Exclusive: Sierra Reed talks about her time on 'Survivor: Tocantins'
By Reality TV World staff, 05/02/2009
Despite getting off to a rough start that included having the flu and having her newly formed Timbera tribe "vote her out" of the game during Survivor: Tocantins' opening moments, Sierra Reed managed to recover and last well past the game's tribal merger milestone.
However 29 days after her fake "vote off," Sierra's Survivor experience ended for real when the remaining members of the post-merge Forza tribe voted her out at the competition's Night 30 Tribal Council session.
On Friday, the 23-year-old model from Los Angeles, CA spoke to Reality TV World about what her fellow tribemates told her before they left for Tribal Council, who they promised her was going home next, what she really thinks of fellow castaways Benjamin "Coach" Wade and Tyson Apostol, and why the castaways now call her "The Oracle."
Reality TV World: Were you surprised to be voted off or were you expecting it?
Sierra: I was definitely expecting it. I had spoke to Stephen and JT and they said that Coach would go out tonight if he didn't win immunity.
So for the first time in his life, he happens to win immunity and therefore put Debbie and I on the chopping block. They were deciding on whether or not they were going to get rid of me or Debbie and in order -- if they had gotten rid of Debbie it would have left me and Coach, the two bulldogs, left to fight and I don't think they wanted to handle it so I think that's why I went.
And they pulled me aside and told me that I'm a great competitor, that I'm a more physical threat than Debbie or Coach would be to them, and so that's why I had to ultimately go. But they were very nice about it -- as nice as you can be about that (laughs)
Reality TV World: So they said they basically did it for peace around camp for a few days -- less confrontation?
Sierra: Exactly, less confrontation. Which I wouldn't have pulled confrontation if it wasn't necessary, if I didn't think it was necessary. I thought I was going home and I wanted -- somebody was telling me I was going home because I was a liar and I wanted to expose the real liar.
Reality TV World: So when you had that conversation, did JT and Stephen tell you whether they believed your version or Coach's version of what had happened?
Sierra: JT and Stephen 100% believed me.
Reality TV World: Okay, so they believed you but...
Sierra: If didn't really matter because what they were going to do was -- what order we went out didn't really matter to them because they were going to pluck off every Timbera player.
Reality TV World: So who did they tell you was next, Debbie or Coach, after you?
Sierra: Um, they said they were both going and they would make sure that they were both going right after me -- they promised me that actually.
Reality TV World: It seemed pretty clear from what got shown on last night's show that Debbie and Coach were the ones that approached you about reforming the Timbera alliance...
Sierra: Yeahhhh... (laughs)
Reality TV World: ...was there anything remotely beyond what was shown that could have given Coach any reason to believe it was the other way around?
Sierra: Um, word usage? Coach likes to bend the rules on word usage. If you don't exactly say it the way that he said it then he didn't really say it at all.
But I don't know, I wasn't there when he was sitting next to Stephen and JT and saying 'Why Sierra came up to me and I said absolutely not!' I mean I don't know if there's any way of skirting your way around that one, sorry there Coach. Blatant lie.
Reality TV World: Obviously Taj and Erinn didn't vote for you at Tribal Council...
Sierra: No, they did not.
Reality TV World: ...was that part of the explanation you got ahead of [Tribal Council]?
Sierra: They both believed that I still deserved to be there and unfortunately, you know, it sucked that I had to go because I think for the first time Erinn was realizing that I was a good person and I deserved to be there and Taj was too, and I think it was just a decision that had to be made because of how everything had unfolded.
Reality TV World: So do you think they weren't onboard with Stephen and JT's...
Sierra: Absolutely, are you kidding me -- when people tell you to go left what are you going to do, go right? Absolutely not, you're going to go left.
But, if you feel bad, you're going to be like 'Well, we're going to go over here but we're not going to put your name down so that it's not an automatic Sierra [vote] across the board.'
You know what I mean, it's not like -- I think they didn't want to make me feel bad that all the way across the board was like 'Sierra, Sierra, Sierra.'
Reality TV World: Sure, but I mean Taj is still sitting on another [hidden Immunity] Idol so...
Sierra: That is actually -- what I tried to tell, um, I tried to tell this to Coach, [that] 'Taj has the idol. Technically Taj is lying too. Taj doesn't have the Idol, Stephen does so that's why she can look in people's eyes and say I don't have the idol [because] she's really not lying.'
Reality TV World: So you actually tried to tell Coach that and what, he thought you were lying?
Sierra: Yeah, absolutely.
I said 'Do not vote me out tonight' -- and this is when Tyson went -- I said 'Do not vote me out tonight take out Stephen or Taj, one of them has the Idol on them and you could pluck it. You already know, you've already outed me, you've already exposed me, there's no moves I'm going to make tonight that are even going to shift you ground [so] why don't you be smart and use me -- which everyone thought I was going home that night -- to make a power move.'
And that's why I said last night, look, I'm not staying with Timbera, I'm going over to Jalapao, they were smart enough to get out a power player in Tyson and they're playing the game right, they're not playing it for freaking warriors and bull crap.
