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Survivor’s Jimmy Johnson – “I was going to give the money to charity anyway.”

When it came down to it, ousted Survivor: Nicaragua contestant and famed NFL coach Jimmy Johnson just couldn’t convince his tribemates that he wasn’t a threat.I had the pleasure of speaking with Jimmy Johnson on Thursday afternoon, and he struck me as an incredibly nice guy who really enjoyed his Survivor experience. Obviously, Jimmy has a lot more experience conversing with reporters than most other Survivor castoffs, but I was still surprised to see how hard other reporters on the conference call were on Jimmy compared to say, last week’s ousted contestant Shannon “Homophobe” Elkin. Jimmy explained to everyone that he really was surprised to be voted out – he’d expected most people to vote for Dan.
He said he told the tribe he was one of the weakest members because he’s an honest guy. “I was just being honest,” Jimmy said. “I didn’t say I was the weakest, I said I was one of the weakest…The weakest was probably Dan.”

So why not bring that up? “I didn’t think I needed to [point out Dan as the weakest tribe member] because I thought everyone pretty well knew that.” Had Jimmy known he was on the chopping block, he would have done things differently.

“Looking back on it, I would have formed an alliance and voted Daniel out,” Jimmy said. He was waiting to make one because “I wanted to get into the game a little ways to see who I could trust…I didn’t want to do what Wendy and Holly did. They made an alliance and then broke it at the first tribal council.”

Other than knowing Marty and Jill were working together, Jimmy said “I didn’t know there were any strong alliances at that time.” He didn’t realize how much Marty was gunning for him until he saw the show. “When I watched the episode last night it was a big surprise to me,” Jimmy said. He thought he had a good relationship with Marty and didn’t realize he was still being perceived as such a threat.

“I was honest when I said ‘I would love to see one of you win a million dollars’,” Jimmy said. He said had he made it to the final three or so, he knew “I was going to give the money to charity anyway.” He tried to convince the tribe that he was truly there for the adventure, but obviously some of his tribemates didn’t believe him. “I actually don’t think that some of the women would have voted me out had they not been convinced to vote me out,” Jimmy said.

And as for his relationship with the other Jimmy? “Jimmy T would have had a difficult time being on my [football] team,” Jimmy said. “He’s a little bit volatile.” As for Jimmy T.’s declaration that Jimmy J. was just intimidating by Jimmy T.’s strong leadership skills, Jimmy J. just has to laugh. “I was amused, and I think most everybody on the tribe was amused.”

“I could have gotten [Jimmy T.] out or I could have gotten Daniel out had I known that Marty was scheming to get me out,” he said.  “A lot of people wanted Jimmy T out the first week and I convinced the rest of the tribe members [to not] vote Jimmy T out because if we have a physical challenge he could help us.” But, hindsight is 20/20 and Jimmy didn’t know he was still being viewed as a threat. “That was my downfall,” he said.

A longtime fan of the show who’s seen every episode, Jimmy said he really enjoyed his time on Survivor. “You can’t really get the full impact of how difficult it is” [from watching on TV], Jimmy said. However, he doesn’t think he’d be physically capable of a second run on the show. He came on Survivor around 200lbs., he said, and left around 180lbs. “Next time I need to lose weight, I don’t think I’ll be going on Survivor.”

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