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February 24, 1979
|Residence||Voorheesville, New York, U.S.|
|Other names||Jessica Blain-Lewis|
|Organization||New York State Bar Association|
|Home town||Champlain, New York, U.S.|
|Television||Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X|
Jessica Blain grew up in Champlain, New York, where she lived on a dairy farm with her parents, Sam and Allisn, and her three older sisters. For high school, she attended Northeast Clinton Central School in Champlain and served as co-chair of the student council.
Following her high school graduation in 1997, Blain enrolled at SUNY Plattsburgh (Plattsburgh State), where she also worked as a teaching assistant and was a member of Phi Kappa Phi (ΦΚΦ). In 2002, she graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication. Then she enrolled at Albany Law School, where she completed her Juris Doctor in three years. While at Albany Law, she served as senior editor of the Government, Law and Policy Journal. She also served as the executive editor at the Center for Judicial Process, which was run by her law professor, Vincent Martin Bonventre.
In 2007, two years after she completed her law degree, an article which she and Bonventre had co-written in law school was published in the Albany Law Review. By the time the article was written, she had married and was going professionally by the name Jessica Blain-Lewis.
Prior to graduating law school, Lewis secured an internship as a law clerk at the Albany County District Attorney's Office, under D.A. David Soares. Upon graduation, she was hired full time as an assistant D.A. She was officially admitted to the New York State Bar in 2006.
Throughout her career, most of her cases have involved drug offenses, robberies, assaults, and elder abuse. One of her cases even involved an immigrant who had been tricked into a phony green card marriage with the promise of gaining citizenship privileges. Soon after this case, Lewis also prosecuted her first homicide. In December 2016, she was named the Albany County Street Crimes Unit's Bureau Chief.
In 2016, Lewis was cast on the reality competition show Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X. Having been born in 1979, she was initially placed on the Takali tribe, along with the other members of Generation X. On Day One, when all the castaways were scrambling to grab as many supplies and food items as possible for the journey, Lewis discovered an envelope, picked it up, and upon opening it, realized that she had just claimed the "Legacy Advantage," the benefits of which would be revealed on Day 36. If she were to be eliminated before then, she would be required to bequeath the advantage to another player still in the game.
On Day Ten, Lewis orchestrated the blindside of Paul Wachter, after he said that he would rather align with the men over the women in the tribe. This immediately made her a target for the next Tribal Council. But when the vote took place two days later, David Wright played his immunity idol on Lewis, thus negating the five votes against her and sparing her in the game. Lucy Huang, with just two votes, was eliminated instead.
Lewis immediately aligned with Wright, as well as Ken McNickle, after that Tribal Council. The next day, during the tribal split and reshuffle, she and McNickle remained on Takali, but Wright was sent to Vanua, the former millennial tribe. When the merge happened on Day 21, the three of them were reunited. By Day 28, Lewis was once again targeted by her old Gen X tribemate Chris Hammons and his alliance, and at that night's Tribal Council, she indeed received four votes, but Hammons was sent out of the game with seven votes. Two days later, after Justin "Jay" Starrett won immunity, former Millennial member Hannah Shapiro convinced Lewis, McNickle, and Wright to join her and Adam Klein in targeting Zeke Smith. To ensure that this plan would go off without a hitch, Wright contemplated playing his new idol on Shapiro. But at Tribal Council, former Gen X member Sunday Burquest convinced Wright that Smith's alliance was now planning on voting out McNickle instead. Wright played his idol on McNickle, who, as it turned out, received zero votes.
The vote ended up tied 5–5 between Smith and Shapiro. Before the revote, Smith tried to get Lewis to flip on Shapiro in order to avoid having to draw rocks to decide who leaves the game. Lewis refused, and the revote remained deadlocked. After much discussion, there was no consensus as to whether Smith or Shapiro should be the one voted out, so per the rules of the game, Smith, Shapiro, and any other immune castaway would be safe, while the rest had to randomly draw rocks to determine the elimination. In total, six castaways would have to draw from among five white rocks and one black rock; whoever drew the black rock would be out of the game. When the rocks were drawn and then revealed, Lewis had the black one, thus sending her out of the game at tenth place, as the fourth member of the jury.
After her torch was snuffed, Lewis willed the Legacy Advantage to her ally McNickle, who would get to use it as an immunity idol on Day 36. McNickle would eventually make it to the finals, but despite this, Lewis would cast her vote for Klein to win the title of Sole Survivor.
On the September 25th, 2017, it was announced that Lewis would be joining the cast of Rob Has a Podcast alongside David Bloomberg, to replace fellow Survivor alumnus Rob Cesternino as co-host of the segment "Why _____ Lost," for Survivor's 35th season, Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers.
- Shapiro, Hannah (February 24, 2017). "THANK YOU! Happy birthday to you, badass birthday twin 👯". Twitter. Twitter. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
- Moore, Suzanne (September 20, 2016). "Champlain native takes dairy-farm work ethic to 'Survivor'". The Press-Republican. Community Newspaper Holdings. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
- "About the Street Crimes Unit Bureau Chief". Albany County District Attorney. Albany County Judicial Center. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
- Bonventre, Vincent (2007). Blain-Lewis, Jessica; Cherna, Jason (eds.). "APPELLATE DIVISION ON APPEAL: THE JUSTICES' RATES OF AGREEMENT, REJECTION, AND VINDICATION BY THE COURT OF APPEALS" (PDF). Albany Law Review. 70 (3): 983. ISSN 0002-4678. OCLC 01479006. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
- Gavin, Robert (July 17, 2013). "'Cinderfella' case outlined". Albany Times-Union. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
- "Guilty Plea in Albany Homicide Case". Albany County Judicial Center. Albany County District Attorney. June 10, 2016. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
- Gavin, Robert (May 5, 2016). "Is 'Survivor' the latest case for Albany prosecutor?". Albany Times-Union. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved April 8, 2017.