Survivor's Joe Anglim explains why voting him out was the smartest move
The moment Joe's torch was snuffed, a firestorm sparked on social media, with droves of disappointed fans vowing they weren't going to watch the show anymore without him. In our one-on-one interview with Joe, he expressed his deep gratitude for the love he's received from fans before explaining why voting him out was exactly what the tribe should have done. Plus, he revealed the full story we didn't see regarding his medical emergency and dished the dirt on which contestants he was hoping to take to the end. And what was the deal with all the dad kissing?
SheKnows: There are a lot of people on Twitter saying they don't want to watch Survivor anymore since you've been voted off. What's your reaction to that?
Joe Anglim: It saddens my heart, man. I would tell all of them that if they are true fans of Joe, then hopefully they will watch the season with me. I love, love, love Survivor, and I want them to watch it in its entirety because it is so awesome. This is maybe one of my favorite seasons of Survivor. Please watch. Please continue to watch. If anything, I'm on the jury so maybe you'll get to see a brief second of me if that's what you're looking for [laughs]. I stayed off social media last night because we had family and friends over. I plugged my phone in, put it over in the corner and spent some quality TLC time.
SK: How does it feel that people have such strong positive feelings toward you?
JA: It's still really surreal. I never thought this would even happen. I just thought I was gonna play Survivor and do the best I could. But I guess I think I connect with all these fans. I'm a true fan that's always wanted to play this forever. I can relate to so many people who've really wanted to go out there and try their hand at this crazy, awesome game. It's humbling. I'm honored. The reception has been overwhelming. The love from so many people has me so blown away.
SK: On the flip side, there are many other superfans relishing in your elimination, saying it was the smartest move the other castaways could've made. Looking back, did they make the right choice to vote you out?
JA: I think so. I think everyone, for the most part, made a pretty good decision. In terms of the threat analysis at this time in the game, I have a lot of pull with people on the jury and people in the game. I think I am a threat to win challenges. If you're comparing me to Abi, maybe I don't have as much in the tank and I'm not as healthy as I was prior to the challenge. I just really was pushing for Abi as taking up a slot at the end over me, who would still have to win three or four more immunities to make it to the end. So, what's the bigger threat? Numbers or me as kind of an isolated variable? I think, for the most part, looking back, if I saw somebody out there giving that much effort, then yeah, they need to go [laughs].
SK: So if you were in Spencer's position, you would've voted against somebody like yourself, too?
JA: Oh, man. I was building a friendship and a relationship with Spencer. I thought I could trust him more than I could. I thought he would want to keep me around for one or two more votes as a shield. If anything, I thought Spencer thought he could beat me at the end. I figured if Spence took me to the end, he would build a case like, "I'm that confident in my game that I could bring Joe to the end and still beat him. All he does is win challenges, but I strategically wanted him with me to get to the end." Then the target would never be on him. On Cagayan, he pulled out some really awesome challenges in the end and got himself close. I was thinking he still wanted a shield. Just like Jeremy. I was using my challenge prowess like, "This is it. I want to win all these things. Let me be your shield. Let me take all the heat, but just keep me around." [Laughs] It's tricky.
SK: There are some fans saying you had no shot at winning the game in the end against anybody because your strategy was lacking. The only argument you could've made, some say, is that you were a challenge beast. Is that enough to win Survivor? What are your thoughts here?
JA: [Laughs] What's hard about this game is there's so much. There were so many levels of interpersonal relationships, alliances and end-game relationships that developed. Then you have the switch-ups. The levels of gameplay, strategy, lying, manipulation and deceiving was so great. There was just so much. You just don't see 98 percent of it. We all have our own strategies. Sometimes we're not aware of our surroundings as much as the next person. We might get a little tunnel vision and lose sight of the bigger picture. If I get to the end, I'm confident in myself to make an argument for myself to win. But you've gotta get to the end first. You can't win unless you get to the end. Period. You might as well go to the end and lose. At least get to the end and give yourself a chance.
SK: Who did you see yourself going to the end of the game with?
JA: In the beginning of the game, I honestly saw myself sitting with Jeremy and Savage. As the game kind of developed, I realized if I wanted to get to the end I needed to just play my cards to get to the end. Once we hit the merge, it was like, "I just need to get to the end." I didn't care who I was sitting next to. Looking realistically at who I trusted and where I was at, I would've liked to sit next to Keith and Spencer. I probably would've had Jeremy and Tasha at four and five. I had alliances with everybody. I had a final three with Wentworth, Keith and myself. I had a final three with Keith, Jeremy and myself. Everyone was playing everybody, man. It was a beautiful thing.
