Exclusive: Survivor: San Juan del Sur -- Blood vs. Water eliminee Dale Wentworth talks (Part 1)
By Reality TV World staff, 11/03/2014
Survivor: San Juan del Sur -- Blood vs. Water eliminated Dale Wentworth during Wednesday night's sixth episode of the CBS reality competition's 29th season.
Dale, a 55-year-old farmer from Ephrata, WA, was voted out of his Coyopa tribe at the season's sixth Tribal Council session. At this point in the season, his daughter Kelley Wentworth is also out of the game.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Dale talked about his Survivor experience. Below is the first half. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: What did you go into that Tribal Council expecting to happen? Were you expecting to be the one voted off?
Dale Wentworth: I was fully expecting that I was going to be the one going home. When we voted, I was kind of toying with the idea of -- because [Keith Nale] and [Jaclyn Schultz] and [Jon Misch] had all talked to me. They all came up [to me] and said, "Let's all vote [Missy Payne] tonight."
So I would have had to have voted for Missy but I was halfway tempted to vote Keith because I knew they were going to split the vote. They were going to go three for me and three for Keith, and the worst I could do is extend the drama out and have a tie-vote and then a re-vote and then I would've gone home.
But I went ahead and threw one at Missy just to say I could vote for her. But, you know, at one point, if you look at the show, I'm lifting the bags up and putting them in my lap.
Reality TV World: Had you expected Jon to accept your offer to give him your hidden Immunity Idol if they didn't vote you off at the next Tribal, or did you go into that conversation thinking it was just a "Hail Mary longshot" at best? What kind of odds had you given that?
Dale Wentworth: It was, well, Kelley and I sat down right after the tribe swap, and about the only thing left at that point was who was going to go five or six. So, even by the time I got ready to approach Jon, that was absolutely the only game I had left -- the only play I had left in the game.
There was no benefit for our tribe to even win the last two Immunity Challenges because there was no benefit to Jon and Jaclyn and [Baylor Wilson] and Missy and Keith to take Kelley and I any farther in the game.
The quicker they could get us out, the better it was for them because they didn't want us to go back in and vote against them, because none of us got along. We didn't have alliances from the start.
Reality TV World: Why do you think Jon and Jaclyn originally decided to side with Missy and Baylor in voting Kelley off and then stay loyal to them and vote you off? Like you pointed out, Baylor certainly hadn't demonstrated much loyalty to Jaclyn before the tribal swap, and like we saw last night, Missy still seems to have some significant ties to the other tribe.
Dale Wentworth: And as you saw last night, Missy was willing to throw Keith under the bus and their tight as ticks. I mean, she didn't care if I went home or Keith. Whichever one, she really didn't care, so -- and Jon and [Drew Christy] were exceptionally tight and Missy flipped on Drew and voted him off!
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So, I can't tell you. I know Kelley and I would've been more loyal than how Missy and Baylor are so far in the game. But I can't explain why they did what they did, how's that?! (Laughs) If I did, I'd still be on the dang show.
Reality TV World: Everyone had seemed to anticipate a tribal merge was likely coming soon, so did you have any discussions with Jon and Jaclyn about what they thought was going to happen when that happened? And if so, what did they say?
Dale Wentworth: And we all knew just by the numbers that one or myself or another body and then the merge was going to happen. Usually, within a couple days, the merge is going to happen. And that's why -- because we all talked about it -- we knew just by the numbers. Everybody's been a fan of the show.
We knew the numbers, and that's why they were willing to -- in my opinion -- throw the last two Immunity Challenges to get Kelley and I out, so once the merge was made, we couldn't reunite with our alliances on the other side.
Reality TV World: Who did you think Jon and Jaclyn thought they were going to reunite with on the other side? Who had they expected to align with once the tribes merged?
