Reaching FORT a bit late are Jacquie’s final thoughts on her experience. Fourth to leave the game, Jacquie Berg, who works in medical sales in Santa Barbara, CA, seems to feel just a little bit cheated by luck. But luck or not, she’s the perfect example of likeability not being any sort of guarantee in the game of Survivor.
What were your thoughts when Jeff announced there would be a merge?
I was so upset because I had the whole game planned out to the very end. I knew it couldn’t be good unless I was in a tribe with a majority of Kota members. Then I’m sure it would have worked out in my favor.
What was your strategy going into the game?
To get into as many genuine alliances as possible. Having multiple alliances and not letting everybody know about them.
Can you explain Fang’s reason for not eliminating Kelly?
Yeah, one of these things that was obvious was that none of us liked Kelly. They were fearful of Ace, me and Sugar having an alliance, and also after the merge, us going back to former Kota. I had alliances with Marcus, Charlie and Corinne. They were thinking way too far ahead. They weren’t thinking about winning the next challenge, they just knew Kelly would be genuine.
After all the work you did in the water challenge, are you amazed that GC is still around?
GC? Yeah. Him, Kenny and Crystal. I can’t imagine they are still in the game. They were horrible in challenges. They would just stand around and do nothing, basically give up. Not only does that hurt them in a challenge, but it’s just the whole energy level that drops when you have one wink leak like that, and they were three weak links.
What was the toughest part of the adventure?
Just meeting new people and not being able to trust anybody. Every conversation and every move you made had to be a strategy.
What about the elements, the weather?
You know what, no. I’m the kind of person who likes to rise to the occasion and I had a blast out there. I was shocked but I actually didn’t feel starving. I wasn’t having any bug bites. I was happy. (laughs)
Do you think calling out people in Tribal Council will have an effect after you’re gone?
Yeah, definitely. It’s like the worst move you can make to get in a fight at Tribal. It’s one thing to have your confessional away from the group but to call everybody out is another. When Kelly did that in the tribal council where Paloma got voted out, she started bashing Ace, and that alone put her head on the chopping block. She was next to go. And then she did it again.
Would you have indeed aligned with Sugar and Ace in the newly formed tribe?
Yup. Actually, it wasn’t aired but I had a strong alliance with Sugar and Ace. Sugar actually came to me first and told me she had the immunity idol. So they were my backup alliance. Me and Ace actually talked about throwing the challenge to get Sugar because we knew that would help us with this merge.
Wow, we didn’t see any of that on the show.
Yeah, they didn’t put it in; at the last minute before the challenge, we decided to actually try, because we were kind of nervous that we would be next to go, if we lost. But still it didn’t really do any good, because Fang was just that bad.
It was kind of amazing how badly Fang did in the challenges. Now that you know that Crystal was an Olympic medalist, what do you think of her performance in the challenges?
I’m shocked! Without knowing that, I thought she was the worst athlete and the most uncoordinated girl, and then when I found that out, it really burned, because the four hundred on the track is my best that I ran in college and high school. And it really burned, with the glory that an Olympic athlete has… I really don’t have much respect for her, as an athlete.
That sort of gives it another personal layer.
It really does, yeah.
Can you give us your insider’s opinion of Ace—do you think he’s faking his accent?
Yeah, definitely—I know people from England. That accent can come and go, as can my Minnesota accent—I think he can put it on a bit thicker for people; but you know what, I have all the respect for him in the world. He was very experienced, very worldly, he was really somebody I could talk to, and he understood what I was saying, whereas Kelly—everything was over her head. So I’d rather play a game with a guy like Ace the a girl like Kelly.
Who do you think is the sneakiest player out there?
Probably Sugar. I think everyone underestimated her. She confided in me a lot, and I knew she was smart enough to find the idol, but I don’t think anyone thought she could.
How would you describe Randy?
Randy… is… crazy! Like the things he would yell out to us—I never played the game on his tribe, but he would say the most obnoxious things, and all kind of weird. You never knew what was going to come out of his mouth.
Was he ultimately a nice guy, or a jerk?
Just weird! I don’t know if he was nice or not!
What was your relationship with Corinne?
Corinne and I understood each other. I knew she was smart, and we had a good alliance together, because for one thing we’re both in the same industry, and we knew each other’s game plan. It’s easier to strategize with someone that’s intelligent than somebody that’s not, because they can just kind of blow with the wind and really not have rhyme or reason for what they do.
Speaking of that, what’s your relationship with Kelly?
You talk to her, and she doesn’t even understand what you’re saying. We would teach her vocab on the show just to help her out a bit. I tried to align with her as soon as we got kicked over to Fang, knowing that I needed her, but it just went right over her head. It wasn’t worth my breath to try to knock some sense into her, because even if I did, she’d probably flip-flop.
What’s up with Fang? Why are they so bad? Do you have any ideas?
