Yam Yam is a 31-year-old salon owner from Puerto Rico and the Season 44 winner of Survivor after he beat Heidi and Carolyn 7-1-0 in the final jury vote. The finale was pre-recorded, but he partied hard to celebrate the night it aired. Lunchbox is a massive fan of Survivor and was extremely excited to talk to Yam Yam.
During the second episode of season 42, he got the call that he was going to be on Season 44. He started crying with excitement right away. Everyone who goes on the show has to sign an NDA and not tell anyone that they’re filming. He told people he was going to Costa Rica to help his father and that he’d have no communication while there because he’d be living in a jungle with no wi-fi. He shared that the people who get eliminated before they’re done filming have to stay in a hotel and just hang out, so they don’t go back home early and get questioned by people. But it’s a nice perk because they get a free vacation, but they still have no communication to the outside world and have no cell phone or internet access.
Yam Yam said he went into the show thinking he was going to win because he’s a big believer in what you say into the universe will come true because your words have power. But the actual moment he knew it was going to go in his favor, was when the jury started to vote. He was surprised Carolyn got no votes and said if he was on the jury, he would’ve voted for Carson to win.
Yam Yam said physically the show made him look “hot as hell.” He lost a lot of weight during the process and told himself he would keep it off, but he gained it all back and more. He said when he got back into the real world it was really hard to start trusting people again and he was second guessing everything people told him because he was still in Survivor mode. Lunchbox thinks people who win on reality TV shows get enough money to retire and asked Yam Yam if that was the case after he won a million dollars, that he received after the finale aired. He’s not sure if he has enough to retire and will probably keep working because he likes to maintain his lifestyle.
His advice to people who want to be on a show like Survivor is to know and be comfortable with who you are. If you don’t know who you are it’s going to be hard because you have to explore everything inside yourself while doing a huge challenge. And his advice for people who want to get on it is to just say whatever is in your head, people are going to like it or not, but that’s the point of life.