Natalie Napalm has claimed her first victim. Jeremy Crawford became the first member of the Goliath tribe voted out of Survivor: David vs. Goliath after a tense stand-off with Natalie. But it was not his feuding foe actually responsible for his ouster, but rather Angelina, who worried that Jeremy was too sneaky and untrustworthy and convinced the rest of the tribe to get him out. And Jeremy claims there is a shocking reason as to why — to protect her marriage.
Why exactly does Jeremy claim Angelina wanted him gone? How does he feel about being voted out unanimously, even by his biggest ally in Mike? And what does he have to say about Natalie? We asked the eliminated contestant all that and more when he called into EW Morning Live (Entertainment Weekly Radio, SiriusXM, channel 105), and here are some highlights from that chat, including a prepared statement from the contestant!
EW RADIO: How shocked were you to be voted out, and not just voted out, but unanimously voted out?
JEREMY CRAWFORD: Let me start out, I wrote a statement I’d like to read to you, and after that, let’s get into it, because there are some things that weren’t shown that I think are very relevant.
Sure. Have at it.
In the same way that Dan was in a one-sided showmance with Kara, actually Angelina was in a one-sided showmance with John. The difference being that Angelina was a recent newlywed. I think she got married maybe a month or two before the show. And although it wasn’t obvious, Angelina’s feelings towards John were singularly as real as Dan’s were towards Kara. And like Kara, John seemed not to be in a showmance, but more moving towards strategy. And on our first day, day 1, first hour, Angelina told us, “Oh, I told my husband about Survivor. He knows that I might have to cuddle and be in a showmance and he’s alright with it. He’s like, ‘Do whatever it takes to win the million dollars.’”
But as the days started to go by, she started to worry about what it might look like, because it started to look really obvious. On Survivor, we go to bed at like 6 o’clock because it gets completely dark, so that cuddling time was almost 12 hours, it becomes kind of important. And during that time, that showmance started to grow. And she started to worry about it.
So fast-forward to maybe day 6 after we won that fishing reward challenge. We were all sitting around the campfire — me, Kara, Natalie, maybe Alec, maybe some others — and Angelina was talking to John or something, and the way she was looking at him, I made a comment to them like, “Oh, if they catch this on camera, Angelina’s going to be in trouble.” Because she was letting her guard down and it looked like a showmance. That got back to Angelina. The morning of Tribal, that got back to her.
And the problem was, Angelina had gone around to people and said, “Don’t ever say showmance. Don’t ever say anything about me and John.” So when that got back to her she just freaked out. So at that point, the day of us going to Tribal, she essentially went around and told everybody, “He’s embarrassing me. He’s trying to humiliate me. He’s going to cause problems with me and my husband.” So she told the tribemates, “Don’t say anything on camera, but I want him gone. I want him out of here because he’s going to say that I’m on a showmance on TV and it’s going to affect me back home. But don’t you tell other people. Don’t you say anything about it on camera.”
So I realized something was going on. I’ve been watching Survivor a long time. And nobody, especially with somebody who everybody likes, is able to keep a complete secret. But the fact that nobody came and told me, that’s what really solidified for me that she told people not to say it on camera. And so what you saw last night, it was interesting. And it looks like me and Natalie were the ones who had the problem, but truthfully, I don’t even know if Natalie knew how the votes were going to go. I think she was blindsided because she thought she was going home. But in a game like Survivor, we are there to put it all on the line. There are no rules, but there is a fine line before you tell people “Vote somebody else but don’t put it on camera. Don’t say anything on camera.”
Because those people feel like they’re in a catch-22, thinking, If I say anything, she’s going to think I ruined her marriage, and that’s personal. But if I don’t say anything to him, he’s going to get voted out. So she went to the people who didn’t know me as well at first: Alison, John, and such. And by the time she got to Alec and them, she was like “I already have the numbers,” because she already had six people who already vowed to not say anything on camera and just vote me out. I think that was beyond the pale, and I don’t think that’s a legitimate game move, but it is what it is.
