Exclusive: Jessica Peet talks 'Survivor' cyclone storm and Pat Cusack's shocking boating accident
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/10/2018
Jessica Peet was eliminated from Survivor: David vs. Goliath after the David Tribe lost its second Immunity Challenge in a row during the latest Season 37 episode on CBS.
Jessica, a 19-year-old waitress from Lakeland, FL, was ousted from the game on Day 6 through a 5-4 vote instead of Lyrsa Torres, a 36-year-old airline agent from Puerto Rico, who currently resides in Boston, MA, at the first Tribal Council session of the Survivor season.
"To be the first one voted out, it's sad, but at the same time, it's kind of a compliment to me that they viewed me as that big of a threat," Jessica said following her ouster.
"I came out of the gate and I wanted to play hard, and I guess I trusted some people that I shouldn't have trusted, and it bit me in the butt. In the end, I guess I was the first #blindside of the season."
During a recent exclusive interview with Reality TV World, Jessica talked about her short-lived Survivor experience. Below is the concluding portion of what she had to say.
Reality TV World: When I spoke to Pat Cusack, he doesn't remember much about his Survivor medical evacuation, not the accident itself or his last moments on the beach. Did you witness Pat's accident? In your own words, what happened on that transport boat?
Jessica Peet: Right, so we are on a boat where we're kind of inside of it, like we had to walk down a couple of stairs and then there's some chairs that we sit on. That day, whenever we got on the water, it was terrible.
It was really bad, like, the whole ride to the challenge, we were all like, "Oh my gosh!" We could not believe it. I believe some of us actually felt very seasick when we got off the boat actually as well.
And whenever we got back on, it was even worse! I was like, "There is no way we're going to be able to do a boat ride with the conditions this way."
So, there were points when we would be riding a wave and you would literally hear the boat coming up out of the water and over waves. [Crashing sound effect]. And it was bad. I wasn't particularly looking at Pat when it happened.
I just remember we hit a huge wave, I heard a big pop noise, and then we were all like, "What the heck is happening?"
And [Carl Boudreaux] actually hit his head, so I think that was the noise we all heard, when Carl hit the top of his head on the boat. So visually, I was worried about Carl, because I was like, "Oh my God, he hit his head! He's holding on to his head! He crashed down and he hurt himself."
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And then I remember Pat stood up and I think he said, "I've got to get some air" or something like that, and then he walked to the front of the boat and just collapsed. He was like, "My back! My back!"
So we were maybe, like, 15 minutes out from the dock, and they had to get all the men out there to get him on the stretcher. So watching it was very scary -- and not knowing what was going on, because we had to stand away from him.
It was very nerve-wracking because we were like, "Oh my gosh. What's going to happen?"
And then when we saw [Jeff Probst] come, we knew it was something serious, and then he was pulled. It was a very emotional boat ride to begin with, and then to have this happen, obviously it was hard on everyone on the tribe, especially Pat.
But yeah, it was hard to say goodbye to him. I did have a moment where I could talk to him a little bit, and yeah, it was definitely hard. It's even hard talking about it now because he's been wanting to be on the show for such a long time. So for that to happen to him, it was tough for a lot of us.
Reality TV World: When Jeff gathered you all for the latest Survivor Immunity Challenge, he announced the storm you had all braved was a cyclone, but no one seemed surprise. Other than heavy rain, what did you guys experience out there and how did you personally handle it all?
Jessica Peet: There was heavy rain and heavy wind. I live in Florida and I grew up here, so obviously I've experienced a lot of hurricane-type weather, and we know that Fiji is infamous for cyclones.
In Millennials vs. Gen X, they got evacuated from camp, so being there and seeing the weather happen right before our eyes, none of us were surprised.
We all knew this was something serious, so yeah, I knew. I was pretty positive it was a cyclone. For it to last as long as it did and for it to rain and be so windy -- I mean, trees, we were literally like, "That tree is going to come down. Oh, and that tree is going to come down." Because it was insane; the weather was crazy.
Reality TV World: How were you cast onSurvivor this season? If you applied, was it your first time applying?
Jessica Peet: So, I actually applied my senior year of high school, right after I turned 18, and that was for Season 35, Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, and I actually was at castings for that season. That was my first casting where I got flown out to California. A lot of people from that season were at my casting, so that was really cool.
I made it all the way to the end -- I made it pretty far -- and then I got a call that I just didn't really fit the theme the way that they wanted me to and they were going to try to work with me to get me on another season.
And then I was in the works for 36, and I was actually an alternate for 36. And then I got a callback again for 37 from casting, and that's how I got on 37!... It was a really long process.
It upsets me a little bit that I went through the process for close to two years and I only lasted six days, but hey, at least I got to do it. I'm happy I got the opportunity and that I finally got to go to Fiji and play this amazing game.
But yeah, it's been a really long process for me. But I really wouldn't change it for anything.
I got to meet the most amazing people, you know, I have friends from 35 and love Gen X, Season 36, and there are a lot of really amazing people. I never would have gotten this opportunity to know any of them if I wasn't given the chance to playSurvivor.