23 year old model and self proclaimed travel junkie Sierra is the latest member of the jury, managing to stick around long after others wanted her voted out the first day because of her illness. In this conference call, she talks about her image, her tribemates, and the sheer joy of outing Coach on national TV...
How shocked and excited were you at Tribal last week?
Oh, gosh, when Tyson went home? [laughing] I think the facial expressions say it all. Yeah, I exhaled right there, I could not believe that they took out Tyson. It was a really brilliant move and I wish that my tribe would have been smart enough to get out of the stupid Warrior alliance and be smart enough to take out the strongest player! Itís a strategy, and I was very relieved, especially after he ran his mouth the whole entire day. And I wasnít even gonna vote for him, to tell you the truth. That night I told him, look, when we go to Tribal Council donít be a jerk to me, just let me go quietly and Iíll be fine. Donít frickiní stir my pot. The moment we get there, he does, so I vote for him and call him a jerk, and the funny thing is, he goes home packing. So I got the last laugh.
You never seemed to bounce back from the beginning, when you were sick.
And everyone looked at you as the weak one. What was your original strategy, going in?
My original strategy was to go into the game and pick out someone - gosh, I only had three days to do it, because by then I was scrambling - to pick someone I thought I could take to the very end and be completely honest with them, and trustworthy with them the whole entire way through, and to kind of protect each other. Which is what I did with Brendan. I think that I wasnít looked at as weak after I basically kicked all the guysí butts, except for maybe Brendan, Tyson, and JT. I mean, everybody else, I did really well in challenges. I donít think I was perceived as weak unless I was sick, which was in the beginning.
In your opinion, what went wrong with the secret alliance you had with Brendan?
This is the one move that I would make - if this answers your question - the one move that I would have changed in the show. And that is, that when...we hadnít spoken for ten days, so when Stephen and Taj came over and we all merged together, me and Brendan should have immediately walked over to her and been like ďLook, weíre still on the same page, I know we havenít talked for a while but weíre still in it with you, weíre still both sitting on the idols, weíre still gonna take this to the end.Ē
But Brendan went on a reward, and I - gosh, thereís a video of me on CBS saying ďYou know what? I should go up to Taj right now and just tell her, itís okay, itís okay.Ē And I waited for Brendan, I waited for Brendan in case he had said something that would contradict my statement, which, if I went over there and said something that contradicted him it would make her not believe us. I was very worried about how I speak to her, and I wish I would have. Because in not doing so, she scrambled really fast and she changed her mind and it was too late.
Actually, when I spoke to Brendan, he said he wished he had thrown the idol your way as he left.
Aww, thatís really sweet! Makes me feel a little bit better. Um, heís not allowed to. [laughs] Thatís why. Theyíre not allowed to throw the idol to you after theyíve already (gone).
So, whatís your overall impression of Coach?
My overall impression of Coach is definitely...thereís two different impressions! Thereís the one that you donít see, deep down inside him, then thereís Coach. Coach is a liar. I donít think he means to be a liar, I think he loves to tell tall stories and loves to believe them in his mind, itís an adventure, a journey whenever he tells the story. And he feels like heís experiencing it with whoever heís telling it to. I think he played it up a lot for the camera. I think there are a lot of parts about him that are completely obnoxious, but I think last night, you know, proclaiming yourself to be the most honest person in Survivor history is something you should not do if Sierra is going to come after you and out you! [laughs] You know what I mean? I think it was a really bad, bad move on him to say he wasnít gonna lie and he was gonna change the game because I was going to do everything I possibly could to make sure if I was leaving that they would know that he was completely full of BS.
How did you and Tyson get along at Ponderosa?
Tyson and I, you can go watch it on CBS.com, we poured a vat of olive oil down a Slip Ďn Slide and ate all day long, and Slip Ďn Slide into the river, and let bygones be bygones.
Whatís the story behind you getting cast for Survivor?
They came up to me three weeks before I think they were leaving, I was eating a taco on Sunset and they came up to me and said ďHey, youíre super cute, wanna do Survivor?Ē And I said no, but Iíll do that show Amazing Race. And theyíre like, no, weíre not casting for that. And, Iím really attracted to traveling, Iíve pretty much lived all over the world, and I think that was my biggest...like, I was attracted mostly to the part where they travel. So I think I went in for my interviews and I had fun with it and then they asked me to be a part of the show.
Would you ever pull a Rob and Amber and do the Amazing Race with someone?
[much laughter] You mean, join the reality train?! Um, no, I donít think I ...I mean, yes, if I was asked to do Amazing Race I would absolutely do it because itís an amazing show. But I donít think I want to be perceived as a reality ďstar.Ē
I watched the Ponderosa video where you said lots of people claimed that theyíd do Survivor again, but you never would. Do you still feel this way?
