Survivor’s [Spoiler] Explains ‘Erratic’ Behavior, Reveals Unseen Backstory and Reason for Playing

The following contains spoilers from Wednesday’s episode of Survivor 46.

If Survivor: Caramoan’s Stealth R Us alliance was ever looking for a new recruit, Jem Hussain-Adams would be the perfect candidate. Not only did she jump through multiple hurdles to unearth clues, a lock box, its key and the idol, but the international brand mentor from Chicago also re-hid the clues, leading her tribe on a hilarious (for us), days-long wild goose chase.

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But when it came to pulling information out of tribe members she was not working with, her once-sturdy social game started to crack and eventually crumbled. Her behavior in the moments leading up to Tribal Council caused her Charlie’s Angels alliance to second-guess her, and she was blindsided by a vote of 4-2. (Read the full recap here.)

Below, Jem talks to TVLine about why she was perceived as “erratic,” trusting her alliance far too much and her traumatic backstory that didn’t make the air.

TVLINE | So what happened out there? What do you think led to your downfall?  
JEM HUSSAIN-ADAMS | God knows the reason. There’s so much that happened. I know it the way it showed, like I was a little erratic with Ben and Tim at the end. So Ben’s conversation happened when I was trying to dig for the clue. So I was like, “OK, I need to get rid of him as fast as possible because I have zero vote if I don’t get the idol and I don’t want my alliances to catch on that.” I was like, “Tell me who to vote for and get going! I don’t wanna have you here for more than five seconds. Just go!” Now that I see it, I see how it looked and it’s like, “OK, I was kind of freaking out a little because I didn’t want to get caught,” but I guess I got caught in different ways. Tim and I always had spicy, direct conversations, so it was more like, “I don’t know who you want to vote for. Give me a name. Tell me who you wanna vote for.” But I definitely didn’t get voted out because of my idol. Nobody knew about it. Nobody knew it was me. Nobody knew I was digging holes.

TVLINE | That’s so refreshing because we’ve seen so many players in the new era find advantages and immediately blab about it.  
Right? Yeah, not me. My advantage is my advantage and my advantage only. And I was hoping to pull it out someday and make a big move, but I should have made a freaking big move to save myself and say, “Hey, remember this guys? This is what you were digging for!”

TVLINE | That would’ve been good! Now, did you always bring the machete with you when you needed to sniff out information? 
The reason I had the machete is because I was looking for the clue, so I had to measure stuff. Given I was the provider of the tribe… I wish they had shown that, a woman provider, but it’s OK. I had two nicknames. Jungle Jem and Machete Queen. So I thought, “Hey, if I have the machete, nobody would even it.” They called me Machete Queen because I can whack a coconut in two with one chop. I didn’t think Ben would be that scared to carry around that hammer.

Survivor 46 Episode 5
Survivor 46 Episode 5

TVLINE | You were on brand! 
Yeah! I was on brand. It wasn’t anything out of what I normally did on a regular Siga day, but Ben carrying around a hammer was definitely strange! I was like, “I have an excuse. Why the hell do you have a hammer? Like, what are you trying to do? Hammer me down?” [Laughs] Big bad wolf Jem!

TVLINE | The edit didn’t really show us why Maria and Charlie voted the way they did. Why do you think Maria ultimately flipped on you? 
I have no idea. But I know the night before I told my personal backstory to the tribe at the campfire. I disclosed my upbringing in South America, the problems that I had to deal with. I grew up in a domestically abusive family household. I lost my sister two years ago to domestic abuse. That’s why I was playing, to help two of my other sisters in Guyana and help them get out of their relationships. I think it was a big story for [the tribe], and I think because I said it to them, they probably thought that when I got to the merge, I’ll tell it to [everyone else] and find more of a connection with other people and not want to play with them. I wanted to play an honest game with my alliances, apart from the idol thing, which was just fun. But even if I had a great alliance, I wouldn’t have told them about an advantage.

But I think it’s from what it portrayed, my erratic behavior. I think there’s more to it because Charlie’s Angels talked about having conversations with [Ben and Tim] so they’d believe that it’s not them. We all planned to have those conversations. So it was just entertaining them. It wasn’t like I was going to people and saying, “Oh, work with me,” and playing hard in that sense. But because we planned on everybody having a roundtable — you finish with one person, you go to another — we were all doing it like we do everything else. So I would never know. It didn’t air. I think it’s the erratic behavior, but I don’t know. 
TVLINE | Were you disappointed that your story wasn’t shown on TV? 
No, I was hoping actually that it didn’t show in the last episode because I don’t want to go out where my story is told and everybody is like, “Boo-hoo, another sob sob story.” I went out there regardless of my situation and regardless of my life and my upbringing to play a hard game I wanted to play. I don’t want anything to be given to me. I don’t want to be dragged around. I wanted to play and because of the situation and because I know my sisters would never have this opportunity to do the things that I’m doing, I wanted to play. But to show my story in the last episode, I didn’t think it would have the effect that I wanted. I wanted to inspire people in situations [and say], “Look where I’m at today and look how great I’m doing. I’m on Survivor! You can get out of these things.” But it was a little too late in my opinion.

TVLINE | Tell me a bit about your experience searching for the idol key. Was there anything we didn’t see in your hunt there?  
The first 10 minutes, I was trying to figure out what a perimeter was because I forgot. [Laughs] I was like, “What is the radius? What’s a circumference?” Then I was like, “Ah! I got it. Good! Let’s go.” I threw away my pencil because I didn’t want the tribe to see it because everything that I had was body tight, so I couldn’t stash it anywhere. It was mental math. I measured the boat like 34 times before I remembered it. So it was just silly, but you’re running on low energy and you’re just overwhelmed and scared. It was a lot happening at the same time.

Survivor 46 Episode 5
Survivor 46 Episode 5

TVLINE | Did securing the idol make you overconfident, or do you think you would’ve approached your strategy the same even without it?  
Both of those conversation happened before I even secured the idol. I was in the midst of finding the idol. After I found the idol, I did not continue to have one-on-ones. I went back to Charlie’s Angels to then start listening to what people were saying. I was like, “I’m done with my one-on-ones. I’m with you guys.”

TVLINE | Do you have any regrets from your time in the game?  
Yeah. Trusting people. That’s my biggest regret because I wrote in my diary that if I ever have an idol in my first vote, I’m gonna play it because that’s where the alliance lines are drawn. And it’s better to give myself another day in the game than to regret it. I didn’t do that because I was so confident in my alliances. If I played it then, I felt like it would’ve have been a bigger issue to explain all of that because nobody was on to that scent.

TVLINE | So did Siga get those matching tribe tattoos? 
Hell no, I’m not getting that s–t. [Laughs] They wish. Maybe next time when I play and I have a loyal tribe, I’ll mark my body for them, but for an disloyal tribe, hell no! Siga’s gonna have to wait on this one. Maybe on the bottom of my foot, so I can walk on them. [Laughs]

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