Australian Survivor 2018: Jackie Opens Up About Backlash, Rubik's Cubes And Climbing Walls
"I wasn't to be trusted and if I was up against me I'd want to get rid of me as well."
When Jackie was approached for Australian Survivor: Champions Versus Contenders she knew it was an opportunity she couldn't turn down. Despite not being that keen on the camping aspect, she had been a fan of the series for long enough to know this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
"When I got in there and nobody recognised Russell I was like 'Who am I playing with here?'" she told ten daily following her elimination on Monday.
Being part of the Champions, Jackie -- a World Series Poker player -- was quick to realise she wasn't facing the usual tribe make-up, which meant she'd have to figure out a unique strategy.
"It made it tough coming in as a fan and expecting players to make moves that you think make sense, but they don't understand why they make sense," she said. "It puts you in an awkward spot."
Jackie was quick to establish herself as one of the few Champions who had entered the game with a clear strategy, one that covered up the actual reason that made her a Champion to begin with. Rather than telling her team that she was Australia's top speedcubing champion, someone who competitively solves Rubik's cubes.
"There's the perception of a poker player, I feel the negative connotations of the game would have put a target on my back," Jackie said, adding, "The way it was edited made it out to be that's what I did, but a grown woman travelling around the Rubik's cube circuit... I don't know how you'd make a living."
Jackie apparently told the tribe that she was a copywriter who did website content, but fell in love with Rubik's cubes in the '80s. "I told them I was just super fast at it and did competitions for fun."
According to Jackie, the lie was so solid that no one on her tribe suspected a thing.
"Lydia was off in Europe and sent me a message when she got home like, 'WTF? I bought my kids a Rubik's cube each telling them my friend was a world champion!'"
Tempted to confide in Monika, Jackie realised that having to hold the lie was difficult enough, let alone having to worry that someone else could keep her cover also.
But playing a hard game put a target on her back from day one, the Poker champ believes, saying the Champions had it in for her from the beginning.
"Being on such a physically strong tribe was going to be hard for someone like me. They were so focused on winning challenges, if we lost one because I couldn't get over a wall it was my fault," she said. "No one remembers who was doing puzzles with me, just that I didn't win it."
"I had lost those challenges before they even got to me."
Her tribe aren't the only ones who seemed to have it out for her, with the 44-year-old admitting the social media side of things hasn't been easy. Being body-shamed and having people write negative comments has been tough, "but the Damien thing was more of an issue for me," Jackie admitted.
Earlier in the season it appeared Jackie was instrumental in voting out Damien, seeing the war hero sent home put her neck on the line with viewers who felt the war hero shouldn't have been sent home so early.
"My reasoning for voting out Damien wasn't really aired, so I didn't expect the flack [online]," she said, "but once I saw the episode, watching myself I was like 'I dislike this girl' and that was disappointing."
"I had messages from people that were disabled who were really upset," Jackie said, adding that it was difficult to watch the episode.
"I went after Damien because he was coming after me," she continued, dismissing the idea that the votes were due to his disability being a "liability".
"And he kept asking me about Rubik's cubes. He said he was always so close to solving them... he wanted tips!"
With her close alliance to Brian on the tribe, the Poker player hopes to see him go all the way to become Sole Survivor, but as for her own exit she had regrets, but no surprise.
"I'm not a bad sport, my tribe should have voted me out, I wasn't to be trusted and if I was up against me I'd want to get rid of me as well," she said.