We caught up with Jak the jokester today. The game changed him, here's what he had to say about it.
1. Have you enjoyed seeing yourself on TV?
I wouldn’t say I’ve enjoyed it, it’s definitely been a learning curve for me. I’ve never seen myself on a screen, or had other people see me on a screen giving me feedback on what they thought. But I’ve really enjoyed it. I think it’s awesome that people come up to me and tell me how funny it is that they’ve seen me on TV. That they’ve laughed and found it funny, then come back to me and told me about, that makes me feel really good. So I’ve enjoyed that side of it I guess.
2. What was the hardest thing about filming the show?
Definitely the unexpected isolation. Leading into it, all you think about is being hungry and tired, and potentially the rain. So that’s what you mentally prepare yourself for. I didn’t prepare myself for that fact that I’d have no outside stimulation, apart from the people that were around me. It was crazy having to get used to processing things on my own, without taking advice from anybody. I think it was a big step forward for me, in terms of getting to know myself better, taking charge of my own thoughts. A big step forward for me in general. So the hardest thing probably ended up turning into the best thing for me. I got to become a way stronger person out of it, mentally and physically. I feel like I can handle a whole lot more, which is cool.
3. What was the most surprising thing?
I think that would have to be how familiar you become with your environment. Day One, Two, Three, Four you’re definitely getting into the groove of it. Eating less, sleeping less, raining, uncomfortable. It was surprising how used to it I got. By Day 10 or 12 it just felt like routine. It felt normal. I just can’t believe that everything got so well into the swing of things. I thought there’d be more people wanting to go home, crying, distraught all the time. It was intense, but everyone handled it quite well, so that was pretty cool.
4. Do you think you lost your mind a little bit?
That’s a hard one. I don’t think I lost my mind, I think it just opened new avenues into little cerebral places in my head. I think it was an expansion rather than a loss for my brain.
5. What did you miss the most about home?
Definitely my dog, Chopper Read. I have a little Boxer, he sleeps with me every night. So that was probably the hardest thing for me, not having my dog with me all day, that was pretty rough. Getting to see him when I got back was pretty intense. I feel so stupid saying that, because people left families behind. Like, Sala had six kids and a wife that he left behind, and I’m out there complaining and missing my dog. It’s kind of ridiculous. That kind of put into perspective how easy it was for me, that I could just drop everything, all I had to worry about was my dog. I think that kept me a little bit more level-headed throughout the whole process. Whereas those guys were constantly worrying about their families, which of course they would be. So I think that kind of gave me an advantage, even though it didn’t work out. I didn’t win, but still, it got me a little bit further.
6. Do you think the show was a true representation of your personality?Yes. It is a true representation of my personality, but it does require some explanation. Snippets out of context doesn’t really give you the full picture. The way I’ve always operated is... I feed off other people’s energy. So if people are sitting around moping and not talking, that brings me down. So my response to that is always to bring people up. If that’s through telling jokes, or getting my ass out, or rapping, that’s what I had to do to keep me sane. That was my sanity, being happy and funny. If I just sat there all day and moped and looked at the floor, I would have completely lost my mind. Sounds ridiculous, because I looked so crazy running around like an idiot, but it makes sense it a way.
7. Speaking of, do you still have your loincloth?
Yes. I’m still the proud owner of a dirty loincloth. It’s actually got a bit of mould on it, because I left it hanging in my room. But I definitely still have it. It’s here with me now, at the hotel. I love that thing, man. No one got it when I first got back. They were like, “what’s this drabby thing in your bag?” I was like, “just you wait. See what that thing does on TV mate, you’ll be in for a shock. And I still have Fred Flintstone. I somehow got that back into the country, I’m surprised. I shouldn’t talk poorly about New Zealand’s Immigration system, but for some reason I got a dirty rock through into the country. Oh well, here I am, I’m sure they’ll find me if it’s a real problem. I’m sorry.
8. When will the Survivor Enchilada rap group be releasing their first single?
Man, it’s been hard with the boys spread across the country. It’s hard to get into the studio, get the lines down and get the beat popping. But I’ve laid a few tracks. I’ve put out a few demos to the boys and they’re liking the vibe. It’s Spanish flair, but it’s definitely New Zealand trap music, it’s our own thing. You’re in for a surprise.
Watch the full interview clip here.