The Telefile
Sanjaya and Patti: Two Great Celebrities Who <i>Get Me Out of Here</i> Together

Right now, all of America is wondering, "What's next for Sanjaya Malakar and Patti Blagojevich from I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here?" Well, not really, but there must be a couple of you, right? No? Just one? Okay, dude, here you go -- the Patjaya conference call, complete with info about Sanjolly's relationship, Patti's acting career and when Seattle should expect their prodigal son to return home.

Sanjaya, what do you think the future of your friendship is with Holly?

Sanjaya: I know for a fact that our friendship is incredibly strong, and I look forward to continuing to get to know her outside of the camp. Because, I mean, when you're stuck in a camp with someone 24/7, you definitely get to know them, but it's a different situation when you're getting to know someone in their comfort zone and in their environment. So I'm looking forward to continuing our friendship.

What do you think your first activity will be as friends outside of the jungle?

Sanjaya: Actually, we're planning on going on vacation to like Hawaii or something -- some jungle outside of the camp where we can have luxury in the jungle. So yeah, I think that will probably be our first official "friends" vacation, I guess.

Will this be pretty soon, or...?

Sanjaya: I'm not sure. It was just an idea. I don't even know if it's actually going to happen, but we're -- I mean, it would be fun. It would be fun to go back into a jungle and have the luxury of a hotel and be able to like have all of the things that we wanted that we couldn't have in the jungle here.

Before this started, you were living in New York and working on your CD. What do you expect to do now? Are you going to continue on the same path or has this caused you to adjust your thinking in any way?

Sanjaya: Well, this has definitely caused me to adjust my thinking in a certain sense, but I'm definitely still focusing on music. I'm actually going to move from New York to Seattle for a little bit; I'm planning on putting together kind of an independent artist's band. I'm trying to kind of find young artists from Seattle that are really in it for the music of it all and not for the drama of celebrityhood. Because when you find those people, that's when you get the best music out of it, I think. And so I'm going to spend a little bit of time doing that. I have a lot of songs in my head that I was able to write when I was in the jungle, so that's my main focus when I get home.

Past contestants say that you always got a second wind in the middle of the night where you'd just want to hang out or run around while everyone was sleeping. So how did you entertain yourself during those moments of hyperactivity?

Sanjaya: Well, I've had a lot of practice entertaining myself in the middle of the night when everyone was sleeping. So in the beginning, I'd like -- I don't know. John has this picture of me while everyone is sleeping and I'm just sitting up on my cot weaving, because I was bored. I'd do little things like that. One thing I really like to do is go out and just look at the sky -- especially in the middle of the jungle where there's no light pollution. You see more stars than I've ever seen in my entire life. I'd sit on my hammock and look for little lightning bugs or listen to the night creatures and stuff. I mean, it's really easy to get bored, but it's also really hard to get bored, because there's so much going on around you. And if you pay attention to it, then there's always something to entertain you.

You mentioned weaving. At the beginning, they showed you like making all kinds of like trinkets out of random jungle stuff. What type of stuff did you make?

Sanjaya: Well, I made several things like little bracelets and stuff, but I was going to make a wedding dress for Heidi, because Heidi and Spencer were going to renew their vows. That didn't end up happening. I only ever got to the stomach plate, and then it fell apart, but that was one of the coolest things that I was on my way to making.

How much of a strain was it on you not to be able to sing whatever you wanted to sing?

Sanjaya: Not being able to sing was the hardest part. When Heidi and Spencer left, that was the first time I was told I absolutely could not sing anything, because anytime I sang, they couldn't use a lot of the footage. So my entire energy fell, because singing is my outlet; if I'm sad I'll sing a sad song and become happy, if I'm happy, I'll sing a sad song so I don't blow up with excitement. I mean, not being able to sing really threw off my whole energetic flow and I had to kind of find ways to either do it quietly or find an empty place by myself to do it. And, I mean, I felt like it was a drug and I was trying to hide it from everyone. Luckily, it's a safe drug, it's not anything that anyone could get hurt from, but I was definitely affected by it. But I found ways to kind of get around it.

Was there any point at all where you considered walking out of this?

Sanjaya: I had one moment when I thought that I wanted to quit. But "thought" is a very key word. I mean, it was the moment that I had to potentially eat a bull ball that really threw me off mentally. There's so much imagery in television these days that I think that a lot of people are getting desensitized by it. I think that so many people see things like people eating bull balls that it becomes almost normal. Obviously it's still weird, but I think a lot of people get desensitized by the imagery, and I didn't really want to be a part of that. I didn't want to promote that imagery and promote the desensitizing of America and of the youth of America. Because I was kind of representing the youth of America and the youth of the group. So that was the one moment that I thought I wanted to leave. But then Daniel Baldwin came up to me while I was thinking about it on the river, and he was just like, "It's all up to you how you allow people to perceive the things that you do." And that really inspired me to move forward and to get back in the game, because beyond this, I have control over what I promote and how I promote myself, and the things around me, and the things that I do. So that just pushed me harder to move forward and get as far as I could, so that I would have that kind of experience to be able to be like, "I have to do this."

Patti, how exactly did you make the decision to replace your husband on the show, and why?

Patti Blagojevich: Well, you know, they initially wanted my husband on the show, and he wasn't able to do it because of forces beyond our control. And NBC came to me with the opportunity and it took me a lot of introspection and a lot of talking with family and friends and kind of analyzing it from different angles, but it seemed to be the right thing at the right time. I mean, it was a tremendous opportunity that came my way, and, at some point, I just realized I'd be crazy to turn it down. And, I think after all is said and done, I made the right decision and I'm very happy that I did.

How surprised were you that you actually got closer to John Salley than anyone else?

Patti: Yeah, it's kind of an odd couple, but I think we found out that we had a lot in common that we were surprised about. He's got three girls, but his two younger daughters are the exact same age as my daughters. He's been married a long time; I've been married a long time. He played basketball in Chicago, so it was really kind of nice for me to have somebody that was familiar with my hometown, especially since so many of my campmates were from L.A. -- they'd be talking about places and people and restaurants that I had no idea what they were talking about. And then, I found out that John was a really smart person and really optimistic and had a great outlook on life, and I really drew on a lot of that for strength throughout our time here.

Can you say what you earned from being on the show or if you know yet what you earned for your charity?

Patti: I'm not sure yet what we earned for our charity. I think what happens is that all the contributions get added up, I think, and then divided up depending on how long you last on the show. So, obviously, the longer you last, the better you do for your charity. As for the other question, I feel that's a personal question, I'm not going to answer that.

Now that you've won a lot of people over, might there be an acting career in your future, or a political career?

Patti: Well, you know, I'll address the second one first. Politics, my husband was able to accomplish so many good things for the people of Illinois, so much landmark legislation that we worked so hard for, so many things to improve the lives of the people of Illinois. For that, I was grateful in politics, but now, the politics stage, I hope we're done with that for now. And as you saw from that home movie that we made in the jungle, I'm not much of an actress, so I don't know about an acting career.




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