Survivor Season 37 Spoilers: What Led To The First Blindside?
The latest castoff from Survivor: David vs. Goliath dishes on what led to their big blindside.
The David Tribe hasn't had an easy road so far in Survivor: David vs. Goliath, despite winning the first Reward Challenge in the premiere. Not only have they endured the harsh elements and struggled with making a fire—as have the Goliaths—but they also suffered the unexpected loss of Pat after a scary medical evacuation.
With the gift of a fire-making kit lifting their spirits, things seemed to be getting back on track for the Davids until an Immunity Challenge put them right back where they started.
STREAM: Full Episodes Of Survivor: David Vs. Goliath On CBS All Access
Though Jessica tried to rally her alliance members into voting for Lyrsa, who she viewed as the weak link of the tribe, ultimately most of them flipped their votes and delivered the first epic blindside of the season.
We caught up with Jessica to see what went wrong, what she learned, and who she feels the most betrayed by.
The Davids had an extraordinarily tough start to the game, with the elements, with Pat, and then not being able to make fire. Can you describe the feeling getting the fire-making kit that day?
Jessica Peet: It was a really great feeling because going through the weather the way that we did, we started being like, "Oh my gosh, are they even worried about us?"
It was just so cold and wet and rainy. So to wake up and have tree mail waiting for us with that really super nice fire-starting kit—we had a lot of stuff to work with—it was a great feeling, and we knew that we were all going to get some food in our bellies, and that was an even better feeling.
You intentionally obscured your age going into the game. Why did you feel like it was important to do that?
Jessica: I just know that traditionally whenever younger contestants go on the show, if they're honest about their age, it's always something that gets brought up the whole entire season. I just didn't want that. I didn't want the focal point to be my age, I wanted it to be my gameplay. I think that 22 just sounds better than 19, you know?
So going into it, I just didn't want to automatically be underestimated. That's why I lied about the age. I think it didn't necessarily help me and it didn't necessarily hurt me, so I'm happy with the decision I made to say I was 22.
Do you feel like you were underestimated in the game?
Jessica: No, I don't think I was underestimated. I think everybody knew what I was capable of and that's why they acted while they could and voted me out.
I think I had good relationships with some of these Davids, but I really think if I would've got over to that Goliath tribe I would've made some really great connections with them as well.
Why were you aiming for Lyrsa heading into that vote?
Jessica: Earlier in the game—I say "earlier" but I was only there for a week [Laughs]—there was a conversation that was had, it was Carl and Lyrsa, and I think Carl mentioned something about why they should vote out Elizabeth, and Lyrsa and Elizabeth were obviously very close.
So whenever Lyrsa heard Elizabeth's name, she automatically threw out my name and was like, "Well, we should do Jessica." So, of course, that got back to me. She apologized and was like, "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said your name."
Obviously, in a game that is centered around deception, it was hard for me to know if she was being truthful with me or not. So in my opinion, I was kind of just completely turned off by Lyrsa.
I didn't really think she was going to help with the challenges a lot. I didn't think she was helping around the camp a lot. And on top of all that, she was talking negatively about me. So in my mind, it was an obvious first boot.
Watching it back last night, were you surprised to see some of your tribemates talking about how they didn't trust you?
Jessica: Yeah, I was surprised by Gabby just because I had no idea that she didn't feel comfortable in the relationship that we had. Because Bi, Gabby, and I were all very close.
So seeing that conversation happen with the three of us and to know that Gabby wasn't necessarily getting all that she needed from me, it frustrates me. I wish she would've just talked to me about it so I could've given her the reassurance she needed in order to vote with us.
So yeah, that was kind of frustrating watching that back and not knowing that until watching it on television.
You were pretty blunt at Tribal. Watching it back, do you stand by your approach?
Jessica: Yeah, I absolutely do because I don't feel like that had any effect on the vote. I think the vote was already set before we got up to Tribal Council.
I'm an outspoken person and I don't think I said anything at Tribal that I would go back and disagree with now. I think that going into it, I was confident that it would be Lyrsa, but I don't think I could've changed anything at that Tribal to get the vote to stay with me.
I think it was already done and set in stone.
You said you were confident it'd be Lyrsa, so what was going through your head when you started to see your name come up in the vote?
Jessica: Well, I anticipated seeing my name at least twice. Once we got to Tribal and we started actually having a conversation, just based off solely the things Lyrsa and Elizabeth were saying, it was kind of obvious that they were going to vote for me.
So I had already told myself that I needed to be prepared to see my name at least twice. But it was when Jeff was tallying the votes and I really had time to sit here and think about everything that had just been said, I started to get really nervous. I started looking around for some kind of confirmation from my alliance that they voted the way I thought there were going to vote. And nobody would look at me; I only got Carl to look at me.
So I really started to get nervous then. I've watched the show for a very long time, so I know how the votes are traditionally set up, and when Jeff started reading the votes I started to think, "Oh crap, I'm going to see my name more than I thought." But I didn't think I was going to be the one going home.
I was very stunned by it. I like blacked out, like, "What the heck just happened?"
Is there anyone you felt particularly betrayed by?
Jessica: Yeah. The two I was most shocked about had to be Gabby and Nick. I actually gave Nick a death stare after the fact. [Laughs] I looked back at him like, "Are you kidding me?" He gave me like this soft smile and shook his head "yes" at me like, "Yeah, I voted for you."
So I felt very betrayed by Nick. I was mad at Nick, but I was more upset with Gabby. Because I didn't really understand it. But watching it back last night gave me a lot of clarity.
What did you learn about yourself being on Survivor?
Jessica: That's a hard question. I think I learned that I can be a lot more independent than what I thought I could be prior to this. I think that I learned that I'm a lot stronger than I thought I was. There were moments when that rain was coming down and I was thinking to myself, "This is terrible. Why am I doing this?"
And in my head, I'm thinking, "You're doing this because it's your dream." I definitely just learned that if you have a dream, it can be accomplished. If you keep pushing for it, you never know what could happen and what you could actually accomplish with it.
I'm very happy with how much I feel I've grown since the show was filmed, even the last couple months. It's just been a really amazing opportunity.
Watch all-new episodes of Survivor: David vs. Goliath on Wednesdays at 8/7c on CBS and CBS All Access.