‘Survivor: Philippines’ Pre-Game Interview: Sarah Dawson


Sarah Dawson (CBS)

XfinityTV.com sent me deep into the wilderness on a mission to bring you all kinds of “Survivor” stuff including behind-the-scenes tidbits, pre-game interviews with the cast, insights from “Survivor” host Jeff Probst and Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, a look at the first Tribal Council, and much more. I’ll be cranking out this goodness daily, so be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates on all of this season’s “Survivor” fun.

Name: Sarah Dawson
Age: 28
Home: Silver Springs, MD
Occupation: Insurance Sales
Tribe: Kalabaw

Gordon Holmes: You say that the contestant you’re most like is Jessica “Sugar” Kiper. What is it about Sugar that you’re drawing a parallel with?
Sarah Dawson: I don’t know if I’m most like Sugar, I find Sugar to be very entertaining. She was great TV. I know, you know, she did cry a lot. That probably wasn’t fun for the other contestants. But, (expletive deleted) the other contestants. I’m the one watching. I thought she was hilarious.
Holmes: So her pain brought you joy?
Dawson: Not so much her pain…
Holmes: That’s terrible.

Note: At this point in the interview, a framed certificate fell off of the wall of the gazebo we were sitting in and smashed over Dawson’s head.

Holmes: (Laughs) Are you OK?
Dawson: That sound…was my lawyer.
Holmes: Nobody had sat on that part of the gazebo before.
Dawson: (Laughs) I get injured during our interview? This is the first “Survivor” injury of the season!
Holmes: (Laughs) They’re not going to have me back if I keep injuring all of the contestants.
Dawson: (Laughs) You’re not good for TV.
Holmes: You know what that was? That was karma. You were just saying how much you like to watch Sugar cry.
Dawson: Hmm…
Holmes: Are you OK? Seriously? Do we need to get ice or anything?
Dawson: Oh no, I’m fine. My head is super used to hitting things.

Holmes: You’re taking a Bible with you?
Dawson: I’m a Seventh-Day Adventist. I went to a Seventh-Day Adventist high school. It’s kind of like a lifestyle, it’s really nice. Every day of the week there’s something at the church. We’re all vegetarians. So, I’m extremely familiar with the Bible. But, one thing I haven’t mastered is the Bible in Spanish. I just love Spanish culture and their history. I travel to as many Spanish-speaking countries as I can. So, I wanted to bring a Spanish Bible so I could sit down and apply different things and see it in a language I appreciate.
Holmes: It seems like religion has gotten a bad rap on “Survivor” lately. Are you worried that might count against you?
Dawson: Oh my, God. I don’t think Coach (Wade) even knows what show he’s on. OK, so this is what Coach was trying to do. You know how “Survivor” is outwit, outplay, outlast?
Holmes: I’ve heard that somewhere before.
Dawson: Right, you’ve been there. Coach knowing he couldn’t outwit, outplay, outlast, he tried to change people’s mantras of the show by constantly saying, “Honor, integrity, loyalty.” So, if people are always thinking that way, instead of outwit, outplay, outlast, then he’ll have a better shot because people will feel like they need to be loyal instead of getting rid of him. Which, I would’ve noticed right off the bat and put him on a boat out somewhere on his own a longtime before the final three.

Holmes: Quick aside, your nails are awesome.
Dawson: Dude, these are my team colors. So you just saw a little bit under the veil.
Holmes: They told you your colors?
Dawson: I’m pink and brown. Nobody’s ever gone on “Survivor” with really cool nail colors before.
Holmes: You know what else nobody has done? They always merge and then use a local word for “unity” or something for the tribe name. Why aren’t they ever the “Super Fire Thunder Alliance” or something cool like that?
Dawson: I totally agree with you. I’m with you. I want to name my tribe “Smoke a Doobie”, or something like that.
Holmes: They might have a problem with that one.