I changed my mind! I would do it absolutely again, and I guarantee you they will call me. Iíve had people already kind of asking me ďAre you sure you wouldnít do it again?Ē
You had a tough time with the way people perceived you. Why do you think that happened?
Oh, because in the beginning when you start out super weak it always hangs over your head. I think that Brendanís and my alliance and the four-way holding all the idols, you know, really pissed people off. And the moment that they blindsided Brendan, they didnít get a chance to really give it to him the way that they gave it to me because in order to blindside someone, you canít tell him you know about him, so I think I just got the brunt end of all of it.
What do you think was your main move that kept you around for so long?
I was really good in camp, I started the first fire in our whole entire camp. I was a huge food collector, I climbed all the trees, I helped build numerous amounts of shelters. I memorized a survival manual so I knew a lot of certain tricks of the trade. I really pulled my weight in challenges, and I think just hard work and trying to be just a good person. I think in the beginning, as a tribe, itís important to be a good person and to show that and I think that when you start playing individually, maybe then thatís what I did wrong. Maybe then itís time to be a, you know, a snake in the grass.
It was the last couple of days you were there that you bonded with Erinn, right?
[amused] Um, no, I donít think Erinn and I extremely bonded, so to speak. But Erinn, finally for the first time I think, saw that maybe I wasnít as bad as she thought I was.
So that was probably a good feeling to go out on.
Yeah, it was a really good feeling to go out on, when you have Taj, someone who I respect, and when you have Erinn, someone whoís playing the game pretty well, but riding coattails. But you know you always have to have that person who rides the coattails in the game. When I had people on my side saying, look, Iím not gonna vote for you, that did feel good. Because they did believe that what I stood up for last night was worthy of still staying in the game.
How frustrating was it for you, dealing with Coach and Debbie lying about approaching you for an alliance?
Um, it was...it made me almost kick the TV, Iíll tell you, I screamed so loud. [laughs] It feels like when youíre a kid, have you ever said something to a friend and they like, donít believe you. Or when youíre a kid and youíre like ďMom, I swear I didnítí break it!Ē and youíre like, clenching your fists but noone believes you. Itís insane when the person whoís lying is the one whoís telling you that youíre the liar! It is extremely frustrating, but I think I did a great job of making sure he most definitely looks like a liar to America and to our tribe.
Did everybody believe your side of things?
Yes, they did. They did. They absolutely did believe me. JT and Stephen did believe me, but unfortunately it didnít really matter, because if youíre watching, JT and Stephen right now, what theyíre doing, it doesnít matter what order Timbiraís being plucked out as, weíre all getting plucked out nonetheless. And theyíre all gonna be there for each other. So, it doesnít really matter, you know, that whether I was telling the truth or not he was still gonna get rid of Coach.
If you could handpick the winner right now, who would it be?
Iíd say itís a coin toss between Stephen and JT. I mean, Stephen, JT or Taj.
How about out of everybody from the whole season?
Everybody from the whole season...gosh, Iíd still say it would be Stephen, JT, or Taj. Yeah, absolutely. I think that they all played totally entirely different games, I think they all helped each other, and to formulate one form of the game, but they all played their own perfect little game and I think they all still had good backbones. And I really, as I watched them, itís really fun for me to watch them because there were certain things about them you didnít know. And youíre like, wow, Stephen, I thought you were this quiet little meek chipmunk and youíre this super mastermind! So I kinda get proud of him a little bit.
So youíd say youíve been pretty successful in tarnishing Coachís reputation now...
[laughs] Yeah, I liked it! And thatís what I said in Tribal, look, you [Coach] said you were going to change the game, you proclaimed to be this amazing strong warrior who was extremely loyal and honest, and if I go home tonight, thatís fine, because I proved that you were wrong. And I outed you, and that felt good!
You said that Coach is a tall tale teller. What about Debbie, whatís her excuse?
Hereís how the females work in this game: they attach themselves to a stronger player. Most of the time, the stronger players are males, unless you all align as females together then itís totally different strategy. But I think she was literally just following...when you make a relationship with people in an alliance, thatís why you shouldnít do it too early, you bond together with them and then you close off your other options. So early on she made an alliance with Tyson, her, and Coach, and so she bonded with them closely. And then when we merged together and then Tyson was gone, she still only knew, and could only feel out Coach. The rest of the people she was just beginning to understand because she had to now.
So she hadnít made any inroads anywhere?
I think she thought JT had her back because they were both from Alabama. But, I donít think that JT gave a crap.
Debbie doesnít come across as the brightest person. Last night, was she lying? Was she just not remembering correctly?
