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Gordon Holmes: It seemed like there were a lot of different plans before Tribal. What did you think was going to happen?
Sunday Burquest: I thought the majority of the votes were going to go to David and Jay was going to get one just in case so we could flush his idol. I had been talking to Hannah and Adam a lot during the day. And we had played the numbers. We’d gone back and forth until I was confident with what was going to happen. But apparently a different plan popped up before Tribal that I was not aware of.
Holmes: It seemed like Hannah was the one that pointed the vote in your direction. Did you have any clue that she was gunning for you?
Burquest: No, I didn’t know she was going to go for me. I knew we weren’t on the best of terms. She had told me how I was playing in no uncertain terms. But, I didn’t anticipate her going for me in the vote at all.
Holmes: The reasoning she used was that she was worried that others would be motivated to take you to the end as a goat. Did you see yourself as a goat out there?
Burquest: I did not see myself as a goat and there were moves I was making out there that you didn’t get to see. I came in with a certain skill set and I used that to my ability which was my social game. I was playing under the radar on purpose. In my normal life I’m a leader. I get put in charge of things, and I know that’s a problem on “Survivor.” You become a target. So, I really tried to underplay that. I tried to be a part of the decision-making, but not the person who’s making the big moves and taking credit. As soon as you did that, you became a target and got voted out. I made a lot of relationships and was liked by people. I didn’t have a lot of blood on my hands. I felt like people would underestimate me and they did. But, I had likability and would be able to point out the decisions we all had made. I did not feel like a goat.
Holmes: What was your ideal path to get to the end and score the win?
Burquest: Ideally I would’ve liked to have gone with Bret and Ken. Either Ken or Hannah.
Holmes: Ken has some immunity wins under his belt. What argument could you have used to win against him?
Burquest: With Ken, my argument would have been that I have more strategy going on in the game. I made more moves. I feel like I could have made that case against Ken.
Holmes: This season is not getting personal. Everybody seems to respect big moves. I feel like this jury will reward big moves. Was that something that was palpable during the game?
Burquest: It absolutely was. We’re all such big fans of the show that we respected each other. But because of that it brings the game up a level and you have to stand out against a lot of people that made moves and played the game hard. There were so many big moves. To stand out in that crowd is hard. But I think the jury is going to vote for the person that made the most big moves.
Holmes: Is there any merit to idea that in a season of heavy hitters, the social player stands out?
Burquest: Well, for sure I’m not going to be a heavy hitter. I’m going use what I have, which is the social part. I’m going to use the relationships; I’m going to fly under the radar. But, there’s a fine line between being under the radar and having someone say, “You didn’t do anything.” So, you have to find that balance. For me, that was a hard line to walk.
Holmes: Were there any examples of big moves that we didn’t get to see?
Burquest: The Ken one was a big one. I think there were different moves along the way where we switched alliances when we needed to. Bret and I just kept plugging away. We’d say, “Why aren’t either of us gone?” Zeke was big for us until he went home. I’d say the Michaela vote, jumping in on that, we really didn’t have an option, but that was huge for us. Again, I’m not the person who stands out as the big move maker, but I have these relationships and help make decisions.
Holmes: You wanted Jessica gone, we didn’t see much of that in the opposite direction. Why did you want her out so badly?
Burquest: It wasn’t that it was so badly, it was just what was shown. It looked like I was so consumed with it and I really wasn’t. It all goes back to the Paul vote. We’d made that decision together. I was able to mend fences with Chris and Bret and it really didn’t seem like the same happened with Jessica. I did take blame and responsibility for the vote as well. The next vote she was targeted and I didn’t find out until right before Tribal. I was told there was enough numbers for her to go home whether I voted for her or not. I had a choice to not vote for her…and I could lose an alliance. My thinking is she would have been gone and then I’d have nothing. And then we had the swap and we couldn’t mend fences. So I thought; why wouldn’t she be gunning for me? The mistake I made was I should have worked harder to mend that relationship.
Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with Bret.
Burquest: My favorite.
Burquest: My pop drinking buddy. (Laughs)
Burquest: Old school.
Holmes: Let’s finish with David.
Holmes: Did “Survivor” change you at all?
Burquest: I think my takeaway was that I can do anything and endure anything. I already had the breast cancer thing under my belt. And then to go out there and to compete physically. I’m not an athlete, obviously. (Laughs) But I went out there and I did them! I’d never do anything like that in my normal life. But I came back with a confidence that I can do things way outside of my comfort zone.
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