Jacquie Berg, Survivor: Gabon

Survivors have to stay alert to win, especially when they get curveballs such as switching tribes on Day 10. While switches aren't new to the game, the one this season came early. The swap caught some players off-guard, and led to an early exit for 25-year-old Jacquie Berg, who had been sitting pretty as a member of Kota’s Onion Alliance. Berg told TV Guide.com she knew her days were numbered when she found herself in the poorly performing Fang tribe, but did what she could to hang on.

TVGuide.com: Were you surprised by the early tribe mix-up?
Jacquie Berg: Yes, completely surprised. I thought I had the whole game figured out in my head until the very end, and I honestly didn’t see that coming at all. It totally sucked.

TVGuide.com: How about your ranking in the first challenge?
Jacquie: No, I figured I was going to be up there, but I was so mad that I was ranked as the top girl because I knew that was going to be a problem for me. When I saw the voting pattern and when I did the math in my head I knew I was going to get picked over at Fang.

TVGuide.com: When you ended up on the Fang tribe what did you do to fend off being kicked out?
Jacquie: A million things. I tried to strategize with Ace. We knew if we ever lost the challenge that Sugar was going to come. We even contemplated throwing the challenge just to get Sugar because we had an alliance. Matty was on our side as well because he didn’t have a real tight alliance with Crystal, Kenny or G.C. Also, I went to Kelly as another option and tried to convince her to stick with me and Ace and probably Matty and vote out Kenny, because he was the weakest link. All strategizing talk went right over Kelly’s head. She had it in her head that she was going to get me and Ace out and that was it.

TVGuide.com: You said you were contemplating throwing the challenge. When I watched the show I wondered if Ace was actually doing just that.
Jacquie: Up until right when the game started, Ace and I were going to throw it because we needed Sugar. Then we both got really nervous because if we did lose it would be us on the chopping block. So, we actually tried our butts off, but it didn’t help because everyone sucked.

TVGuide.com: So what is it with Fang? Why can’t this tribe get its act together?
Jacquie: Going over [to Fang] was complete culture shock. It was like the whole aura over there it was deceitful; nobody trusted anybody. As soon as we went over there everyone was talking behind each other’s back. No one liked each other and there was complaining the whole time.

TVGuide.com: And there was none of that over at Kota?
Jacquie: No. Barely any complaining, except from Kelly, so she fit right on in [at Fang]. They all stayed in their hut, they didn’t do anything and [it seemed as if] there was this expectancy of losing every challenge before it happened.

TVGuide.com: Aside from the million-dollar prize what did you hope to get from Survivor?
Jacquie: I couldn’t contemplate not winning, but also the experience of knowing that I can live in the jungle of Africa. I don’t think everyone gets that opportunity.

TVGuide.com: What was it like being in the jungle of Africa? Did you have any contact with any wildlife?
Jacquie: Yeah, there was a lot of wildlife out there, but the biggest thing for me was that it was a complete detox from society. No technology. I wasn’t sitting at a desk all day. The normal routine of life was thrown out the window and it was like going down to basic human instinct — eating with your hands, not caring if there’s dirt in your food — and just living off the bare land. It was very refreshing.

TVGuide.com: Now that you're back in reality, what’s it been like for you since the show started airing?
Jacquie: I’ve been working non-stop. I wrote a book about climbing the corporate ladder for college graduates and I started a charity for underprivileged children that helps them find mentors in life. I thought that that was a big thing on Survivor. I kept reflecting on how lucky I was to have mentors that keep me so positive.

TVGuide.com: Has you stint on Survivor satisfied your reality show bug or will you try out for something else?
Jacquie: As far as reality TV goes, I did Survivor just for the challenge. I actually am kind of camera-shy, but what it did spark was that I want to go camping and do more adventures around the world. I want to live that experience again.