Sabrina Thompson: I thought I'd win or lose 'Survivor' by one jury vote
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/01/2012
Sabrina Thompson made it to Survivor: One World's Final 3 but finished as the runner-up and just missed out on the $1 million grand prize during the live portion of the reality series' finale broadcast on CBS.
Sabrina, a 33-year-old high school teacher from Brooklyn, NY, was beaten out by Survivor: One World champion Kim Spradlin, a 29-year-old bridal shop owner from San Antonio, TX, but won out over Chelsea Meissner, a 26-year-old in medical sales from Charleston, SC, in the season's final jury voting results, which Survivor host Jeff Probst revealed live during the episode.
Sabrina received two votes from Troy "Troyzan" Robertson and Leif Manson, while Kim received the rest. Chelsea unfortunately got herself zero votes from the jury.
During a recent conference call with reporters, Sabrina talked to Reality TV World about her Survivor: One World experience. Click here to read what she had to say.
Below is the concluding portion of Sabrina's call with reporters -- including how close she thought she was to potentially pulling off a Survivor victory, why she never considered eliminating Kim even when she had the chance and whether she regretted not joining Troyzan and turning the tables on Kim.
Did you and Chelsea ever consider getting rid of Kim at some point later in the game? You obviously didn't get the opportunity to vote her out because she kept winning immunity, but did you ever discuss the move?
Sabrina Thompson: I think that's the number one question that I get. For me, I can't speak for Chelsea, but for me, no. We formed our alliance in the beginning.
There was always the opportunity, but I think my theory was at least that at the end of the day, I wanted to be able to get to the Final 3, look to my left and look to my right, and say, "Hey, if I don't win, I know either one of these women are deserving of the money and they will do good things with that."
I didn't have the same sentiments about Alicia and Christina, so it was sort of like, "Let's get as far as we can and then may the best woman win." Because I think if we would've broken up our nucleus -- literally, the next person would have gone next and next. And so, for us to lengthen our longevity, I think it was best for all of us to stay together.
During the jury questioning, you made a compelling argument and you got a couple votes. Kim said she grew less confident she had won the game at that point, so how did you feel leaving Tribal Council that night? Were you thinking you might've pulled it off?
Sabrina Thompson: You play it out so much in your head, and when I left, you're sitting there counting like, who I think voted for me. And I honestly thought either I won by one vote or I lost by one vote.
I thought it would be a little bit closer, but at the end of the day, I think if they would've been a bitter jury, I would've won -- but obviously they weren't bitter and she played one hell of a game.
You have to respect that, so anyone I would've lost to -- which was her -- I'm honored by that, because she will go down in Survivor's history books as one of the greatest players. And to lose to her, I'm honored. I really am.
Kim was involved in a couple discussions in which she considered voting you and Chelsea out. When you watched the season back, how did you feel about that? Were you a little insulted or did you think she was just playing the game?
Sabrina Thompson: It honestly didn't upset me. There's so much more that you guys don't see. She's playing the game. She had a lot of options that either could have worked for her, which it did, or it could have burned her in the end, which it didn't. So, one thing Jeff told us going into the game, he said, "Look, you gotta make big moves and you need to have multiple options."
For me, I played the game as close as possible to how I am in real life. I'm very black and white. I'm very "what you see is what you get." It's hard for me to be calculated, so for me to go and scramble, I knew that was not going to be my forte. So I said, "Just let me sit back a little bit."
But to see it, there's things obviously that you don't see until you watch the game. It was sort of just like, "Oh, okay, really Kim?" But yeah, she was playing the game and at the end of the day, you have to keep that in your head. It is a game for a million dollars, and so, it worked for her.
At what point in the game do you think the men lost their edge? Do you think it was when they chose to give up immunity and vote Bill Posley out or was it after that?
Sabrina Thompson: No, I mean, who does that? That is just "absolute dumb moves 101." That, and then when they fell for voting out [Jonas Otsuji]. That was it right there, and so, we just picked them off one by one.
Did anything surprise you throughout the season watching it back?
Sabrina Thompson: I knew [Colton Cumbie] had an evil streak in him, but I didn't know it was that deplorable. And so, I don't wish sickness in anyone, but I'm glad that sucker went out. But yeah. (Laughs)
You hear people's confessionals and to me, that was the most intriguing part, to hear the thought process of people or the lack of thought process of some people -- like, "What are you here doing?" So to me, the confessionals were very intriguing to watch.
Looking back, at what point could you have made a move to get Kim out of the game if you wanted to? What would've been the perfect moment?
Sabrina Thompson: It was either when Chelsea won her Immunity Challenge or actually a little bit further along when Alicia won the one where we had the fish hooks. But the thing is, Chelsea knew that Kim had the [hidden] Immunity Idol. I didn't know -- I knew someone close to me had it, but I didn't know exactly who.
Because one day when I went looking -- one day, [Kat Edorsson] and I went looking for an idol and we found the idol wrapper but not the idol. So I knew it was still in play. I knew someone close to me had it. I just didn't know exactly who. So whether or not that would've worked, who knows.
But honestly, I had no inclination to try to get Kim out because of the pact that we made earlier. I was just kind of like, "You know what? Hopefully they'll honor the same pact that we made in the beginning of the show." And a lot of people say, "Oh my God that was not a good move. You should've been more bold."
And for me, it was about subtle movements. Some people play the game differently than others, and I don't think I would've made it nearly as far if I would have played very risky. And so, some people were saying, "Oh, you weren't playing to win."
But you know, you never know how this game is going to end. And the thing is, it hinges off people's perceptions and thoughts of you at the jury, and that's what it hinges on.
Did you ever seriously entertain the idea of joining forces with Troyzan and turning the tables on Kim?
Sabrina Thompson: Absolutely not. No one -- I love Troy to death. I do, but no one wants to play with him in Immunity Challenges no matter who we would have chosen to take out. He made total sense -- total sense. But as soon as you start to align, you're next to go. They want to break up the nucleus so bad. You're literally next to go.
So it's sort of just like, "Damn, do I dupe someone in my alliance just to make it one more round or do I just stay and go as far as I can and then just go for the kill in the end?" And so I said, "Option one is definitely my best option."
You mentioned that you wanted to sit next to the two most deserving people in the end. Is there anybody else out there in the game you thought would've been a deserving winner other than Chelsea and Kim?
Sabrina Thompson: As a woman, no, not at all. I know that's very cut and dry. I think we're cut from the same cloth morally although we've come from different parts of the country. But our families, I just love their families. I think we just see the goodness in people outside of the game, and so, I said I would know these two women until the day I die. I really will.
Above is the concluding portion of Sabrina's call with reporters. To read Kim's interview, click here and here. To read Chelsea's interview, click here and here. To check out Alicia Rosa's interview, click here. And finally, to learn what Christina Cha had to say about her Survivor experience, click here.