Exclusive: 'Survivor: San Juan del Sur -- Blood vs. Water' eliminee Jeremy Collins talks (Part 1)
By Reality TV World staff, 11/20/2014
Survivor: San Juan del Sur -- Blood vs. Water's merged Huyopa tribe eliminated Jeremy Collins during Wednesday night's ninth episode of the CBS reality competition's 29th season. Jeremy, a 36-year-old firefighter from Foxboro, MA, was voted out of his Huyopa tribe on Night 24 at the season's eighth Tribal Council session. Jeremy's loved one this season, Val Collins, was voted out of the game at the second Tribal Council session on Night 6.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Jeremy talked about his Survivor blindside. Below is the first half. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion of his interview.
Reality TV World: It seemed clear you were completely blindsided by the vote. I just want to confirm that was actually the case, and if so, at what point when Jeff Probst was revealing the votes did you begin to realize your alliance had turned on you?
Jeremy Collins: Yeah, I was completely blindsided, but I didn't even think that it was my alliance when my name started coming up. I was just thinking, "Oh, here we go. Here we go now!"
The non-thinkers over there -- [Alec Christy] and [Wes Nale] and [Keith Nale] and [Reed Kelly] -- they're just rolling votes out there. So, I didn't even think it was my alliance until it happened, and then I was like, "Wow! These dudes, these guys, really got me out."
Reality TV World: So prior to Tribal, it sounds like you had never envisioned the possibility of your alliance turning on you that night. Were you that confident in Jon Misch and Jaclyn Schultz at that point, and if so, why? Was it the whole Reward Challenge thing?
Jeremy Collins: I wasn't confident in Jon and Jaclyn. I was confident in [Natalie Anderson] and I was pretty solid with [Missy Payne], and I knew Nat had Missy, so I was confident in us three.
And I thought Jaclyn was a "go" after [Josh Canfield]'s alliance kind of didn't talk to her and they were mean to her. I figured, "Oh, she's on my side now." I always knew Jon was wishy-washy, but I figured if you get Jaclyn, I'm good to go.
Reality TV World: Had you been worried they'd turn on you at the next Tribal Council or two, or were you pretty confident you guys were going to be riding together to the Final 6?
Jeremy Collins: No, I figured I had two, and I knew I had to make a move somewhere around two more Tribals, you know? If we got rid of Keith and then after that, I'm thinking, either Wes or Alec or Reed -- probably Keith or Reed -- those were the first two that I wanted to get rid of. Then, I figured I was going to have to go after Jaclyn, because I want Jon to still be a target that's bigger than me.
Reality TV World: So did you consider Jon and Jaclyn the two biggest threats then?
Jeremy Collins: No, I just figured I needed to separate them, because all Jon wants to do is to keep them together. Missy and [Baylor Wilson], they didn't talk about going together as much as Jon and Jaclyn.
Jon, from Day 1, all Jon wants to do is play and for him and Jaclyn to go as far as they can together. Missy, I figured Missy and Baylor, it wouldn't be a huge deal to split them up, and I think -- I thought Missy would do it. You know, watching the edit, it doesn't look like she would, but I know Baylor would.
Reality TV World: You obviously correctly figured out that Jon had found the hidden Immunity Idol on Exile Island, but when you asked Jon about it, he told you he hadn't and the show seemed to leave it unclear whether you believed him or not. So just to clarify, did you walk away from that conversation believing Jon or thinking he was lying to you?
Jeremy Collins: I walked away and I said to Nat, "Nat, he has it. He lied to me, and he sent me over there for no reason. It doesn't make any sense. But what am I going to do?" I tried to talk to the other alliance and tried to get Alec to come over with the singles. He wouldn't do it. I tried to talk to the firefighters and get a firefighter alliance, with Keith and Wes, and they weren't having it.
So, I said, "I have to go with my alliance. This is it, and I need to keep Jon because Jon is a bigger threat than me physically." And so, if they're going to go after somebody, they have to go after the big threat, and that's going to be Jon.
Reality TV World: So after your conversation with Jon, you approached Keith and Alec about...
Jeremy Collins: No, I talked to them before and I knew I couldn't get to them. Jon was my only hope, so I talked to Nat about it, and said, "Nat, he has it, but I can't do anything about it. We just gotta keep going with this."
Reality TV World: How did that whole decision to send you to Exile Island go down? Do you feel Jon led that decision?
Jeremy Collins: Well that was actually a group decision that one of us, in my alliance, had to go. Because we didn't want someone from the other alliance to go and get the next clue. And that's what I was telling Jon. I said, "Jon, if you have it, we don't need to go back. So let me know!" And he kept lying and saying he didn't have it, so I said, "Alright then. I'll go and find this thing."
And he showed me the clue. And the clue, I didn't believe the clue and said, "I think it's two pages, Nat, and he took one and burned it, and he's giving me this bogus one." I never, ever believed anything Jon said. So, when I said, "I'll go to get the idol, I'll go find it."
Because basically, we can't have Missy [go]. She will not make it over there by herself. Baylor would not make it over there by herself. Jaclyn would not make it over there by herself. So it's either me or Nat. And I'm like, "Nat, you're not going. I'll do it," you know?
Reality TV World: So it sounds like you knew Jon was lying to you but you still had no concern he was going to betray you at Tribal?
Jeremy Collins: No, I mean, they didn't have the numbers to do it. I mean, unless you can get Nat onboard, you can't do it. And Nat, I have Nat. And if you can get Missy, Missy has Nat and I have Nat -- so then I have Missy. So, I didn't think they could get the numbers.
I didn't see Reed jumping ship and joining with Jon to get me out, because Reed was sitting in on all these discussions with Jon and Jaclyn about going after singles, and now Reed is a single. So why is it logical for you to take out another single if you know they're going after singles, Reed?! It just doesn't make any sense.
Reality TV World: You seemed to approach the topic in the least confrontational way possible, but do you think the fact you did confront Jon about whether he had found the idol was the final straw that caused him to flip on you? Do you think Jon still would've flipped if you hadn't mentioned the idol, or maybe you think his mind was already made up before you even got back from exile?
Jeremy Collins: I think that helped in him flipping, but Jon already was saying, "We have to get Jeremy out because they're not going to give us the million dollars. They're going to give it to Jeremy." And I don't know -- he says "my story." I'm a firefighter with two kids and "my story" is going to win over the jury. It doesn't even make any sense.
Let me tell you, you're telling me that because I'm a firefighter with two kids, you're going to go to the other alliance who has two firefighters and one of them has two kids?! You know what I mean? It's a bad decision after bad decision after bad decision. I just can't -- I don't get it! I don't get any of it.
So, I can't trust Jon, but there's no logical reason for any of it. So, I just gotta keep playing my game and hope that he comes around and thinks logically.
Please check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion of Jeremy's exclusive interview.