‘Survivor’: Jessica Admits She Knew Cole Was Her ‘Downfall’ — But She Takes Full Responsibility

This week's eliminated 'Survivor' contestant dishes to us EXCLUSIVELY about her relationship with Cole, her biggest regret in the game, the 'bloodbath' that would've occurred if she made the merge -- and more!

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Image Credit: Courtesy of CBS

Jessica Johnston was the first castaway sent home post-merge on the Nov. 8 episode of Survivor, and it truly was a blindside. Before tribal council, Jessica was convinced she was in the majority after forming alliances with all the remaining Healers (Cole, Joe, Mike and Desi), along with her new Yawa members, Ben and Lauren. However, Ben and Lauren had other plans, and joined the Heroes and Hustlers in ousting Jessica. “I was way too confident, obviously,” she tells HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY. “I think they showed me last night, literally saying, like, ‘I’m the queen bee!’ and I’m sure every fan eye rolled. I eye rolled! But I had no idea. It was a huge blindside.”

Originally, the Hero/Hustler vote was aimed at Cole, but with fear of an idol looming, they decided to change it up to Jessica, which “hurt,” she admits. “I spent half of my game protecting Cole’s game, so it just feels unfair,” she reveals. “However, I have to own what I did. In the moment, you can’t break out of what you’re doing. My downfall was picking up Cole’s trash. It wasn’t until the episode aired that I realized that. I spent the entire day protecting my alliance when I should have just let them go.”

Here’s the rest of our interview with Jessica:

Did you realize how tight Ben and Chrissy were? Yeah, unfortunatelyI did know, but not to the extent. I knew they were tight base on conversations we had at Yawa, because he was consistently defending Chrissy. I was like…this isn’t good! You obviously pegged her as your first wife and I’m your second wife, so that’s not okay! But the problem is, at the merge, I was too consumed with damage control with Cole, I was totally blinded and didn’t realize I was on the chopping block, too.

Were you aware of how irritate everyone was with Cole and did you ever take a step back from seeming so close with him? Absolutely, I got a lot of flack about that, but I’m like…hello, everybody — there was no curb to kick him to! When we were first on Soko, I was like, ‘Oh yeah, Cole! La, La, La, who doesn’t want to try to find love AND a million dollars? Why not me?!” That feeling quickly ended, but then it’s like…what do you do? We split together, we were in the majority [on Yawa]. It made no sense at that point to flip on Cole. My conversations with Ben an Lauren were consistently like…I know, I know, but let’s just keep him until there’s a good point. It’s like dating, you don’t break up with someone on Valentine’s Day! You wait until the day after!

When Mike and I found the idol, we had this conversation where we recognized Cole was a liability — he’s lying, he’s’s not playing smart. However, he’s not malicious. He’s not a flipper. So who do you want to enter the merge with? A flipper…or someone who can’t really play but just needs a mother? So suddenly I took up this role — I’m no longer in love with Cole, I’m his mom and Mike is the dad and he’s our baby!

[Cole]’s dumb mistakes didn’t really hurt me, we survived. But it broke trust. I was thinking…this is amazing, if I can get to the end with him, there’s not one person who would vote for him. The chance would be very rare, we all know how it goes, but if it were to happen, like, who would NOT love that ending!?

You were close with Desi and Roark before the tribe swap, would your loyalties have gone to them, or Cole, after the merge, if you all made it? I have a smile on my face just thinking about it because of how dirty it would’ve gotten. From my pregame, my ability to build relationships is good and they’re genuine. I’ve literally been ten peoples’ Maid of Honor and I love them all the same! That’s just my heart — it’s genuine and true. So it’s scary when I think about that — what would have happened is…it would have gotten ugly. Would I have blindsided Cole for Roark and Desi? Probably. Roark is a gamer, and I hate the fact that we didn’t get to merge together. I would’ve done whatever that girl told me!

Would you play again? Absolutely. I would drop everything. Yes. There’s nothing more important and I don’t care if that’s embarrassing to admit!

HollywoodLifers, what do you think of Jessica being voted out?

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