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“I Always Felt in Control of the Game” – Reality News Online’s Exclusive Interview with Survivor: South Pacific’s Winner, Sophieby David Bloomberg -- 12/19/2011
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Coach was the apparent leader of the Upolu Five alliance, but while he was preaching honor, loyalty, and integrity, Sophie was in the background, pulling together alliances and suballiances and making sure everything ran smoothly. How did she accomplish this? What didn’t we see on TV? Read on to find out that and more! Plus, after I had my exclusive interview with Sophie. I then participated in a final three conference call where Sophie was once again answering questions. So I’ve included some additional info from that call here at the end. Enjoy!
Reality News Online: First of all, congratulations! From what I saw on Twitter, it doesn’t look like you slept at all last night.
Sophie: Thank you. No, you’re right, I haven’t slept. It’s okay though, I don’t have a voice but I’m doing fine.
RNO: You have a busy day ahead of you, so let’s jump right into it. During the tribal phase of the game, you seemed to be the brains of the Upolu operation even though Coach was the face of it. Would you agree with that statement?
Sophie: Yeah, I definitely felt like all the time I knew what was going on and nothing ever happened that I didn’t want to happen. I think I had a lot of influence over Coach that wasn’t shown on TV. I always felt in control of the game. From Day 1 or 2, I recognized who I was playing with and knew Brandon and Rick and others were immovable and would be the most loyal allies in the game. That’s huge, to have people who would never flip on you. It’s like Christmas came early, so I definitely utilized that.
RNO: What did you do, specifically, as “the brains” of the operation?
Sophie: People have said to me that Coach should have won. I think I was constantly assessing the game and it turned out that every minute I was thinking about the game, I decided the best move was to stick with my alliance. It seemed like I wasn’t doing anything, but I was. I think keeping together an alliance from Day 1 took a lot of hard work. I had a final three agreement with Rick. Edna had a promise from me that we were in the final three. There were a lot of inner alliances and keeping everybody calm was difficult.
I wanted everybody to be happy and calm and comfortable. In a game where’s there’s already so much paranoia, that’s difficult to do. I think you saw it a lot with Albert. I was constantly dissuading him from switching or making any kind of move. That was my game plan, to make people relax.
RNO: Indeed, we saw you comment on a web clip that you repeatedly had to shoot down Albert’s plans. We also saw him come to you numerous times with ideas that you apparently wouldn’t go along with. Was that part of what you were just talking about?
Sophie: Yes. I felt like I had no chance of winning against Dawn or Whitney really. The thing is, who knows what would happen had we switched? It would have been up in the air. I knew I had a very clear path to the end. I knew I could keep six people feeling comfortable. I knew of the six, five would vote out Edna. At the five, I knew Coach and Rick were in my back pocket and we’d voted out Brandon. I knew Coach and I or Albert and I could go from there.
I know it’s cliché, but I had this onion alliance where I was in the center of it. I saw it as a better plan not to disrupt the onion but to make sure the people I would go up against at the end were people I could beat.
They didn’t show a lot of it on TV, but I threw Albert under the bus a lot at Tribal Council, saying how sleazy he was he was because he was too smooth. Albert and I threw Coach under the bus, calling him a figurehead. I felt like getting to the three is so hard, it’s best to get to the three and make your case then.
RNO: Give that and the way you noted in the reunion that Coach was pretty well torn up at the final Tribal Council, do you think you changed jurors’ minds there such that you may have actually won the game at the final Tribal Council?
Sophie: Yeah, I think I won the game in the last two Tribal Councils. I think I did two things. First they were calling me a pretentious brat. As little as I was thinking about it at the time, I think my mental breakdown showed that I wasn’t as big a bitch as they thought – it humanized me.
In final Tribal Council, they wanted the truth. Neither Albert nor Coach could give them that. Albert tries to weasel his way around everything and Coach had all his honor and loyalty. All you had to do was say, “Yes, I backstabbed you and I’d do it again.” I think final Tribal Council was really important to me.1 2 Next-->
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