All 11 remaining contestants told host Jeff Probst Wednesday they felt safe and secure in their alliances, but just moments later Michael Jefferson found himself sent to the jury when the women crossed enemy lines and banded together.
Jefferson, 30, is now back home in Seattle, where he works as a banker, and spoke to PEOPLE Thursday about how he was fooled into thinking he was safe and whether the men have a shot at making it to the end.
Did have any idea it would be you going home?
It was a complete shocker. I had a good relationship with the new Salani tribe. I did feel safe but I was one of the few people that brought my bags to tribal counsel. So, I never felt super safe but I did feel safer that night than most tribals. I had a good relationship with Kim, Sabrina and Chelsea.
Why do you think it was you?
It could be a physical threat thing or that I played an honest game, so maybe the girls knew I would stick with my word, but I wouldn't backstab another guy like Jay or Troy because I made an alliance and I wouldn't go against that. [Watching at home], it was funny to see how many people were threatened by me.
Troy seemed quick to believe Kim's lie that you wanted him out.
We had two guys out there who just never wanted to worked with me – Jonas and Troy. They had their own alliance starting out of the gate. Troy could have been on our side but they just didn't want to associate with me because their alliance might see that and feel like they were flipping.
So you two were never close.
Kim took that and used it to her advantage by starting a little drama between Troy and I. She knew that if she made up a story that Troy and I would never talk about it with each other. It was actually really smart and clever. He just fell for it.
Was it evident on the island how much Kim was pulling all the strings?
She is definitely sly. If you're out there playing you don't see her being a leader. You know she has some power but you wouldn't consider her an ultimate threat because there are other women out there that could implode quicker than her. She's playing a good game. She knows when to speak up and when to call the shots but she is not overpowering to where people want to get rid of her.
Do you think the men stand any chance now?
Going in to the game my biggest fear was, "If the women stick together they will win the game." Now you're looking at the numbers of six women to four men. That's a pretty big gap, so if the women want to take it, it is right there for them. But anything can happen.