CBS Local – CBS aired Season 34, Episodes 12 of Survivor: Game Changers, and we had the chance to interview the most recent castoff, Sierra Thomas. Here’s her unique perspective (as told to CBS Local’s Adam Bloom and Samantha Bennet) on being voted off, the fate of her legacy advantage and her regrets playing the game.
SB: When Brad won immunity, what was your first thought? Did you think your time was up?
S: Yes, like I said at tribal council – it didn’t matter who won immunity, it had to be me. It felt like, I was at the bottom. it didn’t matter if it was Brad or Troyzan or people I was close with or Andrea, I just felt like I had to win it. So not winning it made me sick to my stomach.
AB: And that particular challenged looked awkward to manage.
S: It was, it was really weird. Those sticks didn’t fit all the way in the holes and if you pushed too hard it would pop out, but if you didn’t push hard enough it would fall through. And then you’re balancing and I’m 6’1″, I have big feet on me, so I’m trying to balance on this tiny little piece of wood. Tt was very hard.
AB: There’s been a lot of talk about this legacy advantage you had. And there was some surprise that you were thinking of giving it to Sarah and not to Brad. Can you explain your thought process behind that?
S: So, first of all I want to clarify that I had no intention of telling anybody that I had that thing in my pocket. Sarah and I had been having a conversation for about an hour, a lot of crying, a lot of missing home, we were really connecting, and I have no idea why I did it, I don’t know why I told her, and why I told her I got to will it to someone. I could have lied, and said ‘hey, I have this immunity that we can use together, it’s for two people.’ But the fact that I spilled the whole beans, obviously I was not thinking. It makes me sick to watch. The reason I gave it to Sarah was at tribal council, I find out I’m going home and I look over at Brad, and I see no reaction. I don’t see shock, or sadness, I see nothing. And I look at Sarah and I see that she had tears in her eyes that she just can’t believe I’m going home tonight. And at that moment, I was certain that Brad Culpepper had written my name down. And in that moment I forgot about the whole relationship, the whole game with him. He must have thrown me under the bus, and he did what he had to do. I genuinely thought that he had sent me home.
SB: Does that make you even more upset knowing that Brad didn’t send you home and Sarah did in write your name down?
S: Oh my gosh, it’s like salt on an open wound, it makes me want to vomit. I literally feel like I’ve been cheated on by my best friend. I’m so, so ashamed of myself and I have so much regret.
SB: Switching gears to the start of the episode when your loved ones visited. Please tell us you see you loved ones for more than that little time we see during the episode if you lose the challenge and it just gets edited out?
S: No, I’m so sorry you don’t, and that’s the hardest part. As my Dad is walking away, I am ugly, snot crying because I don’t even get to give my Dad a little goodbye, and I only got to be in his presence, not even with him, for 15 minutes, so it’s so hard. You get a second of home, a second of being vulnerable and seeing your loved ones, and they are ripped from you.
SB: I also just feel bad for your loved ones that travel so far to see you.
S: One hundred percent. My sweet Dad got to do it twice now, and he’s like it’s heartbreaking- I see you, my little girl, and I’ve done everything in this world to take care of you. And seeing you so weak and skinny and tired and there’s nothing I can do. I have to walk away. He tells me it’s the hardest thing he’s ever had to do. To see me like that.
AB: Speaking of hard things to do, what’s the hardest part of the game that would surprise a viewer of the show?
S: For me the hardest part is just not having communication with home. The no toilet paper, the no toothbrush, that sucks, the starving sucks – trust me. But for me, I don’t know what’s going on at home and my Dad said it best last night, life is so fragile. I mean those are moments I’m away from my family that I’ll never get back. Is someone sick, did someone get hurt, you know you’re constantly thinking is everything okay at home. And for me, that is what is the hardest, is wondering and worrying about my family.