In a recent Reddit AMA (ask me anything), Deena Bennett from Survivor: Amazon got into the nitty gritty from her season, including some hypothetical different final two situations and how very real the wildlife threat was at camp.
Bennett Said The Lightning and Wildlife Were ‘Frightening’
When asked about camp conditions and the dangerous filming location, Bennett did not mince words — the Amazon was no joke when it came to threatening elements.
“The lightning was absolutely frightening. It hit hard all the time. Also, there were jaguars in and around the camp and as a result, we had to stay awake all night,” said Bennett, adding that there were “no precautions” taken about mitigating injuries.
“If you got hurt, they filmed it,” said Bennett. “We never got used to it. It was scary. The crocs make these noises that sound like frogs. So you are like, ‘Well, lots of lovely frogs,’ but no, [it’s] crocs that want to eat you.”
She also said that she gets asked all the time if it was “really rough out there” and she said yes, “by a thousand times.”
“I have traveled extensively around the world. The Amazon location is brutal… we had crocodile issues, spider and snake issues….Piranha issues… I lost 30 pounds. And I loved every minute of it…now. Then, not so much. Still one of the best experiences of my life,” said Bennett.
Hypothetical Other Winners
On Survivor: Amazon, the final two came down to Jenna Morasca and Matthew von Ertfelda. Morasca won by a vote of 6-1 and became the then-youngest winner of all time at 21. She still holds the record for the youngest female winner. Bennett said that she thought Morasca played a great social game, which “does not always translate on TV,” but she does think one other player would have definitely beaten Morasca in the final two.
“If Rob [Cesternino] and Jenna [had a] showdown, Rob would have won. Jenna was a good player, but Rob was a great player. He was a moving target and FAF (fast and furious),” said Bennett.
She also said she thinks she could have won if she were at the end against anybody but Morasca, Cesternino, and Heidi Strobel, whom Bennett said is much, much smarter than she was portrayed on TV.
“Heidi is totally a brilliant woman in her own right … Heidi is amazingly smart!” said Bennett.
They Accidentally Set Their Clothes on Fire… More Than Once
One funny thing (well, funny now) that Bennett revealed about her season is that they tried to dry their wet clothes on the campfire and ended up setting them on fire… more than once.
“Our clothes burned up a lot in the fire….we were wet and cold and then wet and hot and it would not stop raining…so we tried to dry our clothes all the time and kept burning them up. We couldn’t boil water for crap either. We would set it on the fire and then the wood would burn and dump the water over the fire putting it out,” said Bennett.
She also has some sage advice for would-be contestants: “Decide what kind of player you are and play to your strengths. Jenna was a social person and a friend to everyone. Don’t rock the boat. And for heaven’s sake…the #1 rule STFU. Don’t be too chatty….”
Survivor season 41 begins filming soon with an expected premiere date of late September 2021.