He was pegged as a favorite to take the jungle crown, but Sanjaya Malakar couldn’t escape elimination on last night’s episode of I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! Joining Sanjaya in the viewer-voted, double-elimination was Patti Blagojevich, who surprised everyone (including herself) by lasting as long as she did.
Kudos to both of these fierce competitors, who ate everything from tarantulas to bull testicles in an effort to raise money for charity. While Sanjaya put on a brave face, he tells In Touch it was “that” food trial that nearly pushed him to the breaking point. “At that moment that I had to eat the bull testicle, that threw me off mentally,” says Sanjaya. “There was one moment when I thought I wanted to quit.” However, a pep talk from Daniel Baldwin changed his mind.
It was a different story for Patti, who had a point to prove to her children. “I could never entertain the thought of quitting,” she tells In Touch. “That is something I never want my daughters to see me do. I don’t want them to be quitters, no matter how hard it gets, so that’s what kept me going.”
With three people left in tonight’s finale, the jungle crown is anyone’s at this stage. “Torrie (Wilson) is representing the women and is an incredibly strong, endearing, driven woman,” says Sanjaya, adding, “John (Salley) is a champion and used to winning and very smart. Lou (Diamond Phillips) dealt with a lot of drama as camp leader the first two weeks, he’s very diplomatic and warm and strong. It’s going to be a hard decision and I am excited to see.”
“The title can easily go to anyone,” adds Patti. “But I have a little girl power going on and I hope Torrie takes it — she’s got what it takes.”
Don’t miss tonight’s finale and the return of all the former contestants on NBC.
And for more with Patti and Sanjaya, click here.
I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!
Patti Blagojevich & Sanjaya Malakar
Eliminated: June 23
Sanjaya: “I am grateful to be clean now”
Patti: “I could never entertain the thought of quitting”
What will you miss most about your new jungle family?
Patti: I will miss my campmates, as they all brought something special and unique to the jungle, and I’ll miss each of them in their individual way. And the jungle itself. I learned a lot there and the beauty of the place we were in. Not the bugs, though. It was a lot of fun.
Sanjaya: Both Lou and John took on the role of pseudo father-figure to me, especially Lou. I have an incredible father, but he grew up without a dad and didn’t know how to be that father figure that goes fishing and all that stuff. Everything John said made me learn from the experience and mature from it. It was incredibly valuable in this experience for me.
The bugs seemed horrendous. What was the worst bug encounter you had?
Patti: The tick in my butt. I think that night I wore shorts to bed and earlier that day, I was putting wood on the fire and it may have fallen off one of the logs and gotten in my shorts. At 4:30 a.m., it decided to attack!
Sanjaya: I was pretty fortunate in that I got a lot of little bites from a lot of insects, but never got bit by a bullet ant, or a tick, nothing severe like that. I think it was just the amount of bites I did get that was the worst part.
Were you surprised how easy you got used to jungle life, and at what moment did you say, “I can do this”?
Sanjaya: I wasn’t surprised by how I acclimated to the jungle as I lived in Hawaii for about three-and-a-half years. I have been camping my entire life, so in that sense I figured I would do well. I didn’t know how I would do on
the challenges, or how I’d do in forming relationships with people, as you never know what people will be like. I more expected a crazy-drama kind of situation, but we were fortunate in who came to the jungle as everyone was
incredibly strong and kind in their own right.
Patti: Well, for me when I had to eat that tarantula early on, I was the third person up, after Frances [Callier] and Heidi [Montag] had done their best. I knew then I was a member of a team at that point and wasn’t going to let them down. So I downed that thing as fast as I could. Once you do something like that and live through it, I think it gives you strength to go on.
Sanjaya: For me, it was that same trial when I downed the cow intestine milkshake. I spilled some and then licked it off the table … that was the moment that I was like, “There is no reason I can’t move forward.” I will never have to drink one of these again, so I will do it once and prove a point and be a part of a team.
Was there a point where you wanted to quit?
Patti: Part of what I wanted to accomplish was to be a good role model for my daughters. As tough as it would get, I could never entertain the thought of quitting, as that is something I never want my daughters to see me do. I don’t want them to be quitters, no matter how hard it gets, so that’s what kept me going. I wanted their lesson to be not just do as I say, but do as I do.
Sanjaya: There was one moment that I thought I wanted to quit, and "thought" is a very key word. At the moment I had to eat the bull testicle, that threw me off mentally. There is so much imagery in TV these days that people are being desensitized by it. You see people doing all these crazy things and I never wanted to contribute to that "desensitization," as I was representing the youth of America on the show. But while I was thinking of leaving, Daniel Baldwin came and talked to me and said it was up to me as to what I allowed people to see. That inspired me to move forward and get back in the game and pushed me harder.
What will you take from this, and what’s next?
Patti: For me, it’s been an opportunity to focus on what’s important in life. There is a lot of quiet time in the jungle and time for introspection, and to be able to learn how to tune out what’s not important and focus on the things that are. It’s very clarifying when you have time to sit and think. So much of the time in my life before coming here was rushing around, be it with my kids, shopping, making dinner — you never get time to sit and take stock of life and tune out the negative aspects. Next? I hope we are done with politics for now, and as you saw from the jungle home movie, I am not much of an actress, so I don’t know about an acting career.
Sanjaya: Like Patti said, there is a lot of time to be introspective and look at your life and what you are doing right and wrong, and analyze everything to the point that when you come out of the jungle you can see your life in a different way and value the things you took for granted. For me, I really analyzed what I need to do. I came in here at the beginning of my career. Okay, I had a run on a very successful show and have been working hard, but I have a long way to go. The whole experience was incredibly life-changing and I learned so much that I am grateful for. And I am grateful to be clean now! [laughs] To take a warm shower — you don’t quite understand how wonderful that is until you have spent a month bathing in a river. I am focusing on music and will move to Seattle to put together some musicians. I have a lot of songs in my head that I wrote in the jungle, so that’s the main focus.
What’s the deal with "Sanjolly" — will you see Holly again?
Sanjaya: I definitely think Holly [Montag] being close to my age made it easier for me to be comfortable and value the last year of teenage-hood for me. I was using this as way to mature and come into my manhood, and at certain points, I forgot that I am still a teenager and needed to get out the youthful energy that I have before maturing too fast. Holly helped me to stay true to that. But our friendship is incredibly strong and I look forward to getting to know her really well. We are planning to go to Hawaii together, some jungle out of camp, where we can have luxury. That will be our first official “friend” vacation. It’s just an idea at this point.