Have you and Angelina spoken after the game at all or hashed this out once you both got back?
No, we haven’t. I didn’t know a lot of it, because it was just so shocking. I kind of knew it was something like that, but I just didn’t want to believe rumors. And I haven’t spoke to a lot of people about the game. I’m watching the game as it goes.
So what about Natalie then? We saw you try to help her early on in the game and then you two started butting heads. What do you have to say about that whole situation and how are you two now?
Me and Natalie did not necessarily have a direct problem. Natalie hated the fact of Natalia trying to build the camp, and they started a battle amongst each other and it intensified to the point where I stepped in to talk to Natalie and say, “Hey, you’re going kind of crazy on Natalia.” Then Natalie got into a confrontation about Mike because she made her bed in the sand, and Mike walked through it or something like that, and she went off on Mike and Mike was livid about it. So when you’re seeing this stuff, its’ not so much that Jeremy and Natalie had a fight. It was Jeremy was trying to calm Natalie down with these other fights that she had been having with Dan and Natalia and Mike.
But nobody likes the messenger. Natalie was very unaware, so unaware people can’t tell whether you are coming to give them a kiss or coming for their jugular. Everything is just them on the defensive. That’s the Natalie thing. But Natalie is not an uncommon person. You meet Natalies throughout life. So I don’t go to sleep thinking about Natalie. I do go to sleep thinking about the Angelina thing, but I don’t go to sleep thinking about Natalie.
What did you think when you were watching the episode last night and saw Natalie’s vote-out line for you where she said, “That stinging sensation you feel in your eyes right now? That’s the Natalie Napalm. Get off of my island. By the way, your skin is gorgeous, darling.”
I didn’t think anything about it. If you go back and watch the episodes, Natalie is standing beside me most every episode. Me and Natalie could not sleep, so me and Natalie were up all night talking. And any information I got I kinda got from Natalie. Natalie is a rage and regret kind of person, so as long as you are in the regret part of her personality, you can have a good time. When Natalie is not intimidated or feels left out or feels on guard, you can talk to her and have a decent conversation. If she is in the rage part of it, then you can’t. So when she was complimenting my skin, she always said I tanned well and Natalie is into skin care. It’s rage and regret.
Looking back now, do you think it was a mistake to tell everyone how you were sneaking around in Dan’s jacket to find the idol?
No, because only Mike knew I found the idol in Dan’s jacket, which I found the day after Dan found the idol. Only Mike knew that. Everything you’re seeing me do strategy-wise is in the last hour before Tribal. So nobody knew about it until I realized Angelina was having these meetings with people and something was coming my way, and I so I figured I had to build more trust.
I didn’t think Angelina was telling them “to protect my husband and protect my family.” I thought she was telling them “Let’s have an all-girl alliance and keep Natalie.” That was my whole thing, that she was trying to get out a boy. So I was offering them another boy option. I didn’t realize that was she was telling them, “If he stays, my marriage is in jeopardy and he’s going to say I have a showmance.”
Did it hurt to see your biggest ally in Mike join the majority and vote you out, or did he just have to go with the majority for his own game?
I think he had to go with the majority and I think the story from Angelina was so compelling that he was like, I’m not going to rock the vote. What Angelina pulled off nobody has really been able to pull off without some sort of outside story because it’s just too difficult to do an uphill battle against one of the most popular players on the first vote an hour before Tribal. That’s really unheard of. And Mike just had to save himself and not be perceived on the outside more than he was.
UPDATE: CBS in the past has never let players still in the game officially respond to comments made by those in exit interviews. However, the network broke precedent and provided this statement from Angelina regarding Jeremy’s claims: “My husband and I are aware of Jeremy’s comments. While we do not appreciate his blatant mischaracterization of my friendship and alliance with John, I am not surprised he feels compelled to attempt to revise the narrative. I think all of this really comes down to one fundamental Survivor truth: being the first eliminated member of your tribe by a unanimous, undisclosed blindside, must really sting, especially for a supposed ‘Goliath.'”