"No hard feelings" were the last words Jon Misch uttered to his tribe mates shortly before his (nearly forgotten) torch was snuffed on Wednesday's episode of Survivor: San Juan del Sur — Blood vs. Water. But, Misch says, the longer he thought about his ouster, the more it started to irk him.
"Initially, I actually had no problems with it," Misch tells TVGuide.com. "As soon as I was voted out, I was like, 'Alright, well, I came as far as I could,' and I pretty much accepted it. The order that [my emotions] went in [was] acceptance, not acceptance, anger. It was all over the place. It wasn't until I talked with some of the guys that I kind of got a little frustrated. I knew it was more Natalie than Missy, but I just couldn't believe that Missy actually did vote for me."
Read our full Q&A with Jon to find out why he opted not to play his idol, why he doesn't blame Jaclyn for their big fight, and what we didn't see at Tribal Council.'
Did you really not think you were in any danger of getting voted out, even after you were forced to play your idol a few episodes ago?
Jon: All they showed was me talking about how much I trusted the alliance and how confident I was, but Jaclyn and I actually went back and forth a lot about whether or not we could fully trust Missy. And it's funny, because even though Missy and I had a closer relationship, Natalie was the one that Jaclyn and I felt more comfortable talking to. I had this great friendship with Missy, but I just could not believe that she was so true to me that she was going to take me to the final three. ... Especially going into my last Tribal, Jaclyn and I kept on saying, can we trust her? Can we not? And eventually we just said, look, this is the last time we're gonna talk about it because we're both getting way too stressed out about it, and whatever we decide is what we're gonna go with. And at that moment, we decided Missy will not blindside us. Maybe Natalie wants to, but I don't see Missy doing it. And if Missy doesn't, then Baylor won't, because Baylor just does what her mom tells her to.
It was clear that Missy really struggled with the decision.
Jon: Yeah, and actually seeing that really reassured me a little bit. I've been holding onto it a little bit, which is totally hypocritical of me, because I expected Jeremy to be over it when I voted him out. Which he was. Jeremy is one of the most level-headed people I've ever met. So, I expected him to be over it, and yet, when I was blindsided, I held onto this anger a little bit. And after watching that episode, It kind of hit me, like, look, it's not like she just jumped up and said, yeah, let's get Jon out. It was very hard for her. So, that was really reassuring to see and I'm looking forward to talking to Missy again about that.
But you never considered playing your idol?
Jon: I think they cut this out ... but when we were sitting at Tribal, I kept trying to talk to Missy, and she wouldn't talk to me. And I was like, that's so weird. I actually remember gesturing to Jaclyn, like, do I need to pull this idol out? She's like, 'No, we decided we're going to trust them. No.' But they didn't show any of that, thankfully. Obviously I wish I would have played my idol.
Do you have any other regrets about how you played the game?
Jon: In general, I like the way I played. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't understand that everybody there understands it's a game. And blindsiding is part of this game. ... It's hard, but I played the way that I think the game is meant to be played. You're supposed to blindside people. You're supposed to jump ship every once in a while just to change things up. I thought I kept it interesting.
What about giving Baylor your reward? Were you annoyed that she turned around and voted for you?
Jon: No. Because like I said before, it's just a game. ... A basic thing with Survivor is just that you have to keep your emotions out of your judgment. You can't let your emotions dictate how you're going to vote. And that's what I did when we voted Jeremy out. I really did not want to. He's a great guy. But it was part of the game. And that's what Missy had to do. She had to stop letting her emotions get in the way, and that's what got me out. It was a good play.
You and Jaclyn got criticized by some people for the way you played, and yet you guys ended up being the swing votes week after week. Were you surprised by that?
Jon: There's so many comments I've read about how Jaclyn and I were getting lucky that we were in the middle, and yada yada yada. But it's actually a way that you play it. The thing that Jaclyn and I were doing was just making sure that we were maintaining friendships and having conversations with people in both alliances. I think a mistake that a lot of people make is that, when they get in an alliance, they shun the other people. By doing that, those people say, okay, well, obviously that person is not going to be someone that I could work with. Whereas Jaclyn and I would be in an alliance, but we would still be friendly with the other people. We'd still have conversations, talk about their families, talk about what they're going to do at home and all this. so, we kept ourselves in a position where we were approachable. I mean, that's not luck. That's just kind of the strategy that Jaclyn and I had going into the game.
Sometimes it seemed like you were the one strategizing and Jaclyn was just going along with it.
Jon: I was the one that would strategize, and then what Jaclyn would do is ask questions about that strategy to make sure it was solid. So, together we played very well at me saying, okay, I think this is what we should do and this is why. And then Jaclyn would say, okay, well, what about this? What if this happens/ What if this happens? So they didn't actually show how well Jaclyn and I communicated out there. It was a daily thing, talking about the situation we're in, the possible situations we could be in, weighing the pros and cons.
Going back a few weeks, what was your reaction to Jaclyn taking offense that the guys at camp didn't talk to her while you were on Exile Island?
Jon: The way it was presented was like, Jaclyn was offended that she wasn't talked to and she's mad she wasn't the center of attention. But, more of what we talked about was that, if that alliance was not interested in getting to know Jaclyn or in her opinions on things or in asking her for help, how long could we really trust them to keep us as a priority in their alliance? So, what we saw there was, okay, we can't vote with them right now, because they could go for us next. So, we decided to go with Jeremy first and get Josh out. But then, at that point we realized, if Jeremy's here, we're at the bottom of this alliance because Jeremy, being the leader of this alliance, didn't want couples in his alliance and people pretty much knew that. So, being on his alliance was kind of a double-edged sword, so at that point was when we kind of said, okay, before he gets to one of us, we need to get him out. ...The whole blood vs. water thing came into effect there, because Jaclyn and I were strategizing as a couple, what can we do to get us as far as possible, instead of me just strategizing by myself, where maybe I wouldn't have voted out Jeremy at that point.
Was it frustrating for you when you guys got in a fight on last week's episode?
Jon: It was extremely irritating. I wasn't mad at Jaclyn for it. I mean, we'd been starving for 30-some odd days and at that point, we had yet to really have an argument. I thought that was a pretty good feat for us to accomplish. But, that being said, it was extremely frustrating. We've talked about it and ... after Tribal it was completely buried.
After your elimination, were you concerned about leaving Jaclyn out there on her own?
Jon: She's a great player. When I left, I was not worried about her being out there at all. The thing I was most worried about is how she would look on camera when she got back to camp, because I knew she was going to let them have it for voting me out. That'll be up on the next episode. (Laughs)
Survivor airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on CBS.
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