Debbie is a bright person. I mean, people say that about me, they say that Iím not a bright person. And thatís what Tyson said before. But itís not true. I mean, these...weíre not who we really are. At this point in the show, weíre freaking crazy! Weíre starving, theyíre pushing us out in challenges against each other, thatís just pure adrenaline because I know we donít have any energy. Weíre not sleeping, weíre black and blue bruised from sleeping on tree trunks. I mean, she was breaking down emotionally because I think she was conflicted on whether or not she should lie, and she did lie. She did. And I do, at one point, look at the floor after I fight with both of them and sheís crying and I say look, Debbie, after this is all said and done I want to sit down with you one day and get a drink and be friends with you. And I want to know you.
And Taj looked at me and said that was really big of you, and it was really hard for me to say that. But I do care about these people, and Debbie is a good person. And she was just trying to stay in the game and you canít really hate her for that. And so is Coach! But the only reason I got mad at Coach and outed him for it is because he proclaimed himself to be not a liar. So, that pissed me off. Iím gonna out you if youíre telling us youíre the best player in the game because youíre not a liar. You know what I mean? Debbie didnít say that.
JT and Stephen seem to show up in every alliance, stuck together like glue. Didnít anybody notice this?
Oh, yeah! After Tyson went home it was pretty obvious, you know what I mean? That they were running the game. Absolutely. And I think it was a cool combination, you know, city slicker/country boy? I think it was great. But I think that the true ringleader, is obviously Stephen. I mean, he was a Yale student, extremely brilliant, and he played the game really well.
This may be uncomfortable, but why did so many people say you were annoying? JT even called you the B word...
Which he apologized for.
But why did people say that about you? Did it all go back to that first day?
I think that first day, and like I said before, when I didnít reach out with the alliances - I didnít reach out after I made an alliance with Brendan. To have, you know, any kind of other alliance with anybody else. I was just befriending. I would befriend Debbie, and I would befriend other people but I wouldnít talk shop with them. And then when they finally found out that I was sitting on an idol, and thatís when they took out Brendan, and the whole entire time I had Brendanís back and was trying to get out Tyson, then they were all pissed at me and they doubly took it out on me the moment that Brendan went. They had a vendetta against me and couldnít wait to just mess with me. It was kinda sick.
Do you think you would have fared better if you had started on the Jalapao tribe instead?
Nooo, no, not at all.
What makes you say that?
Because my tribe was filled with mature, I think, a really mature group of people that were really well traveled and everyone was a little bit neurotic in their own sense, and we all kind of - in this really quirky way - meshed and didnít mesh at all together. Like, whatís your scene? The reason why people have this same question all the time, ďI canít believe they all hated you!Ē Well, they didnít really show you when they really liked me, and there was a long period of time we all got along just fine. But, theyíre not gonna show that. Theyíre gonna show the drama, theyíre gonna show, you know, what people want to see and thatís constantly picking on me, which happened a lot, so thatís what youíre seeing.
I think I did a good job on my team because my team expected a lot from me and I lived up to the expectations. I think that Jalopao was filled with a whole bunch of young kids like Joe and Sydney and Spencer, all these kids who were just out for playing the game, I donít really think they had any mental strategy other than, you know, Stephen did. I donít they were as stimulating of a team as my team was.
If you were still in the game, who would you want to take to the final three with you?
If I were still in the game and you would have asked me that question coming out, I would have said absolutely Brendan, and you all know this. And Taj.
Did anything on the televised show surprise you?
Yeah! I thought that Stephen was a weak little pipsqueak! And look at him - Iím just watching him, Iím almost so proud of him, I feel like...oh my gosh, heís brilliant! You know, the whole entire time youíre like, man that little kid is just like, poor thing in challenges, he canít even walk or do anything for himself and youíre watching him mastermind the game and youíre like, damn, youíre good! [laughing]
Coach has mentioned having a special relationship with you in some of his videos (on CBS). What are your feelings on that?
I think we were both - what did he call me, free spirit? - I think weíre extremely free spirited people. I couldnít tell you if heís sincere or true, although he does come across as a liar a lot. Yeah, he called me a free spirit, and thatís what we had in common, we both love to travel, and he had a certain aspect of him. The reason why that I came to him the night Tyson went home, was because I knew that he was the only person that had a heart, that I would be able to pluck the strings and kind of get in and get help from. And for a second there, he did say you know, it does hurt me, I wish I could save her right now, but he canít.
And we went back and forth, on and on and on like brother and sister, and I think thatís the connection we had, it was brother and sister. We were always pushing each other, we always liked to prove each other wrong, we always liked to tell each other when the other was good, we always liked to call each other out when heís being a loser, when heís being weird. You know what I mean? We had a really funny, weird relationship.
So youíre not angry or bitter at him?
No, Iím not angry or bitter at anyone! I think that noone should be angry or bitter, I think itís a game, and I think that yeah, they treated me like crap, but I donít have to live with that. They have to live with sitting down and watching that every night with their parents or their loved ones or whoever and being really extremely embarrassed. And I donít. Iím the only one in this season that doesnít have to be.