April 29, 2011 10:00 AM by Ryan Haidet
When Julie Wolfe left to compete on Survivor: Redemption Island, the money was her only goal. She wasn’t there for the adventure. She wasn’t there to make friends. But she got so much more from the experience then she ever expected. After her elimination this week, Julie spoke with reporters on a conference call to explain how Survivor changed her life for the better. She said that Matt’s faith motivated her to start going to church. But that’s not all, Julie, the second juror, also explained why she thinks Phillip isn’t acting. In fact, she said some of them were afraid for their own safety because of Phillip. Read on for that and much more!
Question: When you left the game, your new-found faith was discussed. Did you follow up on that?
Julie Wolfe: I have followed up on that. Like I said, I left with a life-changing experience that I can’t put a price tag on. I actually live in the same county as Mike, and he recommended the church he goes to down there in San Diego. I am going to church, and I just absolutely love it. All the financial stress that was on me before I went in the game has just been lifted. Mike is a realtor and he recommended filing bankruptcy. He said that’s really the only way you’re going to save your home right now. I went ahead and I did that. I’m good to go. I’m going to church. Filed for bankruptcy. I’m making my back payments. Life is really good right now. And you know what? It was all meant to be. It was all meant to be. It was all in God’s plan. I believe I went on the game Survivor for a reason. Obviously it wasn’t to win a million dollars, but it all worked out great.
Question: Do you think Matt deserves to win?
Julie Wolfe: I do think Matt deserves to win. The game Survivor, I can’t even tell you how hard it is. I am so blessed that I went through it with guys like Mike, Steve and Ralph. To have to do that game by yourself, oh my gosh. No way. If Matt makes it to the end, he would have my vote.
Question: What is the benefit to hiding Phillip’s shorts?
Julie Wolfe: There’s no reason to talk about what wasn’t shown. There’s stuff that Phillip did to us, to Zapatera, that wasn’t shown. It was just kind of a payback because of stuff that he did. But now that it’s all been edited, it just seems kind of silly to hide his shorts. But it was a payback for all the things he had done to us.
Question: Is Phillip the real deal? Or is he playing everybody about who he really is?
Julie Wolfe: In my mind, I truly believe that he is the real deal. I truly believe that he is the real deal. The whole racial issue was real. There was a lot of tension. It was very very very uncomfortable. It was made a lot lighter on TV. But it was the real deal. It got to the point where we were scared for our safety at night. We were like, “Where are the machetes at?” We had one eye on Phillip. To us it was real. If he is an actor, he deserves an award because I was scared. I was scared at times.
Question: Do you believe he really worked for the government?
Julie Wolfe: (Laughs) No I don’t think he worked for the government. I sure hope not. No. I think that’s an act. I hope that’s an act.
Question: What is the biggest personal struggle you overcame while on the show?
Julie Wolfe: That’s easy. The toughest part of the game for me was being away from my girls. I’m a single mom. We just went through an ugly divorce. A lot of emotional challenges, and I just missed my girls. I cried every day. The conditions were miserable. You were wet and cold every night. The nights were super long. We were starving. But my biggest personal challenge is that I missed my girls so much. It was painful.
Question: How did you get selected to be on the show?
Julie Wolfe: I was actually recruited at my fire station. A recruiter came into the fire station saying they were looking for a female firefighter. They had gone to a few other stations at the department that I worked for. At that time I had never seen the show. That was four years ago. I said, “No thank you. I don’t want anything to do with that show. I’ve never seen it, but my family are huge fans. …” As soon as I called home, my whole family was like, “What?!?! Are you kidding me?!?! This is a one in 18 chance for a million dollars. Are you kidding me?!?!” So I called Survivor back. I said, “Hey. I changed my mind.” They go, “Hey, you know what? We changed our mind, too. We want you, but we want you to be successful. Because you haven’t seen the game, we’re not going to pick you this time around. Watch the next couple seasons. Study the show.” I applied two more times. I sent in a video like everybody else did. Luckily they remembered me and I got chosen.
Images courtesy of CBS.
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