A lot of Survivor fans always thought that the reason Kelly Wiglesworth lost season one of the show was because Greg Buis asked her and fellow finalist Richard Hatch to pick a number between one and 10 at the final Tribal Council and that’s what determined his vote. Wiglesworth would then go on to lose to Hatch by a vote of four to three.
But in a recent interview, Wiglesworth revealed a rather shocking bit of information she learned during the live finale as to why she actually lost. She also talked about how hard the first season was compared to her second season, and relayed a scary story about pirates from “Borneo.” Here’s what Wiglesworth had to say.
Wiglesworth Said She Lost Because She Was a Woman
On a recent episode of “Talkin’ With T-Bird,” one of the Survivor-related podcasts on Rob Cesternino’s Rob Has a Podcast network that Cesternino co-hosts with Survivor: Africa alum Teresa Cooper, Wiglesworth was asked about Buis’ number-picking stunt and she said it was completely fake.
“T-bird, you mentioned was the Greg number thing really real? No, it wasn’t and I knew it wasn’t as soon as he said it,” Wiglesworth revealed. “I mean, that was — he didn’t really pick a number. He was going to vote for Richard, he knew he was going to vote for Richard, he had planned to vote for Richard.”
She also said that Sean Kenniff’s whole “alphabet soup” thing, where he was voting people off in alphabetical order, was also not real.
“That was their way of not really taking responsibility for [their votes], but both of them came up to me at the finale, squared me off and said, ‘Sorry I didn’t vote for you. I couldn’t lose to a 22-year-old female.’ It was easier for them to lose to Richard,” said Wiglesworth, adding, “Even Greg’s sister came up and apologized to me because her brother didn’t vote for me.”
She also said that when they confessed that to her, that was a real “wow” moment. “That was kind of heavy to take,” said Wiglesworth.
Cesternino then played a clip of Wiglesworth using the number-picking bit during the final Tribal Council of “Second Chances” when it was down to Jeremy Collins, Tasha Fox, and Spencer Bledsoe. Wiglesworth said she did that as a callback to “Borneo” and it did not have any bearing on who she voted for to win the money.
“I had no questions. I knew who they were, I knew the game they had played, so there was no fight-for-your-life kind of thing,” said Wiglesworth. “There was no question that was gonna sway my decision, but I thought it would be good to kind of circle back to [the number thing]. … I was voting for Jeremy no matter what.”
Wiglesworth Said The Borneo Castaways Got to Call Home
Wiglesworth also divulged a rather alarming story from “Borneo” where some pirates beheaded people on a neighboring island and production freaked out and let everybody call their families.
“On one of the neighboring islands, on our last day, 39, there was a floating university thing and there was a piracy attack and some people were beheaded. That stuff doesn’t always make the news in the U.S., but production was like, ‘Well, we wanna make sure that our people’s families don’t think it was them’ so they let us make a phone call home,” Wiglesworth revealed.
She also added that her mom could just tell by her silence that she had gotten to the end of the game because moms just have a way of knowing these things.
Wiglesworth Was Shocked By What ‘Second Chances’ Was Like
Wiglesworth said on the podcast that she doesn’t own a TV and so over the years, she never really watched Survivor — in fact, she didn’t really even watch her own season, “Borneo.” So going into “Second Chances,” she had no idea what to expect.
But when asked which season was harder, Wiglesworth said that they were “different.” Physically, “Borneo” was much harder, but the way people were playing in “Second Chances” was shocking to her.
“Borneo was rough. Borneo was the real deal,” said Wiglesworth. “The second time around, we had so much food that bananas were rotting! And nobody wanted to do anything! ‘Should we make a shelter, should we build a fire? No, we’ll get matches in three days. No, we don’t need to do this.’ Everybody was just in the jungle whispering to each other. Like, ‘let’s go ahead and lose this challenge so we can this and that.'”
“I’m like, ‘Wait, what? We’re going to purposely lose a challenge?!” That was hard because I felt like people weren’t really trying … that was disappointing,” she said, adding, “I thought let’s just be a team first and worry about that later. But there was no team mentality. As soon as landed, everybody was out for each other.”
Survivor will most likely not return until fall 2021 with season 41, which should begin filming in April.