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SWV Member Tamara "Taj" Johnson-George Actually Competed On "Survivor" — Here's How She Did
SWV's Tamara "Taj" Johnson-George nearly made it into the finals during her run on "Survivor: Tocantins" in 2009 — but it wasn't necessarily an experience she's eager to repeat.
Tamara “Taj” Johnson-George is best known for being one-third of the Grammy-nominated R&B group SWV — but it isn’t the singer’s only claim to fame.
Johnson-George, who is married to former NFL player Eddie George, also made a successful run on Survivor: Tocantins, nearly making it into the finals and landing in fourth place.
During her time on the show in 2009, Taj was known for making alliances and bonds that crossed tribal lines and kept her advancing in the competition, Screenrant reports. She also selflessly agreed to go to exile island so that all the cast members could have a visit from a family member, endearing her to players and fans alike.
In her Survivor profile on CBS.com, Taj said she believed she would be the “most underestimated player” during the competition. She planned to draw on her physical strength as an athletic person as well as the street smarts she picked up while growing up in Brooklyn and surviving a physically and mentally abusive past.
“I am literally, truly a survivor, who has survived more things than you can ever imagine,” she said at the time.
Taj did, in fact, do incredibly well on Survivor. Ultimately, she made it all the way to fourth place in the season, losing out to her former ally J.T. Thomas, who took home the $1 million.
Today, Taj is once again focused on singing and stars in Bravo’s limited series SWV & Xscape: The Queens of R&B, which follows the women of both R&B groups as they prepare for a special one-night collaborative show.
While recently promoting the reality show on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Taj reflected on her time on Survivor, admitting the reality competition was much more “real” than she had ever imagined.
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“I got a call to go on the show that I had never watched before or after I went on,” Taj said. “So I didn’t really know what I was getting into.”
She told Clarkson she believed she’d “go out there and get dirty, they’d wash you off, and you’d go home and start again the next day,” but she quickly realized that was not the case.
“The cameras never go off,” she said of her time stranded in the South African desert, where her season was filmed, adding that the show “is real.”
When Clarkson remarked how well she’d done on Survivor despite her lack of knowledge about what the grueling competition would require, Taj responded, “Look, by the grace of God, I was out there winning it.”
Although she earned a spot in the final four and has been praised for her efforts to create alliances with others, it doesn’t look like Johnson-George will be reprising her role on Survivor anytime soon.
“Would you ever do it again?” Clarkson asked.
“No,” Taj said, without hesitation.
Taj rose to fame in the 1990s as part of the R&B group SWV (Sisters With Voices) alongside Cheryl “Coko” Gamble and Leanne “Lelee” Lyons. Over the last three decades, the group has sold more than 30 million records worldwide, The Hype Magazine reports.
To catch up with Taj and her fellow bandmates today, tune in to Bravo’s six-part limited series SWV & Xscape: The Queens of R&B, airing Sundays at 9:30/8:30c. You can stream new episodes on Peacock the following day.