Exclusive: 'Survivor: San Juan del Sur -- Blood vs. Water' runner-up Jaclyn Schultz talks (Part 1)
By Reality TV World staff , 12/19/2014
Survivor: San Juan del Sur -- Blood vs. Water castaway Jaclyn Schultz finished the 29th season as the runner-up, losing the $1 million grand prize to Natalie Anderson, during the live portion of Wednesday night's finale broadcast on CBS.
Natalie beat Jaclyn, a 25-year-old media buyer from Las Vegas, NV, as well as the third-place finisher Missy Payne, a 47-year-old owner of a competitive cheerleading gym from Dallas, TX, in the season's final jury voting results, which Survivor host Jeff Probst revealed during the live broadcast.
Jaclyn received two votes from the jury, Missy got herself one vote and Natalie was shown getting four votes. Natalie likely received the last jury vote that was not revealed. Jon Misch obviously voted for his girlfriend Jaclyn, and Reed Kelly also voted for her. Missy's daughter Baylor Wilson gave her the single vote.
Below is the first half of Jaclyn's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion and for more interviews with the Final 5 castaways.
Reality TV World: Did you go into the jury session thinking you had a pretty good chance to win?
Jaclyn Schultz: Um, no. (Laughs) I knew Natalie won. Totally, hands down. She played a great game.
Reality TV World: You obviously expected to get Jon's vote, but were you surprised you got a vote from Reed as well?
Jaclyn Schultz: I knew that Reed voted for me. Jon told me they talked about it while they were on the jury. So, I knew. It was great to see it because it's awesome, but I had a really great friendship with Reed and [Josh Canfield] and we both still do.
And we had talked a lot about how they wanted the money for a surrogate or to adopt as well, so it was awesome that they kind of gave that gift to us -- for whatever reason. I mean, maybe it was all "he hated Missy," but I don't think it was. It was probably a mixture of both, but in either scenario, I'm very grateful that I came in second.
Reality TV World: You're referring to the $100,000 runner-up prize versus the much smaller third-place prize, right?
Jaclyn Schultz: Yes.
Reality TV World: During the jury questioning, you got a vote from Reed but you didn't get Josh's vote. Did that surprise you? That you had gotten a vote from one but not from the other?
Jaclyn Schultz: No, I mean, Josh had even talked to Jon about it. He's like, "I respect the game too much, I'm sorry," which I totally understand. No, I wasn't surprised. I was just happy that one of them voted for me.
Reality TV World: Josh asked you whether you thought you were in the Final 3 based upon the strength of your own merit or the choices made by stronger players. And you seemed to assume he was referring to Jon but the consensus seemed to be that he was probably more referring to Natalie saving you the night before. Do you know what he was talking about there?
Jaclyn Schultz: No, I actually don't know what he was referring to. I mean, I think if it was about Natalie, yes, I wouldn't have been there if she didn't play that idol. So, absolutely. But up until that point, Jon and I were making every decision -- who we wanted to vote out -- almost the whole game.
Reality TV World: So how does that reconcile with the idea that voting Josh off was all your plan? Is that an exception to that scenario?
Jaclyn Schultz: Voting off Josh, I was absolutely not going with the guys. Because for one, Jon was more of a dominant player than I was and I knew he was going to be a target -- the guys would've wanted to vote him out.
And that would have left me on the bottom with six guys and they all would've killed me in challenges and I would've been voted out. They wanted us for one vote. They didn't want us long-term. And I had felt that Missy and Baylor and Natalie wanted us more long-term than the guys did.
Reality TV World: The show made it look like Jon and the rest of the castaways thought Jon was the brains of you two when you were out there playing the game, but from watching at home, it actually seemed like it was more the opposite. Do you think you didn't receive enough credit while you were out there?
Jaclyn Schultz: I didn't! Even, like, [Jeremy Collins], we were talking about things and he was like, "Dude, you were such a smart player and we didn't know that out there." And I'm like, "I know! Because Jon is such a social, strong personality and I'm not going to compete with that."
So it was, like, he was maintaining relationships by being out there, being the loud, funny guy, whereas I was in the back talking logically about everything, like, "No, we need to do this," or, "What if this happens?" We kind of like filled the voids in each other in that aspect.
Reality TV World: Yeah, because Josh's jury question seemed to be an example of that. So when you told him his vote-off was all you, do you think he really believed that at the time?
Jaclyn Schultz: I don't know, honestly, and I don't think it would've mattered. The jury knew who they wanted to vote for, you know? They were voting Natalie no matter what, so it was, at that point, I knew Natalie was going to win. But at that point, I'm just like, "Okay. I know these guys like me, but I know they hate Missy, so please just don't ream me out like you're about to ream Missy." (Laughs)
Reality TV World: So I think the obvious question is, if you knew Natalie was going to win, why did you choose to go to the end with her instead of Keith Nale? You had that possibility.
Jaclyn Schultz: Because I thought Keith was going to win too. And he was! You saw last night, all the guys were with him the whole time. They loved Keith, he was in their alliance, I mean, "Team Keith," he's hilarious.
So it was, I guess, picking the lesser of two evils that I thought at that point would give me a better shot. At that point, I had no idea that Natalie was playing as hard -- I mean, I knew she was playing hard, but watching it, I'm like, "Dang, girl. You got me!" (Laughs)
Reality TV World: Yeah I was wondering that, if you felt you'd lose to both of them regardless but you just believed Natalie deserved to win more.
Jaclyn Schultz: Well, it wasn't that. It was just that, I wouldn't have been there without Natalie playing that idol for me and I just couldn't vote her out. I couldn't do it. I felt like I owed her, you know? I just couldn't do it.
Reality TV World: You were shown throwing out that possibility to Missy, but it sounds like it was never really an option for you?
Jaclyn Schultz: I wanted to see what Missy thought about it. I knew that Missy and Natalie were so tight and I wanted to see if she would even go for it, and her reaction was kind of like, "[Gasp], oh my God! Nu uh?" And I'm like, "Okay, so yeah." I don't know.
Reality TV World: Missy was shown asking you about what Jon would tell you to do in that scenario, and you fired back immediately saying he'd vote Natalie off. Why do you think Jon would've done that?
Jaclyn Schultz: Well, I don't know. Thinking about it now, I don't know if he would've voted Natalie off. I think he would've voted Keith. I should ask him. But yeah, it was hard. There's so much, when you're playing, that you don't see. All those confessionals, we have no idea.
So it's like, I didn't have a good read on Natalie, that she was playing that hard, and I thought Keith was a definite shoo-in and he was. I mean, he was going to win. So, it didn't really matter for me.
Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion of Jaclyn's exclusive interview as well as more interviews with the Final 5 castaways.