Exclusive: 'Survivor: San Juan del Sur -- Blood vs. Water' castoff Reed Kelly talks (Part 1)
By Reality TV World staff, 12/04/2014
Survivor: San Juan del Sur -- Blood vs. Water's merged Huyopa tribe eliminated Reed Kelly and Alec Christy during Wednesday night's two-episode special of the CBS reality competition's 29th season.
Reed -- a 31-year-old Broadway performer, model and aerialist from New York, NY -- was voted out of his Huyopa tribe on Night 29 at the season's tenth Tribal Council session.
Reed had been an obvious outsider of the main alliance and became an even bigger target after trying to get Jon Misch out. His loved one, Josh Canfield, a 32-year-old actor and writer from New York, NY, got voted out of the tribe on Night 21 and had become the season's first jury member.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Reed talked about his Survivor experience. Below is the first half. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: Did you go into Tribal Council expecting to be the one voted off or did you think there was a chance they were targeting someone else?
Reed Kelly: Yeah, it was not a #blindside. I knew by the time I got to Tribal that I would be spending Josh's birthday with him the next day. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: Where did you think Jon and Jaclyn Schultz stood going into Tribal? How did you assume they'd vote and were you still reading into that "wink" Jon had given you? Where was your head at that point?
Reed Kelly: No, at that point, the wink had long since evaporated and that was no longer a viable option in my eyes.
Reality TV World: Do you think the outcome might've been different if Jon and Jaclyn had been on speaking terms leading up to Tribal? (Laughs)
Reed Kelly: Oh, absolutely! I really do, because Jaclyn and I had a really great connection out there. I mean, it didn't seem like our games ever really lined up in this version of Survivor, but we really connected well.
I think had things gone a little differently when they were reunited, I think Jon may have been able to see the logic in what Jaclyn and I were presenting. So, yeah, I really do think had they not gotten into that tiff, things could've been vastly different.
Reality TV World: Last night's episode showed you guys openly blaming Keith Nale for the fact your plan to vote Jon out of the tribe didn't work. But all we saw was Keith saying at Tribal, you know, "Stick with the plan." Was that the big revealing comment that everyone picked up on or was there something else we just didn't see?
Reed Kelly: No, that was definitely it. It was that moment. And what's so funny about it, is that I pulled [Wes Nale] and Keith aside and I was like, "Guys, listen to me. We can do this; We can make this happen. It's going to be amazing. But I have to come at you at Tribal Council tonight in order to make this believable for the majority alliance that I'm going to vote with them. So, no matter what happens, don't get spooked. We're going to make this happen. Stick to the plan and it will go off without a hitch."
And, you know, Keith was like, "Roger that, Reed!" (Laughs) And then we got into Tribal and apparently my acting was just a little too good, and yeah, Keith panicked. He looked at me and he was like, "I think we need to stick with the plan," and that was it. I literally watched my gameplay go up in smoke right there.
So, it's one of those moments where people are like, "Well, you shouldn't have pushed Keith that far." And I'm like, "Okay, sure -- had I not warned him. But the fact we had a conversation about it, I thought that that was efficient enough for him to be secure in what was happening." So, that was the downfall. That was the moment. And I mean, NO ONE missed that comment. That was definitely it.
Reality TV World: Do you know what the point was of Keith playing his idol? After Jon played his idol, it seemed certain either Keith or Wes was going home, and Keith seemed willing to give his idol to his son anyway. So, what was the advantage of playing it versus just letting fate play out and hopefully leaving the idol in the game with whichever person was left standing?
Reed Kelly: Here's the problem with your thought process. You're looking at them as if they would adhere to normalSurvivor logic. (Laughs) That's the problem, is that, when you have people that aren't as used to playing the game and aren't necessarily students of the game, they behave really unpredictably.
And yes, absolutely, if that were me, I would've said, "Alright, one of us is going home. Let's let the chips fall where they may." So, it was hard because I think Keith had a really hard time and the idol was a little confusing to him at times. And I think it was just one moment when he felt really flustered, and he and Wes didn't have the best communication there, and so it happened.
Reality TV World: Did you believe Jon's claim that he had planned to play his hidden Immunity Idol all along or do you think he only played it because Natalie Anderson told him to do so?
Reed Kelly: Well, here's the thing. I mean, the whole reason why we went after Jon was because he was feeling really secure. So when Jon said, "Oh, I was going to play it. I was going to play it," no, he wasn't.
But here's the thing you didn't see, is that -- and this goes back and back in my gameplay, which was one of the problems I had working with Keith, Wes and [Alec Christy] -- people, you could get information out of them really easily.
