Jeff Probst told him before the game of Survivor Cagayan even started that he had zero percent chance of winning (much like Spencer would then tell Kass later), but Spencer Beldsoe made it all the way to the final episode, having his torch snuffed at the final four. Would he have kept his word to bring Tony to the final 2 had Tony saved him? How does he think he would have done in that match-up? And why did he choose to address the jury at the final Tribal Council? The fan favorite reveals all and has no problem pointing out all the shortcomings in his own game. (Also make sure to read our interview with winner Tony Vlachos as well as runner-up Woo Hwang and the controversial Kass McQuillen in addition to our finale/reunion Q&A with Jeff Probst. Plus, get intel on NEXT season.)
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So, have you read the letter the Probst gave you at the reunion last night apologizing for saying you had no shot?
SPENCER BLEDSOE: You know what? People are going to think I’m crazy. I actually haven’t. It’s still sealed. Last night I just got whisked away and did a lot of interviews. I feel like if I open up, then there’s no going back. So I almost want to keep it for posterity’s sake then just have it.
EW: You’re waiting for that special moment.
SPENCER: Yeah, I’m going to wait until I’m really down and need a pick me up and get the Probst bump.
EW: Okay, let’s talk about your jury speech. We’ve seen a few people like Sue and David and Kat address the jury before as you did last night. How concerned were you that some of your peers were suffering from Bitter Jury Syndrome?
SPENCER: Well, I knew that people were definitely bitter. It was just a matter of what kind of bitterness that was going on, because there was a lot of bitterness that Tony played everybody out, but there was the same kind of bitterness that Woo didn’t give them a certain opportunity in the game. So people were bitter in a lot of sort of ways and I just felt like if I’m not going to win, as a fan, my next goal would be to see that the person I think should win or would be the best winner and played the best game wins. So I just wanted to do anything I could to help that happen. And I feel like the right guy won.
EW: Let me ask you about the other half of your spiel there: Do you regret comparing Woo to a dog?
SPENCER: Yeah. Woo — his decision to not take Kass to the end, as poorly as it speaks for him as a player, it speaks so well for him as a person. And last night I just had to shake his hand and say I respected him immensely and that he is a really good guy. Definitely not fair to sum up his game that way.
EW: Did Tony ever really consider your pitch to keep you into the final 3?
SPENCER: I’m not sure how long he considered it. He may have briefly, but I don’t think it was ever a serious consideration. Now, looking back on it. I think the big mistake that I made is that I assumed people were thinking the way I was and I feel like Tony had a better read on people. Where I was saying, Okay, Woo is definitely going to take Kass to the end if he wins final 3 and therefore you wouldn’t want to be in the final 3 with Woo and Kass and so you should want me there as your human shield — while I was making that pitch, I think Tony was able to realize that Woo actually would take him to the end and that is something that I could never see coming. So I had a lot of weaknesses in the game, but if we’re going to diagnose one, that is it — assuming other people are going to think the way I do.
EW: Which is logically.
SPENCER: [Laughs] Sometimes, yeah.
EW: As opposed to thinking personally or emotionally.
SPENCER: Yeah, I got a little too much in my own head and made it a little too much about game theory and everyone is going to behave optimally. So yeah, I definitely assumed that people were going to be logical all the time when that probably wasn’t a good assumption.
EW: Would you have kept your word and brought Tony to the final 2 with you had he saved you?
SPENCER: No! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I felt like I had a good shot to beat Tony, but if I didn’t have to, no reason I was going to go up against him. My read on the jury was that I thought they would understand me saying what I had to say in that moment and deifnitely would have asked for their vote in the end against Kass or whomever.
EW: Let’s play a game of what if? Let’s say it is Tony and you in the finals — although that never would have happened because neither of you would have brought the other. But let’s just pretend anyway. How do you think that would have shaken out?
SPENCER: At the time, I thought that Tony would beat me. And again, I as a juror, if it were me and Tony, would vote for Tony because I thought he played the better game. But after thinking about it, I think I definitely had a good shot against Tony. So if I had gone up against him, it would have been interesting and there’s no way of knowing for sure, but I think I had a good shot.
EW: You’re a student of the game. Where does Tony rank on the list of winners.
SPENCER: I think Tony ranks in the top half. Probably not in the top 5. I would have to make a thorough list, but probably somewhere in that 5-15 range. I think Tony played like no one has played before him. He played with an intensity that no one else has. Probably the most aggressive winner we’ve seen. I think its easy to take him at face value, which I did when I first met him, and say he’s a loudmouth jerk from New Jersey and has no idea what he’s doing. But after seeing what he did, I think he deserves to at least be a little more carefully considered. Hopefully people realize that a lot of what he did that might have seemed rash or overly aggressive — a lot of it had some really good ideas behind it.
EW: What was the biggest surprise for you watching the season play back on TV?
SPENCER: That’s a good question. I guess learning that Brawn was trying to throw that challenge where we lost in the water where I was having the showdown against Cliff at the end with the basketball. Yeah, I knew we pathetic, but I didn’t know we were that pathetic. I didn’t know we could lose to people trying to throw a challenge, so that was surprising.
EW: How hard is it to get that close to winning yet come up a bit short?
SPENCER: It’s bittersweet, but at the same time I don’t think it’s really fair for me to say “Awwww, I was just two immunity challenges away. Because for everything that could have gone right but didn’t, like those last immunity challenges, there’s a lot that went right that could have gone wrong that could have had me out of the game way earlier. Going back to where J’Tia was voted out, and going back to where Jefra was voted out, going back to a few immunity idols that I won that I definitely had to win at final 6 and final 5. So of course it bites that I was very close but didn’t make it all the way, but I try to look at the game as a whole and realize I had a lot of bad luck and also a lot of really good luck. So I count my blessings.
EW: So I am sure they will ask you back to play again if they have not already. You up for that?
SPENCER: Nah. You know what? No, once is enough.
SPENCER: No, I’m just kidding. Like 99.9% of former players, I would also say yes. So we’ll see what happens.
Click on the video player below to watch an exclusive deleted scene of Tony from last night’s finale. Also make sure to read our interview with winner Tony Vlachos as well as runner-up Woo Hwang and the controversial Kass McQuillen in addition to our finale/reunion Q&A with Jeff Probst. Plus, get intel on NEXT season. And for ‘Survivor’ scoop sent directly to you, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.