Undoubtedly the most open interviews that I have conducted with a Fiji contestant to date, James ‘Rocky’ Reid was exactly what I expected and a lot more. He opened up on many subjects including Anthony, how he knew about the hidden immunity idol and what is next for him. Like the Sylvia interview, this one is a must-read.
James â€˜Rocky’ Reid
: What’s going on?
Murtz Jaffer: What’s going on?
JRR: Not much buddy, how’s the day going?
MJ: Same old, same old. Are you ready to get started?
JRR: For sure buddy.
MJ: Alright, I was expecting a big reaction from you after being voted out, instead you were calm. Did you see it coming?
JRR: I don’t know if you missed the whole screaming part, but I didn’t really see the votes that were coming and that was it. I just pretty much had to get over it, but yeah. I was very upset and very shocked.
MJ: Yeah, but you did the scream after. But you didn’t say anything to the people that voted you out, so were you okay with it? Or were you just not pissed?
JRR: Um, I was a little pissed but it definitely made sense to me, why it happened you know. Just a clash of personalities and a numbers game in their favour. So you know, I came to grips with it a little bit then and lot bit now.
MJ: Now do you think that the tribes were divided fairly by Sylvia?
JRR: Well I can give you a little inside information on that if you want. In the beginning of the adventure (if that’s what you want to call it), we kind of were just being playful, like all the young kids just running around. The younger version of the kids and we went walking around in the water saying that you know, we could just knock off all the old people and then keep the numbers in our favour and then just go from there. And then I guess Dreamz made it an issue to go to Sylvia before she actually split up the tribes and make it obvious to her that is what was going on. I think she split it up evenly, but I think she had her own reason for splitting it up at the same time.
MJ: Right, she also admitted that is what happened and she also said that Dreamz tipped her off. She also said that you and Liliana were the leaders so was that the case?
I think that for a little bit, especially in the beginning, I was the man leader and she was the leader for the women. But you know what? At the same time, I think that’s even a little bit of a threat for everybody else so I think that’s why Liliana got voted off. That’s why my head was on the chopping block the first day we went to split up the teams. A lot of people got together and made the decision before we even left before Jeff had even split us up that if it was a let’s kick somebody off real quick thing, that it was going to be me.
MJ: I think that you and I share the same opinion of Jessica, in that we both think she was one of the hottest girls this season. Now maybe you can tell me why she was voted off first because that move still makes absolutely no sense to me.
JRR: EXACTLY! It makes absolutely no sense and I can tell you exactly what happened. I have heard it from the horse’s mouth so I am pretty sure it’s accurate. What happened was that they used the whole â€˜she messed up the puzzle thing at the end of the first challenge’ thing to pretty much crucify her but in all reality, Mookie thought that me, her and Erica were all lined up and probably feared that Erica could probably bring over, you know like Anthony (which anybody possibly could), you know and Earl and then we have the numbers advantage. So that went out and so Mookie set-it up so that me and Jessica would definitely get split up and then go from there. That’s thing and I think that was the worst possible thing to happen to me and to happen to my tribe. I think that after that it was pretty much the snowball effect down the hill and that contributed a lot to us losing.
MJ: She mentioned that she kind of had a crush on you, was the feeling mutual?
JRR: Yeah, I was in love with Jessica for about three days before she had to go home. I definitely had a huge crush on her.
MJ: Why do you think so many of the hot girls were targeted early? There was Jessica, Erica, and Liliana so do they just have a problem with pretty girls?
JRR: You know I think that after Jessica got voted off, I kind of campaigned the idea of throwing off Erica. You know, I couldn’t read her after the first couple of days. Especially after Jessica got voted off. To be honest with you, I was holding a little bit of a grudge because she didn’t really, in my eyes, do the best that she could to keep her on. So all my trust and everything went right out the window after that.
MJ: In the first tribal council, you voted for Mookie but then he became your closest ally. Why did you vote for him at the beginning and how did your relationship change with him?
JRR: The reason why I voted for Mookie in the beginning is because I wasn’t going to vote for Jessica. That was pretty much the only reason I did that. They all got together and decided that it was going to be Jessica and after 15 or 20 minutes of arguing the fact, I just decided that I was going to put down somebody else’s name.
MJ: Were you surprised that even though he voted for Lisi, he still turned on you to go with the guys?
JRR: Yeah. I mean I wasn’t surprised. It’s pretty much the smartest and most logical move he could possibly make. He didn’t really have much of a choice. I was shocked, I was definitely shocked and I don’t know if they showed it, but the look on his face when I got kicked off was pretty Oscar award-winning. So I think he did a great job. (Laughs).
MJ: (Laughs). You have a pretty big personality. Did you think that this would help or hurt you in the game?
JRR: I think I was definitely cautious about it. I definitely tried to hold back as crazy as that is to imagine. I definitely thought that it was going to be something if anything could possibly hurt me. I wasn’t really scared of the challenges. At the time, I wasn’t really scared of the hunger and all that. That was one of my biggest fears. How my personality was going to clash with everybody else.
MJ: Everyone wants to know about you and Anthony. Do you regret calling him out the way that you did?