And so, Wes actually said before we went to Tribal to Natalie, "You know, if you wanted to vote for Jon, something may be happening tonight," or something along those lines. So that perked up Natalie's ears, so she was actually willing to vote for Jon that night.
So when she went in, she was going to vote with us and vote for Jon. The problem with that was, once Keith said, "Stick to the plan," she panicked. And she was like, "That's it. I'm going to vote the way we planned on and I'm going to make sure Jon plays his idol." So she turned around and told him to play his idol. So that's where that came from.
Reality TV World: Alec was shown saying he didn't trust you at all on last night's episode. Did that surprise you and do you have any idea why he felt that way?
Reed Kelly: Absolutely. Well here's -- it goes back to the [Jeremy Collins] blindside. Because what you guys didn't see -- and I think it was because they really wanted to maintain the blindside for America -- is that when I was initially talking to [Baylor Wilson] and Jaclyn and [Missy Payne], you saw part of my pitch but you didn't see the whole thing.
It looked like I was targeting Keith the whole episode, but really what I said to them was, "Alright. We have two options right now. We know where the idol is. We can make an averageSurvivor play or we could make an epicSurvivor play." And Missy was like, "What's the average play?"
And I was like, "Well, we can go after Keith, take him out with the idol in his pocket, and we don't have to worry about the idol." And then she was like, "Alright, well, what's the epic Survivor play?"
I said, "Well, we could pretend we're going after Keith, put pressure on it so he thinks we're going after him, he'll play the idol, and then we blindside Jon." And it was a moment of, "Oh my gosh. Can we really do this!?" And I was like, "Listen, it's totally possible. We need to do this while we know where the idol is." And I think that really appealed to Missy's desire to be involved in really big gameplay.
So, Missy and I had a conversation shortly after that, where she's like, "Well, what do we do with your alliance?" And I said, "You cannot tell them this. We can't tell them we're doing it because they can't be trusted with secrets. You know, we said we were going to vote for Baylor and then Keith walked straight up to you and said, 'Well, Missy, we're voting for Baylor.'"
So I said, "Tell them to vote for me. If they want to save their own butts right now, they'd be willing to do it, and that's what will happen." And she was like, "Okay, so I'll go tell Natalie this." And I was like, "Missy, you can't tell Natalie." And she was like, "What do you mean?! Why? We're so close."
And I was like, "No, because she's closer to Jeremy and if you tell Natalie, she'll tell Jeremy and then the whole plan with blow up in our faces." And she's like, "So who are they going to think we're voting for?" And I said, "Keith. We have to make them think that we're voting for Keith."
And so, that's when I told Jaclyn -- because Jon wasn't around this time -- so I said, "Jaclyn, you need to convey this plan to Jon. Is it possible for you and Jon to put pressure on Keith at Tribal Council? You have to make him feel scared enough to play the idol. Because A.) We want him to play the idol, but B.) Jeremy and Natalie don't know he has an idol, so we want them to think we're actually going after them."
So that's actually why you see that random fight break out during Tribal Council where Jon and Jaclyn are attacking Keith. It was to sell the point so Natalie and Jeremy wouldn't be suspicious of what was happening. So, as far as working with Alec, Wes and Keith, it was difficult because that's why -- when we came back after that Tribal Council -- they were like, "What happened?!"
And I was like, "I'll tell you what happened! I just saved our butts getting this vote onto Jeremy." But I was like, "You guys need to stop voting for me." And we made it a joke that they basically voted for me because I told them to.
And it was a huge risk, because had they voted for me, and then Missy and Baylor decided they wanted to vote for me, I would've been out. So, that's why, I think, Alec didn't trust me after that play. Because I went behind his back and orchestrated this play without telling him and we were supposed to be in an alliance.
So, it was rough, and then moving forward from there, immediately when I got back that night, I started talking to the majority alliance and was like, "You guys, this is going to be so easy. We have the next vote set up. We just go after Keith and Wes, one of them will play the idol, one of them will go home, and then we don't have to worry about it."
So I was already thinking three days out at that point that, you know, "We need to keep this ball rolling and keep the target off of me in case I don't win immunities." So, I think that's where his hesitation came in, because they knew I was playing really hard and that's kind of how it went.
So, ultimately when it came down to that vote -- the attempted Jon blindside -- everyone still stuck with the plan and voted exactly the way I planned it. It was just frustrating because Jon was pissed off. But at that point, there was no jumping ship. I was like, "Alright, I need this plan. I'm going to go down with this ship, because there's no recovering from this."
Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion of Reed's exclusive interview.