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Name: Kelly Wiglesworth
Season: “Survivor: Borneo”
Why You Should Remember Her: In the season of “Survivor” that first captured America’s imagination, Kelly went on an impressive individual immunity run (four straight wins!) and was the victim of Sue Hawk’s legendary “Rats vs. Snake” speech.
Gordon Holmes: You are “Survivor” royalty. Don’t roll your eyes at me…
Kelly Wiglesworth: (Laughs)
Holmes: Fifteen years later, we’re in Cambodia. Put me in your shoes.
Wiglesworth: I’m really excited to be here. Obviously it’s been a long time. I’m glad we’re in Cambodia. I feel very comfortable with the surroundings. It’s a lot like Borneo. It’s like a baby Borneo. It’s a little nicer. I’m definitely equipped to deal with this environment.
Holmes: What about the changes that have been made to the game over the years?
Wiglesworth: Everyone keeps saying, “The game has changed so much!” I don’t think so. As far as the structure with hidden immunity idols and Exile Island and Redemption Island…there’s a lot of new things. Things…or twists.
Holmes: We can call them things.
Wiglesworth: (Laughs) The actual game itself, that’s the same. You’ve got to make an alliance, hope it works out, and do what you’ve got to do to get to the end. That’s been the same since day one. We just weren’t as open about it. Now people are making alliances already. I’m sure everybody knows everybody. I’m sure there are several alliances happening already. It hasn’t changed, it’s just quicker.
Holmes: Have you kept up with the show at all?
Wiglesworth: No, I never watched it ever. I watched the first one and the last one. And not because of any reason other than I wanted to keep my experience pure for myself. “Survivor” was this big, amazing, wonderful thing I did. I wanted to keep it in that little bubble. I guess I didn’t want to see what TV made it look like. So, I never watched anything between one and the last one. Up until around three years ago I finally watched my show.
Holmes: How was it?
Wiglesworth: It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Not bad, they didn’t warp it into something else. I thought, “Oh, what if they make me look like a total jerk?” I think everyone has that fear of how you’ll be portrayed. But as far as the rest, I don’t watch any TV. I don’t own a TV.
Holmes: But how do you watch wrestling if you don’t have a TV?
Wiglesworth: I know, right? (Laughs) I miss out on all that stuff.
Holmes: I feel so bad for you.
Wiglesworth: But if I had a TV, that’s what I’d watch. Clearly. I do love wrestling.
Holmes: That’s my smart-ass response whenever someone doesn’t own a TV.
Wiglesworth: I’m not kidding.
Holmes: Wow, I’ve never had that thrown back into my face so well.
Wiglesworth: (Laughs) When I had a TV and I watched wrestling I liked the classics like the Road Warriors, the Nature Boy…
Holmes: I did not anticipate us bonding on this level.
Wiglesworth: (Laughs) C’mon, dude! I grew up in Las Vegas and they used to have those wrestling matches all the time. I went to it once when I was seven and it was the Road Warriors, it was Rowdy Roddy Piper, and Andre the Giant! I was so excited. I was running up and down the aisles screaming. My mom was like, “Whoa…you are really into this.”
Holmes: So, without a TV, do you know who you’re up against here?
Wiglesworth: I haven’t watched every single show, but I’ve studied a little bit. Who they are, what show they were on, what place did they come in. I have a general idea of who they are. People aren’t always the same in every situation.
Holmes: How do you think people perceive you?
Wiglesworth: Obviously people know who I am. They know what I’m capable of in the game. But…I don’t know…good question. People could see me as a threat as far as challenges and whatnot. Also, everyone kind of alludes, “Oh, you’re the original second chancer.” So, nobody wants to go to the end with me. They think the jury will give it to me. I’m hoping that people will want to play with me. I’m hoping they’ll see me as a weird oddity. Or an antique. (Laughs)
Holmes: Found in a glacier and unfrozen from days past.
Wiglesworth: (Laughs) Yeah!
Holmes: There’s always talk of pre-game alliances in returnee seasons. Have you made any?
Wiglesworth: I haven’t made any. I don’t know anybody, so I don’t know anybody to make any with. I’m not out in the mix. I can speculate. My thought would be there are a lot of people who were on the same show together. My initial thought was, “Sure, they’re going to align. They know each other.”
