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A Survivor 46 Contestant Has A Lot Of Complaints About Her Edit, And I’m Right There With Her

 Jeff Probst In Survivor.
Jeff Probst In Survivor.

There are few things more contentious about Survivor than the editing. What the beloved reality competition chooses to show and not show is always a hot topic amongst fans on social media, and it’s often a hot topic amongst players too. There was some hope that the expanded 90 minute episodes might lessen some of those arguments, but let the record show, just several episodes into Season 46, that’s definitely not the case.

We’re about to get into some spoilers; so, if you’re not caught up yet, bail out of this article and go do that ASAP.

So, fan favorite Jem Hussain-Adams was voted out this week in, by far, the most interesting blindside of the season. The edit made it seem like she was playing too hard, which rubbed her fellow castaways the wrong way, but that’s not the case, according to the player herself. She sat down with an exit interview with EW following her elimination, and she had a ton of complaints about her edit and what Survivor chose not to show. After hearing her out, I’m quite frankly right there with her.

According to Jem, the night before she was voted out, she shared her personal life story with the rest of her tribe. She told everyone she grew up in an abusive family, lost one of her sisters to domestic abuse and has overcome a lot. She thinks the moment of sharing with her castmates made them look at her as a threat. Here’s a portion of her quote…

I told my personal journey, and I know a lot of people think, “Oh, it's sob stories,” and all they see are sob stories about the contestants. But the story that I told was about my upbringing. I grew up in a domestic abusive family, and two years ago I lost a sister from domestic abuse. And so the night before we lost the challenge, I told my tribe about it, and they were like, “Oh, I'm so sorry you had to go through that.” But it was more like: Don't feel sorry for me, don't pity me. I came to play a game and that's why, even from the beginning, I was playing without people knowing. I also kind of messed up in that way of telling them because it also was like, “Okay, if Jem has overcome all of this, we can't let her get to the merge. If she gets to the merge and she links up with other people who also had a rough life or upbringing, she's not going to vote with us.” And that was one of the problems.

That’s not the only complaint she has with the editing, though. Jem detailed a long list of other grievances and other moments that happened that didn’t make the show. Apparently she was her tribe’s provider, as an example. She was hoping Survivor would give some time to how important she was to keeping her tribe fed, especially as the show hasn’t historically depicted a lot of women in that role, but the show never talked about that.

In addition, Jem claims the instances of her aggressively asking people who they were going to vote for were taken a bit out of context. She says the one with Ben, as an example, happened during the middle of her frantic search to unlock her vote and get the idol. She was asking him very direct questions and saying he should tell her who to vote for because she wanted him to leave so he could finish finding the idol.

We also apparently missed a wild moment after she was blindsided and voted out. She says she was in complete shock and as she was departing, turned to the remaining cast members and said “have fun.” It was apparently more of a “fuck you” than a nice gesture, which she detailed in a quote…

I saw my name the first time and I was like, “No, no, no, no, no, you should have played your idol.” And I was like, “Why didn't I?” And then I thought to myself: There's no way I could have known to play my idol that I was going to get voted out. But then I got up and I couldn't see anything and I was looking around for my bag and everything and then I got my torch and I went to Jeff and I just blacked out. I didn't see him say anything. I was just enraged. And it didn't show, but my final thing while I was walking out is I said, “Have fun!” It was like a fuck you to everybody else. I wish they had shown that because it was not like a normal “Have fun.” I'm walking out and I was like: You've got to say something. You're going to look like a salty bitch on TV. Then I was like, “Have fun!

Most eliminated contestants are going to have frustrations about how they were edited on the show. We’ve had so many instances of that in the past, and while some people have a legitimate point, sometimes it’s just a matter of the show trying to tell a cohesive story and not having time for everything. That being said, eliminating this moment makes no sense to me whatsoever. Fans live for castaways being “a salty bitch,” but the show edited her last moments in such a way that it made it seem like she just walked away without saying anything. Why wouldn’t they want to include something that obviously would have been good television?

And if Jem really thinks her opening up about her past with domestic violence caused the other players to look at her as a post-merge threat, why wouldn’t you include that too? That seems like not only extremely plot relevant, but also an interesting human reaction worth exploring. We have 90 minutes with each episode and that doesn’t seem worth getting into?

Editing issues aside, Survivor 46 dropped what I think was the best episode of the young season. We’re just a few boots away from the merge, and with some fun personalities and interesting tribe dynamics, we could be in for a special rest of the season. You can watch Survivor 46 on CBS on Wednesday nights or via a variety of other streaming options.