Sometimes, the winner of “Survivor” is not always the person who plays a flashy game — and oftentimes, they are people who manage to succeed thanks to subtlety, personal relationships, and smart strategy. These reasons are why Sophie Clarke was a great winner for “South Pacific,” as she managed to use logic rather than faith — a key element in the arguments of many other castaways — to secure the million dollars.
We spoke a bit one-on-one with Sophie following her victory — and we have a few notes from the other members of the final three.
Carter: Every season, there seems to be a juror that helps turn the tide. This time around, that juror seemed to be Rick as he ripped Coach a new one. When he was speaking, did you start to think you had this game won?
Sophie: Yeah, but the same was with everyone else — Dawn said something nice to me. You never know for sure until the votes are read, but I felt [pretty good]. I think Rick actually ended up voting for Coach. (Note: we’re going to check on this, since our sources have Rick giving his vote to Sophie.)
Do you think you may have secured Ozzy’s vote thanks to the fact that you were the one to stop him from making it to the end?
I think that was part of it. I think Ozzy as well as the rest of the jury was looking for honesty — and were looking for somebody not to compliment them or to lie to them. I think that Albert was too smooth with them, and Coach didn’t own up to what he’d done. So think my bluntness helped me in final tribal.
Was there any one moment from this season that you think helped you make it to the end and win?
No. I think what got to the win was playing every day. I had this kind of onion alliance, and I was kind of at the center of it — Rick was in it, and I had this alliance with Albert and Coach. I had an alliance with Edna — and they didn’t show a lot of this. I wanted to keep everyone calm and comfortable, and you saw that when I stopped Albert from making a big move. It doesn’t make great TV, but I knew that if I could make people stay the path, I could make it to the end.
Rick and Brandon and Coach, they were never going to [be so sneaky] — they were answering to God, they weren’t playing ‘Survivor’ in the traditional way. Albert was hard to control, it was a bit of a full-time job.
What really changed the game was Cochran — his flip [changed everything]. We had somebody in our tribe in Edna who was also #6. Coach and myself both put a lot of work into making Edna feel like she was #1 or #2, and Edna could have easily been the Cochran of our tribe.
Really, it was just a lot of subtle work.
As for other highlights, Albert later told another reporter that Ozzy played an “atrocious” game thanks to him being voted out three times — while Coach made a subtle dig at Russell Hantz for being so caught up on “Survivor” that he could not move on with his life.
Are you happy that Sophie won?