‘Survivor: Ghost Island’ contestants, Jenna and Sebastian, got together on the show and are still dating almost a year later. So why hell didn’t we see their love story begin? Jenna spills on that, her elimination and more in this EXCLUSIVE interview.
A quick scan of Instagram makes no secret of the fact that Jenna Bowman and Sebastian Noel, from this season of Survivor, are an item, but that might be surprising to some viewers…considering we rarely saw them interact on the show. Not to mention, of course, the fact that Sebastian orchestrated Jenna getting voted out during the May 2 episode! “They didn’t really show us just because we never had a strategic relationship,” Jenna told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY after her elimination. “So it was never part of the storyline. It was weird…we would hold hands every night, but then just never really discuss anything about the game or where were were. You lived in like a little la la land out there, and no one took us as a power couple because they knew we weren’t voting together.”
Sebastian and Jenna started off the game on different tribes — he was on the dominant Naviti, while she was on the “cursed” Malolo. Rather than team up strategically once they got onto the same side, though, they stuck with their separate alliances. That put Jenna in the minority when the merged tribe was split in two for tribal council this week. She found herself sitting next to Sebastian and his two Naviti allies, Angela Perkins and Chelsea Townsend, with only one Malolo ally of her own, Donathan Hurley. Sebastian, Angela and Chelsea voted for Jenna, even though they assured her their votes were going to Donathan, and she was sent home.
Was your frustration after the vote directed toward Donathan for not giving you his immunity necklace, or toward the Naviti for blindsiding you? It was definitely more toward Sebastian. He was the person I trusted when they said they were going to be voting for Donathan. We had our discussion and our relationship. I was really angry toward him. But I didn’t have any anger toward Donathan — I respected him. It was going to be 50/50 me or him. He did what he had to do and I applaud him for that.
We didn’t get to see much of your game. Is there anything you wish we saw? I think, looking back, it’s frustrating because, being down in numbers the whole game, my game was really just figuring out how to stay there. Not being able to make a move, or get creative or have any control over the game…it was just the most frustrating thing. You don’t look at someone like me and think…wow, they played a good game, she did well because she was on the bottom. But you had to fight to get to where we were and get as far as we did! I’m proud of myself, rather than these Navitis who are just there because they had the numbers.
Obviously there were probably things I could’ve done to try and create more chaos or something like that, but what I did — I survived. I survived each vote by either maintaining relationships or having to vote out a close ally, or whatever, to get there. I did the best I could with the situation I was given.
How did things start between you and Sebastian? We were seated next to each other on the plane to Fiji! You weren’t going to talk to each other then, but the initial chemistry started there.
Was it hard to separate your personal feelings from not having a strategic relationship? It wasn’t as hard as I feel like it has been for other power couples. We kind of did not have any in-game, strategic relationship. Our relationship was just…hey, I think you’re cute, I think you’re cute. It was emotional support. We had that same end game of winning the million dollars and not wanting to fall in love. But I think I was blind in the fact that he would at least try to save me when the times got tough. That was my biggest mistake. I didn’t think he would ever actually [vote me out].
Who WERE your closest allies out there? Michael was my closest, which they didn’t show once. If you watch our Ponderosa, you’ll see that we are literally best friends, so it was weird that they didn’t show that.
Would you play again? 100 percent. Best experience of a lifetime.