After suffering what turned out to be a torn anterior cruciate ligamentin last week's reward challenge on Survivor, James Clement seemed like a dead man walking. With four immunity-challenge losses to the Villains tribe, the last thing the Heroes needed was to keep an injured player. However, thanks to his strong alliance within the tribe, James was saved and Tom Westman was eliminated. Unfortunately, even after Colby Donaldson made a speech to the Heroes tribe about his impending exit, James was the one voted out because of his knee injury. The 32-year-old Clement spoke with TVGuide.com about Colby's lackadaisical attitude, his argument with Stephenie LaGrossa and who he thinks is the "Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of Survivor."
TVGuide.com: Were you surprised to be voted out this week when the Heroes tribe opted to keep you last week despite your injury?
James Clement: I really wasn't surprised at all. After we ran on the beach, I told everyone, "Look, I don't know what's going on with my leg, but it's not good." So if they felt it would be more beneficial to keep Colby and help the team so that they could keep the team strong, then get rid of me. Vote me off. Just like with Tom, I knew there was a definite chance I would go home and whether they sent me home or not, I expected it. They're still good people. They're just playing the game.
TVGuide.com: It seemed like a very emotional tribal council both for you and many other members of the tribe.
James: It's just because I wanted it. I love the game. I love the people. It's kind of odd that Colby, who I thought was one of the baddest — the person I looked up to as far as playing the game. The way he was portrayed before, it was just crazy he wasn't fulfilling that [image]. He didn't want to be there. So if he didn't want to be there, I will stay. I don't care. I will figure something out to make it work. So if this guy doesn't want to be here, let me know and I will suck it up and make a plea to stay.
TVGuide.com: Why do you think Colby has played the game so differently this time around? Is it possibly because it's been so many years since he last played the game?
James: This is like the clash of the titans: old school vs. new school ... Now it's a new type of game, you have to play as a team. If you don't play as a team, you're not going to win; you're not going to do good. Making a strategy and sticking together with everyone, that's the only way to progress in this game. It was weird for him and it shocked him how much the game had changed.
TVGuide.com: How did you feel getting voted out when Colby spoke to the tribe and basically admitted he was OK with going home?
James: He didn't mean that. He was just doing his hustle. He didn't win, but he didn't want to go home. He just hung out. He was making his own little plea to keep himself in the game. So yeah, it was definitely aggravating.
TVGuide.com: Earlier this season, you and Stephenie got into an argument during an immunity challenge, and then again at tribal council. What caused those emotions in you?
James: I kind of like it. It's kind of cute the way everybody acted like I was bullying her or that I was being mean to her when all I said was, "Hey, babe. Let's work as a team." Granted, I recently learned that I have tone issues and when I say something, it comes across as me being aggressive... I get loud sometimes, but that doesn't mean I was trying to be aggressive or trying to be cruel towards her. What I was telling her was, "Hey, let's work as team." She didn't agree with that. She felt that she's always right. She felt that she couldn't make a mistake and if she did make a mistake, it was somebody else's fault ... I thought it was cool the way they made it seem like I was trying to be so evil and bully her.
TVGuide.com: Who on the Heroes tribe surprised you the most?
James: Colby ... From the other seasons he was on, he was the best challenge guy and around-camp guy. I just knew when we got on the team, he would fall in line and just help out and be super motivated. Not do what he did. It was kind of upsetting to watch him do everything so lackadaisical, so blasé. ... He was the most shocking person to be around because I really thought he'd be a whole other thing.
TVGuide.com: Who do you think on the Heroes tribe has the best bet of winning?
James: I have to go with my baby, Amanda. She's like the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of Survivor. She's made it to the end every time she's on the show, so she's going to figure something out I'm sure.