Exclusive: Jeremiah Wood talks 'Survivor: Cagayan -- Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty' (Part 2)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/30/2014
Survivor: Cagayan -- Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty's post-merge Solarrion tribe voted out Jeremiah Wood during a recent broadcast of the CBS reality series' 28th edition.
Jeremiah, a 34-year-old male model from Dobson, NC, was voted out of his Solarrion tribe at the season's tenth Tribal Council session, which marked the fourth time Solarrion had attended Tribal together.
Jeremiah, who was in the minority alliance with Spencer Bledsoe and Latasha "Tasha" Fox, got voted out by the majority alliance.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Jeremiah talked about his Survivor experience. Below is the concluding portion. Click here to read the first half.
Reality TV World: It seemed like you kept the fact you are a fashion model a secret from everyone because you just revealed the news to Spencer, your closest ally. Considering everyone already knew you were on the Beauty tribe, why was that something you thought you needed to conceal from people?
Jeremiah Wood: Well, I came into the game with a strategy of, I didn't want to look like a model, because there's a lot of people in the past who have been models on the show and they didn't really last long.
And I was afraid that -- I've always felt that people would target -- [it would] be an easy target to vote those people off, because a lot of people who get on the show, they just want TV time. They're not really there to win a million dollars. They just want to get TV time, they want to get air time.
And I didn't want to. I kept it under the radar just in case there were some really strong strategic players and that's what they was thinking. So that's kind of why I let my hair grow out, just let the wind blow wherever it wanted to go, I grew a beard, gained a little weight -- all so I wouldn't look like a model.
And, you know, then again, I wanted to prove to the world and to the fans of the show that I'm not one of these guys who would just come onto the show just for TV time. I wanted people to know that I'm a fan of the show. I love the show and I auditioned to get on here and I wanted to prove how to win a million dollars, you know, model or not. I was going to prove that.
But it got to the point in the show where it was just Spencer, me and Tasha. And me and Tasha knew it was either going to be me or Spencer, so I just kind of let the cat out of the bag and told them what I really do for a living.
And then Tasha was all shocked and laughing, and then I told her that she could just Google me, and that was kind of for everybody who's watching this show! (Laughs) They can all Google my name! (Laughs)
I just tried to keep it all under wraps. I didn't want to be an easy target and I didn't want people to think I was just there for TV time. I was really there to play the game, and that's what I was trying to prove. That's why I kept it all quiet.
Reality TV World: Spencer was shown talking about that in a confessional. Did his reaction to the news you're a model surprise you? He seemed to find it strange you thought that was a secret worth keeping. He kind of poked a little fun at it. (Laughs)
Jeremiah Wood: (Laughs) Yeah, no. It's not strange at all. I mean, I looked pretty rough out there anyways, so I didn't even really look like a model. But Spencer is a smart player and he knows the game.
I don't think he meant any like harsh anything out of that, but it is -- it was a big secret for me, because that was one of my strategies. It was to keep that under wraps. In his eyes, since I was on the Beauty tribe, (laughs) maybe it wasn't such a big secret. It's just one of those things. Aint nothing wrong with it!
Reality TV World: Tony Vlachos obviously found Survivor's first-ever hidden Immunity Idol with special powers. As you saw, he'll be able to play that idol after all the votes have been read at Tribal and he can't hand it off to any other castaway. What are your thoughts on that special idol? Do you think it gives a castaway too much power, like maybe it takes away from the game's strategy aspect?
Jeremiah Wood: It can give somebody too much power if it's in the wrong hands. For somebody who's really playing the game, who's just very strategic. And then you have like a couple goats who make a bad decision, kind of like what [Kassandra "Kass" McQuillen] did, you know, make a couple bad decisions because they vote on feelings.
It could definitely empower somebody like that to help them stay on the show. Going into the wrong hands, (laughs) yes, it takes away from the show when somebody -- who definitely needs to be voted out and everybody's just targeting -- I can see where that would be like a major letdown in a show. Like, "Finally, this guy," or, "Finally this girl is leaving the show!"
And then, "Oh, wait a minute! That person is still on the show!" (Laughs) It could definitely be -- it's kind of like last night's episode. It's kind of like a 50-50 shot. It's either going to be good or it's going to be bad. In my case, if I had it, in my eyes, it would've been awesome to have it!
