Keith Tollefson, Jim Rice
The past two episodes of Survivor: South Pacific have really thrown us for a loop. Are the producers finally bored of the repetition after 23 seasons? One week no one goes home, the next week, two get knocked out at once. That unfortunate duo happened to be Keith Tollefson (he's the hot one who didn't say much), and Jim Rice (he's the forensic science teacher medical marijuana dispenser who everyone thought was creepy). TVGuide.com got the chance to chat with the former Savaii tribe members about how it feels to be on the jury, what they missed most on the island, and who they plan to give the $1 million prize to. Bonus: Keith (sort of) addresses rumors that he's dating Whitney!
What did it feel like the first time you were sitting in the jury, facing your former tribe members with the knowledge that you were no longer in the game?
Keith: It was one of the toughest feelings that I've ever had to deal with in my life. You have the highest of highs when you win and the lowest of lows when you lose. I've never had a lower feeling ... the moment when you put your buff in the fire.
Jim: You're sitting on the sidelines. Yeah, you still get to watch the game and you still have an impact, but the shower and everything felt so great afterward but when I came back in and I saw how dirty everyone was, I just wanted to be dirty again and sleeping on bamboo. It's painful.
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Who would you give the million to at this moment?
Jim: We want to see one of our Savaii do well. Other than that, it's tough to say. I will say this — throughout the whole jury process my mind was completely open.
Jim, I hate to say it, but a lot of the castoffs I've spoken to were united on one front: They didn't like you. Why?
Jim: Because I got them voted off. I don't really feel a whole lot of remorse.
I think part of it was that you claimed you were a forensic science teacher when you're actually a medical marijuana dispenser. What was your rationale behind lying?
Jim: One hundred percent had to do with the endgame. I didn't think that somebody would give me a million dollars over a Mormon mother with six adopted children. And that's really all that it had to do with.
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Keith, did you ever doubt Jim's story?
Keith: I definitely believed it. I had some very strong suspicions it wasn't the whole story but at that point it didn't really matter to me. We just played strategy the entire time. We didn't talk about it.
What was the most unexpected part of the experience for each of you? Jim: How much the paranoia, the lack of food, and the lack of sleep gets to you.
Keith: It was hard in the sense that being on a tribe with a returning player, we'd be the secondary cast compared to him. When you have to play with a returning player, you can't truly play your game 100 percent because we have to realize the impact of the veteran. I also didn't anticipate that the tribe was going to become like a family. You develop feelings for everyone.
Speaking of developing feelings ... you and Whitney. Are you dating? Keith: Unfortunately I can't really talk about that right now. Obviously the finale is the place where everyone's questions can be answered. She's still in the game right now, so ...
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What comforts of home did you miss on the island?
Keith: Mine is pretty easy — a blanket! I was freezing! You take things for granted. Just getting out of the water and not being able to wipe your face off on a towel.
Jim: A blanket was going to me by answer! You think it's tropical? We were shivering. Also a pillow. I know that sounds weird.
Jim, I feel like we really got to know you on the show. But Keith, you didn't seem to have much air time. Were you disappointed when you watched the episodes?
Keith: I was extremely surprised. I definitely feel like I got a little bit of a shaft on editing. But it's understandable. You have some pretty strong players. Jim is a loud mouth and he's obviously going to take my air time.