‘Survivor: Philippines’ interview: Dana Lambert, Sarah Dawson talk strategy

We had a rare pre-merge double-elimination episode on “Survivor: Philippines,” and in some ways there was also some irony here. Had Dana Lambert been evacuated from the game next week rather than opting to leave this time, she would have been the fifth castaway ever to leave the game due to medical reasons in the sixth episode of the show. Want to know the other four? Michael Skupin, Jonathan Penner, Russell Swan, and Colton Cumbie.

Anyhow, we had an opportunity to ask a couple of questions to both Dana and Sarah Dawson about their time one of the show Thursday, and they had some interesting insight about the structure of the Kalabaw tribe. We didn’t ask this since it was covered well elsewhere, but for those of you curious, the reason Dawson didn’t out Jeff Kent was because she wanted to see him “lose as a normal person,” and not just because she sold him out.

Cartermatt.com – So Dawson, what’s with the last name? Is this an attempt to get Jeff to call you something special like Cochran?

Sarah Dawson – People keep asking me this! A lot of people go by last names. Me and my best friend had the same first name growing up, so we used each other’s last names and it stuck.

When you were eliminated, and before you planted that kiss on Jeff, you had the sort of face of someone who had just been blindsided. Did you think you were going home, and did everyone tell you they were voting for Denise?

They told me Denise, but you know in the back of your mind when you’re the one going home. I knew when Katie starting lying to me that she was ready to vote for me. I knew when Jeff and Denise went off to get water for two hours that he was making a deal with her, and they were voting to get rid of me. It’s just one little island and there’s nothing to do; you know what people are talking about.

I tried to keep the female alliance together, and I tried to get Katie and Denise to force a tie; if one of us is going home, the next one is going home the next day. Unfortunately, they just didn’t want to … After Dana left, I just couldn’t get it together. I didn’t have a plan B alliance.

Dana, did you have any time to talk with Denise before you left, and were there plans for all four of you ladies to band together?

Dana – Absolutely. I felt like between me, Denise, and Katie, we knew we were going to pull her in.

Dawson – We had her!

Dana – I didn’t get to spend much time with her, but it seemed like she was definitely interested in hearing us out.

Dawson – Dana, after you left she kept saying ‘I wanted to play with so badly; she’s such a strong woman.’ She wanted to be in our alliance hands-down.

We saw a little bit of this on the show last night, Dana, but did Penner offer you any specific encouragement as someone who has been through leaving the game like this before? Have you kept in touch with him leading up to this episode?

Dana – You know, Penner would tell us stories, and of course he told us the story about his medivac, but at that point in my game I was sick, but I didn’t think it would come to that. Penner was a rock out there for me at the end, and I have to give him big props for that, and he [has since tried to] comfort and encourage me, tell me what to expect, say ‘don’t take it so personal’ … It was nice to have someone who had been there before and left the game that way to work you through it.

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