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Survivor: Cagayan Interview — Jeremiah Wood Explains Why He Kept His Modeling Career A Secret

April 24, 2014 01:30 PM by Ryan Haidet


If you do a Google search for Jeremiah Wood, you get a mixed bag of results.  First, there’s the obvious content about him competing on Survivor: Cagayan.  Then, there’s a slew of pictures of him modeling clothes — or lack thereof — for various companies like Wrangler and Abercrombie.  The 34-year-old castaway kept his successful modeling career a secret throughout his time on Survivor — up until the last moments before he was voted out of the game.  He felt it was the appropriate time to reveal to his allies, Spencer and Tasha, that he was a fashion model.  Shortly after he came clean, his entire game was done when Jeremiah found himself voted out of the game.  I had the chance to chat with Jeremiah today where he expressed his feelings toward Tony, explained why he was so close to Spencer and ultimately revealed this season will end with a final two.  Plus, he responds to the comment Brice dished out that labeled him as a cockroach.  Plus, there’s plenty of pics for you ladies to enjoy inside this article!

Question: How much consideration did Spencer actually give into playing his Idol on you?

Jeremiah Wood: We talked about it a lot in the water before Tribal Council.  I knew that he had it.  He was trying to figure out if he should play it for me or play it for himself.  At the time, Spencer was a bigger Immunity threat.  The bad thing about it was, nobody was budging in that alliance.  So we had no hunch which one of us they were targeting.  I told Spencer, “Bud, you got to go with your gut on this.  You have to go with what your heart is saying.”  If this is a time when we have some type of hunch, then he definitely would have played it on me in a heartbeat.  Going into Tribal, we had no clue.  We knew it was either me or him.  When he got up and went to hand it to Jeff, he hesitated.  He didn’t know if he should play it for me.  He just went on his heart because we had no clue.  He took a shot and it just didn’t work.


Question: What were your thoughts of Tony at that Tribal Council?

Jeremiah Wood: Tony is who he is.  His mind is going 100 miles per minute on the show.  He’s so paranoid.  It was killing me that everybody in his alliance is not seeing it.  I called him out first thing at the merge about when he talked to me about being a construction worker.  I knew he was lying to my face because he couldn’t even answer me (laughs).  He’s playing a remarkable game.  He’s entertaining.  I wanted to choke him on the show, but he is entertaining.  He’s playing the game hard.  It’s mind-blowing to know that nobody is budging.  Everybody is staying strong.  Watching him lie and blindside LJ like he did and they’re not budging with him.


Question: What were you thinking when Tony pulled out the Immunity Idol as Spencer was playing his?

Jeremiah Wood: Going into Tribal, me and Spencer knew he did not have an Idol at the time.  But, watching the episode, I didn’t know he had found the special Idol.  I turned that jungle inside out trying to find that thing and it’s amazing to see where he found it.  It was a tree that I never looked around.  Mad props to Tony for finding it.  When he pulled out the Idol we “knew” it was fake because it was square.  Every Idol that had been played so far has been round and a necklace.  He mentioned before that he had made one and he was going to use it to show Sarah.  We knew it was fake.  That didn’t change Spencer’s decision or my decision.  If it had been vice versa and I had the Idol, I doubt I would have played it for Spencer.  We just didn’t know what to do.


Question: What are thoughts on Tony today?

Jeremiah Wood: Tony is a nut, that’s for sure (laughs).  He’s a good guy outside of the show.  He’s an amazing guy.  Inside the show he’s doing everything he can to have a strong strategy.  Right now, it’s working.  He’s doing a very good job.


Question: Who do you think is the bigger threat — Tony or Spencer?

Jeremiah Wood: Right now, the biggest threat would be Tony.  He’s playing an unbelievable game.  I have to give it to him.  He’s got a strategy and it’s working.  He’s got some people on his team who just won’t move.  That’s why I was trying to get him out when we went into the merge. …  He’s probably the biggest threat.  Spencer is the biggest underdog.  He’s playing a remarkable game.  But to me, the biggest threat would probably be in my eyes, Tony.


Question: Was your ultimate plan to go to the finals with Tasha and Spencer?

Jeremiah Wood: It would have been tough to sit in the final two or three with both of them.  Spencer was getting it in my head, “There’s no way I can beat you, Jeremiah.”  Spencer was at the bottom of his alliance when I went to him and talked to him after the tribe swap.  It would have been hard to vote him out, but if the game kept going like it was, it would have been hard for me to sit in the final two with him, or final three with him and Tash.  If you watch seasons past, sometimes you have to take people you could win easily over.  I might of lost a jury vote, but I might of had to suck it up and vote one of them out.  It would have been a tough decision.  Unless I was there in the final two, it would have been a tough decision to make just because I knew they weren’t doing anything without me.  I knew I had them close.


Question: After watching how poorly they performed in challenges at the start of the season, what drew you to align with Spencer and Tasha?

Jeremiah Wood: When I made the decision to vote out Brice, I know I lost Morgan and Alexis.  When we went to the first merge (tribal swap) and I got stuck on the same team as the three brains (Spencer, Tasha and Kass) with Morgan and Alexis, I said, “Oh, crap.  What am I going to do?  I’m at the bottom.”  I knew they was underdogs.  I knew they was at the bottom.  I knew they made some bad decisions on the people they voted out.  They couldn’t win challenges.  They looked like a tight group because of everything they had gone through.  It was a game of numbers.  I said, “Dang, I gotta win these people over.”  I went to each of them and pleaded my case.  I explained the whole Brice situation and let them know how trustworthy I could be — and they believed me.  They definitely helped me out when I voted out Alexis.  It was a good decision on my part.  It was good strategy to go with three underdogs to give them numbers because I thought they would be unmovable in their alliance.  It was just the right decision for me at the time.


Question: Well, you bring up Brice, which leads me to the next question.  When I interviewed him several weeks ago, he compared you to a cockroach.  What is your response to that?

Jeremiah Wood: (Laughs) There is really no response to it.  Sometimes you can take this game personal and sometimes you can take it as a game.  I pretty much lied right to his face.  I apologized to him.  We’ve talked and we’ve made up.  He’s a good guy.  At the time, I lied to his face.  I told him I was gonna be there. …  So there’s my response.  He said what he did.  It would have been hard for me, too, with somebody who just lied to my face.  I might of had some harsh words, too.  But I don’t hold it against Brice.  He’s a good guy.  He’s got a great personality.  I don’t hold no grudges.  I expected him and Morgan to be absolutely brutal in their interviews (laughs).  And they were, kind of.  But this is real life.  That was gameplay.  I have no harsh feelings.


Question: When you were talking with Spencer and Tasha in the water before Tribal Council you revealed that you work as a fashion model.  Why did you keep that a secret for so long?

Jeremiah Wood: It was one of my strategies coming into the game.  There has been a lot of models on Survivor before and sometimes they get targeted because all they’re here for is TV time to promote themselves.  I was wanting to show to the world, I’m a superfan of the show, I’ve studied the show, I know what it takes to win.  One of my first strategies coming into the show was just letting my hair just kinda go and let the wind blow it wherever it went.  I didn’t want to be a target first thing. …  I was trying to prove to the world that I’m a true fan of the show and here to win — not to just get TV time.


Question: So what were you actually telling people your profession was?

Jeremiah Wood: I do have a little, small job in the town where I bought my house.  I’ve been doing it for years and it’s a good way to make a double salary.  We’ve got contracts with Gatorade and Tropicana where we work on the machines.  I was trying to push that more than anything.  I was trying to prove I’m just a country boy who lives in a small town with a normal job and normal life.  I was trying to tell them I remodeled and worked on these machines (laughs).  It just worked.  It just got to the point where I knew me or Spencer was getting targeted and I felt like I could trust him and Tasha with anything.  I still can in real life.  I’m like, “Hey guys, I’m really a fashion model.”  Then I told Tash to Google my name (laughs), so I knew other people would be doing it.


Question: What is the most well-known thing in modeling that you’ve done?  Where would Survivor viewers possibly seen you before?

Jeremiah Wood: I’ve actually done a lot of stuff.  Right now, Wrangler is my big client.  Some of the big things I’ve done is probably with Abercrombie.  I was in all of their stores.  When I first started, the very first modeling job I ever landed was with Abercrombie.  I was in all the malls, in all the stores and billboards.  Then I did a commercial for Ralph Lauren with their clothes.  I’ve done some pretty big stuff where people could actually find me and see me in stores.


Question: How long did it take you to get back in shape for your modeling career after you got home from the show?

Jeremiah Wood: After losing all the weight and eating a bunch of cheeseburgers and french fries (laughs), it actually took me a couple of months.  I gained all my weight back in the wrong ways, so it took me a couple of months to get my hind end back in shape (laughs).  A lot of running, a lot of cardio and finally I got back there.


Question: How did you land a spot on Survivor?

Jeremiah Wood: I auditioned for it.  It took me a long time to get on this show.  I’ve had a lot of people asking me on Twitter if I was a recruit or if I auditioned.  I know that’s considered a touchy subject, but to let the world know, I did audition.  I sent in a lot of tapes for this.  I never just gave up.  I tried to see what I could do to have a strong video.  If I was a recruit and I wanted to push modeling, I would have been shaved and my hair wouldn’t have been jacked up.  I would have looked like a model.  I want people to know that I’m a fan of this show.  I love this show.  I gave it 150 percent to try and win this show.


What are your thoughts on Jeremiah’s comments?  Are you sad he was voted out of the game?  Would you ever want to see him play again?  Do you agree with Jeremiah that Tony is the biggest threat left in the game?  Have you seen his picture in any stores?  Sound off and leave a comment in the section below!

Photos: CBS

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Topics: CBS Reality TV Shows, Survivor |

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1 Comment »

One Response to “Survivor: Cagayan Interview — Jeremiah Wood Explains Why He Kept His Modeling Career A Secret”

  1. Mia Says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    “Might have,” not ” might of.” I guess he said a lot of people contacted him on Twitter, not “a long of people.”


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