Survivor Micronesia Interview: Now I Know Why Everyone Loves Jonathan Penner

May 14, 2008
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A few days ago I ran across an interview with Jonathan Penner. I thought, heck, let’s take a look and see what he has to say. Astounded is what I was. I had seen Jonathan this season on Survivor: Micronesia Fans vs. Favorites and was sad that he was pulled out of the game for his injury. All those girls just loved him to death and I thought…what am I missing? Why is everyone so drawn to him?

Jonathan  Penner & Billy Garcia

If a photo is worth a thousand words, then a video must be worth a million – at least. I watched that video interview of Jonathan and realized he is one smooth dude. He is a straight shooter. He’s VERY funny. He’s smart – oh so smart! And those eyes? Yeah…those eyes! It’s no wonder everyone is so drawn to him. He has incredible charisma!

(click on “Read More” for the rest of the interview details!)
At the Survivor finale after party, I was taking everything in, a bit in awe of it all. Jonathan walked in and I got a big grin on my face. I thought, wow – maybe I’ll meet him! Maybe he’ll let me interview him! After some time, I went over to my friend Billy Garcia from Survivor: Cook Islands, who told me earlier that he absolutely adores Penner, and I asked him if he would introduce me to Jonathan. Billy being the ever so generous guy that he is said ‘absolutely!’

We walked up to Jonathan and he and Billy hugged and Jonathan looked at me — he was probably wondering what that stupid grin was on my face – and he asked if we had met previously. I made a joke with him as Billy introduced us and it was plain to see, right then and there, that Jonathan Penner is a super great guy. Ok, so my adjectives are lacking here – but I don’t know how else I can say it. He draws you in with his smile and friendly attitude and you really feel welcomed in his presence. I took a photo of him and Billy, and then got a photo of him and me.

Jonathan  Penner & Betsy Hijazi

A little later into the evening I asked Jonathan if he would consider letting me interview him very quickly. We were in a bar though and it was very loud and dark so it would indeed be a challenge. He agreed without hesitation and a little while later we set off to find a good spot.

I asked Jonathan what his top five best moments were of the season, even if they weren’t his moments – just what he felt were the tops. He told me that the blindsides were all tough and that his top moment was scoring the winning ‘touchdown’ with that ‘beanbag’.

I then asked Jonathan what his top five worst moments were and he told me he didn’t like Johnny leaving the game, Cirie flip flopping, and Erik getting suckered by the girls.

When asked if he would do it again, for a third time, he said he would have a very tough time saying no. He didn’t think it would ever happen and that he was so fortunate to have been able to participate in Survivor not once, but twice! We laughed a little about bringing back the injured people to play again, and I mentioned I thought they should do a Survivor with the first two people voted out of each show (lookin’ out for ya Billy!). Penner thought that would make a terrible show! Maybe true – but a second chance show would be fun!

Jonathan was very generous to take a few minutes to talk to me and for that I thank him. I hope I get a chance to meet him again some day. He truly is a gem, and now I get why everyone loves him so much! Thanks, Jonathan!