Was Figtails the ultimate demise to Jessica “Figgy” Figueroa’s life on Survivor? On the Wednesday, October 26, episode it certainly seems that way.
The downfall for Figueroa began when the Vanua tribe showed up to the reward challenge and she couldn’t hide her excitement that Michelle Schubert had lived to see another day. The 23-year-old bartender clapped and announced to everyone, “I love Michelle.” After an awkward pause, she added, “I mean, I love Zeke [Smith] too.”
“I was very excited; I couldn’t control myself!” Figueroa tells Us Weekly exclusively. “She was my sister out there, and I feel like a bitch for how I did not say I was excited to see Zeke but come on, he wrote my name down at our first Millennial tribal council!”
“Honestly it didn’t affect my game at all, because we’re on opposite tribes,” she explains. “But for Michelle’s sake, I felt like, ‘Oh, s--t.’ I even talked to Taylor [Lee Stocker] and Adam [Klein] about it, like, ‘Should I have said that, did that put a target on her back?’ And it probably, possibly did, I have no idea. But I don’t regret it, because if so then it would have taken a target off of my back come the merge, because all of her alliances are on the table and she’s strong in puzzles — so it would have almost put something on her back versus mine.”
At the immunity challenge, the Takali tribe lost after Ikabula member (and original Millennial tribe member) Michaela Bradshaw coached Vanua to a second place finish. Back at camp, Figueroa says it became “tug of war” with her and love interest Taylor fighting Ken McNickle and Jessica Lewis over Adam.
“I was always iffy with Adam because of the fact that he originally wrote my name down to begin with!” Figueroa says of her fellow Millennial who ultimately voted her out. “It could be too early to do something like that. Say we all would have went to merge together, he had me as a number, he had Taylor had a number — meaning he also had Jay [Starrett], he would have also had Michelle and whoever else we picked up along the way. It may not have been the best decision for his future game, or maybe it was; I have no idea.”
Ultimately Klein chose to break up the power couple by voting Figueroa out. While the power couple lasted 18 days in Fiji, they didn’t last when it came to the real world.
“Taylor and I are no more,” admits Figueroa. “Real-life situations got in the way of him and I ultimately. Coming from an island, everything is all peachy and then you get in the real world and find stuff out and it’s not peachy, so … Figtails is no more.”
The Nashville resident, who assures Us she will redeem herself in a future game of Survivor, reveals more in the rest of her Q&A.
Us: Looking back do you have any regrets about being so open with Taylor?
Jessica “Figgy” Figueroa: I genuinely cared about Taylor out there, and I couldn’t fight how I felt, so I don’t regret anything with Taylor. I just wish that he could have controlled himself a little bit more out there. I’m like, "Don’t hug me, don’t touch me, don’t look at me, don’t talk to me." I tried to keep a secret, but he literally just could not get it together! So we just had to come out about it. But I always had somebody I could trust 100 percent, so that was really cool and awesome to sit there and also to have somebody at the end of every day tell me how beautiful I was and just be there, take the paranoia away. That was something nobody else had out there and I was very thankful for that.
Us: You seemed so confident and chill at tribal, what was really going on there?
JF: I just laugh a lot. I’m a superhappy person. I’m not laughing because I feel comfortable! I genuinely was laughing at the whole marriage thing and all the stuff that’s going on, like it’s hilarious to me. But I had one hand holding Taylor’s hand, the other on Adam’s knee freaking out. I definitely wasn’t at all calm.
Us: Were you really considering marrying Taylor at tribal?
JF: No, but, it was interesting; it was like Survivor first! Let’s go! Literally. That’s just my mindset; I’m just all about doing things for the first time, like, "Oh yeah let’s do it." And it was also kind just a joke at the same time, but Taylor was like, "Oh wait, what? Are you serious? Are we doing this?" And I was like, "I was just saying Survivor first!" It was so funny to watch.
Us: What was going through your head when Jeff said you were voted off?
JF: I feel like I died and my ghost came out of my body and came and grabbed my torch because I honestly, I feel like I kind of blacked out at that point, I was like, "Oh, man, this is not happening right not, this is not happening." I wanted to play this game. I wanted to make it to the end and really let Figgy come out of her box, and come out of her shell and play this game like I know I could.
Us: Who do you see as the biggest threat in the game?
JF: I think Jay and Michaela. I think Michaela is a beast in challenges and now that she knows that Jay has an idol it’s like wow. Come individual immunity challenges she could kick everybody’s ass and win all of them each time. And Jay, he’s cool with everybody and that being said that’s a force to be reckoned with as well because he’s good at challenges, he’s a leader, he has an idol and people listen to him.
Us: Do you think the winner will be a Millennial or a Gen Xer?
JF: Honestly I would love to see somebody like David come out of it. I would love nothing more than to see the panicky, frantic, scared David come out on top. But with the Millennial numbers it’s kind of hard not to think that a Millennial will win.
Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X airs on CBS Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET.
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