Holmes: Are you worried that you’re the only player here from your season?
Wiglesworth: Well, I can assume that those people are going to be in an alliance together. But, they might’ve hated each other. It could be easy like, “Let’s break up that alliance.” Or, that’s a solid three-or-four people, maybe I should try to be in an alliance with them.
Holmes: Do you still have relationships with anyone from your season?
Wiglesworth: I keep in touch with Gervase (Peterson) and Joel (Klug). Gervase more than anybody. I don’t have internet where I live. Again, how do I watch wrestling? (Laughs)
Holmes: I’m sending you some DVDs.
Wiglesworth: (Laughs) It’s an hour-and-a-half drive for me to use the internet.
Holmes: Gervase had quite a run a few years ago. Did he give you any advice?
Wiglesworth: He didn’t. I didn’t ask him. But, I know he did really well. I love Gervase like a brother. I was so proud of him. My mom watches, I wouldn’t call her a super fan, but she knows everybody. She helped me. I got some intel. But, I’m not a planner. I can’t strategize too far in advance. I think when you get too locked in, it just screws you up. Nothing ever goes according to plan. And can you really trust any of these (expletive deleted)?
Holmes: That should be the subhead for this season, “Survivor: Can You Trust Any of These (Expletive Deleted)?”
Wiglesworth: Exactly! You can’t. I think my strength in my game and my life in general is I don’t plan for anything. This thing happens, deal with it.
Holmes: Any guesses for if there are any twists…or things…this season?
Wiglesworth: (Laughs) I thought that they might add some random players into the mix. Maybe people we wouldn’t know of. Another thought was maybe they’d have us in pairs right off the bat. But, I think maybe they wouldn’t put people on the same show in the same team. I think we might be teams of three. Based on what we’re wearing there seems to be three distinct color groups. There’s a green, a blue, and a red. Possibly a Redemption Island…it is Second Chance. You never know, they’re sneaky.
Holmes: Alright, we’re going to play “Align or Malign.” In my hand I have nineteen cards featuring your competitors. You’ll go through them and tell me who you’ll align with and who you’ll malign. Trick is, you only get eight aligns.
Wiglesworth: Andrew…align. I just get a good feeling from him.
Wiglesworth: Terry…align. He beat my record for challenges. I get a good feeling from Terry.
Wiglesworth: Joe…he’s a tricky one. I’m going to go with align…because…I have a feeling Joe might want to play with me.
Wiglesworth: Spencer…align. I think Spencer wants to play with me too.
Wiglesworth: Jeremy…malign. He seems like a good guy, but he’s good at challenges.
Wiglesworth: Stephen…malign. He seems really sneaky and strategic.
Wiglesworth: Tasha seems like she wants to stir the pot and create a lot of drama. I’m not down with that. Malign.
Wiglesworth: Vytas…align. We’re both yoga teachers. I’ve got to give him the benefit of the doubt on that one.
Holmes: The down-dog alliance.
Wiglesworth: (Laughs) Yeah. That works or “Namaste, bitches.”
Wiglesworth: Kelley…malign. She’s too super fan, watched every episode. All into the strategy. And there can only be one Kelly/Kelley.
Holmes: No matter how many Es.
Wiglesworth: Kass…malign. Her nickname is Chaos Kass. Too much drama.
Wiglesworth: Peih-Gee…align. She seems like she’d be a good person.
Wiglesworth: Ciera…malign. Voting out your mom? That’s kind of harsh.
Wiglesworth: Varner…align. He seems like a good guy. It might bite me in the ass.
Wiglesworth: Abi…malign. Seems a little shady.
Wiglesworth: Keith…align. He’s a redneck. I am a redneck. I watched some of his season and he seems like a solid dude. If he gives you his word, I’d believe it.
Wiglesworth: Monica…malign. Seems sneaky.
Wiglesworth: Kimmi…malign. I sort of remember her from her show being really whiny and complaining a lot.
Wiglesworth: Woo…malign. I don’t know anything about Woo. So, sorry dude.
Wiglesworth: Shirin…malign. The whole going naked , and talking about poop, and monkeys having sex…that’s going to annoy the (expletive deleted) out of me.
Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes
“Survivor: Second Chance” will kick off with a special 90-minute premiere on Wednesday, September 23rd at 8 p.m. ET.