May 18, 2008 01:40 PM by Ryan Haidet
The 31-year-old gravedigger did it again and got yet another $100,000 prize from America’s vote for favorite player of Survivor: Micronesia – Fans Vs. Favorites. “It’s crazy,” James said of winning the popularity vote twice in a row. “I’m so appreciative of all that. But it’s just crazy, I’m still in shock. I just don’t know what to say, I’m just trying to gather it all in.”
The strong, intimidating-looking guy is one of the most quiet, humble people to ever play the game. “I never even in a million years would’ve guessed it would be like this,” he said of his popularity. “I mean, I’m enjoying it, I’m gonna have fun with it, I’m embracing it. But no, I’m not the one people come up to. But it’s been happening now, and I’m loving it.”
Although he had been home from filming the China season for about three weeks, James said he wasn’t asked to play again until just days before leaving. “I had like 3 or 4 days. They called me and said, ‘You want to go to Palau?’ I’m like, ‘Yes! I’m coming, I’m down completely.’”
James, a self-proclaimed fan of the show, said he was expecting a full-blown All-Stars season of Survivor. “That’s what I was expecting. I’m kind of glad it was the fans, but I definitely thought it was going to be an All-Star game.” Being a fan of the show, he said he was most excited to learn he was competing against Ozzy Lusth.
This season, injuries were knocking many players down, and after Jonathan Penner’s removal for an infectious wound on his leg, James was the next to go from a cut on his finger. “I was opening a clam shell, trying to get something to eat. I’m usually the one to open the clam shells, so I cracked it open, ripped it open and cut my finger. I had this thing where I could put coconut oil on my wound and it helped heal them up.” But it eventually got infected and the nurses were concerned, which somewhat prepared him for the worst. “After the Jonathan thing, I kind of seen it. I mean, I have common sense. The way she (nurse) looked at it and the reaction she was giving me and everybody else was standing around, I was like, ‘This is bad.’ So, I kind of prepared myself for it.”
He is still frustrated with his game-ending injury. “It feels so much more complete getting voted out. It sucks (leaving for an injury). I look at my hand and I cuss every time I look at it.”
How is the wound now? “It’s all right,” James said of his finger. “They really took every precautionary measure. They put me on all kinds of antibiotics, like I was on an I.V. three times a day for seven days. They made sure that nothing was going to happen to me.”
Having played the game twice already, James hasn’t yet had his Survivor fill because he would like to take on the challenge again. “I enjoy the experience; I enjoy the chance to win some money. Maybe not this soon, but I’d go.” But after some thought he said, “Honestly, yeah, I’d probably pack up and go now.”
Soon, a group of 18 new castaways will battle it out in Gabon, Africa, for 39 days to see who can outwit, outplay and outlast all the others to be crowned the winner of the $1 million prize. James has some advice for the upcoming players. “Have fun with it. Enjoy it. Pay attention to what’s going on and you’ll do good.”
Find out how the brand new contestants fare when Survivor: Gabon – Earth’s Last Eden premieres in September.
This wraps up all the red carpet coverage from Survivor: Micronesia’s finale. Here are the four previous interviews:
As an extra bonus, you can now read all of our Survivor Cast Bios!
Photo Credit: Picture 1 by Ryan Haidet of RealityTVMagazine. Picture 2 by CBS. Picture 3 by RealityTVMagazine.