Holmes: Are you a big “Survivor” fan?
Dawson: I’m as big as you can be.
Holmes: Old school.
Dawson: Old school. And because I didn’t watch much TV growing up, I got into “Survivor” late in the game, so I got my hands on every (expletive deleted) episode and interview. I’ve been watching them for maybe five years. I’ve been really studying the game and how it’s evolved. And everything is so streamlined now, I think this cycle they’re going to switch things up. I think, what I anticipate is that they’ll change up the tribe at least three times. People are feeling too safe. On day one they make a final five alliance, then pick everyone off. And if they make it to the merge with a majority, they’ll pick off the strong people, then once it gets to the final five they pick off the likable people, then sit at the end next to a goat. People think that’s what “Survivor” is, so they’re going to switch it up.
Holmes: It’s funny, because this is the kind of rut “Survivor” fell into before Rob Cesternino shook things up in “Survivor: The Amazon.”
Dawson: They’re going to switch it up this season big time. The people in “One World” got a cakewalk compared to what I’m going to go through. I guarantee it.

Holmes: What are your first impressions of this cast?
Dawson: Some of them are intriguing.  I’m amused by a few.
Holmes: Who’s intriguing you?
Dawson: I’m most intrigued by the girl, she’s maybe 5’7”, she’s got short spiky hair and she’s got tattoos. And she’s a real kind of different badass girl. And as a non-conformist myself, I appreciate her.
Holmes: Who’s amusing you?
Dawson: There’s this other girl, she’s the cutest little thing. I call her “Pinky” because the only thing she wears is pink. She wears in constantly. She’s adorable. But, in my head I compare her to a Maltese.
Holmes: (Laughs) OK…
Dawson: Because she’s got this beautiful shiny hair and she just prances around. I just want to put her in a doggy bag and take her to the mall with me. She’s just so cute.
Holmes: Adorable.
Dawson: But the guys are pretty boring, honestly. One of them is cute, but I haven’t seen a single ounce of personality.
Holmes: We always joke that we leave here with a “Survivor” girlfriend. But I always contest that she can’t be just pretty, there has to be something.
Dawson: Something…yes.
Holmes: Anything else about these folks?
Dawson: I’ve already got (expletive deleted) on all these people.
Holmes: You do?
Dawson: I know some of their names. I know where some of them are from.
Holmes: So just by sitting in a room with them you’ve been able to figure this out?
Dawson: I’m super sneaky. Whenever someone’s not looking, I’m looking. That’s my thing.
Holmes: Evil.
Dawson: I’m not evil! I’m a mischief maker. I love to have fun and if I can just switch this game up and catch somebody off guard…do something different, blindside somebody with a prank and get them off their game, that’d be awesome.

Holmes: Are you prepared to lie to get ahead?
Dawson: (Expletive deleted) yeah!
Holmes: There ya go.
Dawson: (Laughs) Do some people say “No” to that? That’s the more appropriate question.
Holmes: I can’t discuss your cast, but other casts I’ve interviewed have had people who have said they wouldn’t lie.
Dawson: Are you serious? I want to play with them.
Holmes: I never lie, so yes, I’m serious. Are you prepared to flirt?
Dawson: I think it’s natural. If you have to make a conscious decision to flirt, then you probably shouldn’t be doing it.
Holmes: Well put. Are you prepared to use your head wound from a falling picture frame to get sympathy?
Dawson: Oh yeah.  I’m going to probably go to medical now and ask to be transported on a gurney to the location.

Holmes: If you could align with any former “Survivor” player, who would it be and why?
Dawson: Excellent question. I’ve been getting (expletive deleted) questions.
Holmes: I didn’t fly all this way to ask (expletive deleted) questions.
Dawson: You didn’t. I’d love to play with Chet (Welch). Do you remember Chet?
Holmes: From Micronesia? I remember him.
Dawson: Chet was awesome.
Holmes: What are the benefits to having him in your alliance?
Dawson: He can’t do anything! He doesn’t have a physical game, social game. He can’t even get his own water. Talk about someone I don’t have to worry about scheming behind my back.
Holmes: So you’re willing to sacrifice someone who does stuff around camp for someone you can lead around?
Dawson: (Expletive deleted) yeah. I don’t need (expletive deleted) done around camp. All those people go home.

Holmes: OK, what’re you going to do with the million bucks in December when Probst hands you that novelty check?
Dawson: I’m going to buy a helmet for me to wear when I’m around you.
Holmes: Wow, injure a girl once and you’re branded for life.
Dawson: I’m starting to get a headache, and I wasn’t even drinking last night.
Holmes: I’m going to make them take you to medical.

Don’t miss the premiere of “Survivor: Philippines” – Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

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