HitFix Interview: Jill Behm talks ‘Survivor: Nicaragua’

10.30.10 7 years ago


It was only a few weeks ago that Jill & Marty were on top of the “Survivor” world.
They had a powerful core alliance running the Espada tribe. They had an Immunity Idol in case control shifted even slightly. They weren’t unbeatable, but they were comfortable.
Then the tribes were shuffled, underestimated Jane flipped, and suddenly Marty & Jill were scrambling. Jill staved off one elimination with an Individual Immunity win, but that was only delaying the inevitable. 
On Wednesday (Oct. 27) night’s “Survivor,” Jill was voted out and, from what we saw, she barely put up a fight. What could she do?
HitFix chatted with Jill the next day about her lack of resistance, her partnership with Marty and why she may have been viewed as a threat.
Click through for the full interview…
HitFix: From what we were shown, you pretty much accepted your fate over the past couple episodes after it became clear that you and Marty were in a minority alliance. Was there any attempt at scrambling that we didn’t see?
Jill Behm: Um, sure. Marty and I talked about it. There was no fake Idol we could make. They were metal, in keeping with the Conquistador theme. There was nothing we could do there. So we tried making in-roads with Sash, who said that basically he tried to sell it to Brenda and he wanted to keep us around because we assured him that we’d be jury votes for him — just saying anything just to get one more day — and he basically said that Brenda was set on sending me home and he wasn’t, basically, in the position yet to buck her and make a power move, so he decided to go with what was safe. We really tried. I’m open for suggestions if somebody wants to say what we could have done, but we were two against everybody and we had nothing.
HitFix: Was it your impression that Brenda was really the one holding all of the power there?
JB: You know, I’ve been taking a lot of questions about Marty and I and people were like, “Oh, Jill’s pulling the strings” or “No, Marty’s totally in the driver’s seat” and I don’t know why this is such a hard concept for people to understand, but it was, at least with Marty and I, it was a 50-50 partnership. We would meet, we would discuss things, we would decide together and come to a consensus. But for some reason, people are unwilling to accept that in “Survivor,” that that can be done. So basically, that’s the way it was with us and I sortta get the same impression with Brenda and Sash, that they talk about things and decide together. Sash, I think, would have preferred to have us around. In fact, I know he would have, because when he did his vote, the said, “I hope this doesn’t cost me a million dollars,” meaning “I hope that I went the right direction and shouldn’t have taken Marty and Jill.” I think they’re kind of the same way. They have a 50-50 partnership at this point.
HitFix: How frustrating is it to find yourself in the position you were in for the last few episodes, where you just know that you’re shorthanded and destined to get picked off one at a time?
JB: That’s just it. It’s frustrating, especially having come from a position of power. I don’t know know if you’re aware of it, but before the Tribes split, when we left Espada, it was Marty and Jill and Yve and we had Dan’s complete loyalty, because at that point he didn’t care how far he went in the game. We were up 4-to-3 and we could have lost the next three Immunity challenges and then we would have sacrificed Dan and then it would have come down to the three of us. And we had an Immunity Idol, no less! So we were in great position. To go from that to the swap, where we were on the shaft end of the swap, we were down 3-to-5, as opposed to the other Espadas who were at least 4-to-4 and they might have had a fighting chance. We went with Jane, who was actively against us, instead of being with Yve or Danny, so yeah, it was super-frustrating. But you just do what you can for one more day. Last week, I won Individual Immunity and saved my butt, because believe me, I was gone. Kelly B was only a backup plan for them. But you just do what you’ve gotta do to stay around for one more day and mine ran out for me this week.
HitFix: Were you surprised that last week and then this week, with the opportunity to vote Marty out, they didn’t vote him out? I know that I was shocked…
JB: A little bit. They told me I was going home. Marty asked me about the whole giving the Idol thing, he and I talked about what was the best course, part of that partnership, what was the best thing for him to do. So I guess that maybe at the back of my mind there was a hope that, like, “Yeah, maybe they’ll vote him out instead of me.” But I didn’t really expect it.
HitFix: Do you know how they came to be viewing you and Kelly B as more of a threat than Marty?
JB: Kelly B, Brenda thought that that she was a, she called her “a flipper” when we got back to camp. She was initially in an alliance with Alina and Shannon and then those guys were on the outs, so Brenda didn’t trust Kelly B not to try and stir up trouble or go against her later in the game. She knew she couldn’t trust her, so that’s why Brenda wanted her out. As far as why they didn’t take me over Marty? I don’t know. I think they either viewed us as equal partners or, to be honest, I was probably more of a challenge threat. I don’t know if you’ve been watching, but I won Individual Immunity. I won the Ring Toss. Last night in the water polo thing, Marty and Sash didn’t score on Chase, but I scored on him twice. Really, I was better at challenges than anybody on that tribe. 
