When Julie McGee quit Survivor: Cagayan — Blood vs. Water last week, Jeff Probsttold her that she may have made a million-dollar decision — for someone else. Did his prediction come true, with Josh Canfield getting the boot at this week's Tribal Council? Josh thinks so.
Josh's ouster came as the result of a perfect storm of events in the days after Julie left: Jon being sent to Exile Island, Jaclyn beginning to question her and Jon's alliance as a result, and — the final nail in Josh's coffin — Jeremy beating him in the immunity challenge.
So, in a "what if" scenario, how might the game have played out differently if Julie hadn't quit? Read our Q&A with Josh to find out. Plus: get his take on the "frat house" antics that were happening around camp.
Josh: I definitely believe that if Julie hadn't quit, Jeremy would have been voted out last week. I think we had solidified our alliance with Jon and Jaclyn. I think I said in last week's episode that there was an 80 percent chance Jeremy would have been voted out and a 20 percent chance I would have been voted out. I still hold to that. Maybe even higher now. I really do think Jon and Jaclyn were with us last week.
We didn't get to see much of the reaction to Julie quitting. What were people saying?
Josh: We were all just a little upset. When you're going through something so difficult like that and someone quits on you, you kind of feel betrayed. We were all out here together. [She] bailed out on it, and that sucked. We all felt a little betrayed, a little disappointed as well, because we knew what that would mean to our season. We would be a season of Survivor where someone quit. No one wants that. It really kind of hit us all the next morning after she left, even though we knew it was coming. She had talked about quitting for days by this point, but we were hoping that because it had stopped raining that she wouldn't.
What did you think of Jaclyn and Missy's comments at Tribal Council about the guys treating camp like a frat house? Did you notice that they were getting bothered by it?
Josh: It was definitely evidently bothering them. I think there were overreactions on everybody's part. I'm not going to just slide over the fact that I do think that Alec, Wesand Keith were not being the greatest to the women. You're in a game where you're trying to get further ahead by having friends, basically. Everyone's going to be on the jury. How you're treating them is going to affect you one way or another. There's really no excuse for that behavior. But when Jaclyn said none of the guys were talking to her when Jon was at Exile, at Tribal I called her out on that. Because I did talk to her. They didn't show it but I said, 'Jaclyn, you're saying that I never tried to talk to you? Don't just clump us all together.' [Reed and I] wouldn't do that.
If you had known how strongly they were feeling, would you have tried to partner with them to get Keith or Wes or Alec out?
Josh: I don't think at that moment I would have tried to get Keith, Wes or Alec out. I think it would have not been beneficial for me to do that. I would have somehow tried to get to the other alliance. I don't think that would have been a wise move at that point. I would have probably gone to Keith, Wes and Alec and talked to them more about calming down. But at the same time, in my alliance, I tried not to be the one that everyone thought was a leader. I didn't want to put a target on my back.
It was really nice to watch you and Jeremy compete against each other because there was very clearly a mutual respect between you. And then the immunity challenge came down to the two of you.
Josh: You can't write that stuff. I knew I had to win that immunity, because I knew if Jeremy won than I would be going home. What's funny is, I thought I was going to be one of the first people out at that challenge. I always said to Reed that I wouldn't do well with those memory challenges. When it got to Jeremy and I, I was like, of course. When he won, I kind of knew that my fate was sealed.
Let's talk about your conversation with Baylor. You're a longtime fan of the game. Did you actually believe she owed you something?
Josh: [Laughs] No. Absolutely not. I didn't think she would switch. When you know you're on the chopping block, you do all you can. Baylor was already a lost cause. She was like a puppet on a string at that point. She was now with her mom 100 percent. But I wanted to do that before Tribal Council because I wanted her to know exactly what she was doing. She's so young and impressionable, I don't think she understood. I wanted to make her understand that if she voted for me she'd be seen as a villain in the game.
And then she brought up the fact that you voted for her at the first Tribal Council, but did you actually think she stood a chance of getting voted out? Or was that just a throwaway vote?
Josh: That was an in-the-moment strategy move that happened at Tribal Council. I voted for her because John Rocker pointed to her at Tribal Council. I did it on purpose so that I could say to John, I was with you, and so that no one would think I had such a close alliance with Baylor.
It was also kind of strange that Baylor brought up your and Reed's religion.
Josh: It was poor form. I have to go back to the fact that we're on this really intense show. I think sometimes you say things and you don't even realize the gravity of what that means. We're in a game. Everyone is doing what they can. That's not real life. That's this game.
From next week's previews, it seems like Reed really goes all in. Did you learn anything surprising about each other from playing the game?
Josh: We definitely grew together and learned a lot about each other. We learned that we can go through anything together. The fact that we went through the lowest time, where you're not eating and you're exhausted and there's people who are against you, means that we can get through anything together. It really cements our relationship so much more. Who cares what the world throws at us now?
Knowing about the comments John Rocker had previously made about gay people and New Yorkers, and considering that you're a gay New Yorker, were there any moments of awkwardness between you two?
Josh: No. I got along with John Rocker really well out there. It wasn't until halfway through that it was brought to light who he was. I didn't know who he was. I didn't care about that, because I'm playing the game. Things that happen outside of the game don't matter to me. I took him for what he was right in the moment. Even when he was yelling at Natalie during the challenge — there were a lot of other people yelling, by the way — that wasn't why I ended up voting him out. The reason that I ended up thinking that we should vote him out was because he blew our alliance up by telling Jeremy everything. I was like, "Oh, this guy can't be trusted. He can't keep his mouth shut."
Going way back to Week 1, Nadiya said she got some backlash about her comments at Tribal Council about you being "one of the girls." Were you offended by her remarks?
Josh: No, I was not. Again, I don't like to be called "one of the girls." In my normal life, that's not what I would prefer. She's such a sweet girl, and one of her best guy friends is gay and apparently he likes to be called that. But just because I'm gay doesn't mean I like to do the same things that other gay guys like to do. Again, I had my Survivor cap on. I wasn't offended. I was like, whatever.
Any final thoughts?
Josh: I loved the experience. It was really difficult, but it's been overwhelming last night and this morning to see the fans' response to me going home, and [their] support. It means so much.
Survivor airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on CBS. Were you sad to see Josh leave?
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