‘Survivor’ Castaway Debbie: “I Said to Brad, ‘When Somebody Flips, It’s Going to Be Sarah’”

“Survivor: Game Changers” (CBS)

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Gordon Holmes: So, last night as you were carrying your torch over to Probst, who did you think had flipped from your six-person alliance?
Debbie Wanner: I had a strong suspicion, but I wasn’t 100% sure. The first time you see your name come up, as soon as I saw Debbie I knew it, I was 80% sure I knew who it was.
Holmes: What about Sarah made you think she was the most likely to flip?
Wanner: So, I have a great relationship with Gordon and we have a conversation and I know that I’ve been a little untruthful with Gordon and I have to wonder how much he’s lied to me. Now Gordon goes and talks to Sarah and I’m watching. So now I have to wonder how much truth is going on there. Gordon talks to Nemo and somebody talks to somebody, you have all of these conversations. There’s something about looking somebody in the eye and I know Sarah is a cop and she’s used to be duplicitous. But, she was off talking to too many people, too much of the time and I got a bad vibe. And you have to trust your gut. I said to Brad, “When somebody flips, it’s going to be Sarah.” It just turns out we didn’t move fast enough…at least I didn’t move fast enough.

Holmes: The perception seems to be that Brad and Sierra are running the show. So, why do you think you were the first target?
Wanner: That’s a good question. The reason it was me was probably in case Brad or Sierra had an idol. Remember earlier in the season Tai had popped up with an idol and had come to Brad and Sierra’s defense. Quite frankly, I don’t know. I certainly wasn’t a challenge beast. Perhaps Sarah thought Sierra and I were too close and it was easier to take me out. I’m only speculating.

Holmes: The balance beam challenge…why do you think you reacted so strongly afterwards?
Wanner: I was always in an alliance with Brad and I never wanted anyone to know that we were so close. The reason Ozzy was voted out was because Ozzy was targeting Brad. Ozzy and I went for a walk and he said, “I want out Brad and then I want out Sierra.” So, of course I went back and told Brad. It was a mutual decision. So, I never wanted anyone to know that we were as close as we were. I adore his wife. I have the utmost respect for her gameplay. And I thought he got a bad rap when he played. I didn’t know him outside of the game. I thought he was a cool guy. Hali came across to me as somewhat of a prima donna. I should have let things go and let her have her way. She’s a great girl, I adore her. Beautiful young lady. But “Survivor” is a game where you’re poked and prodded. I just over did it. And a lot of it was acting. I didn’t want people to know that we were that close so they’d let me know if they were targeting him. However, I know that the edit was taken out of a chronological sequence. There was a lot of acting and unfortunately someone should have just given me a Snickers bar at that point.

Holmes: What was your plan for the rest of the game if Andrea had gone home last night?
Wanner: Brad, Sierra Dawn, and myself.
Holmes: How would you have bested them in front of a jury?
Wanner: As cool as Brad is, and as much as I admire him, a lot of people were uneasy around him and found him to be cocky. He’s a very successful person. An NFL player, a successful attorney. Some people, instead of admiring that, actually resent it. He’s probably already a millionaire and some people are jealous of it. That would have been an easy card to play. Sierra Dawn…she may have beat me. And if she did, maybe I would have been OK with it because she’s a great human being, all the way around. But, I would’ve tried to say something like…”We made joint decisions, let the chips fall where they may.”

Holmes: Word association time. Let’s start with Ozzy.
Wanner: Jungle man.
Holmes: Andrea?
Wanner: Beautiful.
Holmes: Cirie?
Wanner: An amazing human being.
Holmes: Sierra Dawn?
Wanner: Cowgirl
Holmes: Brad?
Wanner: A man’s man.
Holmes: JT?
Wanner: The life of the party.
Holmes: Caleb?
Wanner: Barely knew him.
Holmes: Sandra?
Wanner: (Laughs) Goat eater.
Holmes: (Laughs) Varner?
Wanner: Give him some peace.
Holmes: Agreed. Troyzan?
Wanner: Very cool…turtle man.
Holmes: Hali?
Wanner: Southern belle.
Holmes: Aubry?
Wanner: (Laughs) My quirky little nemesis. She’s awesome.
Holmes: Zeke?
Wanner: Colorful character.
Holmes: Tai?
Wanner: My turtle blood brother.
Holmes: Sarah?
Wanner: Disingenuous.
Holmes: Michaela?
Wanner: Great athlete, comic relief.

Holmes: Michaela’s name is on the chopping block all the time. Since the early episodes. It seems like she wasn’t very popular out there, but we haven’t seen exactly why people have been targeting her. What’s going on there?
Wanner: I found Michaela to be a bright, friendly person. She was quite lovable. A lot of it is in the eye of the beholder. To other people she could have been standoffish. She certainly isn’t the most weepy person. Perhaps people perceive her to be a tough young lady and sometimes strong women turn people off. If a man acts one way, he’s awesome, he’s a man’s man. And if a woman acts that way she’s a cold-blooded bitch. Perhaps Michaela was treated differently because she’s a woman. Was she supposed to act more dainty? More empathetic? More sympathetic? I just thought she was being a strong, tough lady.

Holmes: So far you’ve been the only visitor to the S.S. Exile.
Wanner: (Laughs) Lucky me!
Holmes: Did anyone ever find out the truth about that? And if not, what was the reaction when it aired?
Wanner: Gordon, on that my lips were sealed. I told no one. It was so beautiful, people kept asking, “Did you have flint? Did you have rice?” And actually, I didn’t. There was no duplicitousness. And no one has given me a hard time. They loved it. There was one moment where I climbed to the top of the boat like in “Titanic.” I said, “I’m king of the world!” and jumped off!

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

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