the night -- which featured half the Lavita tribe -- through a 1-1-3 vote instead of Sebastian Noel and Donathan Hurley.

Jenna voted for Donathan, while Donathan voted for Sebastian. Jenna and Donathan were well aware they were on the outs being two original Malolos against three original Naviti members following a twist in the game that randomly divided the Lavita tribe into two teams of five.

During an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Jenna talked about her Survivor experience. Below is the first half of what she had to say.

Reality TV World: Going into Tribal Council, could you confirm you thought you had a 50/50 shot to stay over Donathan? And whom did you think everyone was voting for?

Jenna Bowman: I 100 percent went in there and was like, "Okay, I have this completely locked down." So I thought Naviti was working with me to vote out Donathan.

So my goal was to just act it up and say, "It's me going home," so Donathan was not tipped off and didn't play his idol for himself.

I also thought I had a Plan B of Donathan being willing to play his idol for me and then vote out [Sebastian Noel]. So here I thought I was honestly covered on both ends. I trusted Sebastian obviously with Naviti telling me these things, but obviously I heard wrong, so.

Reality TV World: So you told Donathan you were voting for Sebastian, and that's why he did?

Jenna Bowman: Yes I mean, the reason -- when he first said that and I looked shocked, they didn't show us having a further conversation about me not agreeing with the strategy of voting out Sebastian just because, you know, I didn't think he was a threat to me.

So that's somebody you'd want to take to the end, so I felt like I was finally able to make a move and take out who I wanted to take out, which was [Chelsea Townsend] because here she is winning Individual Immunities and she was a threat and the target for me.

But Donathan wasn't willing to make her the target with the idol, so that's obviously why I ended up writing down Donathan's name.

Reality TV World: Walking into Tribal, do you think Donathan knew what Sebastian, Chelsea and Angela Perkins had up their sleeves?

Jenna Bowman: I don't know! Because I feel like I had my conversations with them. I thought I knew what was going on. I played it up to Donathan and the fact that, "Yeah, I talked to them and they told me it's me, so I know it's me."

So I don't know if they ever tried telling Donathan. I don't know what their conversations were on their end... It doesn't seem like they actually ever had a conversation with him, because he just thought it was going to be himself. I don't know! I have no idea what they said.

Reality TV World: The editing definitely made it seem like you were confident Donathan was going to play his idol for you. I remember you called him "an idiot" at one point because of it.

Jenna Bowman: Yes, definitely. It was a red flag when he said he was willing to play the idol for me just because we didn't have that relationship. But at the same time, I knew he was trying to make some type of a big move for his resume, so I just hoped he would still do that.

Reality TV World: Why do you think Donathan ended up playing his idol for himself? Do you think he genuinely thought he was going home or maybe he knew you were the target but didn't want to stick his neck out for you like that?

Jenna Bowman: I think at the end of the day, he was just like, "Why" -- he knew what anyone would do, like, if I went to Tribal and I know it's between, a 50/50 shot, me and this other person, you play it for yourself. So I think he did the right thing.

Reality TV World: What was your reaction when you found out Laurel Johnson had a secret alliance with Domenick Abbate and Wendell Holland? Did you feel betrayed?

Jenna Bowman: The relationship was obvious between her and Wendell just because I spent time with them on Yanuya. But I had no clue obviously the alliance was them four.

Donathan was always flipping on both sides. He was erratic and we never really knew what he was doing, so I wasn't really surprised about that.

But yeah, I was very betrayed and very, very upset at Laurel after she ended up telling Dom. When we finally had an opportunity with [Desiree Afuye] to vote out one of them, that was the biggest turning point for me, because that was when we finally had an opportunity and finally had a Naviti willing to crack.

And no one would have seen that coming! So that was the most frustrating moment, was when she decided to just again play as Dom and Wendell's puppet instead of making a move.

Reality TV World: You had a romance blossoming with Sebastian on the show. What was going through your mind when he helped to vote you out?

Jenna Bowman: It was a sore subject last night between us obviously, when we were watching him vote me out. Because I trusted him obviously. We didn't get extremely close, but in my eyes, we were closer than anybody else on the island. So when he voted me out, it was definitely hard.

Reality TV World: Do you think Sebastian really wanted you out though, or do you think he campaigned to keep you but failed to convince the others?

Jenna Bowman: I don't think it was a thing of like, "Oh my gosh, I want her out." But he's just the type of person to go with the numbers. And when that was brought up and there were only two options, I think he just went with it.

Reality TV World: Wendell and Dom are huge threats in the game, not only strategically and physically, but as a pair. So what are your thoughts on Laurel continuing to work with them? Do you think her strategy was foolish or smart? Did the guys benefit or hurt her game?

Jenna Bowman: I think aligning yourself with people in power is a decent move because it gives you protection and you're working with people who are in control of the game.

So you know you have the security to make moves, but how she is going about it -- I mean, she knows they are a threat and she knows she needs to get them out, yet she isn't willing to pull the trigger because she's just so comfortable with them.

So, it's hard. It's a double-edge sword. It's like, "Do you want to get further in the game or do you want to try to make a move now?" If she didn't align with them, would she still be here? I don't know.

In Survivor, it's so hard because one decision can have a ripple effect, so you have no way of knowing if anything is definite or not.

Reality TV World: Right. I think most Survivor fans are just surprised Dom and Wendell are still left in the game together at this point. (Laughs)

Jenna Bowman: They are literally running the table!

Be sure to check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion of our exclusive Survivor: Ghost Island interview with Jenna Bowman. To read what Jenna had to say about her romance with Sebastian Noel, click here.

And to begin reading our separate interview with Survivor castoff Michael Yerger, click here.



Jenna Bowman/Instagram

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