October 26, 2011 09:00 AM by Ryan Haidet
Elyse Umemoto hasn’t watched a single episode of Survivor: South Pacific. No need to read that sentence again. You read it correctly. Elyse revealed that tidbit to reporters during a recent conference call in which she also talked about her relationship with Ozzy. Was it romantic? What does she think of Jim? What is her reasoning for not tuning in to watch her own season? Read on to find out!
Question: Looking back now, do you think you should have kept more distance from Ozzy to protect yourself?
Elyse Umemoto: Looking back now, I think Ozzy and I both should have made more of a conscious effort to play down any relationship at all. Even if it was casual, we should have gone out of our way to make sure that was something that was completely private. And we didn’t. That didn’t exactly work out for me. Ha ha ha.
Question: What was the true nature of your relationship with Ozzy? Was it all a game strategy? Did you have a final two deal or was it romantic?
Elyse Umemoto: It definitely wasn’t romantic. There weren’t any feelings on either side. His personality was the one that I just meshed with the best of anybody that was on my tribe. You know, you just kind of naturally gravitate toward certain people and certain temperaments and he just happened to be the one that I got along with the best. I know it looks convenient because he’s the strongest player, I think, in the game. Regardless, I think we would have gotten along.
Question: What are your thoughts on Jim? What can you reveal about him that we don’t get to see?
Elyse Umemoto: Ha ha ha. My thoughts on Jim have always been pretty much the same. You meet him, you see him and he looks like he wants to sell you a used car. That’s all fine and dandy. He told us he was a teacher — a high school science teacher. I feel like I probably should have outwardly questioned it when he couldn’t tell me the boiling point of water one day. He’s just a slimy guy. When he and I, at the earliest opportunity, kind of nudged elbows and we both said, “Hey if you got my back, I got yours,” we both knew that was just kind of a load of bologna and at the first opportunity we probably would turn on each other. It just so happened that Jim beat me to the punch. If he hadn’t done his scheming against me, I would have done some scheming against him.
Question: You said you didn’t watch the episode in which you were eliminated. Was it because you didn’t want to watch yourself go down?
Elyse Umemoto: To be honest, as usual, I have not yet seen an episode this season. So all that I have from the show is my own experience and then all the feedback that everyone around me gives me about what happened. … I kind of picked up this habit back when I used to compete in pageants. It was so difficult to watch myself on screen because I would just meticulously critique myself. And I knew that I was going to do this. A pageant, come on, that’s two hours. A whole season of a show?!?! Oh my gosh. Get out of here! I just don’t know that I could handle all of the critique that would be dealing my way, and then all of the suspense and having to relive all of the stress from the game. So I decided that I would wait until maybe the season was over, but maybe before the finale. Sit down and have my own little solo Survivor party and take it all in at once.
Question: What do you plan to do now that you’re out of the game?
Elyse Umemoto: I think about what kinds of things would be more difficult to tackle than say, competing on Survivor, or like years ago I competed on Miss America. Short of solving world hunger, there aren’t too many things I can think of that would be as difficult or as challenging. I kind of am back in the scene of regular life and I’m so anxious for December. I cannot wait for the reunion. More than just the reunion, but the dynamic of all the returning cast members. It’s gonna be priceless. I can’t wait. I hope it’s drama! I really do. Hahaha.
Question: Would you ever return to play the game in the future if you were asked?
Elyse Umemoto: I’m not sure if I could see myself back on Survivor. It’s still too early. It’s too much too soon. But I wouldn’t discount it because never say never.
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Photos courtesy: CBS