Exit Interview: Julie Wolfe Talks SURVIVOR REDEMPTION ISLAND

While many will argue that the introduction of “Redemption Island” is SURVIVOR’s biggest twist this season, some… okay we like to think that the far bigger surprise has a little something to do with the fact that for the first time in the history of the series, ousted contestants will have to face off against… us! Yes, you’re reading that correctly, theTVaddict.com is honored to have been asked to take part in the traditional one-on-ones with each week’s eliminated contestant, the eighth of which was Julie Wolfe.

First and foremost, after you incredibly emotional exit from the game, we have to ask: Do you still have your house?
Julie Wolfe: When I returned from SURVIVOR there was actually an auction notice on my house, but i still have it, I do still have my house. Mike, the Marine is a realtor down here in San Diego, he actually sells homes to vets and he gave me some advice saying “Hey, the only way you’re going to save your house right now is to file for bankruptcy.” So that’s what I ended up doing and things are great. I’m making my payments, I’m paying back the money I owe and life is good. I saved my house.

That’s great to hear. Especially because it’s sometimes easy to lose sight watching these types of reality TV shows that there are real people behind the characters.
Because of the situation I found myself in, you up reading about people who are in the same situation, and there really are so many Americans that the economy has just killed. I’m fortunate to have saved my home but there are millions of Americans who haven’t been so fortunate. There are a lot of people in the same boat unfortunately.

Working our way back from your ousting on Redemption Island, I have to ask about Matt. He seems to have been built up into this mythical figure. How much time did you get to spend with him and is he the real deal?
I did get to spend some good quality time with Matt and he is just this awesome kid. His story just really touched me but by the time I got to Redemption Matt was way way down in the dumps. At that time he was ready to leave, he was fine with going home, he wasn’t going to throw a challenge but he was okay with losing. He figured he had given God all the glory that he needed to and he was ready to go. That and he was still very embarrassed by the game he played, he felt kind of like an idiot getting sent back to Redemption Island that second time and I was telling him he has no reason to be embarrassed. He played the game by his morals and his friends, his family, his church and his city are just going to be so proud of him. He’s a great kid and the real deal. A great human being.

Despite Phillip’s tendency to come across as slightly off his rocker, we have to fess up to feeling a little bad about Phillip losing his shorts. Any regrets?
There were a lot of things that were edited out of the show. First, we went through that whole racial rice war thing, but Phillip did a lot of things that weren’t shown but all came out in tribal. Right before I took his shorts he had actually stolen our fishing net and hid the net up in a tree where I ended up climbing up in the tree to retrieve the net. I knew it was Phillip that took it, so I said if you want to play this game, okay. So I didn’t take his shorts for no reason at all. Also, Phillip had a pair of jeans and a shirt that he could have worn to tribal, he just showed up in his underwear for attention.

Short stealing aside, were you happy with how you came across on the show.
With editing they can do anything and that’s kind of a scary thing. For instance, most of the people that I talk to are either super-stoked about the whole Phillip shorts thing, or are like “Why did you do that?” But they weren’t too off on my character, the one thing, because Redemption took so much air time they didn’t get a lot of footage at us at camp. They didn’t show how hard we really worked, myself, Steve, Mike and Ralph. I’m was in the ocean everyday trying to catch fish and that was something that unfortunately got edited out. But hey, overall, they did a good job of not making me look like an idiot!

Having had the chance to watch the show thus far, are you surprised by the amount of control Rob continues to exert over his tribe?
It’s interesting to watch but it’s not surprising because Ometepe really was like a cult, we could not for a minute break that alliance. Everybody stayed in a group, nobody was by themselves and we couldn’t try and take somebody aside and talk to them. Rob controlled their every move, when he told them to get up they got up, when he told them to eat they would eat, he was just in control of everything. And you know, it’s one thing to control the way you play the game and how to vote, but he would not even let them eat. We caught a lot of fish with our net and he would not let them eat our fish. That was very cult like.

Looking back on your tribe’s losing streak, do you regret voting Russell off?
I don’t regret voting off Russell at all but I do regret 100% throwing that challenge. I don’t know if it would have made the outcome of the game any different, but the reward in that game was a tarp and blankets and having rained just about every night we froze our butts off at night. Having a tarp and blankets, just being dry and warm would have made a huge difference in our comfort level.

The opportunity to play SURVIVOR is a once in a lifetime experience, what are you going to take away from it?
Looking back, I went into the game with one purpose and I left the game with a life changing experience. I have a rebirth in my faith in God and it’s just been an incredible life change experience. That’s the one thing that I’m very very grateful for.

SURVIVOR airs Wednesday at 8PM on CBS (Global TV in Canada)

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  • Ace

    Julie was my favorite person on this season, so I was sad to see her go. But she is completely right about the cultishness of Rob’s group. I think they are going to be pretty disappointed in themselves when they watch the tape back.