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Exclusive: Jeff Kent talks about his 'Survivor: Philippines' experience (Part 1)


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/08/2012 

Jeff Kent was eliminated from Survivor: Philippines' newly-merged Dangrayne tribe during Wednesday night's eighth episode of the CBS reality series' 25th edition.
 
Jeff, a 44-year-old retired baseball player from Austin, TX, was blindsided and voted out of his tribe at the season's eighth Tribal Council, which was also the second elimination vote for Dangrayne.

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In an exclusive interview on Thursday, Jeff talked to Reality TV World about his Survivor: Philippines experience.

Below is the first half of Jeff's interview. Check back with Reality TV World on Friday for the concluding portion.

Reality TV World: Things obviously got extremely chaotic between the time Jonathan Penner won Individual Immunity and the tribe ended up going to Tribal Council. Can you just kind of explain and clarify what you thought was happening prior to Tribal Council, from your perspective, and how you had expected things were going to play out? 

Jeff Kent: What a scramble! You know, you saw everybody else and there's not a whole lot behind the scenes that happened that wasn't there.

Reality TV World: So you obviously thought "Pete" Peter Yurkowski was going home then, right?

Jeff Kent: Yeah, I'll explain it again. That changed. We got back from the Immunity Challenge and we were all disappointed that Penner had won the Immunity Challenge, so what our own challenge was to do was to find out that if it's not going to be him, who's it going to be?

But all along, the whole conversation, it wasn't so focused on Penner -- which for me, it was almost good because I felt, at the time at least, it kept a deflection away from me. "Let's vote Penner out, let's vote the veterans out. Let's not let the veterans win." And so all of that deflection was off me through the whole time after the merge.

So I was happy about that because that's kind of one of my focuses, which was, "Don't be in the light here. Stay out of the light and let's vote Penner." So then Penner wins immunity. Now, I'm a little nervous but not much, because all along, we were all going to vote for veteran players. That's how we had all communicated. "If Penner wins, okay no big deal. We'll just vote [Michael Skupin] out."

So we were all thinking, "Skupin, Skupin," and Penner and I go off and go get some water and do our little chat and communicate, and then I come back and I find out that everybody was thrown under the bus -- myself, Pete, [Malcolm Freberg], [Carter Williams] -- we were all there and we were all scrambling 15 minutes before we had to go to the Tribal Council. So we were all going, "This is crazy." We were all pretty ticked off about it.

Reality TV World: So when you went into Tribal, you were thinking Pete was going to go and you thought that both Skupin and Penner were going to join you in that vote, correct?

Jeff Kent: Right. We went into Tribal Council -- at least I did -- and we all did too. We were just going to go in and vote for Skupin.

Reality TV World: Oh, so for Skupin? Not for Pete?

Jeff Kent: No, not for Pete. Well, let me rephrase that. You are correct. Through the day until the last 15 minutes before Tribal Council, we were going to vote for Skupin. And then the last 15 minutes, everybody got pissed off because Pete was trying to throw Malcolm or me out.

We had found this out and then Malcolm flipped -- finally, Malcolm flipped. And we said, "Okay, let's just go and get Pete out." So we were going in wanting to get Pete out. You're right.

Reality TV World: So Skupin and Penner obviously didn't end up following through with that plan. Penner voted for [Abi-Maria Gomes] and Skupin voted for you. So do you think any of that changed because of what happened at Tribal Council with those final pleas or the fact that Abi ended up unveiling that she had a hidden Immunity Idol? Or do you think they both went into Tribal planning to do what they did and those things didn't have any impact? That was a pretty chaotic Tribal Council. (Laughs)

Jeff Kent: Yeah it was. And as everyone was airing their dirty laundry during Tribal Council there, what had happened was, the last 15 minutes, we didn't have a chance -- at least I didn't have a chance to go around and solidify my vote for Pete with Skupin and -- basically with Skupin.

So I was a little nervous then, but I was hoping that Penner would be able to convince Skupin to vote our way. So we thought we had six, and then during Tribal Council, Penner said, "Okay, now, do we have six to vote the way we were going to vote?" And Skupin nodded his head, "Yes," and everybody said, "Yes." But I was still nervous about Skupin.

Reality TV World: But not about Penner?

Jeff Kent: Not about Penner, but the thing is, while we were all voting, Penner and I were swapping hand signals -- talking about potentially splitting the vote in case Pete used the idol. And I told Penner, I said, "I don't think Pete is going to use the idol because Abi is so selfish, she won't give it to him, and we don't have the votes to split it. So don't do it."

Reality TV World: Yeah, I was going to ask that, because obviously Penner voted for Abi. So did you know he was kind of betraying your group when he opted to vote for her instead of Pete? Or do you think there was some chance he was voting for Abi because he thought everybody else was going to be voting for Abi instead of Pete once everyone learned she had the idol to either blindside her or not have to worry she might give Pete the idol? Was it something where Penner thought he was still with you guys but it turned out everyone else didn't vote like he was expecting to?

Jeff Kent: Yeah, that's kind of scary. I think the only good quality answer you can get is from Penner. But my own impression is, I believe that he might've thought that Skupin had the vote and was going to vote for Pete, so therefore, I had enough votes to not get me kicked out.

And then, I think Penner then started to throw a barb out there and maybe throw one at Abi, or the second thought -- which is let's just say I do get kicked off and Penner shows that he didn't vote for Pete, because Pete used the idol, let's say Pete did use the idol.

If Penner could prove that he didn't vote for Pete, then maybe that would get Penner into their little clique. So, that's what I'm kind of thinking here -- is Penner played both sides of the fence and I got burned for it.

Below is the first half of Jeff's interview. Check back with Reality TV World on Friday for the concluding portion.

(Photo credit CBS)


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