It’s that group mentality, like I said before—there wasn’t just one bad link, there were three of four bad links, and they were just so negative, and so pessimistic, and constantly just commiserating together and complaining. I’ve never been among so many complainers in my life. Usually I’m very much a cheerleader and motivator in groups, but there was no way I could bring any positive energy into that group. I felt my morale dropping. It was a weird phenomenon that I think I wouldn’t have understood if I hadn’t experienced Kota.
Do you have any predictions who’s going to win or who’s going to make it to the final four?
Well I obviously want my friends to win, but I would really like to see Marcus, Charlie, or Sugar make it.
Were you really close with Sugar?
Yeah, I was. She confided in me a lot. Actually, she and Kelly hated each other on the show. She listened to me a lot, and I have a lot of respect for her. I think she’ll go a lot farther than people think.
I want to know about Ace. A lot of people describe him as dominating and taking over the tribe – is that true?
I honestly don’t think so. I’d have to say for people that are secure, he was great to have around because he was so experienced, so worldly. He was a great leader! He wasn’t condescending. But for people who are insecure and get threatened by that, sure. That’s what they’re going to say. But I thought he was great. He’s kind of arrogant, and he’ll tell you that himself. But he was an asset to both tribes. Physically he was amazing, mentally he was sharp and clear and grounded, like with his yoga and meditations. And I think the tribes saw many benefits from that.
In Tribal Council, Matty spoke up and said you’d done well in the challenge and others like Kelly hadn’t – why do you think you were the one who got voted out?
Honestly, in Tribal, I was really confident. I thought I was going to stay. Not only did I perform better in challenges, but Kelly sucks around camp. She doesn’t really do anything. But I don’t know. I know a lot of times when Fang went to Tribal they would tell folks one thing and do another. I think they were worried about my alliance with Ace and Sugar. They were thinking really far ahead. They were worried that when and if the merge comes I would go right back to Marcus, Charlie and Corinne, and that truly was the case.
Were you ready for a solid alliance with Ace and Sugar?
Yup. I was all about that. I was chasing my last lead – those tears were pretty forced when I was talking to Crystal, but that was just a plea. I wasn’t very genuine in what I was saying. I wanted to flip it on them.
So they weren’t far off when they were assuming Sugar may have given you the idol?
Yeah, they were right on. We were really close.
How much are people underestimating Sugar?
Honestly, I knew her really well. The moment she got back from Exile I saw it in her eyes; I’m like, “You have it.” (laughs) I think everyone underestimates her because she butts heads with people. I don’t know, she just clashes with people and they don’t think she has it in her because she cries a lot and stuff. I totally knew she had it together.
Why was there such a strong bond between you, Ace, and Sugar?
I don’t know. I think Ace wanted to bring us to the finals because he thought he could out-maneuver us in the challenges. However, I wanted to be in the end with Ace because I knew he wouldn’t get any votes. (laughs) So I don’t know, at night, they don’t show this – it is freezing cold there, and we only had our business clothes on for gosh sakes, a little skirt or shorts every night. So you just, you know, lay next to whomever you’re going to lay next to, and me, Ace and Sugar had a spot next to each other.
You mentioned teaching Kelly some vocabulary – it’s weird that in an American show with everyone speaking English there would be subtitles. Do you find that embarrassing at all?
(laughs) Exactly! She talks in computer lingo, like “LOL” or “BRB”. It was so annoying. We would teach her vocab all the time because half the time she didn’t make sense! When you have that type of person it’s hard not to constantly roll your eyes at them. If I had had one more day before that Tribal, I think her true colors would have shown just like they did at Kota and she would have easily gotten the boot over me.
What should get somebody voted off?
I think the person that should get voted off is the one who’s not strategizing, isn’t thinking about the game, isn’t in the game. Kelly didn’t care! She stayed there purely by luck. She had no strategy to anything. I had the whole game figured out, and it was a lot of luck that I left the game.
So you wouldn’t say she was like Cirie.
Right, Cirie knew what was going on. Kelly never knew what was going on.
Do you have any favorite past Survivors?
I have to say Earl. I thought he played a cool game, and he was genuine and nice. He found a tight alliance and got to stick with it to the end.
At the beginning of the game you mentioned wearing business suits. Did you know that was the beginning of the game?
No! I was so shocked. I made them promise me that I wouldn’t be in my business clothes for the whole show, and sure enough, that was the twist that they through in. And it made it way harder. One, at night being in the freezing cold, and no blankets was horrible. And hiking around in a business skirt doesn’t make it fun. I didn’t have a single change of clothes. Actually, Charlie lent me his boxers so I’m forever indebted to Charlie.
What was the most surprising thing about the whole experience?
It was really surprising being around such negative people. It was really hard to deal with that – people who were such complainers, who weren’t happy to have the opportunity and thought the world was ending because they missed a couple of meals. They just couldn’t overcome things like that.
I am running behind on transcribing interviews but there will be a GC interview up soon, so stay tuned! Thanks for your patience.