JRR: You know, after it was all said and done I don’t really regret it but maybe there was a chance that we could still reconcile or whatever. But I have been doing a lot of these radio shows lately and every radio show I go to, it’s basically him running his mouth saying how we could he’s going to stick up for himself at the finale and all of this, and it kind of brought my respect level down, even much more down because we were together for over 16 or 17 days and now that he’s safe at home and behind the safety of a radio station or a telephone call, he thinks he can run his mouth. I think it’s just forced and I think it’s very transparent of him to do and I don’t believe a word of it and it just brings my respect level even more down than it was in the past.
MJ: Right, kind of like I’ll believe it when I see it when he actually does something at the finale
JRR: Yeah, definitely. He’s just running his mouth, he’s running his mouth and hiding behind the skirt that he wears everyday.
MJ: Right, now that’s my next question for you. You said that Anthony should remove the skirt a little bit and stand-up for himself but you were the one who wore Rita’s bikini top to get your tribe member’s spirits up after so many losses, so do you think that this was a little ironic?
JRR: Yeah, I think it’s kind of funny when you put it all together. But there’s two different reasons. I wore the pink tanktop I had altercations with some of the tribe members including Anthony the night before. Trying to smooth things out. Maybe embarrass myself a little bit
JRR: For the humor. I think Anthony, when he had the skirt on, on a daily basis, I think he’s raised by women and I think that’s how they taught him to deal with confrontation and things of that nature.
MJ: Right, right, right. Now, at the challenges, you seemed to get really worked up. Did you hate Moto and how cocky they were?
JRR: Especially Boo would go and say â€˜we’re trying to show good sportsmanship’ and all of that. But they were running their mouths and like screaming up and down and always making little side comments. So that was pretty much out the window. The whole sportsmanship thing. Everytime they ran their mouths, I tried to call them on it, just so that I didn’t want them to pick on mostly my team and I wasn’t standing for that whatsoever as well.
MJ: I think one of the best moments of the season was when you picked Dreamz to join your team. He went from being your biggest enemy to one of your friends as he was pushing for you to stay and Lisi to go. What was your relationship with him like?
JRR: I think after all the smoke had cleared, I think that we could definitely be friends now and I think we were starting to build our relationship at the time. You know, like I said. Two big personalities. Not really similar, just big in general and I think we bumped heads a little but I think everything will work itself out.
MJ: Many people have compared you to Boston Rob. Did you ever see him on Survivor and what do you think about the comparison?
JRR: I have only gotten the chance to see him a couple of times on a few episodes on Survivor. I think, right now, the only thing I know is that he is from Boston and that maybe we do have some things in common. You know I would love to get together with him one day and sit down and shoot the breeze and see how much the comparisons are accurate.
MJ: Did you know Yau Man was looking for the idol?
JRR: I mean it definitely makes sense now. I mean I had an idea. I even knew where the idol was before I got kicked off. I knew exactly where it was. I just didn’t have the energy nor the mental idea just to do it. I was dead in the water after awhile and it was hard enough just to get up and walk around, never mind digging the ground.
MJ: Yeah, I heard you say that in other interviews. How did you know where it was?
JRR: It would just leak out. It would just leak out. People listening. People hearing things. Mookie and me just put it together and realized that it was directly under the cave where we were sleeping at. Not one of us had the hindsight or whatever you want to call it just to make it happen and that was it.
MJ: Who was the person that you liked the most out there and liked the least?
JRR: Clearly Anthony was the least person I liked. Jessica obviously Jessica and Earl, it was a combination of the two that I liked the most. I think I was in love with Jessica and I respected Earl a lot. Those are the two ones that I liked the most out of the entire game.
MJ: Nice. Now my last question is everybody out there knew you as Rocky. What is the biggest difference between Rocky and James?
JRR: I think the â€˜Rocky’ version of me is all hot, all hot and being put in a tough situation and then just trying to climb up or get back up off the mat if you will. I think the James part is I’m pretty open-minded and for the most part, unless I don’t have to be, I am a laid-back kid. You know, I just step up when I have to. But throughout the entire show, I was Rocky because on a daily basis I had to step up and be there for the good of myself and for the good of what was going on with my team.
MJ: I can’t imagine Survivor: Fiji without you and you certainly left a big impression. What’s next for you?
JRR: I mean I am in LA and I am just slinging cocktails and hopefully somebody wants to take a chance on me with some kind of entertainment aspect and I’d love to do it. I love the attention and I just love putting smiles on people’s faces or just the hate value. You know what I mean? So I like it either way.
MJ: That’s awesome. Thank you so much man. I can’t imagine the show without you.
JRR: Thank you so much for having me. Have a great day!
Originally from Boston, James Reid received his high school diploma through an adult program. He currently works as a bartender and also sets up for private parties and special events at an upscale hotel. He was formerly in the United States Navy, stationed in Ridgecrest, California and San Diego where he eventually received an honorable discharge.
Reid enjoys working out at the gym, most sports (especially football) and hanging out with good friends. He describes himself as outgoing, tough (but an overall “good kid”), a people person and a “man’s man.”
Reid is currently single and living in Los Angeles, California. His birth date is September 11, 1978.
– Survivor: Fiji airs on CBS on Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
– Survivor: Fiji airs on the Global network in Canada on Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
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