Tattooed roller-gal Jessica Smith, who was better known as Flica on CBS' Survivor: Cook Islands (Thursdays at 8 pm/ET), may have seemed like a tough chick on the surface, since she's used to playing with fire in her performance art. But in reality, she was really a big softie who was too attached to people to play such a cutthroat game. TVGuide.com caught up with Flica to find out why she wanted to go on Survivor, and who she doesn't want to see win.
TVGuide.com: Where did the nickname Flica come from?
Jessica: I went through several different performance names for doing my fire [act], so it kind of came from "flicker." It would be on all my business cards: "Flick a flame, Fire for Hire," because I spin the fire hula hoops and all those kinds of things.
TVGuide.com: You're a brave girl.
Jessica: Yeah, I love it, it's a passion. So I just kind of kept at it, and then I started playing roller derby, and that kind of stuck. And then Survivor came along. Some articles [have said that] it was just my roller-derby name, but it's been a nickname for years.
TVGuide.com: What's it like doing all the roller-derby stuff? Is it fun? Intense? Because whenever I see it on TV, it looks like a very physical sport.
Jessica: It's funny, because I kind of got into roller derby the same way I got started with Survivor. It was a random thing where I was doing face-painting and stilt-walking at the rink, and they were starting up a derby league. When I would hear about it, I'd be like, "That sounds so cool! All right, I'll try that!" The same with Survivor. I was like, "Huh, that sounds interesting, I'll try that," and then before I knew it, I was kicking some major butt in roller derby and my team, the Voo Doo Dolls, ended up being champions of the season.
TVGuide.com: Great team name, by the way.
Jessica: Yes, thank you! I named it myself. And I made all of our uniforms.
TVGuide.com: You do a lot.
Jessica: I like to keep busy. Unfortunately, I don't watch a lot of TV, so I wasn't clued into all the different reality shows and people's intentions on the show and how everybody's really fake.
TVGuide.com: You seem a little too sweet for Survivor.
Jessica: Yeah, but not for roller derby, where everybody knows your intentions — "Hey, I'm going to knock you over, and you're going to be OK with it!" There's nothing wishy-washy about it, even though sometimes girls get a little hurt or whatever. I like that it's cutthroat, but it's still like, "Hey, I'm out here to play a game."
TVGuide.com: In the Survivor strength competition, when you had to wrestle with Cristina, you seemed excellent at that sort of thing.
Jessica: Right. I put everything aside and just take it on. When we first made the merge, it was supposed to be Ozzy, CeeCee, myself, Sundra and Cao Boi. That was the five, and I was very confident in that decision. I was like, "Oh we're all artists, we all have good intentions, we don't seem like we're all serious gamers." That really appealed to me, versus when Jonathan came up to me — I just didn't like him from the very get-go, he was annoying the crap out of me. Then Yul explained why we need to stick together, explaining that the Caucasians and the Asians have an alliance, and he was the real selling point, because he changed Cao Boi's vote. If he hadn't changed Cao Boi's vote, then it would have still been the five of us.
TVGuide.com: You wished Ozzy good luck, but he voted against you as well.
Jessica: He had to, though! He's trying to stay in there, and he was already being considered a threat because he was such a good provider. I'm OK with it, it doesn't bother me. I understand that it's a game. I want him to win, rather than, say, Sundra, who bothers me because she was such an actress the whole time. I never could believe her word.
TVGuide.com: That's too bad.
Jessica: Yeah. But Candice, I think, is an excellent player. She played the game really well.
TVGuide.com: Though you seemed to be friendly with everyone, you didn't get along with Jonathan, and now you realize Sundra was acting. Did you realize all that while you were out there, or did it happen once you got home and started watching it on TV?
Jessica: Well, I didn't know Sundra was an actress; she told me she was a waitress. People have a totally different face on when they're out there. For myself, I was just being me, and I am friendly, and I want to be approachable, and my intentions were to make friends out of all this. I didn't want to do anything that I felt bad about or guilty about [when I came home]. I'd rather have people be like, "Oh, you were sweet, and we were really feelin' for you watching all of that." The thing with the chickens is [what] I get asked about the most. Jonathan's an idiot because he was sitting there talking to me, and he didn't tell me he put the chickens under the box.
TVGuide.com: It was an accident.
Jessica: Not in my eyes, because I thought from the very get-go that he should have told me before I picked up the box. He should have just let me know, "I put chickens under there."
TVGuide.com: It turned out to be such a nonissue anyway, because it looks like Ozzy was catching every bit of food that was out there.
Jessica: They make it look that way, and he definitely did a great job at providing and keeping our tribe happy. It sucked that nobody would row him out there. We would try to, like, switch up positions, because I was always the one rowing with Ozzy, taking him out of camp, because nobody would say, "Oh, yeah, I should go with you!" Nobody would step up.
TVGuide.com: Do you have any regrets at all?
Jessica: I guess I would have tried to befriend the girls a little bit more. I should have not been the tomboy I am, to want to go out snorkeling and stuff. That was kind of selfish of me, I guess. But at the same time, how many people get to go to the Cook Islands and go spear-fishing and everything? I got an octopus.
TVGuide.com: Oh, you caught one of the octopuses?
Jessica: Yeah, I got an octopus while on the Raro tribe. And I was one of the only girls that would come back with, like, 12 crabs a day.
TVGuide.com: It sounds like you actually enjoyed the experience of being there.
Jessica: Yeah, with the survival aspect of it, I think I did really well. I like to build shelters and make a home out of what you have, so I absolutely loved that part of it, and I think that I would have had to sacrifice that in order to sit around with the girls and gab....
TVGuide.com: What's next for you?
Jessica: I'm just trying to get my website, FlicaFlame.com, started, and then I'm going to start doing a little YouTube show where I go around to different things that I think are exciting and hopefully do some interviews and stuff. And then I just want to do more of the things that I love, which would include designing clothes, stilt-walking and fire-dancing.
Reality-TV fans, get exclusive scoop on Dancing with the Stars' upcoming finale from the Nov. 13 issue of TV Guide.
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