How did Sarah Lacina pull off her Survivor: Game Changers victory? SheKnows talked with several members of the jury on the red carpet at the finale to find out why they voted for her. We squeaked in a few extra questions with each of them, too.
"I think Sarah is one of the best winners of all time, I really do. Sarah had an unbelievable ability to have a strategy, and at the same time, a social game. She can have this ruthless strategy at times, yet people are saying she was their No. 1. She was my No. 1 at one point, until I realized she was like the next Tony. At that point, it was too late because she was too deep with everybody."
"Brad's social game was a little bit troublesome for me at the end. I think Brad is an amazing, authentic person, but I kind of saw him transform a little bit, especially with the Tai stuff. The other thing is, I really saw Sierra Dawn-Thomas as the head of the snake to a degree. Brad did almost too good of a job. I think Troyzan could've had a shot, had he articulated his underdog story, starting on Mana and making it to where he was. If I got to the end, that was gonna be my story."
"I really wanted to work with Tony, Malcolm, J.T. and Sandra. I wanted to work with all these big threats because I knew 10 days after Kaoh Rong [Season 32], some Survivor players said to my face they thought I should've won. I was coming in with a huge target on my back. I wanted these people to pad me. That's the strategy I wanted to have, but I learned very quickly that was not the destiny of this game at all. It was all about taking out the big threats."
"I think Sarah's game play was on point. Sarah was able to betray us, flip flop and then come back and convince us she was still your No. 1 or No. 2. Sarah actually made you believe that you were in her alliance. Sarah had everyone in her alliance. For whatever reason, we didn't talk to each other about it, which is crazy. I think, hands down, for this season we picked the right person."
"I felt honored. I felt disappointed. I had two different modes of feelings going on. I was like, 'Oh my God! I can't believe that just happened on Survivor!' Then at the same time, I was like, 'Damn! That just happened to you on Survivor!' Honestly, I felt kind of honored to be leaving the game that way. I could've been blindsided. I could've also been out after Sarah misunderstood my Legacy Advantage moment."
"You know what? Right now, I would probably say, 'Oh God, I don't ever want to do that again.' But even a day from now, if I get the call, I'm probably gonna answer yes before they even ask again."
"If I look back and watch it, I would say Sarah deserves to win. Everything just turned out in her favor, and I'm super happy for her. I'm genuinely happy, and I normally wouldn't say that. I wasn't genuinely happy Kim Spradlin won my first season [laughs]. I'm good friends with Kim now, and I love her to death. But yes, I'm really happy for Sarah."
"I had seen the way Sarah was playing at that point. To be a winner, everything has to line up perfectly. For her, it was just working out and the Survivor gods were shining down. When I started hearing the questions at the final Tribal Council, it's not like I gave up, but I could see the way it was going. I didn't want to get out of there without telling people how I really feel about them as people. I just wanted to say something about what they all meant to me. I had an experience that never would've happened without each and every one of them."
"For me, I try not to listen to what people think about the name of the show. Here's the deal: Survivor called me to play another season. I didn't know the theme. They could've called it Bitches vs. Assholes and I would do it. I don't care what it is. We don't know what it is. We don't know who is playing. Then you hear the name Game Changers, and we know there are only probably five real game changers in the show's history. I wondered how I was going to defend myself with this because I didn't change the way the game is played in my first season. I might have done something that showed I was a gamer. The more I thought about it, they should've just called this season Survivor: The Game Has Changed. I felt like I changed the way I actually was perceived. I didn't play anything like I did in One World. I had to key it down a lot. I had to play the old guy card. I had to sit out on challenges on purpose to make myself look like I'm not a threat. I was watching big people do big things, and they would get voted out next. I'm not doing that. I gotta get to the 39th day."
"She played one heck of a game. She's great. She deserved to win. The last Tribal Council, she told all her moves. It was incredible and she deserves to be the winner. I understood she had to vote me out. I was leaning toward voting for her after I was eliminated. I liked Brad, too. During the final Tribal Council, she was so articulate and she owned her game. She pissed people off, but she told them why she did what she did. The game is bigger than us, and I respect the game."
"Watching the game, I seem so gullible, but that's just how it was shown. While I was in the game, I thought I was a good player. I talked strategy with Sarah and Brad, but it didn't get shown. I'm a good player, and strategy-wise, I play with my heart. People trust me, and that just shows strategy right there. I had instinct on playing and finding Idols. That's all strategy for me. I feel like I played a good game."
"I get recognized everywhere. It's embarrassing. Now I have to behave myself and look clean. My boyfriend says, 'You don't want to look like a hobo all the time.' I'm a gardener and I sometimes look like a homeless person [laughs]. I love it, though. The fans are nothing but tremendous. I see people in the weirdest places and they recognize me. Kids love me. People will hear my voice and track me down and say, 'You're the guy on Survivor!' Survivor has a big fan base and I love it. If you see me on the street, please say hi. I love it."
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