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 first half. Check back with us soon for more.
Reality TV World: Justin "Jay" Starrett and Bret LaBelle voted for David Wright, and given you voted for Jay, it seemed like you went into Tribal with some variation of a plan to put votes on both Jay and David in case Jay played his idol. Is that correct? How did you expect everyone to vote going into Tribal?
Sunday Burquest: Well, earlier in the day, I had spent quite a bit of time talking with [Hannah Shapiro] and [Adam Klein], and the goal was to flush Jay's idol and get David out obviously. I had a relationship with Jay, so I didn't really want him going home, but I knew that Adam had already told him that he needed to play his idol.
So basically, I knew Jay was going to be safe even though I put his name down, and things changed obviously after my conversation with Adam and Hannah. I don't know exactly at what point that was, but I had several that day and thought that David was going home.
I tried to replay in my head the day, like how one vote got put on Jay, and I can't really remember. (Laughs) There's a secret scene about it, but yeah, we had a plan going in and I definitely wasn't planning on being the one to go home.
Reality TV World: Did you feel betrayed by anyone in particular because of the blindside?
Sunday Burquest: Yeah, I would say Hannah, but Hannah and I weren't in an alliance. So, I don't know that "betrayed" is the right word; she was playing the game.
I just didn't think -- in my mind, I was thinking, "Why would you take me out right now when I'm sitting up here with Jay and David and Adam?" I just couldn't compute in my mind why me at that vote when you have these other people sitting here that are bigger threats than I am.
Reality TV World: So it sounds like you had no idea Hannah was gunning for you, and that must have been a surprise watching the episode back.
Sunday Burquest: Yes, yes it was. But we talked and so I wasn't shocked. And the thing was, we had conversations earlier in the day where she basically was telling me, "You're a goat and you're on the bottom," and this kind of a thing. So, putting my trust in her and Adam was a little nerve-wracking, but it was more that I trusted Adam than I did her going into the vote.
Reality TV World: Do you think Bret was aware of the plan to blindside you or was he left in the dark since people considered you guys a pretty solid pair in the game?
Sunday Burquest: Yeah, I don't think he knew. I don't think he knew that. No, because we just really wanted David out of the game, the threat, you know?
Reality TV World: I was going to touch upon that. Hannah's reasoning for wanting to take you out was that you were an "enticing goat" to take to the end and she thought David would be loyal to her going forward. I was wondering why she'd care more about that than taking out bigger threats. It sounds like you don't have much insight into that either? (Laughs)
Sunday Burquest: I'm not really sure why either. I mean, she was so worried that people would consider her a goat that she wanted to make sure she had "moves" so to speak, like the whole [Will Wahl] thing the week before.
And so, in her mind, she's thinking, "I have to have my own move." Well, that's great, but your move isn't a good move; it's not going to count and it's not going to help you. So, I think she just really wanted credit for making what she considered her own moves.
Reality TV World: Why do you think Adam went along with Hannah's plan? Because he was clearly very against it.
Sunday Burquest: Yeah, I think it came up pretty last minute and he didn't have time to talk enough to everybody, I think. And he was in a position where he didn't want to push his own agenda. So sometimes even though you don't agree with a vote, because you don't want to seem like you're going against the whole alliance, you just say, "Okay, I guess if that's what you guys want to do."
I don't think there was much time for Adam to talk about it, because the last time I had talked to him -- to both Adam and Hannah -- it was pretty late in the afternoon, so there wasn't a lot of time for that to be switched around. So that's all I can really surmise.
Reality TV World: You didn't consider yourself a goat, so do you think Hannah and Adam -- looking at it from their perspective -- made the smart, strategic choice for their individual games in taking you out or do you think they made a mistake?
Sunday Burquest: Well, I think they made a mistake, but it's hard to say that because obviously I'm the one that went home. But, really, if you're looking at it, why would you not use up that time to get rid of David or Jay?
I mean, they were flushing [Jay]'s idol, but leave me sitting there as someone you want to take to the end if, in your mind, you think I'm a goat! Why leave me there and not take out a big threat? I don't know that I would've risked it, I guess.
Reality TV World: Adam seemed to think you and Bret would've gone along with his decisions no matter whom he wanted to vote for or what he wanted to do. He basically thought he had you two in his back pocket.
Reality TV World: Would you admit to that being the case because you felt like you were on the outs or would you argue otherwise?
Sunday Burquest: No, I would say it was a marriage of convenience. It wasn't like, "Oh, okay, Adam! Just take us! We'll do what you want." That's not what it was. The night after the Will vote, Bret and I are watching the sunrise and we started counted heads. That's what we did every morning, like, "Is someone missing?"
And Adam was missing! "Okay, that means he's off looking for an idol and we've got to go find him!" So there's a secret scene where we go find him back by the well and he was looking for an idol. And at that point, it's a good collaboration. "Hey, I want Will out. He flipped on all of us."
But then Will came back and was like, "No, guys, don't worry about it! I was just trying to make a move." Well, yeah, but you screwed us over in the process. (Laughs)
He thought we were going to be like, "Oh, okay, well good for you that you made a move," you know? And so it just so happened that worked in both of our interest, to get rid of Will. I didn't see it at all that we were Adam's little soldiers, so to speak.
Reality TV World: Prior to your vote off, talk around camp was that Jay and David were the biggest threats left in the game. Why do you think Adam was overlooked? He seemed to be the decision maker in recent votes.
Sunday Burquest: Well because at some point, you know, the game switches so fast. There was a time when so many people were ticked at Adam and there were Millennials on the jury we thought were ticked at Adam. So it's almost like, "Hey, let's get Adam because people are ticked at him!" That eventually caved.
But for a while, you wanted Adam because other people were mad at him. It was like, "Okay, we want Adam with us because they're going to want him out before they want us out, because they're ticked at him."
And, like I said, things shift so quick in the game, but there was a period of time there where people were, you know, bugged or annoyed with him. And people weren't seeing until a little later on all the decision-making that he was doing.
Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion of our exclusive Survivor interview with Sunday Burquest.