Reality TV World: So going back to your earlier comment about Coach, do you think he actually believes these things that he's saying or is splitting hairs, because when we talked to Brendan a couple of weeks ago he suggested that Coach actually legitimately believes some of these things are true
Sierra: Oh yeah, he does, he absolutely does. I've looked him straight in the eye and asked him. He most definitely believes that about his story in the Amazon, it was hard for me to not laugh when he was saying it but I think there are certain truthful aspects to it.
I think he is like a world-renowned kayaker or [such] and I think he has been to the Amazon and he's done some crazy stuff. But I think he REALLY ices the cake on it and I think that, I think that he's a little crazy you know about that, a little mental.
And I think he definitely plays for the cameras, are you kidding me? Look, it worked to his advantage -- although he's psycho and America doesn't like him let me tell you the ratings have never been better and to have -- no one ever named an episode after me this season!
Reality TV World: Do you think he actually recognizes the hypocrisy in some of the things he's doing [like] the comment he made to you about loyal after turning on you and then when he turned on Brendan....
Sierra: Yeah, I think he recognizes that one because when Jeff writes in his blog, in capital letters, 'HYPOCRITE.' The hypocrisy was, was Jeff when he was like... um, when he wrote in his blog... he writes, I'm reading the blog right now...
[Editor's Note: Due to time constraints, we didn't have time to let Sierra continue to search the blog for what she wanted to point out]
Reality TV World: So you actually had a good relationship with Coach there at the beginning, or so it seemed. Why do you think it changed so much, what was it that triggered the change?
Sierra: What triggered the change was -- actually our relationship was extremely fickle. It was like one day we were friends, the next day we weren't. One day we were pushing on each others buttons, the next day we were helping each other in challenges. Our relationship was off/on, off/on, off/on, off/on all the time.
So I think overall, we had a great understanding of who each other were as people deep down underneath. I mean he has layers and layers and layers on top of fakeness and layers of weirdness but underneath there was a good human being, moreso than Tyson.
Tyson could care less about, I think, females and -- I think he could care less, he literally thinks people are stupid. And if he literally casts them in his mind as someone that is stupid, he's not even going to give them the time of day in his ignorant way.
Reality TV World: Wow, getting back to Jeff's blog there for a second, he's spent all season making a bunch of comments about you marrying a Survivorproducer. Are you dating a member of the show's crew or something?
Sierra: Most definitely not (laughs)
That would be extremely illegal.
Reality TV World: So do you have any idea what all the references are referring to then?
Sierra: Yeah, I think what it has reference to is that when Taj and I would get super hungry we would pick out a good-looking crew member and we would be like 'Ew, that cameraman is super hot' or 'Ew, I like that Ozzy.'
We'd find out their names and we would be like 'Oh my god I'm hungry, okay I'm just going to stare at that guy' and I said to Jeff, I think one time like, 'You're crew is extremely good-looking' and I think that he's just playing off of that.
Reality TV World: Okay... that's kind of odd (laughs)
Sierra: Well, Jeff is pretty odd, you know what I mean -- that's his shtick.
Reality TV World: In your exit statement, you didn't actually seem to mention anything about being too upset about leaving, instead you just seemed more focused on the fact that you had managed to last 30 days. Were you upset to be going out or were you just basically kind of out of gas and kind of tired of the game at that point?
Sierra: Um, it was a long time coming for me. The way they were treating me at night, um, the first night when I got back after they voted off Tyson they made me lay out [on] the roof of the shelter, in the rain, with no blankets, and I chattered all night and they just treated me super poorly.
At no point in my life would I have ever have given up on the game, I would have just continued to keep fighting.
Reality TV World: When you say "they," who do you mean specifically, everybody or Coach and Debbie?
Sierra: Specifically what?
Reality TV World: When you said "they made me," do you mean everybody else?
Sierra: Yeah, especially Coach. I mean, see, the moment that happened Jalapao didn't really defend me. I mean they let Coach and Debbie go after me you know what I mean, they let them go after me, they let Tyson go after me, they didn't really care.
Reality TV World: Okay...
Sierra: So when Brendan went home -- sorry, I said Tyson earlier, when BRENDAN went home -- they made me sleep out of the shelter.
Reality TV World: Okay, I'm sorry, I guess that's why I was confused...
Sierra: Yeah, sorry, my fault. It's been a log day (laughs)
Retelling the same story over and over again and trying to make it sound better.
Yeah, I felt like I was treated like an animal for a long time and it's pretty hard when you're getting kicked in the face and over and over again and you're trying to tell people 'Look I'm not the person you need to be focusing on hating right now. There's other people out here.
Like I told Debbie, you have no idea if you think I betrayed you with [unintelligible], it just hits you and no one would listen to me! And now all of them call me 'The Oracle.'
Reality TV World: Why do you think you clashed with so many people out there, I know Tyson...
Sierra: I think I clashed because in the beginning I started out as the weakest player due to being sick so I started telling for myself so automatically always be disposable in their minds.
Although I did well at challenges, I think that the moment that Brendan got voted out and they figured that we were in a four-way alliance behind their back I think they really wanted to give it to Brendan but in order to blindside him they couldn't really tell him how they felt about him and what they really thought about him so I think when I was left behind they treated me like crap for me and Brendan, you know?