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Exclusive: Sunday Burquest opens up about 'Survivor' -- I think Bret LaBelle would have a case to win the game


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/14/2016 

Sunday Burquest was voted out of the Vinaka tribe on Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X's latest episode.

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Sunday, a 45-year-old youth pastor from Ostego, MN, became the fourteenth castaway voted out of Season 33 of Survivor. She left the game on Night 35 and became the seventh jury member.

"Having to go home this close to the end is just gut-wrenching because you can see the finish line. I know my family is going to be beyond proud of how I played. I slept in the dirt for 30 days, I did challenges I never would have done, I jumped off things I never would've jumped off of -- I'm honestly leaving so proud of myself and I have no regrets about it," Sunday said in her final words.

During an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Sunday talked about her Survivor experience. Below is the concluding portion. Click here to read the first half.

Reality TV World: You acknowledged at Tribal Council the tribe probably viewed you as a goat, but you felt underestimated. Could you tell me why? Were you plotting to make a big move in the near future or do you think you had impressive gameplay all along and it was just under the radar?

Sunday Burquest: I would say a combination of both things. I felt like I came in with a certain skill set and that was my social game with my ability to connect with the millennials, and I did both of those well.

I had good relationships with just about everybody, and I felt like I was able to go back and forth with votes, even with people who weren't necessarily in my alliance. So I felt like I was flexible. I felt like I had good relationships. I had the [Ken McNickle] vote, but one move obviously isn't, you know, it doesn't make a winner.

But I had my hand in so many other votes and it just wasn't necessarily shown. So it all depends on whom I would've been sitting with, but I felt like I was likable enough where I could have [presented] a case to the jury.

Reality TV World: You said in last night's episode you thought you would win jury votes if you made it all the way to the end. Were talking about someone or multiple people specifically, or were you speaking in general terms?

Sunday Burquest: I would say just in a general sense. And again, it depends on whom I'm sitting there with. [Justin "Jay" Starrett] is going to get certain votes if he's there. [David Wright]'s getting certain votes if he's there. [Adam Klein], same thing.

So I felt like if I could be with people like, maybe, [Bret LaBelle] and myself or Hannah and Ken, then I have a better shot, because somewhere down the line, you do end up getting votes -- people end up voting on whom they like and whom they didn't like, and whom they're ticked off at. And I felt like I'd be in a good position.

If I was in there... I had a good relationship with [Chris Hammons] and I had a good relationship with the millennials. [Zeke Smith] I had a good relationship with. But if I'm sitting with David, my gameplay is not going to outshine David's.

Reality TV World: When Zeke was still in the game, did you really trust him? I'm wondering why Bret and yourself wanted to continue working with Zeke once he took out Chris, especially. He was flip-flopping and you guys seemed okay with it. 

Sunday Burquest: Yeah, that really was because it was our best option, and you know, I still, at that point, I wasn't working well with [Jessica Lewis]. So that really wasn't an option for us to go in that direction.

So it's like, how many people can we -- it's really just numbers. How many numbers can we get? Stuff happens and you have to let it go in order to continue in the game with some numbers. So that was really more convenient for both of us. And going into the rock draw, it wasn't just about saving Zeke. It was just about keeping our numbers and an alliance.

Reality TV World: You seemed to have the biggest issue with Jessica this season, thinking she was gunning for you after the Paul Wachter vote. But why was that? Because when I talked to Jessica earlier in the season, she said you were never her target and for a while there, she thought you guys were close allies. She didn't understand what the disconnect was between you two.

Sunday Burquest: Well, we were close earlier in the game. And then we had the Paul vote and then we didn't mend fences as well as I would've liked, and that was on me, because I should've worked harder on mending that fence.

And so, then we swapped and never really had time to talk through the whole thing and fix it. And because of that, I just felt like there was some kind of a wall there. It wasn't like I was personally after her or anything; it was just this idea that she's going to get me if I don't get her.

And that was probably fueled by the fact I felt guilty about how things played out. So, you know, I was just trying to play by staying in the game as long as I could.

Reality TV World: Jay and David are the big, obvious threats left in the game that everyone keeps talking about. Do you think Hannah, Bret and Ken would have much of a case to win if they made it to the end?

Sunday Burquest: I think Bret would over Hannah and Ken. Hannah would be able to point to the fact that she flipped alliances and went back and forth, but the problem with that is she left a bad taste in some people's mouths by doing that.

So, I think it would depend on how well they'd present their cases, probably between Bret and Hannah. I would give Bret the edge though -- if he can expose the moves that we were making and he was making throughout the game.

Reality TV World: As a jury member, what did you base your vote on? What did you consider the most important criteria when choosing a winner of Survivor?

Sunday Burquest: I would vote on who was adaptable and flexible in the game, and who made the right moves at the right time. I don't necessarily think that because it was a big move, it was the right move.

But that's what I would be voting on. I think I respect the game a lot and so I'm looking really and truly at who outwit and outlasted, and looking at their gameplay and, really, that flexibility and adaptability is a big one in my mind.

Reality TV World: When you were still in the game and looking at the jury members, were you thinking there would end up being a bitter jury overall or that its members would appreciate strategy more than anything?

Sunday Burquest: Yeah, that's how I felt. I felt like we were all such big fans of the game, that that would outweigh any bitterness, and I just really didn't think there was a lot.

I mean, obviously there was some between Jess and I, but on a whole, there really wasn't a ton of hard feelings. They were here and there, and probably tied to certain votes. But overall, I just didn't think we were going to have a very bitter jury.

Reality TV World: How were you cast on Survivor? How did you end up on the show?

Sunday Burquest: It was my second time applying. I applied for the first time with my son for Blood vs. Water, and then I applied again. I think that fact that I was a breast cancer survivor played a part in it. And then later, not knowing what the theme was going to be, I think that fact I was a young adult pastor and worked with that [millennials] age group is part of what got me on the show.

Reality TV World: Would you play again or are you thinking, "One time was enough. I got the experience...?" (Laughs)

Sunday Burquest: No, I would totally play again! I had a blast. I had a blast.

To read the first half of Reality TV World's exclusive Survivor interview with Sunday Burquest, click here.



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