HitFix: I had a hard time fully grasping the deal Marty made last night with the Idol. Do you view it as something of a betrayal?
JB: No. He came to me and we talked about it. They told him that he had to play the Idol or they were going to make him use it and vote him home. So he came to me and said, “What should I do?” We knew that either way, he was  gonna use the Idol and he would safe, but either way he wasn’t walking out of there with the Idol that night. Right? He’d either give it to Sash or he had to use it. So Sash told him that he would give him back the Idol if they lost the next Immunity challenge, so he could use it to save himself. So he thought that maybe this would curry favor with them and show them that he was loyal, but he didn’t have much of a choice. What option did he have? Play it and then he definitely declares himself like, “I’m against you guys” instead of trying to get in there and work with them. He didn’t have a lot of good options.
HitFix: Turned to Jane, then. Were you surprised by the bitterness that she apparently felt?
JB: Oh my gosh! I was shocked! I was super-shocked. On Espada, Jane was basically a victim of her own poor alliance-making, is basically what it was. She was aligned with Jimmy T and Wendy Jo and as her alliance people kept getting voted out, she never came to us and said, “I want in with you guys” or tried to be friends with us. She had a couple minor medical that I sort of checked her out with or looked at or helped her with, just the tiniest little bit. But for her to say that we ignored her and treated her badly? I’m just floored at that. But clearly you can see her duplicity now. She’s stealing food from the tribe and lying to people. I would take anything Jane says with a grain of salt, because you can see clearly the kind of person she is.
HitFix: So you guys never knew anything about the fish thing? Last night was the first you saw it? 
JB: It was. And, if you go on CBS.com, she also hid a coconut as well. People have been like, “Well, she caught the fish. She had every right to eat it.” But really, when you think out it, she’s off fishing, Kelly Purple and I would be off catching crabs, Marty would go fill everyone’s water containers, so she’s reaping all of the benefits of our benefits at camp, but she’s also hoarding fish, so what she’s doing is not cool at all. Even if she is catching it, we’re doing other things and she’s taking full benefit of our work. 
HitFix: Were there any other things you were surprised to learn about things going on on either of your tribes that you hadn’t known were happening?
JB: Not really. It was mostly just Jane. And… for me, the game is never really personal. I was never gleeful to see anybody go and I was never sorry. It was like, “It’s a shame you have to go,” but I was never happy about it. Whereas some people are just smiling and bitter. That kind of surprised me. It’s a little disappointing that these people feel that way. That surprised me.
HitFix: Going back to your partnership with Marty. You said “50-50 partnership,” but there were a lot of times in the old Espada tribe where you were telling Marty, “Just tell me who to vote for.” Was that blown out of proportion in the editing or was that strategic on your part?
JB: Well, it was strategic in that I didn’t care. Only five or six people go to the merge, right? Well, I’m on a tribe with nine people, which means that three or four of them have gotta go before the merge. So if Marty wants Dan or Jimmy J or whatever, I don’t care what order they’re in. All I know is that I’ve got my alliance. It just wasn’t important to me, you know? I still don’t think it’s such a big deal. There were times, too, when  I told him that he needed to tell the tribe that we had the Immunity Idol, because Jimmy Johnson knew we had it and he was going to spill the beans. So Marty respected my decisions, too. I think I’m just kinda being edited as a sidekick. Plus, Marty’s just so much more loud and obnoxious. He’s getting all of these snarky confessional spots. But I think it was a 50-50 partnership.
HitFix: But you understand how the perception might have been different, based on what we saw?
JB: I see. I understand that. I guess I don’t see it that way, though, because I know better.
HitFix: Last question: It looks like you missed the merge by one elimination. Does that eat at you? And did you and Marty have a post-merge plan?
JB: Yeah, if we made the merge, we’d basically hook back up with Dan and see how the numbers fell, because invariably there are a couple people on the outs who you can hook up with. Plus, had things gone differently for us, we might have had an Immunity Idol at our disposal. So yeah, it’s terrible to miss the merge. I made so many mistakes in my game and you can’t win “Survivor” like that. So I regret that tremendously.
The full season of “Survivor: Nicaragua” Exit Interviews:

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