SK: You became a monstrous threat after winning all those back-to-back challenges. Did you ever consider purposely losing one as a strategy to show you're not invincible?
JA: Yes. Absolutely. The only unfortunate thing — it's really, really hard for me to do that. I'm competitive by nature. Strategically, yes, I should do that. I know I should do that. In a season with this many great players, I just figured why not go out there and compete? As a fan, personally, I don't like to necessarily see a player go out there and not compete. In my second chance, everybody already knows that I like to compete and I like the challenges. Why not go out and give them that? They voted me back for a reason. I wanted to give the fans all of myself. I wanted to give them 110 percent. It was really hard. I definitely came to those crossroads several times, but what is the one thing in the game that you know for certain? If you have the necklace, you don't go home. I didn't have a hidden immunity idol, so let's go get it [winning challenges]. Why not? I just wanted it [laughs].
SK: Walk us through the medical emergency you had during the challenge. Were you feeling woozy leading up to your collapse or did it just come out of nowhere? Do you remember any of it to this day?
JA: As soon as the family visit was over, I had a really nasty fever. I had the chills and couldn't hold anything down. I got severely dehydrated. The next morning, I was feeling a little bit better, but I knew it was a hot day and I was trying to drink as much water as I could. As the day went on, it got hotter and hotter. The sun was directly overhead. All I could do was just stare into the sun and try to not let that stupid, little wooden figure fall off that pole. Once we hit about an hour, I was really struggling. You have this kind of cold sweat come over you. I was losing feeling in my fingers, toes and legs, trying to move 'em around and get some blood flow. I tried to advance the game and have Jeff give us some more pole lengths so we could raise it up higher to try and beat Keith. If I went higher, I figured I might be able to beat him. Then it just went black. It felt like it was in slow motion as I was falling into a pool of fog. I remember Dr. Joe giving me some oral glucose and taking my vitals. Jeff [Probst] was holding my hand and was talking to me. For the rest of the afternoon it was pretty foggy. From the tribal and that night, I don't remember too much [laughs].
SK: You had a very emotional moment when your father got to experience the family visit. Did you watch the episode with your dad? If so, did it bring back a rush of emotion?
JA: I did. I watched it with my whole family. I looked around the room and I'm pretty sure everyone was either teary-eyed or close. I relive the show every Wednesday. It's really emotionally taxing on you. It was cool to relive that with my dad. Also, we didn't tell my family that my dad went out there and that he got to do this. We kept it a secret this whole time. The emotion on my grandparents' face and my mom's face was priceless. It's just such a cool thing to see them share that emotion with us and actually kind of get to live it vicariously through us on the TV. It was special. It was a great night. A lot of love.
SK: A lot of fans reacted on social media to the way you and your father kissed each other on the lips. Some were saying they were proud of you for not being ashamed to express your love, while many others declared they would never do that kind of thing.
JA: As I've gotten older and my dad's gotten older, our relationship has really developed into something really special. He never was very affectionate with me and my sisters as kids. He hardly said "I love you." He wasn't really good at showing that affection. As the patriarch, you've gotten to be that tough dad and be that rock for your family. You don't show emotion. You hold it all together. But as he's gotten older, I think he's gotten a little softer emotionally, and he's really tapped into his emotions. A lot of times we love people, but we don't know how to express that love. People can say whatever they want. They can say it's weird I kiss my dad, but a kiss is a sign of affection. My mom kisses me on the forehead, he kisses me on the forehead. There's no difference. It's just love. It's something that you share with people you love. I don't know. Whatever. I was so into the moment I just didn't even think of it. How often do you ever say, "Yeah, I kiss my dad." If you ever get the chance to, it can be a very powerful, moving thing.
SK: So what does it feel like to have so many women view you as a Survivor sex symbol?
JA: [Laughs] Sex symbol? I think it's flattering. I never really thought anything about any of this. Some people bring it up and it's like, "OK. Maybe I am." It's interesting. It's very interesting, very flattering.
SK: Lastly, are you single?
JA: I'm single. I've got a lady friend I'm currently talking to. Nothing crazy. Just getting to know her a little bit. I'm living a crazy life right now. I just went through two seasons of Survivor in the last year. I don't know if a girl would even want to date me right now. I'm like damaged goods. That could be a tough one [laughs].