Exclusive: Sierra Dawn Thomas talks 'Survivor' (Part 1): Sarah Lacina humiliated and hurt me, but I dug my own grave
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/11/2017
Sierra Dawn Thomas was eliminated from Survivor: Game Changers' merged Maku Maku tribe during Wednesday night's episode of Season 34 on CBS.
The tribe sent Sierra, a 29-year-old barrel racer and model from Roy, UT, packing at Tribal Council on Night 32 with six out of nine votes. Sierra became the twelfth person voted out of Survivor: Game Changers and the season's fifth jury member.
Sierra became the main target after she informed Sarah of her Legacy Advantage -- which basically serves as individual immunity at the Final 6 Tribal Council -- as a way to gain her trust and loyalty. Sierra also promised Sarah she would will the advantage to her if voted out of the game, and that was reason enough for Sarah to go after her and take her out.
During an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Sierra talked about her Survivor experience. Below is a portion of what she had to say.
Reality TV World: After you got voted out and gave your speech about giving the Legacy Advantage to Sarah, you said you hoped she didn't vote for you. So whom were you thinking in that moment betrayed you? Michaela and Tai, I'm assuming?
Sierra Dawn Thomas: No. Well, yes, I obviously thought them, but I thought Brad did! I thought my man did! I thought that he, you know, to save himself, had to. Because the moment my name was read and I realized I was going home, I looked at him and there was no emotion.
Come to find out, he was shocked, but at that moment, there was no emotion. And then I look at Sarah and she's literally almost crying, seeming so shocked and obviously playing me.
But I was like, "Oh, Brad, he threw me under the bus!" He did it! My gut was like, "It could've been Sarah, but was it?" Because I had this huge relationship with Brad the whole game. I couldn't help but question that it wasn't him. Yeah, it was a lot of emotions.
Reality TV World: How confident were you going into Tribal Council that your plan to take Andrea out was going to work?
Sierra Dawn Thomas: To me, it seemed pretty smart. She's better than me at challenges; she's telling people what to do. So I thought, I mean, I wasn't 100 percent but I was probably like 60 percent confident, "I'm alright tonight." It just seemed like the smart move to make.
Reality TV World: When you initially found out that Sarah was the one who betrayed you and rounded up the troops to vote for you so she could obtain the Legacy Advantage, what was your reaction? Were you hurt, angry, bitter? (Laughs)
Sierra Dawn Thomas: I like to relate it to introducing your best friend to your boyfriend and then they cheat with each other on you. (Laughs) That's kind of what it felt like, I told her that and then she used it against me.
I was humiliated. I was hurt. I was shocked. I couldn't believe it. I mean, there were a million emotions I was feeling towards Sarah at that moment when I was like, "Wow, she played me."
Reality TV World: Are you friends with Sarah now or could you see yourself becoming friends with her again? Or will you keep your distance?
Sierra Dawn Thomas: I talk to Sarah all the time. She's great. I understand it's a game. It's a hard pill to swallow to watch it all again, but she has reached out to me and was like, "I want you to know whatever happens, whatever you see tonight, what we had was real."
But shoot, is she playing me right now?! I can't help but question that a little bit. I don't think she is. (Laughs) But for a second, I'm like, "Okay, but, do you really mean that or no?"
Reality TV World: Is it safe to say your big mistake in the game was not only telling someone about the Legacy Advantage, but also telling Sarah that you would will the advantage to her if you got voted out? Were you worried at the time you might have just given Sarah all the reason in the world to take you out?
Sierra Dawn Thomas: I mean, hello! The right person would think that! Come on, I had no idea what was going on in my head. I had zero intention from the day I found that on Day 1 to tell anybody. I wasn't going to tell a soul.
We were sitting there for about an hour, having girl talk, crying. And you see it on my face, I'm scared when I'm telling her. I had no intention to do it let alone tell the girl that I can will it.
I mean, that's like digging my own grave and telling her, "Hey, baby girl, throw me in it! I'm telling you, you can have this." (Laughs) I have no idea why I did it. I mean, I shake my head right now just thinking about it. I wish I had a reason why. It was just a moment of weakness and I wasn't thinking.
Reality TV World: How confident were you that Tai was on your side going into Tribal Council? Because we didn't see much in last night's episode of you and Brad worrying about Tai's position. Did either of you have a private conversation with him that wasn't shown after Zeke Smith's elimination?
Sierra Dawn Thomas: Yes, I did. I took him aside and we spent a lot of time on the beach, just him and I, and I wanted to apologize for writing his name down the Tribal before when I was trying to prove myself, you know, to Cirie and Andrea.
But I think the damage was done. I think he felt betrayed at that moment. Me and Brad had written down his name, we said we were working with him the whole time yet so quickly we wrote his name down.
So I spent time with him on the beach trying to warm him back up to me, and he was playing me, you know? He was like, "No, I understand! I understand reality." He was obviously still hurt about the fact I was willing to get rid of him.
Reality TV World: I think a potential game changer that's flying under the radar is the fact Tai still has two hidden Immunity Idols in his pocket. (Laughs) Did you have any awareness of that while you were out there? And if not, what has your reaction been watching the season back on TV?
Sierra Dawn Thomas: I had absolutely no idea that he had two idols. When watching it, it's absolutely crazy! He's just the idol finder. It's absolutely amazing. I love it. But yeah, I had no idea -- definitely had no idea.
Reality TV World: Tai is probably going to be sitting pretty for at least two Tribal Councils.