Dale Wentworth: Well, if you take Jon and Jaclyn, Missy and Baylor, and then Keith, and you throw in [Wes Nale], that's a block of six votes -- three couples. That's huge! Then, all they have to do is Baylor and [Alec Christy] have always been extremely tight, could Baylor get [Josh Canfield] and [Reed Kelly] to tie in?
All of a sudden, there's four couples and singles that's almost unbeatable. Now, whether it actually happens or not is another thing. But it depends how much Baylor and Josh get along still, but if she can bring Josh and Reed in, that's an unbeatable combination right there.
Reality TV World: So you think they saw Keith as a core part of their alliance -- and bringing in Wes?
Dale Wentworth: Yeah, because Missy and Keith are -- Missy's got Keith so wrapped around her little finger that -- well, you saw it last week with Kelley. Keith comes walking into the [area] where Baylor and Missy are sitting, and he goes, "Who do you want me to vote out tonight?"
They go, "Vote out Kelley."
And he goes, "Okay."
"Now go back and play with your fishing pole."
And that's what Keith did. That's the game he played. And more props to him! He's in the game and I'm not, so it must be working.
Reality TV World: But that wasn't just a short-term situation where he might've felt they were genuine allies and not that he was the odd-man out -- a single in a tribe of couples?
Dale Wentworth: Talking to Kelley, say, after the tribe swap happened, Kelley told me that Missy and Keith were tied together at the hip from Day 1 -- and same with Jon.
Reality TV World: It seemed like [Natalie Anderson] volunteering to go to Exile Island with Baylor didn't really raise too many red flags from your tribe, especially Jon and Jaclyn. Was that really the case, or did that just not make it into the editing?
Dale Wentworth: You know, I don't think it raised that many red flags. We were so concentrated, and as soon as Kelley got voted out, I didn't care if we won the Reward. There's only one focus on my mind. I didn't care who went to Exile Island or anything like that, because at that point, it didn't matter to me because I was living minute by minute, hour by hour on the island.
So that was one of those moments when you're on such a short-term, you worry about that -- whatever Natalie does -- later on. You have to worry about that if you make it there.
Reality TV World: Well, I meant that maybe it was more of a red flag that Natalie considered Missy a really close ally and whether they considered that a threat.
Dale Wentworth: Like I said, I didn't talk to Missy and Jon, and around camp, we didn't talk too much. Most of my conversations with those two when I came back were just strictly the [hidden] Immunity Idol and the fake idol, that sort of stuff -- how can I live another day? So, it was tunnel vision on my part, I guess.
Reality TV World: Had making a fake idol been a strategy you had gone into the game with before it even started or was that a spare-of-the-moment idea you just came up with when you went to get the water and saw the decorative thing you thought could pass for an idol?
Dale Wentworth: Well, I've been a super fan of the game, so I've seen it played before. I've seen guys play -- be given fake idols before and then play them and get sent home because of it. So, as soon as I saw it, I put it in my pocket, because you never know when it might come in handy.
If I could've found a piece of canvas to wrap it up in a little bit to make it a little bit more realistic, it probably would've been nicer. But, it's just one of those poker chips you hope you never have to play. And when it came up, that was the only thing I had left to play with.
Reality TV World: What made you decide to tell Jon you had a hidden Immunity Idol? Why did you tell him and not Jaclyn, Missy or Baylor? Was it because he was just a guy and you felt closer to him, or did you feel he'd be the one most likely to fall for the idea and not ask too many questions? What was the reason?
Dale Wentworth: Because Jon hadn't been around my tribe very much, you know, so he didn't know how much assertion I've gotten or anything like that. He didn't know the clues had been shared on our tribe. So that was one of the things. And Jon and I had some really good conversations, so I got along with Jon really good outside of the strategy point.
So, I was just playing on Jon a little bit for his issues with his dad and stuff, you know? I'm about his dad's age and stuff, so hopefully that'll weigh into my favor and get him a little sympathy vote. I don't know, there's so many things that go into it, but he just happened to be the guy that, at that time, was just right to approach.
Please check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion of Dale's exclusive interview.