Exclusive: Keith Nale talks 'Survivor: San Juan del Sur -- Blood vs. Water' (Part 2)
By Reality TV World staff, 12/30/2014
Survivor: San Juan del Sur -- Blood vs. Water castaway Keith Nale finished the 29th season in fourth place, losing the $1 million grand prize to Natalie Anderson, during the live portion of the finale broadcast on CBS.
Keith, a 53-year-old fire captain from Shreveport, LA, was also defeated by runner-up Jaclyn Schultz and third-place finisher Missy Payne.
Survivor host Jeff Probst discovered at the live reunion show that if Keith had made it to the Final 3 instead of Natalie, he would've won the million with about half the jury votes.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World, Keith talked about his Survivor experience. Below is the concluding portion. Click here to read the first half.
Reality TV World: Who do you think would've won the season had you made it to the Final 3 with Natalie and you faced the jury together? Has anyone talked to you about that?
Keith Nale: Well, I'm not a good speaker, and when they ask questions there at the end, heck, I might've cracked again for all I know. Natalie's well deserving and I'm not taking nothing away from her. I just wish I would've been in there to find out. I knew I had some guys' votes over there and I think them girls knew I had some guys' votes over there. So, that's probably the reason I went down the road.
Reality TV World: When you were explaining how they were better off going to the end with you than Missy, do you think you had underestimated the support you had from the guys?
Keith Nale: Yeah, yeah. You're probably right. I don't think Missy -- I don't know. Yeah, I think so. But they did the right thing by not taking me. Now, looking back, I think they did the right thing. But I don't think Missy or Jaclyn would've won whether I was over there or Nat was over there. It was down to me and Nat and I needed to win that last challenge.
Reality TV World: I know you only spent one day with the jury before the game ended, but did you get a sense during your time with them whom they were leaning towards to vote for to win?
Keith Nale: Oh yeah, you could go back through the days and weeks prior to that and think to yourself, "Well, [Reed Kelly] aint got much for Missy. [Jeremy Collins] aint got much for Jaclyn."
And you can tell who's going to vote for whom -- even without them saying it. Just the scenarios that led up to the final deal. You know, Missy's going to get Baylor and Jaclyn's going to get [Jon Misch]. And then the rest of them just followed into place and Nat was your player. That was cut and dry.
Reality TV World: So the consensus you got from hanging out with the jury was that Natalie was going to win, you're saying?
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Keith Nale: I think you're exactly right. I was all for her!
Reality TV World: Obviously there was a Final 3 of women and the women started the game with a numerical disadvantage being that there were only eight women and 10 guys. They also seemed to be the targets early on. Did you ever envision the game would end that way?
Keith Nale: Maybe with Nat. You're right. I remember someone saying at the very first, "Well...," I mean, bam! [Nadiya Anderson] goes. [Val Collins] goes. And I think somebody said right in there, "Well these guys are just picking off all the girls."
And that might've been a tipping point to the girls, saying, "Well, we need to start getting rid of some of these guys." And boom, did it ever happen! There goes [John Rocker], there goes [Dale Wentworth], and then boom, [Josh Canfield], Jeremy, Reed, [Wes Nale], [Alec Christy]. It was like a string of four or five of them right there in a row.
Reality TV World: I wanted to go back to the Tribal Council when Wes got voted off. Why did you choose to play your hidden Immunity Idol when you knew that either Wes or yourself was going home either way? Why not save the idol and just take that 50/50 chance, leaving open the possibility for the person who sticks around in the game to play it in the future?
Keith Nale: Yeah, well, you've got about five seconds to make that decision. That was one of the scenarios. I could've played it and Wesley goes home, I could've given it to Wesley and I go home -- that would've been the right move, give it to Wesley, nobody knows he's got it, and I take one for the home team and I go to the house and he's still there with an idol.
But I asked him right there at the end, I said, "Wesley, take this. You can run faster, you can jump higher, you might be able to go further." And he said, "No, no! It's your idol; You play it." And I struggled with that for about two minutes.
Reality TV World: Well that's what I mean. Don't give it to Wesley but also don't play it for yourself.
Keith Nale: I was even thinking about doing what Nat did, saying, "Jeff, here, this works for Wesley." And I would've went to the house but we would've used our idol too. When Jon played his, I knew one of us had to play it. We were next on the chopping block, so that really made that "stick to the plan" comment tragic for Wesley. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: I was going to ask you about that "stick to the plan" comment. How big a role do you think that played in everything falling apart for you and your alliance? Do you think Jon would've played his idol without that?
Keith Nale: I didn't think he was going to, but Natalie kept saying, "Play your idol, Jon. Play your idol." And I think Natalie was trying to flush his idol at that point. That idol is a curse. If they find out you've got it, it's a curse. They're going to flush it and you're going to have to play it -- and then go back and explain why you did all that and why didn't you tell us.
It's a curse, but I think it had a little bit to do with it. I'm not sure [Jon] would've played it, but everybody else said, "Yeah, he was going to play it." But Natalie kind of talked him into playing it too and he was glad he did. He would've been going to the house. So, when he played his, I knew I had to play mine.
Reality TV World: Do you remember Jaclyn urging Jon to play his idol at all? Because when I talked to Jon, he said it was Jaclyn more than Natalie who persuaded him to play his idol.
Keith Nale: Really? I didn't know that. I'm just kind of watching it on TV and they're trying to stay under the radar, and I heard Natalie say, "Play your idol, Jon! Play your idol, Jon!"
And that's kind of what they showed after I said that, "Let's stick to the plan." Reed was hammering down on me so bad. You don't just sit around in Louisiana and take that kind of abuse, and I just spit it out and that was a big mistake.
Reality TV World: There's been a lot of talk about how you didn't really know anything about Survivor before you played. What made you go on the show then? Was it as simple as Wes wanted to do it and he needed someone?
Keith Nale: Yeah, the funny thing about it is I wasn't Wesley's first choice I come to find out, you know? I was like, "What do you mean I wasn't your first choice!?" His first choice was his little brother, but Survivorsaid, "Oh, we already have a brother/brother team."
So, insert me. I was his second choice, and I said, "Sure, let's do this! I've watched a little bit ofSurvivor. I can do them challenges." Everybody says they can do them, you know? But that's how I got in the ballgame -- father/son. They already had a mother/daughter, father/daughter. But they didn't have a father/son. And it was a hell of an experience! A hell of an experience.
Click here to read the first half of Keith Nale's exclusive interview with Reality TV World.