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“Survivor” is just days away from premiering its 33rd season and there is a lot to look forward to. It’s the first time the show is pitting two generations against each other, with Gen X and Gen Y going head to head. The castaways will compete for the coveted title of Sole Survivor on the island and oh boy, it’s ABOUT TO GET INTERESTING.
From the tense generational competition to cheering on your favorite castaway, there’s a lot of promising action to tune into—trust us, we know because we talked to Jessica “Figgy” Figueroa, who will compete on the Millennial team.
Hailing from Indianapolis, Figgy’s larger-than-life personality, knack for reading people and hometown pride will make her an instant fan favorite. We chatted with the Indy-turned-Nashville gal and got the scoop on everything we can expect from the new season!
DOSE: What’s your favorite thing about Indy?
JESSICA “FIGGY” FIGUEROA: My favorite thing about Indy has got to be our sports teams. I mean, come on—if myself, Reggie Miller and Peyton Manning all sat down in a room together, I believe we’d soon find out we were meant to be the three best friends that anyone could have.
DOSE: Favorite restaurant in town?
FIGGY: My favorite restaurant…this is a no-brainer: Fast Wok near Washington Square Mall. They started out in Eastgate Mall when I was a little girl and relocated. Hands-down best Chinese food in town. Don’t believe me? Go grab some Mongolian Chicken and try to tell me otherwise.
DOSE Favorite place to go/thing to do with friends?
FIGGY: I used to work at the Indianapolis Zoo so I love to visit my friends there (both animals and humans). In the evening, I visit all my best friends at Pizzology and The Libertine on Mass Ave. When everyone’s off work we tend to cruise over to Bakersfield for some margaritas and later may be found dancing on Tini’s 3rd floor.
DOSE: What do you miss the most about Indy? Any particular places?
FIGGY: This answer is another no-brainer. Family and friends are what I miss most. My trip routine typically goes as follows: Have Grandma’s pot roast dinner with Mama Fig, have tacos with Dad, drive downtown and get Sub Zero (brownie batter custard, add cookie dough), try to keep up with the dancing lady on Mass Ave., and wander around with my dear friends.
DOSE: What inspired you to move to Nashville and how has moving there shaped you as person?
FIGGY: My inspiration to move to Nashville was to pretty much begin a brand-new chapter of life in the unknown. I was bullied a lot in high school; even after graduation it haunted and followed me. I needed to break free of that and chase after the purest happiness one could dream of. And let me tell ya, I’ve found it and it grows every day.
DOSE: Have you always been a “Survivor” fan? If so, what did you learn from watching other people on the show?
FIGGY: HUGE “Survivor” fan. My sister and I used to watch as kids and I always dreamed of being on one day. Now here I am answering your questions! The game has evolved SO much; it’s not just about building the shelter and being the strongest person on the tribe. You have to not judge a book by its cover and have a good social game, plain and simple.
DOSE: What made you want to be on the show?
FIGGY: Well, for starters, I am a huge fan of the show and in my eyes, “Survivor” is the ultimate challenge. I have been through a lot in my life and a million dollars would enable me to better my family member’s lives. Not to mention, the title of Sole Survivor? #GOALS
DOSE: What was the thing you were most excited for about “Survivor” and what was the scariest part?
FIGGY: I was ready to get physical!!! The first challenge, for sure—and to hear Jeff say, “Come on in, guys!”… I never thought in a million years he’d be yelling that at me. The scariest part is probably how quick your body starts to take a beating.
DOSE: What was the big thing you learned about yourself during your time on the show?
FIGGY: As cheesy as it sounds…I learned that I can literally do anything I set my mind to because that’s who God created me to be. He made a fighter in me and I now know I can take on the world.
DOSE: I’ve read other interviews in which you say you pride yourself on being a people person. Do you trust other people more or less after being on the show?
FIGGY: Ha! Good question… I tell you what, after being on the show I’ve become pretty good at reading people and my intuition is out of this world.
DOSE: What was the major difference between Gen X and Gen Y teams?
FIGGY: Gen X live the life of “back in my day” and we don’t. But seriously…us Millennials are super creative and we think on our toes. Gen X gets stuck in their ways…or as I can call it…an “instruction-manual lifestyle”…and when you live life like that, you tend to hold yourself back.
DOSE: No spoilers, what was the toughest part about being on the show?
FIGGY: The times when you’re missing your loved ones, for sure. I don’t mind depriving myself of food, having to squat in the sand or all those restless nights, because the excitement of the game keeps you alive…but family is everything.
DOSE: How do you unwind after a stressful day?
FIGGY: I’m no ballerina but I like to dance my freaking tail off! Most of you don’t know, but I was voted “most likely to be a rapper” in high school with the name Figgy Fre$h. Freestyling makes me laugh (others, too). But on a serious note, meditation does wonders and writing is another form of expression I enjoy.
DOSE: What’s your favorite song of the moment?
FIGGY: How do I choose!? You’re killing me, smalls! So hard to pick ONE song. I typically have Coldplay on repeat day in and out, but when it’s not them I’m dancing to, I’m probably jamming to “Firestone” by Kygo.
DOSE: Plans after “Survivor?” Do you want to do more reality competition shows or focus on music writing?
FIGGY: Just because I live in Nashville doesn’t mean I’m wanting to be in the music industry! Haha…but this isn’t the last you’ve seen of Figgy. The plan is to be chatting with you guys again after filming another season! I can’t explain the place “Survivor” holds in my heart, but I’m just so competitive and ready to get back out there ASAP.
Be sure to tune into CBS4 at 8 this Wednesday for the Survivor season premiere!