That would've turned the whole game around just because of that one vote. If I would've been safe, we could've called [Jefra Bland] back over and it would've been four on three. But with Tony having it, you know -- and I've been trying to get him voted out the whole game -- I'm sitting here like, "You've got to be kidding me!"
I'm sitting there watching and I'm just kind of bummed! I mean, I like the dude. He's a great guy. But on the show, I just wanted to grab him and shake him. And now, if they do target him, he's got the perfect chance to stay. I guess that guy aint going nowhere! (Laughs) It does give somebody too much power, especially somebody who just needs to go.
Reality TV World: Some of the castaways we've talked to this season, like Morgan McLeod and Alexis Maxwell for example, have said they didn't view you as a strategic thinker in the game. They basically thought you'd do exactly as you were told. And viewers haven't seen much of you this season, so was that just the editing or did you intentionally try to play under the radar? And what's your reaction to those comments?
Jeremiah Wood: Yeah, I definitely didn't play under the radar. I did not want to be a boring person. Coming out here, getting onto this game, I was allowed -- they picked me to be on this show, so I said, "I want to try to bring ratings. I want to be entertainment." I did not want to be somebody who just laid around and just let somebody drag me to the end. That's just not what kind of person I am.
So yeah, Morgan and Alexis, you know, they're great girls too. I didn't say a whole lot of strategy to them either. In the first part of the game, there's not a whole lot of strategy to be played. You're making strategy coming into Survivor, the first part of the game, yes, you do want to get in an alliance with somebody. But you're there to win challenges.
And so, with us, me and [LJ McKanas] and the girls and [Brice Johnston], I mean, we kicked butt in challenges. So we didn't have to have a major strategy until we went into the first merge, and once we went into the first merge, I really started playing to do something.
So I grabbed Spencer and my main strategy was I ended up with the Brains and with [Sarah Lacina] and with Morgan and Alexis. And I knew them two really didn't like me too good because I pretty much lied to Morgan's face, and Alexis, we just really never did talk that much.
So, my main strategy was, I said, "Alright. I'm kind of on the bottom, so I want to go for the Brains," so I went for Spencer, Tasha and Kass. And so I pulled them over, I said, "Okay, here's when you need to start having a strong alliance."
So I grabbed all three of them and then I grabbed Spencer, and me and him had a stronger bond together, and then I went and grabbed Sarah. So, yeah, I definitely had a strong strategy coming into it. I wanted to be likeable most of all. I wanted everybody to fall in love with me and be likeable, and I did succeed there, but I did have a strategy of going to the end.
And I could've went to the end easy and I would've definitely taken Morgan with me all the way. Alexis, on the other hand, what her downfall was, I didn't want the whole tribe over apologizing to Morgan. I didn't want the whole tribe over it, so when she started gunning for me, it was just too late for her. And so, I got rid of her.
But yeah, I definitely had a strong strategy. I did not want to be under the radar. I wanted to be somebody, so the editing part is not showing a whole lot of my strategy, but it is what it is. Survivor's been on for 28 seasons; They know what they're doing. So, I would love to see myself more on television this season, but they know how to bring ratings. They know what they're doing.
And so, I'm taking it as, it's a major opportunity for me and I love the show. I'm a fan of the show and I know they know what they're doing. But sometimes, I think some things get cut and kind of edited out that I wish they would've showed, but they know what they're doing.
Reality TV World: The preview for next week's episode showed Spencer stirring the pot by trying to plant a seed in Tony's mind that someone in his alliance really wants him out -- presumably, Spencer will be talking about Jefra. Do you think Spencer would have any shot to make Tony turn against the majority alliance or do you think, at this point, Spencer has very little hope to stay in the game?
Jeremiah Wood: It's so hard to tell, because that alliance is so strong that they wouldn't even budge for me, Spencer and Tasha. But Spencer, he's a smart kid. He's a smart kid, he's a super fan of the show, he knows how the show needs to be played, he knows what to do. And Tony is so paranoid that his mind is running a million miles a minute.
So, I think Spencer's got a heck of a chance, because when you have a ticking time bomb like Tony is, and you just get a few words in edge-wise, if he listens and you plant just a little seed in his mind, he's going to run with it. So, it's going to be another 50-50 shot again.
If Spencer says the right words and catches Tony at the right time, yeah, he could definitely get in Tony's mind. And you never know what will happen next week. Then again, you saw how this week went, and he might be another victim of circumstance! So, it's going to be very interesting to see as it all plays out.
Above is the concluding portion of Jeremiah's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Click here to read the first half.