XFinityTV is blowing up their coverage of “Survivor: Philippines.” Every Monday Jeff Probst and I will tackle a wide variety of topics with the “Survivor” Question of the Week. Every Tuesday I’ll be squaring off against “Survivor: One World” favorite Kat Edorsson in this season’s Power Rankings challenge. Every Wednesday briefly after the show we’ll have a full episode recap and every Thursday we’ll have an interview with the latest eliminated player. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for all the updates!
Several months ago, Sarah Dawson and I were enjoying a delightful conversation in a charming gazebo located in the scenic Caramoan Islands. Then a picture frame fell off the wall and cracked her over the head. It was the first time I’d ever tried to murder a “Survivor” contestant.
Later, Sarah Dawson was enjoying a comfortable stay in the game of “Survivor.” Her tribe had a nice winning streak going and she was in the middle of a female alliance. Then Denise joined her tribe, her buddy got sick, and she was voted out.
One minute you’re fine, the next you’re wondering what the hell just happened.
I spoke with the quirky Kalabawian the morning after her elimination and had a chance to learn about how she used Jeff Kent’s secret, how Dana’s illness impacted tribe dynamics and the touching embrace she shared with Jeff Probst…
Gordon Holmes: Morning, Dawson. How are you doing?
Sarah Dawson: Well, my torch got snuffed, so I’m a little less on fire today. But I’m still blazing.
Holmes: Well, I’ll make your day a little better. I promise in no way will you be injured during this interview.
Dawson: (Laughs) I was wondering! Is he going to come in and throw a vase at my head?
Holmes: I wouldn’t dream of it. Any injuries you suffer in the next ten minutes will have to be your doing.
Dawson: Thank you.
Holmes: This might cheer you up; I think we have something in common. I think we both have a crush on Jeff Probst.
Dawson: I know I have a crush on Jeff Probst. You want to go to his house?
Holmes: I wouldn’t take it that far. I wouldn’t run up to the man and hug him and plant a kiss on his cheek after being voted out.
Dawson: (Laughs) I recommend it highly. It is the experience of a lifetime. Seeing the look on his face…he didn’t know if I was going to go crazy because of the intensity in my eyes. He’s thinking, “She’s going to go crazy, or she’s about to hump my leg.”
Holmes: For the sake of them keeping their rating, I’m glad you refrained from humping his leg.
Dawson: I would’ve done it classily, you know.
Holmes: Is there a classy way to do that?
Dawson: You know, bring me back for another season and I’ll give some demos.
Holmes: My first instinct when you were walking with your torch was that you’d turn around and out Jeff Kent’s baseball past. Why did you keep that secret?
Dawson: I’d watched Jeff Kent play for twelve days and I watched his social game. And, I gave him tips on his social game because it was so lacking. I knew if I didn’t out him he’d probably go down anyway.
Holmes: What was wrong with his social game?
Dawson: He didn’t socialize.
Holmes: Ah yes, a key component of a social game.
Dawson: If Kent finds a speck of dirt on his cowboy boots he’ll go out and pout about in on the beach for a day and a half. I tried to help him, but he didn’t want to work with me. I don’t want him to lose because he’s a millionaire, I want him to lose because his game wasn’t that good.
Holmes: Here’s an idea I had; what if you’d approached him and said, “Look Jeff, I know you don’t want to partner with me, but the second I’m voted out I’m going to out you.” It’d be like some hardcore “Survivor” blackmail.
Dawson: I actually did do that. You have to be in the mindset of being out there and hungry. At the point I was in the game, my brain wasn’t working on all cylinders. I didn’t want to out him, but I did blackmail him. But I didn’t take him down because I want him to be voted out, not because he has money. You’re going to go home because of your social game.
Holmes: So, he knows that you knew?
Dawson: Absolutely. That’s why he targeted me.
Holmes: Before Dana went down, did you try to bring Denise into your alliance?
Dawson: Denise was on board with a four-woman alliance. We were actually going to take out Carter. Once Dana left Katie and I lost a lot of leverage. And, the guys knew we were coming after them.
Holmes: Katie voted for you last night. Was that a blindside?
Dawson: No, Katie can’t blindside me. I knew she was voting for me and I begged her not to. I said, “I’m a huge fan of the show. If we’re going to go out, let’s go out big. Let’s make this a tie, let’s pull rocks, that hasn’t happened in years! And, if they kick me out, you’re going next.” Unfortunately I couldn’t convince her.
Holmes: Let’s do some word association. We’ll start with Dana…
Holmes: Jeff Kent?
Dawson: Awesome. I love Denise.
Holmes: Gotcha. Well played… Katie?
Holmes: Something wrong with Delaware?
Dawson: No, nothing’s wrong with it.
Holmes: I was going to say, Wilmington represent.
Holmes: Let’s finish this off with Penner.
Dawson: Oh man…brilliant player. In one word he’s masterful.
Holmes: Early on it looked like you guys were gunning for Penner. Was that in the cards?
Dawson: We never really targeted Penner. He actually isolated himself from us. He was so obsessed with the idol that he wouldn’t engage with us. He wouldn’t spend any time with us. He didn’t even know the girls’ names until day three. He kept calling me “sweetheart.” He kind of brought that on himself. Jeff Kent wanted him out.
Holmes: I’m super psyched we’re finishing this interview with you in one piece.
Dawson: Yes! In one piece and no one else has been kissed yet today. If you talk to Probst you can tell him I’m available all afternoon. We can finish what we started.
Holmes: He is a married man.
Dawson: I know. And I meant to ask him about that on the island…you know…if that was still going well.
Holmes: That’s terrible.
Dawson: No! I wasn’t hoping for something else…but…you know. You can’t blame a girl for dreaming.
Holmes: You’re only human.
Dawson: And so is he.
Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes