Some might refer to it as the curious case of Jenn Brown. Jenn had one of the more interesting arcs on “Survivor: Worlds Apart,” and for the first half of the game, seemed to have it all going for her: She was socially strong and well-liked, great in challenges and seemed to be game-savvy to boot. She was arguably the funniest contestant this season, with several great one-liners and she also perfectly fit the loose, likeable “no collar” mentality to a tee. Strange then, that her run on “Survivor: Worlds Apart” would end on Wednesday night with a mixed fan following, and not the overwhelming love that many had for her earlier in the season.
Why? As the week’s rolled on, Jenn found herself announcing to the others that she was ready to quit the game, going so far as to ask people to vote her out. Now she didn’t technically quit, but announcing one’s desire to leave the game – some think – might qualify as a quit. Her somewhat startling lack of motivation made many fans turn away as they secretly hoped that maybe her wanting to quit was some sort of strategic ploy. She had just played her Idol at the exact right moment and it led to Kelly’s exit, but when her bestie Hali was voted out the next week, Jenn seemed to go to a dark place.
As it goes on Survivor, wanting out of the game only made the others want to keep her around a bit longer. After Joe left the game, Jenn had somewhat of a turn-around, and had hoped to stay in the game if only to screw up the game of many of the others. When Mike won Immunity, Jenn was the next up on the chopping block, and became the third member of the jury last night, joining Joe and Hali at Ponderosa.
In case you missed the episode, here is the full Episode 10 Recap. And follow me on Twitter (@tomsantilli) for all of my Survivor coverage, including my exclusive exit interview each week.
I had the chance to chat with Jenn today, and here is the full transcript..and let me tell you that Jenn’s wit, sense of humor and sarcasm doesn’t quite translate to the written word…so if you see something she said that is eye-popping, there’s a good chance she said it with tongue-in-cheek:
Tom Santilli, Survivor Examiner: Hi Jenn! Great to get to talk to you, sorry to see you go the way you did.
Jenn Brown: Thats all right, I had a great time out there.
Tom Santilli: My first question that I’m dying to know is…how sad were you when your soul-mate Vince was voted out of the game so early?
Jenn: The tears never stopped. We had to call in the Nicaraguan Coast Guard to protect against the flood of tears that I caused.
Tom Santilli: (Laughs) I figured as much, I didn’t know if it was too soon to talk about or not, I mean, it’s only been a few months…
Jenn: You know Tom, time does heals all wounds, but I’m still not ready. Maybe in a couple of years we can talk about it.
Tom Santilli: (Laughs) So with that being off-limits let talk about the game. You had a very interesting arc on the show. You started off and were a big fan-favorite and maybe one of the funniest women contestants to ever appear on Survivor. You were in a good alliance, you had an Idol and seemed like a favorite to win about half-way through the game. What’s it like watching yourself be portrayed on TV and what has the response been back home?
Jenn: It was fun to watch my slow demise. That was great. People loved me at first, and then pretty soon they hated me. Because apparently I was really mean to Nina, and that means that I hate all deaf people. This is of course according to the internet. Then they loved me again by the next episode, then they pretty much liked me up until Joe’s episode and now I’m the worst human being on the planet and I deserve to die. And I’m like, oh cool! Great! I mean, a lot of people are great, a lot of people are really terrible. Everyone on the internet seems to think that they’re some sort of a crusader for these rights in the world. It is, whatever. I give crap back occasionally so it’s cool. It’s interesting though, I will say that. I think it’s cool that people, like, listen to what I have to say now. I used to post for like three people to see and now there are like a thousand responses.
Tom Santilli: Were you ready for that – good or bad – just the idea of how rabid a fan base Survivor has and how serious many fans take the game?
Jenn: Yeah I think it’s great of people, sending all of this love and saying pretty positive things. I support all of that, people sending positive love out into the world. But my favorite thing is just people hating other people on the internet. I get some of the meanest things sent to me. Someone told me that they hope that I die from AIDS. And I was like wow really? Like with no other purpose of messaging me except for spreading hate out into the world. Someone you don’t know, you just want them to know so badly that you personally think they are so despicable. And I’m like wow man, you took a lot of time out of your day, thank you for thinking of me? It makes me feel good about myself though, knowing that I will never be like that person, and that makes me feel good.
Tom Santilli: Speaking of hating, how uncomfortable was it to sit back and watch Will unload and get so personal with Shirin?
Jenn: I was with Shirin, I was with Sierra, I was with Mike, I was with Hali, last night. We all watched the episode together with a giant group of friends, with my friends, Shirin’s friends, Hali’s friends up in the Bay area, and so we were all with Shirin for it. It was one of those things where we all knew it was coming, we knew it was going to happen but it was still unbelievable to actually see, because I wasn’t there. I walked away, I wasn’t going to deal with a bunch of people yelling up on the beach. So when I came back I had heard about it, obviously, but I hadn’t seen it. It was shocking, it was horrible, it was one of the worst ways I’ve seen another person act towards another person. And it was really tough to watch, it was. It’s one of those things where now, we can be like wow, hey, we’re better people than Will was. It’s also a little crazy because back home Shirin has this loving, amazing support system around her. Shadows of several middle fingers were showing up on the screen. People last night were yelling at the screen at Will. It was this crazy juxtaposition where there is this man yelling at her on screen telling her she has nothing and no one, when she literally has a warehouse full of people that do nothing but love her.
Tom Santilli: Well let’s talk about your game a bit. You didn’t actually quit the game, but many fans believe that by announcing that you wanted to quit, that’s the same as quitting. Your response to that?
Jenn: That’s bulls**t. (Laughs) They’re never going to show this because, whatever, but at that point me Hali and Shirin had done everything, every single thing that we could have done to get these people to come over with us. There were zero things to do. We had tried every single avenue of things to try to change the game. But the people that we were playing with were some of the most unstrategic people I had every met in my life. Dan even said he would rather take sixth place than he would fourth place and be on the bottom of our alliance, because flippers never win. But I was like, Dan, sixth place is worse than fourth place! It just didn’t make any sense to me. And then you just run up against that same thing for so long, that I was just like, you know what? They’re going to vote me out before they vote out Shirin, however, if I don’t play, if I say please vote me out, historically they don’t vote you out when you ask them to. So that was my strategy. I was strategizing by not strategizing. You’re going to drag someone who doesn’t want to be there along to the end. So that was my strategy. Definitely part of me didn’t want to be there, for sure, those people were crazy and I was miserable. But people keep calling me a quitter, I’m like well, I still participated in challenges and I didn’t quit. I just didn’t care as much as all of these nut-jobs did.
Tom Santilli: You really seemed to embody the whole “no collar” thing maybe more than anyone out there. In your day-after interview and Ponderosa video on CBS.com, you even talk about how you’ll follow certain things that you agree with but tend to be more of a non-conformist. It’s almost as if you refused to conform to the game of Survivor and how it’s played. Can you tell me your take on authority in your personal life and if you agree that you were a non-conformist when it came to Survivor?
Jenn: Well first, I think that the whole “collar” thing has been shoved down America’s throat enough. But I am a no collar person. It’s not that I don’t like authority, I think it’s necessary. You can’t have a lawless place. But I do support “doing what you want to do” to a point. I think that you should be able to do and act however you want to, as long as you are not inflicting harm or pain on anyone or anything in this world. As long as you’re not harming anything? Do what you do. But if you start hurting things, you need to be policed. I think laws like that are good. Laws that say don’t go 300 miles per hour down the highway are good. But I think some of the little petty things are ridiculous. Like, oh, you can’t walk down the street and drink a beer, even though you’re just walking to a bar or going to a park. Little petty things. I got a ticket the other day for running a stop sign on my bike and no one was around. Stuff like that.
Tom Santilli: A lot of contestants are mad or sad when they leave the game, but in your Ponderosa video you called that day the “best day of my life.” How fun was it to get to be at Ponderosa for three days with just Joe and Hali?
Jenn: Ponderosa, the 10 or 11 days I was there, were literally the best 10 or 11 days of my life. I was with people that I loved, I was having the greatest time, I loved every second of it. There was not a moment of it that I was unhappy. It was the best. I loved those people and I still do, but it was like being on vacation with your friends.
Tom Santilli: And even though you brought up quitting, and even though others said things like “you don’t care” about the game while you were out there, you are now a member of the jury and will vote for a winner. Do you care about the game of Survivor or for you was it more about just having fun?
Jenn: It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be out there, I was having an all-right time, I just don’t think that I realized that some people can be so horrible for no reason. Like all the hate that Shirin got or is getting, it just doesn’t make any sense to me, I don’t know why. She didn’t hurt anyone and she didn’t do anything malicious. But what really bothered me is how other people could be so malicious, for money. I don’t have a lot of money, there are people out there that think I live off of my father…whatever, internet. I don’t come from money, I don’t have money. But I don’t give a s**t about money. It’s not a big deal. Sure you need money to survive in America, but look at other countries, people live off of much less and then they’re happy. Even in the South Pacific, those people are wonderful and they have almost nothing. Then you’ve got these people who are being horrible, terrible people, for money. I just hated seeing all that, and that’s really why I was the way I was, I just thought these people were horrible. These people aren’t playing the game for fun, they’re not doing this for fun, they’re doing it to beat each other down, and that just disgusted me. And that’s really when I started saying man, f*** this game. F*** these people. Sorry I said f*** (laughs).
Be sure to join me next Wednesday for another episode preview, full recap and instant analysis, and of course, the next exit interview next Thursday.
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