Survivor: Tocantins exit interview - Jerry Sims

2011-07-11 20:26
Having prior military experience wasn't enough to keep army sergeant Jerry Sims from being the third castaway to be eliminated from Survivor: Tocantins.

Sims, 51, who was 49 at the time of filming, was the second consecutive Timbira member to be voted out of the game after the Jalapao tribe won this week's Immunity Challenge. During the challenge, both tribes had to locate six large painted crates across a field, and use the pieces to build a staircase. Jalapao was the first tribe to finish, resulting in Timbira being sent to Tribal Council.

"As far as my experiences in Afghanistan and my military career go, this by far was the toughest [thing] I've ever endured in my life," Jerry told Channel24 via telephone from the US.

"I don't know what happened to my stomach, but in 130-degree heat and me not being able to eat anything, it took a toll on my body, so I'm hoping that one of my tribe members will win that million dollars."


Sims said he didn't audition for the reality TV series, he was recruited for the show but was "a big Survivor fan".

"I had a strategy that I would be the fatherly-type out there and I wanted to get on well with my tribemates. I didn't want to plot and get people mad early on," he said.
For Sims, the most brutal experience was doing the four-hour hike on the first day of the game. "The heat was unbearable and we had to carry beans and water. I thought I was in good shape before taking part in Survivor but that took so much out of me."

During the third episode, viewers saw how Sims got sick. He said this was the main reason why his tribemates voted him out.

"I got a stomach ailment out there because I ate too much beans. Now the beans hadn't been covered out there and it was in water too, so after cooking it my stomach didn't feel too well and I got very sick. It was way too crunchy for me," he laughed.

With Sims getting sick at camp, fellow contestant Benjamin "Coach" Wade targeted Sims to be voted out at Tribal Council.

"Coach was my buddy out there and he was like a brother to me. He's really down-to-earth and we played the game very well. If I hadn't gotten sick, I would have tried my best to keep our tribe together as one unit. Tyson and JT were the biggest threats out there."

The smaller things in life

Sims said the biggest appreciation he'd developed was being able to survive and to take in the smaller things in life.

"Being out there and living by primitive means was very hard to endure. We had little food, lack of sleep and such limited resources; [it] was an eye-opening experience for me. I learnt how I took showers and brushing teeth for granted."

As for missing out on eating food, Sims said "that was not all that the tribe spoke about at camp".

Cheesburger and Coke

"Each day I craved to eat a cheeseburger and a Coke. We didn't speak about food because we had so little of it at camp. There was a lot of backstabbing and chatting going on. Too many people were trying to take control of the game early on and every person in our tribe tried to be a leader. If we [had] appointed one leader, our tribe could have done better!"

Sims said while he hasn't yet been to South Africa, he is yearning to "visit soon".

"I'd love to go! I've heard so much about the safaris down that side as well as just what great people South Africans are, so it would be an adventure for me to visit."

Clayton Morar is a celebrity expert and autograph hunter. See his exploits at

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