Survivor: Fiji's KO'd "Rocky" Rolls with the Punches
James "Rocky" Reid
James "Rocky" Reid, Survivor: Fiji
didn't have an easy time on CBS' Survivor: Fiji
(Thursdays at 8 pm/ET). The 28-year-old bartender was the cause of much griping among his Ravu tribe, and he didn't exactly redeem himself when he basically berated Anthony
for being a girly man during a recent tribal council. Last Thursday, when Rocky took a jab at ailing tribe mates who overindulged during their first reward challenge, that turned out to be the final straw. Rocky rang TVGuide.com to chat about his farewell scream, his appropriate nickname and any possible regrets.
TVGuide.com: I think your farewell might be my favorite ever, you just screaming.
James "Rocky" Reid: [Laughs] Basically screaming like a jerk, yeah.
TVGuide.com: Hey, I'd be upset if they blindsided me, too.
Rocky: Yeah, you get a little upset. A little bit.
TVGuide.com: Are you still angry?
Rocky: Once I saw myself in the mirror, I was glad to be off the show. To be honest, 125 pounds didn't look too good on me.
TVGuide.com: Ravu didn't do so well at being the have-nots. But you finally won a challenge!
Rocky: Yup, we finally won a challenge — and then I got to go home.
TVGuide.com: What was your strategy going in?
Rocky: Basically, my plan was to keep an open mind, soak up as much as I could, and pretty much feel the vibe and then wing it. I didn't want to get locked in on certain strategies and then have that hurt me in the immediate or long run.
TVGuide.com: How do you think that worked for you?
Rocky: Clearly it didn't work out to the best of its possibilities because I didn't win the million dollars. But I think it worked out as much as it could for me. I definitely did OK.
TVGuide.com: Was watching it play out on TV hard, seeing people roll their eyes when you were saying things?
Rocky: Yeah, the past two shows were kind of tough. Last [Thursday] was tough on me, tougher than I thought it would be, but I snapped out of it. I had a couple of cocktails and got over it real quick.
TVGuide.com: That's the best way to deal with things like that.
Rocky: Yeah, the best way to deal with your problems is to get piss-drunk. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: Where did the "Rocky" name come from?
Rocky: Well, on the show it looks like I named myself Rocky, which clearly I didn't do. What happened was that when we first got on the island, Dreamz and a couple of other people thought I was a "Rocky Balboa," aka Sylvester Stallone, and they just started calling me that. And then when they split up the teams, I had a couple of nicknames and Jeff addressed that situation, "You've got three nicknames, which one do you want?" I said, "Let them pick," and they edited it so it looks like I said, "Call me Rocky," but in all reality, all the people on the show just started screaming Rocky.
TVGuide.com: You do bear a striking resemblance....
Rocky: Something similar, right?
TVGuide.com: Have you gotten that your whole life?
Rocky: A little bit, a little bit. The droopy eyes and the complexion and the hair... it's funny.
TVGuide.com: Any regrets about anything that you said or did?
Rocky: Honestly, not really any regrets, I did the best I could. It was pretty much me at the end of the day, and that's the best I could do. I'd do everything the same.
TVGuide.com: Now, were you trying to help Anthony with your comments about being more of a man?
Rocky: It wasn't my goal to help Anthony. It just ended up being that he was getting voted off that night. I looked like a mean, horrible bully when it came to Anthony, but I had been dealing with that kid at that point for at least two weeks, which was very irritating. Not even irritating, very frustrating. Probably at one point in our lives, me and Anthony were the same person — very low self-esteem, got picked on as a kid — but for some reason, he took one path and I took the other and now we're both very different people. By no means am I saying that I'm better than the kid, but I was once like him and I changed.
TVGuide.com: To be stronger?
Rocky: Yeah, maybe I took the hard road to improve myself, and it's just frustrating to see people who let the waves keep crashing down on them and don't do anything to fix that.
TVGuide.com: Did you think Lisi was going home instead of you?
Rocky: My gut was telling me that something was up, something was fishy, but as you can see on the television, I was blindsided. I think I was lying to myself a little bit, didn't really want to believe it.
TVGuide.com: That could be you being optimistic.
Rocky: Ha! I'm not really a glass-half-full kind of guy. I'm kind of a realist, but at that time I didn't want to see what was obviously in front of my face.
TVGuide.com: Awww. How was it to finally get a reward?
Rocky: They didn't really show it, but I was excited! I tried to pick Dreamz up, after all the stuff that we went through, and I even kissed the guy on his sweaty head, I was so fired up. Maybe I should have simmered down with all the comments as everyone was getting a stomachache, but not really. I kind of like making fun of people.
TVGuide.com: You were just being yourself.
Rocky: Why would you be anyone else?
TVGuide.com: Were you trying to be a team leader earlier on and trying to boost morale, saying, "We've gotta win some challenges here"?
Rocky: From time to time I tried to get people fired up. Usually I surround myself with people who step up to the plate. At that point, I didn't really have an opportunity to surround myself with those people, I was just going with what I had. Some things work for certain groups of people and some things don't.
TVGuide.com: The yelling probably would have worked better on the guy group.
Rocky: Yeah, if we started off as a group like that, it probably would have worked.
TVGuide.com: Was there a guy's alliance? Because a whole string of women left at the beginning.
Rocky: When the voting started, my group voted off Jessica, which I was dead-set against. I didn't really show it too much, but I freaked out when we were about to go to tribal council. I freaked out for about 15 minutes, trying to fight for her. That's one of the reasons why when Erica's name came up on the next show, I was like OK, I kind of orchestrated that as well. At that point, I didn't care anymore, I just wanted to stay on for as long as possible. There's not one particular reason why the girls went off. It's just the way it went down.
TVGuide.com: And you were just trying to save yourself?
Rocky: Pretty much looking out for No. 1, as selfish as that sounds.
TVGuide.com: So, what's next for you?
Rocky: After today, I'm going back to L.A., to bartend. I'm just taking all this in, seeing what other opportunities are out there for me, and we'll go from there.
Watch this video for an interview with last season's Survivor champ, Yul Kwon.
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