Survivor Micronesia Finale Interview with James Clement: He Called Me Ma’am Just After I Called Him Hot!

May 13, 2008
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James Clement & Betsy HijaziJames Clement walked into my life – I mean, up to me to be interviewed – during the Red Carpet Arrivals after the Survivor: Micronesia finale in New York this past Sunday night. The first thing I said to him was, “Would you be offended if I said you were a hottie?” James chuckled quietly and with his all-too familiar big smile said “No ma’am”. “No ma’am”? Are you kidding me??? I laughed with him and said that I couldn’t believe he just called me “ma’am”, and he replied that he couldn’t help it because it’s habit.

When I think of a “ma’am”, I envision an older woman in her 70s (no offense to anyone!) and just don’t feel I’m quite ready for that title. How am I supposed to call good-looking men like him hotties if I then have an image of me being an old woman? All kidding aside, I laughed with James and told him that I hoped that by the end of the night he’d be calling me by my first name, but if not, ma’am was OK!

While I don’t have any video or audio of my interview with James, I do recall a few things that we talked about. I told him that I absolutely loved how he ‘told it like it was’ when he was ‘off camera’. His comments about that food/reward/immunity challenge and Jason giving up a shot at immunity for a doughnut were just priceless. James always had something simple and smart to say and it always made me laugh.

Of course I had to ask him how his finger was. James rolled his eyes and showed me his fingers and while I did not take the opportunity to hold hands and inspect each finger, it was clear that there was no visible scar. I laughed and said, that’s nothing, and he mumbled something about how I have no idea at all how he feels about it. I replied that it was his pride that was hurt more than anything and we just laughed.

James Clement & Todd Herzog
James Clement & Todd Herzog

Another question that I had to ask James was if he had a tongue ring! A few episodes back, I thought I spied one as he was talking off camera, but I wasn’t positive. But as he stood there talking to me at the Red Carpet, I got a glimpse of it again! I asked him if he DID have a tongue ring, and he said he did and showed it to me. Dennis Luciano (of Average Joe fame) was standing right next to me watching and he, too, was surprised. He asked if James had it in during the season, and I said, of course – that’s how I knew!

James and I talked for a few minutes more and I congratulated him for his win. I asked if he’d be headed to the after party and he said yes and would buy me a Stoli. Well, those who know me know that Vodka is my bar beverage of choice, so that suited me just fine!

James Clement
James Clement winning $100K

We arrived at the after party around midnight and while most everyone was there, Amanda, Ozzy, Parvati and James were not. I figured I just wouldn’t get that drink after all. But around 2:00 a.m., Amanda, Ozzy and James made their way into the party and that’s when the real fun started! Generous hottie James bought a shot for about 12 people, and later a second round for a smaller group. I laughed and asked if he was now the buyer since he won the $100k! He laughed and said no, that he was just used to buying a round.

James Clement & Betsy Hijazi
James called me ‘ma’am’ a few more times, but laughed each time. I think I got him to call me Betsy once, but I can be sure if I meet him again, it will once again be back to ‘ma’am’.

James is a super nice guy and clearly liked by many. Everyone was hanging with James. I have to assume it was his charming personality and not the fact that he bought a couple rounds at the bar. If you ever get a chance to meet him, you might initially think him to be a bit shy and reserved. After observing him for an hour or so, I can say he seems like a pretty cool dude and someone just about anyone could hang with.

So he’s handsome, charming, polite, generous and fun. What’s not to like about James?

jamessrc04.jpg
James Clement’s father