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Sarah Makes It Crystal Clear She's Not on Survivor to Make Friends

Sarah Aswell is a freelance humor writer who lives in Missoula, Montana, with her husband and two kids. Her words have appeared in places like The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, The Hairpin, and more.

On Survivor, Sarah goes to the dark side and ends up stabbing a friend in the back

Before Survivor: Game Changers started, Sarah Lacina told CBS producers that she had a very different strategy going into the season than she had during Season 28, when she finished in 11th place.

More: Let's Talk About Sarah Surprising the Hell out of Everyone on Survivor

For Game Changers, she was going to put aside morals and honor in order to go for the gold. "I’m more cutthroat now. I’m not out there to make friends and I’m willing to go against my word," said the small-town Iowa police officer. "I will do whatever it takes to win. The only purpose for me going back out there is to win a million dollars. I don’t care about making friends or what anyone thinks of me. They’ll get over it."

Welp.

Sarah was living up to her promises. Two weeks ago, she "shuffled the deck" and took out Debbie, one of the biggest threats to her plan. After spending last week in the shadows, she was back at work, this time orchestrating a move that not only landed her the legacy advantage, but also involved stabbing her best friend in the back. Hey, it's just a game!

Sierra's fatal mistake

Sierra has been playing well this season, staying under the radar for the most part and not ruffling too many feathers. She's strong in challenges without being too threatening, and she's helpful and non-annoying in camp. But she made a huge, huge mistake last night when she: 

  1. Trusted Sarah as a friend and
  2. Told someone about her legacy advantage
Yes, there they were, alone on the beach talking about their friendship and how it was a real, genuine friendship. Sierra opened up and told Sarah that not only could they plot to use her legacy advantage together, but if anything happened to Sierra, she'll will the advantage to Sarah. That was all Sarah needed to hear before the wheels started turning in her head. Why have an alliance based in real friendship when she could have the advantage all to herself?

Sierra vs. Andrea

As the episode continued, it seemed clear that the deck was once again reshuffling (a weekly occurrence this season) and two people were on the chopping block: Sierra and Andrea. Considering her strong strategy work last week paired with her recent challenge wins, getting rid of Andrea ASAP looked like a great idea. Yet as soon as Sarah realized she had a chance to get the legacy advantage, she got to work swinging a few votes in Sierra's favor.

At tribal council, we watched as Sierra was taken down and Andrea lived on until next week's episode. Sarah looked upset and confused when Sierra got her torch extinguished and left the set without willing the advantage to Sarah, but viewers get to see a short clip of Sierra saying something along the lines of: "I'm willing my legacy advantage to Sarah, and I hope she kicks butt! Boy, I hope she didn't vote for me!"

Yep, it was a little awkward.

Sarah's evolution to bad cop

Sarah continued to prove that she is indeed not above cold, hard, mean strategy this season — and I kind of love it. It's a game after all, and after her first time around the block, Sarah seems to have realized it. The pushover is gone, and in her place is a cold-blooded strategist aiming for Sandra-levels of greatness. Could there be an amazing Sarah-Andrea showdown in our future? Or a Sarah-Cirie showdown? We kind of hope so, although we don't even know who we're rooting for.

Other notes from this week's episode: 

For the reward challenge, players got a chance to briefly see their loved ones, while the winners got to bring their loved ones to a lovely beach BBQ. It is always super-fun to see the player's relatives, but we were really won over by Cirie's son, who just graduated from high school and who totally thinks his mom is a badass. The best moment was when he asked where the bathroom was: 

We are still of the opinion that Tai is flying under the radar this season in a way that could mean an ultimate win. Not only do attempts to oust him peter out every week, but the man has two immunity idols to his name at this point and there are only seven other players left. Tai has shown that he's a game changer, but sometimes he can make big mistakes in strategy. If he can play it cool, he might have a chance at this.

We also met Tai's partner, Mark (not Mark the Chicken), and their few moments together were adorable. We are definitely Team Tai.

Finally, I can't help but notice that women are absolutely ruling the roost this season. The biggest players right now are Sarah, Cirie and Michaela. Each of these women are busy moving chess pieces, making and breaking alliances and making adept maneuvers regarding the long game. It's hard not to feel that players like Culpepper and Troyzan are just the pawns.

More: An Analysis of Jeff Probst's Style on Survivor, Told Through His Cargo Shirts

Have you ever been stabbed in the back by a friend or yourself done the stabbing?

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