After weeks of controlling Survivor San Juan del Sur, Jon Misch got a blindside of his own last week, with his immunity idol still safely tucked in his pocket.
“I definitely got way too comfortable,” the contestant tells The TV Junkies. “I should have listened to Jaclyn.”
His girlfriend, Jaclyn Schultz, a former Miss Michigan, thought things had been a little too quiet at camp. Keith Nale, the obvious target, seemed a too cheery and complacent. Missy avoided talking to him before tribal.
Now instead of being in Nicaragua, the former Michigan State linebacker is back at home in the Wolverine state, where there was no snow, he reported, “but the pool is frozen.” Also frozen were his chances of winning the game that will wrap on Wednesday with an unexpected final five and a game that host Jeff Probst said is now “wide open.”
Misch said he had no particular grudge now against Natalie Anderson, who had been harbouring revenge plans since he voted her ally Jeremy out. In fact, he admired her game play, right after he snuffed his torch and again in our interview.
“It is a game, and for me to be that off guard, she had to have done it well. She was setting it up for days and days,” he said. “I give huge credit to her for the blindside.”
Misch said he was more worried about Missy Payne staying on board with the alliance. He had given up his place in the last reward challenge so she could go, and he understands that she was under the influence of her daughter Baylor Wilson. “You have to support your daughter,” he said.
Yet he was surprised, especially since, away from the cameras, Missy and he prayed regularly. And that’s where God gets to play a role in Survivor.
Misch said it was divine intervention that caused a gust of wind to topple his tower in the immunity challenge, while his only other competitor, Natalie, stood strong. It wasn’t so much the way the tower crashed as it was God’s plan, he said.
While on the island, Misch moved from a guy who could have easily been voted out early on for losing his tribe’s flint, to being one half of the power couple (alongside Jaclyn), whose switching alliances every week determined who’d go home.
Being on the show also meant that millions got to witness a prolonged argument he had with his girlfriend two weeks ago.
“It was actually funny to watch,” he says of the fight. “And I think viewers appreciated that this is the kind of argument couples get into all the time, where they don’t know why they’re arguing.”
He says he’s heard from a lot of people on social media who have said, “I’ve been there” seeing “something small blew into a five hour standoff.” The argument showed, he said “how stressed out there it was.”
But things are better between the two now. In fact, he says, “We got engaged Oct. 22.” The wedding is next year.
As for the Survivor finale, it’s this week. Tune in on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS and Global.
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