When the Takali tribe spoke on Wednesday's episode of Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, Jeff Probst extinguished not only Jessica "Figgy" Figueroa's torch, but also the flame of "Figtales," one of the most ill-advised showmances in the history of reality television.
In retrospect, Figgy recognizes the error of her ways in pairing up with Taylor - but not for the reasons you might think. And in case you were wondering, the couple's relationship was not confined to just the show, but has since ended.
"We dated for a couple months after filming," Figgy tells TVGuide.com. "We tried, and there was just too much going on."
Read our full interview with Figgy to find out why she and Taylor split, whether she thinks Adam flipping was a good move, and what she'd do differently if given the chance to play again.
TVGuide.com: Obviously the first question is, do you regret having a relationship with Taylor?
Figgy: I definitely am thankful for having had Taylor out there. The reason why is because I felt like I had someone I could trust 100 percent. He felt like family out there for me. He eased my mind when I was consumed with paranoia, and I don't necessarily regret having linked up with him. If I could regret anything, it was maybe being so public with him. But the Millennials, we're Millennials. We don't give a f--- about that stuff. As much as Zeke and everybody was like, "Oh, they're a power couple, blah blah blah." It's two people voting together, at the end of the day. Let's be honest here. So it's just like any other alliance, except you know that we're not gonna vote each other out no matter what. That is what a strong alliance is about. So people possibly were envious of that tight of a bond, and I get it.
But I was more of a threat long-term for these people. I always labeled myself as the Boston Rob and [Taylor] was the Amber in the relationship. I was the doer. I was the strategist. I was the thinker. I did everything. All I would tell him to do is go bat his little eyes and go walk with someone, go make somebody happy. And he would do that. So, I had him in my pocket and I cared about him, and we were a thing. I don't necessarily regret having lined up with him. I just wish that he wouldn't have been so relaxed and chill about it. Because, being a huge Survivor fan, I know that's not smart. But Taylor is just like, "I'm a dreamer. I can do whatever I want. I can have the girl and I can be on an island." It's like, "No, you f----- can't, dude. You obviously don't watch the show." So, his mindset right there kind of f---ed my game up, but you live and you learn.
After the merge, you changed your approach and tried to keep the relationship under wraps. Was that just because you were around Gen Xers and you thought they might care about it more than the Millennials?
Figgy: Yes. One hundred percent. We changed our minds - well, I changed my mind - because I knew it was smart. ... I had told Taylor it was smart to keep it under wraps because I just didn't want to be labeled as a target right out of the gate of the swap. But Taylor has f---ing goo-goo eyes and is just completely drooling in front of everybody and not caring. It's like, Gosh, I can't even keep this hidden even if I wanted to, because you're so stupid with the whole thing. It sucked. So we had to come out with it eventually. But the whole mindset for me was to keep that under wraps, because we were trying to be in with these Gen Xers. They could think that we had a thing, but I didn't want them to know 100 percent like, oh my god, they're dating. But Taylor kind of f---ed that up and we had to come clean about it, because I already had figured that Michaela, who does not like me, being mixed with Gen Xers, would have ratted me out. And then Zeke, who did not like me as well, would have ratted me out [to the Gen Xers]. So, no matter what, everybody would have found out at some point.
So, when you and Taylor first noticed a mutual attraction, was there any part of you that hesitated about acting on them for purely strategic reasons? Or did you just decide to follow your feelings?
Figgy: Ha ha. I did originally, but Taylor was the one who wanted to kiss me. He wanted to kiss me and I told him no a thousand times and he was like, "Please?" And then I was just like, f---, whatever. Then I just pecked him, and he was like, "Oh my god, I died and went to heaven." After that, it was just like, Taylor ratted us out, everybody knew. So, it is what it is at this point. Everybody already knew we were so strong and so tight. We couldn't deny the attraction that we had for each other.
Was it just a showmance, or are you guys still together?
Figgy: The legend of FigTales is no more. We are not together because of... our life on the island is completely different from real life. There's a lot of things that I learned about him that I did not know, and it led to our little crumble. You guys will just have to tune in to the reunion show to see all that. But, I'm glad we didn't get married.
At Tribal Council, were you concerned that Adam would flip, or were you pretty confident that he would stick with you and Taylor?
Figgy: I felt it coming. I had this gut-wrenching feeling when I walked into Tribal Council and I was just like, "It's going to be me." Taylor's like, "No, it's not." I'm like, "You're really f---ing stupid. You don't know how to play the game. It's gonna be me." But it was literally a tug of war. Adam was right in the middle of us, and we were tugging back and forth. I had the weak link, Taylor, trying to pull Adam with me. Like I said, he's just a blue-eyed beauty. Was not doing much. So I'm like, man, I'm screwed. Because, think about it. You have someone who is actually talking to you about strategy - me - and Taylor, who's not doing s---. Who are you gonna get rid of? Obviously the person who's a thinker, because the person who's not doing s--- you can obviously tell what to do. So, I kind of saw it coming.
Looking at Adam's flip objectively, do you think it was a good move, or do you think he should have stuck with the Millennials in terms of numbers?
Figgy: I don't know at this point. Because I'm connected with a lot of people like Jay, Michelle, people from different tribes who are also making more connections. So, maybe keeping the power couple in the long run is going to keep the target off your back. Just saying. Or, maybe Adam thinks he's going to please Michaela and Zeke by getting rid of me, and then he has Ken and Jess. So, it's a 50/50 thing here. You're going to piss people off and you're going to make people happy playing this game. It's going to be interesting to see Adam's dynamic now going forward, because now he has to go back to a pissed-off Taylor who wants to get his vengeance and come back and save the day. It could work for Adam or it might not. Adam has always been on the bottom, so it's gonna be super interesting to see what happens next.
Was there anything viewers didn't see that you wish we had?
Figgy: OK, this is a proud moment for me. I went spear fishing at Takali and I f---ing killed two fish. It was amazing. Best time of my life. I never thought in a million years I would go in the f---ing ocean and just, like, kill fish. Gut 'em, eat their eyes. Like, what? I'm an animal, you know what I mean? I was really proud of that. ... And Ken let me eat both of the fish I killed, which was awesome too. But generally, maybe just more shots of me in challenges, beasting it up. Or even me strategizing. Obviously they're going to be focused on my relationship, because it's just so hilarious. Yeah... me being outdoorsy more, my strategizing, and me talking more game. We kind of saw that, once I'm like, "Taylor and I need to keep it on the down low." But just more of that.
Who do you think is the biggest threat in the game going forward?
Figgy: I think it's Jay and Michaela. Michaela knows about Jay's idol. Michaela is a beast in challenges. She is an animal. She's very honest with you. She tells it like it is. That's somebody you want to work with, but also a force to be reckoned with. So she's a threat. The reason I think Jay's a threat is because ... he's everybody's boy. But he also has an idol, and he's also really good at challenges. So, for Jay to still be in the game right now, he's also a force to be reckoned with. But Michaela knowing about his idol, I don't know what's going to happen with those two. It's going to be interesting to see how that plays out.
Would you play again if given the chance?
Figgy: Is that really a question? (Laughs). Yeah, of course. I'm ready to get on a plane right now. ... I want to redeem myself. I want to play the damn game. I want to get back out there and kick some ass. ... This isn't the last people have seen of me, mark my words.
What would you do differently the second time around?
Figgy: Maybe just not pick someone so f---ing oblivious to what's going on. That's what I'd probably do different now. Just learn about how people and see how stupid they are, if they know about the game of Survivor, before I start working with them. And then maybe things will go up from there.
Survivor airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on CBS.
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