In one of the first true blindsides in this season of Survivor, Jeremy Collins, the trusted fireman, devoted husband and alliance leader, was burned by his crew. It seemed like strategic good guy Jeremy was not the target at Tribal Council but the shocking vote snuffed his torch and sent him home.
What was going through his mind at Tribal Council? Jeremy says, “When my name started coming up, I just thought it was the other alliance throwing out my name. I didn’t think they had a real plan since Josh was gone. And until my name came up the last time that’s when I realized my alliance had turned its back on me.”
As a student of the game, he had watched many a previous seasons and taken notes on game play, and maybe he would have known better. What letter grade would he have given himself for his performance? Jeremy laughs, “I didn’t win the game so I failed. I give myself an F!”
Perhaps he was too confident in his alliance? “I didn’t trust my alliance. I trusted Nat. I realized that Jon and Jaclyn had chosen our side so I felt that I was good for that week and maybe another week before I had to start worrying about us going after each other.”
Jeremy didn’t have any idea that Missy would be the one to flip on his alliance but there may have been early warning signs, “One time, I did walk up on Missy and John talking. They started talking about a lame topic and I thought that was shady. I asked Nat about it later on in the day and she said that John even said it was shady that I walked up on them and they didn’t mean to change subject. So I knew something was going on but I didn’t think they had the numbers. I didn’t think they could do anything about it”.
What about the idea of breaking up power couple (aka swing vote couple) Jon and Jaclyn? Jeremy explains, “If we tried anything, we would have had to pull in another couple and I tried to pull in the firefighters to see if I could get something going on with them and Keith does not want to play with me at all. I don’t get it. From Day 3, he threw me under the bus, when I told him that I had his back and he tells everyone that I have the Idol. Keith did not want me there…I can’t go that route. I tried to pull in Alec and told him, I worked with Drew; I’d like to work with you. And he only wanted to work with Josh. There was no other option; I had to stick with my alliance”.
In this week’s Ponderosa video, Josh looked shocked, but also really happy to see his nemesis come through the door. Now that they’re both on the jury, does the game of Survivor stop there or were the two still discussing strategy? Jeremy reveals “We always talk strategy and talk Survivor. I just think that’s how Josh and I are always going to be. We’ll always be talking about the game and we can’t switch our minds off that.
I did not know that it was Nat who had turned her back and voted for me. It took me a few days of running through the numbers. Josh had said Reed did it. I figured ‘here goes Josh, trying to set me up to vote for Reed in the final’ and I didn’t believe him. But the longer we talked, I said maybe it was Reed and Nat didn’t do it. But I just couldn’t understand it ’cause Reed sat through all the meetings about the couples going after the singles and he was single, why would he come after a single?”
So what about a Jeremy/Josh alliance? Jeremy quickly shuts down that idea, “That will never happen. We respect each other’s game and I think we’ll just leave it at that. We can’t trust each other enough to ever work together but if we did, I know we would kill it”.
Jeremy definitely wins the Survivor Husband of the Year award for the way he was always looking after wife, Val – Would his strategy changed if she was still in the game? “My whole game changes with Val. When Val went to Exile, I decided to go with the women because Val would get her girls on her side so if I had gotten my girls and we merged with her girls, she’ll be in charge and she can go on and win the game. She’s my wife. I love her. I want the best for her and whatever she wants, she gets.”
Did Jeremy learn any life lessons from playing Survivor that he would pass on to his two daughters? “Life lessons, no. I think it was just a game. My kids were sad and they were crying. I just let them know it’s a game and we lost. I might get another shot, so don’t give up and you might get another shot in life and everything so don’t give up.”