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'Survivor': Sierra says nice doesn't win

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CBS

She certainly wasn’t the most memorable contestant on Survivor: Worlds Apart, but maybe that’s not such a bad thing. While other players were huffing and puffing and making spectacles of themselves (with results that were often unfortunate on many levels), Sierra Dawn Thomas played a nicer, more low-key game—which is why the others wanted to get rid of her rather than risk her friendships with the jury bringing her that million-dollar prize. Sierra called into Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105) this morning to chat with Jessica Shaw and me about her fabulous jungle fashion, her vote for Carolyn, how should would have done had she made it to the end, and why nice gals don’t finish first.

DALTON ROSS: First off, you looked fabulous at that final Tribal Council last night—you looked like you killed a cheetah and then wore it.

SIERRA DAWN THOMAS: [Laughs] Thank you. I finally got to get ready and was like “Oh my gosh, what can I wear?” Make-up, clothes, anything…I just wanted to get dressed.

ROSS: How do you think you would’ve done, had you made it to the final three?

I honestly think it was who I was sitting next to. If I was next to Mike and Carolyn, I don’t think I would’ve won. But if I, honestly, was next to Will and Rodney, I genuinely think I could’ve won.

JESSICA SHAW: Were you surprised that Mike forced that fire-making challenge in the end?

You know, I was a little bit surprised, but that’s Mike—he’s flying off the handle all the time. So I would like to say I was surprised. But no, that’s how Mike played the game, just doing crazy stuff like that all the time.

SHAW: What was it like watching that fire making challenge?

It was insane. It was frustrating, it was upsetting. Because of course everybody’s like, “I can build a faster fire than that.” And sitting there watching it was excruciating. Obviously me being the fifth out, I was like, “I deserve to be there because I can make it a lot faster than both of them.” I wish you could’ve seen me pretty much start the fire on day one, because I played a huge role in getting that fire started on the first day. I honestly can tell you, I build fire all the time. I camp all the time. I think I would’ve done great.

ROSS: I thought Carolyn played a great game and didn’t get much credit for it. You gave her the one vote she got at the end. What was the general attitude among the jury toward how she did?

I think they were just like…. It’s not that she didn’t play a great game, but they were just looking at Mike and were, like, “Oh my gosh, he was such a huge physical threat.” But for me, I spent every single day with Mike, and I watched him completely lose it where people didn’t see that. And, you know, I think they were just so fixed on how great Mike did in the physical challenges that they didn’t see how great Carolyn really did play.

SHAW: What do you mean by “completely lose it”? What did we not see?

Me and Mike were really close since day one ,and there was a time that I literally looked into his eyes and just saw that he wasn’t there. I don’t know if it was the food or the paranoia, but he lost it and he was just paranoid and he was running to everyone and yelling. I used to tell him when we were out there, like, “Mike, we’re not living in Mike’s world, we’re not living in Mike’s time. You have to give people a chance to do things, and they’re going to get it done.” But he was always just jacked up the whole time.

SHAW: You were often second in challenges, right after Mike. What was it like watching that last challenge you couldn’t play in on TV?

It was really frustrating, because every challenge up to that point, I was right on Mike’s tail. And to watch it, I thought the same thing. I was like, “Oh my gosh, I could totally beat him at this.” And I mean, I essentially shot myself in the foot by telling them that I thought I could do it in my last Tribal. But it was how I felt. I think I could’ve been on Mike’s tail yet again and probably beat him.

ROSS: What surprised you most, watching the season play back?

There’s a lot. I’m a very loud, almost annoying person, and I look quiet. And my family’s like, “Was that how you were playing?” and my friends are like, “Is that how you are?” I was like, “You know, no.” But you know what? I was in the game. I was nice. And nice isn’t good TV. And nobody wants to watch that. And nice, honestly, doesn’t usually win Survivor. So it was just surprising to see myself look quiet, because I’m the furthest thing from being a quiet person.

Also make sure to read our exit interview with Mike, our chat with Carolyn, our Q&A with Will, and our talk with Rodney. Also check out our season finale recapburning questions with Jeff Probst, and analysis on the new ‘Second Chance’ cast. For more ‘Survivor’ scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter: @DaltonRoss.