Jason Siska should have used the idol but didn't, and now the 22-year-old gymnastics coach is sitting on the sidelines of Survivor: Micronesia (Thursdays at 8 pm/ET, CBS) as the newest member of the jury. He clung to a "fans to the end" mentality that, perhaps, clouded his judgment and opened the door for one of his own to backstab him. Looking back, Jason discusses some of his strategic plays and tells TVGuide.com just what he thinks about the women who, in the end, played him.
TVGuide.com: What was it like to sit at tribal council holding the immunity idol and realize that you had been blindsided?
Jason Siska: It was rough, especially to [have seen] the same thing happen the week before [to Ozzy]. It was my own stupidity, and I really honestly can only say that I should have just been smarter and more aware.
TVGuide.com: Why didn't you realize that they were going to blindside you?
Jason: I really thought that at this point in the game it was in Natalie's best interest to keep me around. The name of the game this season is Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites. I believed the whole time [that the] fans should have stuck together no matter what. Parvati did a good job of luring both Natalie and Alexis into their so-called alliance, but I think Natalie is really naive in thinking that she can actually make it to the final two or final three with the favorites. Hopefully, her move in voting me out comes back to bite her in the ass.
TVGuide.com: Natalie truly seemed out to get you. Where did that animosity come from?
Jason: I do not know. She was really coldhearted — wanting to floss with my jugular…?!
TVGuide.com: When Jeff mentioned your social standing in the game, did you get a sense that maybe things weren't as you thought they were?
Jason: Yeah, a little bit, but I hoped [the women] were going to stick to their word. I didn't want to play the idol and have them not vote for me and then ask, "Jason, why don't you trust us?"
TVGuide.com: You joined Ozzy and Eliza on the jury. What was life like on the other side of the tribal council fire pit?
Jason: Life was actually great. Outside of the game everyone is a completely different person. Ozzy and I got along great. We had both been in the same position so we could relate. And I love Eliza — she's a great girl. I wish we could have gone further together in the game. In any event, I don't think she has any animosity toward me about giving her the idol because I honestly thought it was real and it would have been great if I could have saved her.
TVGuide.com: Eliza said that the two of you fell into an alliance because you both annoyed everyone else. Is that true?
Jason: Maybe, but I would say that some of the people there annoyed us. Eliza and I are career-oriented people who like to talk about politics and life, and these other girls are talking about salons and facials and colonics and the bar manager they hooked up with last week.
TVGuide.com: Throughout the game you made several decisions that seemed questionable to some viewers. Looking at it from your point of view, what were you thinking when you made choices like stepping out of the immunity challenge?
Jason: Sometimes in life you have to take a chance. I definitely could have won that challenge if I continued. There was no way I was going to lose against Parvati, but I thought that it might be a different strategic direction to try to appease the rest of the people out there with the food and gain their trust. It was exciting. They all guaranteed their word and I was like, "Hey, I'll take it." It made for a hell of a good episode.
TVGuide.com: You spent a lot of time on Exile Island. Aside from the upside of finding an idol, were there any other positives?
Jason: I absolutely loved Exile! It was a sanctuary away from the drama and the girls talking all the time. One of the first times I was there I made this huge bonfire. It was such a great time to be alone and really take in the whole Micronesian experience. I really loved that aspect of it.
TVGuide.com: The idol has been a part of the game for a few seasons now. Do you think it's a good or a bad thing for the game?
Jason: It's a bit of a curse in itself. The idol is really difficult to use effectively, as we've seen, because you have to guess that people are voting for you. My mom told me before I left, "Stay away from the hidden immunity idol."
TVGuide.com: One of my favorite moments of the season was when you spoke up at tribal council imploring your tribe to vote out Chet over Mikey B. I sensed a lot of frustration from you at that point.
Jason: There was a lot of frustration in the beginning of the game. I came into this game wanting to play a hundred percent all the time — around camp, in the challenges — and there were just some people there who were unable to perform at that level. I think the game could have been really different if things had gone the other way [with that vote].
TVGuide.com: You are originally from the Virgin Islands. Did your previously island experience give you a leg up at any point in the game?
Jason: Yeah, I would definitely say [it did] in just the day-to-day living and being comfortable in the wild. But honestly, the elements were a lot harder than I thought they would be. I came into the game thinking I'm an outdoorsy guy, and that this was going to be just another day at the beach. But it rained all the time and it was just intense.
TVGuide.com: What was the best part of the experience for you?
Jason: Going to Yap was really incredible, and also, of course, winning the first individual immunity challenge.
TVGuide.com: And you beat your idol, Ozzy.
Jason: Yeah, I made it farther in the game than Ozzy. That was cool.
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