Here at the Purple Rock Survivor podcast, we’ve been trying to fan-cast Kelly Wiglesworth back onto Survivor pretty much since we started doing fan-casts (except, ironically, when we fan-cast a Second Chances season, and had gotten bored of mentioning her every time). So when we saw that the original Kelly was on the list, we knew we had to not only vote for her, but also ask her some questions.
The original second place finisher was kind enough to answer some questions via email that should give you some idea of what she’s been up to in the past 15 years. I’d say that it should also convince you to check Kelly off on your ballot, but, c’mon… you shouldn’t need any convincing. It’s Kelly effing Wiglesworth here, people! What more could you possibly need to know before you vote?
Have you been asked to be back on the show before?
How long have you wanted to come back to Survivor?
I haven’t wanted to come back before now.
What was your reaction when you saw they were bringing Gervase back before you?
I was super happy for him…it doesn’t matter to me that he went back before I did AT ALL.
Is Gervase annoyed that you may break his record of the longest time between seasons?
I wouldn’t think that would be a record anyone would be bothered about someone breaking…least of all Gervase.
How much have you followed Survivor since you were on? The game has changed a lot since you first played. Are you familiar with modern strategy with things like idols, vote-splitting, etc?
Just now watching some, and yes familiar with new strategy.
In Borneo, when did you first learn about the jury system in the game? How did you think about how you’d be evaluated, and how to present yourself?
We knew about the jury system from the beginning. I just thought to be myself and people will judge me for who I am.
Our illustrious co-host Andy insisted on asking this question: If there’s a gross food challenge, would you rather eat a snake or a rat?
Snake tastes good, rats don’t.
How does it feel having your record (most consecutive immunity challenges won by a female) remaining unbroken after 15 years? Are you going to try to break your own record?
Feels pretty good to still hold the record…am going to try my hardest for everything.
You will potentially be on the island with Terry Deitz, who won 5 consecutive immunity challenges in Survivor: Panama. Who do you think will win more challenges, you or Terry?
Many of the contestants you may be competing with are self-described “super-fans”. Being the runner-up from the first season, when the show was a national phenomenon, are you anticipating a lot of attention from the super-fans? How will you handle it?
I will just be myself and treat them just like everybody else.
What’s your plan if you and Kelley Wentworth both get on the show? She spells her first name differently than you do, but that won’t matter on the island. Phonetically, you’re both Kelly W. Do you have a nickname picked out, or will you make her pick one because you have seniority?
I’ve always been Wigles…my whole life
Not only did you play in the original season, but you were also very young — only 22 — when you first played. What do you think will have more of an effect on your game play, the evolution of the show, or your own life experience?
My life experiences.
How long did it take for you to be able to walk down the street without being instantly recognized, as the original finale was seen by 50 million + people?
It still happens.
You were at the receiving end of the first, and still one of the most brutal, take downs at final tribal council. If you are on the jury in season 31, will you be keeping that experience in mind when asking your question/making your statement?
I won’t be on the jury.
Thank you so much for participating. As someone who was only 10 when the first season aired, this is admittedly rather surreal.
Now you make me feel OLD. Thank you too.
Emma, our official Kelley/Kelly correspondent, is running out of time for when she can still claim to be “young”. That time, in fact, may be over now. If you’d like to help her meager follower count rise higher than the meager follower count of her personal account, you can do so here: @emmapurplerock
Favorite seasons: Heroes vs. Villains, Micronesia, Cambodia, Cook Islands, China, Philippines
Favorite players: Courtney Yates, Parvati Shallow, John Cochran, Cirie Fields, Yul Kwon, Kim Spradlin