Exclusive: Jeremiah Wood talks 'Survivor: Cagayan -- Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty' (Part 1)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/29/2014
Survivor: Cagayan -- Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty's post-merge Solarrion tribe voted out Jeremiah Wood during Wednesday night's 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 of five castaways.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Jeremiah talked about his Survivor experience. Below is the first half. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: Were you surprised you got voted out of your tribe? I mean, it seemed obvious it came down to either you or Spencer since Tasha had won immunity, but I'm sure you thought they'd target Spencer first.
Jeremiah Wood: Yeah, I figured. I tried my best to get them onto targeting him even more. (Laughs) I was kind of surprised, then again, kind of not. I knew it was a 50-50 shot between me and him. We had talked about it. He had talked about playing the idol for me, but we had no inside information at all. When [Jefra Bland] flipped back, we had no inside information on who they're going to target.
I mean, if we would've had a hunch on if they was pushing towards him more or if they was pushing towards me more, Spencer would have definitely played his idol for me. It was just one of those 50-50 shots and it just didn't roll my way.
Reality TV World: You admitted at Tribal Council you thought Spencer was a big threat even though he was in your alliance. Were you planning to take Spencer to the end with you or were you plotting to get him out at a certain point? What was your plan while you were in the game?
Jeremiah Wood: Well, me and Spencer actually talked after the first merge. Me and him just kind of got by ourselves and we got talking, and he kind of pleaded his case to me about being on the bottom of his alliance, and so, we ended up making [one]. And we ended up making a strong bond because I was at the bottom of my alliance, you know?
Once the first merge went and we all got jumbled up and I got stuck with [Morgan McLeod] and [Alexis Maxwell], and at the time, they just didn't like me. So, yeah, me and him formed a strong bond and we just took off from there. He wanted to be another [Stephen Fishbach] and [James "JT" Thomas Jr.]. He said he would definitely go to the end with me, and I said that to him.
And as the game progressed, I still felt like I had a pretty good shot if I took him to the end by winning everybody over, but I don't know, it would've been dangerous to take him to the end. I would've taken him all the way until the very end and then I would've had to make a decision. But, you know, he's one of them guys. He stuck with me on everything I've done, everything I've said, and I stuck with him.
We had a strong bond. If I voted him out, I knew I would've lost a jury vote definitely right there. So, if we would've gotten further in the game together, it was definitely -- I would've had to really think about it. Right now, I would say, yeah, I would've taken him to the end. But if I was in the game longer, things might've changed.
Reality TV World: It sounds like you probably considered Tony Vlachos a bigger threat than Spencer. Is that correct?
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Jeremiah Wood: Yeah, I had Tony as a big threat going all the way into the final merge. I tried my best to get people to vote him out just because I was, you know, I've watched this game long enough.
I know how it's played. I had gotten real serious about the game, and he's scrambling, he's scrambling, he's scrambling. But he's doing it in a way that he's speaking to everybody and they're all liking him on his alliance.
I was trying my best to get people to understand, "It's time to get him out. It's time to get him out." But, in my eyes, he was absolutely the biggest threat because he's the one that was making most of the bigger moves. He was running around, he was being paranoid, he's doing everything he possibly can to keep things stirred up.
And I was trying to explain it, but nobody would go with me. Nobody would actually go with me except for Tasha. Nobody wanted to bite on that. They just stayed with him and stayed true to him, and I haven't figured that one out yet. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: You guys originally wanted to vote Tony out, which Jefra was initially onboard with, but then you ended up targeting Yung "Woo" Hwang instead. Did you guys strongly believe Tony had a hidden Immunity Idol? And if so, was that because he was constantly referring to his "bag of tricks" at Tribal Council?
Jeremiah Wood: We didn't think he had a hidden Immunity Idol. At first, we was going to target Tony. Because sitting at the Reward Challenge, that's all everybody talked about. I mean, that's all, you know, Jefra and Tasha, they were constantly talking about, "Tony, this," or, "Tony that." And, you know, Tony's a big threat. He's the biggest threat in the game as far as strategic-wise.
Now when it comes to challenges, Tony's just not that good at challenges. So we knew he was not going to be a challenge threat and we knew Woo would be the bigger challenge threat. He was the biggest physical threat [in] their alliance. And so we just had a change of plans. We just changed over and said, "Let's just try to vote Woo out. This would be perfect just in case Tony did find one idol."
I thought I knew for a fact he didn't until I watched that episode, because I turned that [camp] inside out trying to find that thing. And I knew [LJ McKanas] was gone, and the only people that really looked for the idol was just about two or three of us. And it was just a change of plans. We just thought it would be better to vote Woo out just in case. You never know if that thing pops up.
Reality TV World: Jefra seemed pretty convinced she wanted to flip on her alliance when she enjoyed Reward with you, Spencer and Tasha. How convinced were you at that point she'd jump ship? And also, when Jefra came up to you later on to admit she was sticking with the majority alliance after all, did you think she was being 100% honest then?
Jeremiah Wood: Yeah, I knew she was absolutely being honest then after she flipped back to them. I was really convinced when she shook my hand. I don't know what kind of player she is, but I know what type of person she is. She's kind of geared just like me. She doesn't want to hurt nobody's feelings. She was pretty true to her word.
And when she read her letter from home and she was crying, some of the information in that letter just let her know that, "It's time for me to flip." And so, I had done as many apologies as I possibly could.
I apologized (laughs) every second to her, because she kind of flipped on me and I flipped on her going into the first merge. I tried to get her voted out, which I had an unbelievable gameplay there because both idols got flushed and we was voting out somebody else at the very first vote-off... But I knew she was true to us. I knew she would stay with us at that time, and I never saw it coming.
It was like the third day right before Tribal Council. I was just sitting there making a fire -- and it was all I could do, just sit there, because I was hurt -- and then when I saw her walk up and everyone was there but Tony, she just walked up and was like, "Jeremiah, I need to talk to you."
I said, "Alright," and then I stood up. And I knew when she flipped back, I knew that all hope was lost there, that there was nothing I could possibly say that would change her mind right there, because she had done it in front of everybody.
If she would've done it in private, I could've definitely had some kind of strategy, where I could explain how she was making a million-dollar mistake and that nobody could take this away from her if she would stay with us.
I just knew all hope was lost there, (laughs) because she's the type of girl that if I would've confronted her hardcore in front of Kassandra "Kass" McQuillen and everybody else over there on that other alliance, she'd probably, that deep in the game, she might've broke down. She might've just sat there and cried, and I wouldn't have gotten a move either way out of her.
Above is the first half of Jeremiah's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion.