EXCLUSIVE: Michaela Bradshaw & Andrea Boehlke Talk Crazy 'Survivor' Vote Steal, Tease 'Bitter' Jury in Finale
By Jennifer Drysdale
Sarah is at it again!
On week after viewers watched the 32-year-old police officer incredibly manipulate Sierra into giving her the legacy advantage after she voted her out on Survivor: Game Changers, Sarah returned with another crazy move.
The two-time player offered to give her vote-stealing advantage to Cirie, knowing that the advantage was non-transferable. When Cirie tried to use the advantage at tribal council to vote out Tai, Sarah saw the the move as an attempt to hurt her game, and instead orchestrated the elimination of Cirie's ally, Michaela Bradshaw.
"That is exactly what that was. It was cutting off Cirie's friend, but it was also looking at, 'OK, if Troyzan and Brad are a pair, if Aubry and Tai are a pair, if Cirie and Michaela are a pair, who is the strongest out of the pair that we want to hurt today?' And that was me," Bradshaw told ET over the phone on Thursday. "So they sent me home."
The whole situation left many viewers confused, including Andrea Boehlke, who watched it all go down from the jury.
"It was crazy because I didn't even know that existed. I didn't know that Sarah had found the vote steal, I had no idea what the relationships were at that point, because I kind of figured the deck was reshuffled [after my elimination]," she told ET. "It was kind of nuts. I was very confused at the time, and then I was confused again re-watching it now. It was cool to be a part of, though."
Bradshaw, who admitted her "mental exhaustion" prevented her from "fighting" her elimination on Wednesday, said exhaustion wasn't an excuse for Cirie not to read through the advantage's rules to recognize that she couldn't use it. Instead, she said it was due to lack of time -- which is exactly what Sarah wanted.
"This is how good Sarah is. Sarah told Cirie in the middle of the day, like high noon, that she would give Cirie this advantage, and had Cirie cooking up plans all day regarding this advantage, but Sarah did not give Cirie that advantage until moments before tribal council," Bradshaw explained. "So, Cirie never had a chance to even take it out of the bag."
"[Cirie] didn't know what the advantage said until she said, 'I want to use this advantage.' So that was smart on Sarah's part, and Sarah knew the whole time that thing wasn't transferable," Bradshaw continued. "She was just seeing what Cirie was going to do with it."
"I should have dug my heels in and started fighting," she added. "In hindsight, I should have known, but in the moment, I was just like, 'Oh my god. Let's just get back to camp. Cirie, why did you do that? Let's just vote.' And that was the wrong thought."
Sarah has definitely created a resume for herself going into next week's season finale, but her qualifications might not necessarily be seen in the right light.
"All I have to say is, you know, a lot of people seem to be counting on, like, a bitter jury, and this jury is very bitter, I'll tell you that," Bradshaw said. "There's a lot of bitter people."
"But I think in a season called Game Changers, the last thing you want to rely on is a bitter jury, because the only thing that makes people bitter is the fact that you were one step ahead of them, and that's why you sent them home," she shared. "So, you know, I'm all for the one who plays the best to win, and I'll just leave it at that, with who I'm rooting for."
Boehlke, who "takes pride in" her new title of receiving the most votes in the history of Survivor, said this season had an exceptional amount of manipulation -- and it wasn't always so respected.
"It was such a dark season, just from the beginning, with all the people that went out, and how they went out, the Varner incident, and then you kind of see in this post-merge game, there's a lot of manipulation, and using people's emotions against them," she said. "I think that there may have been someone, or a few people, that maybe crossed the line, and I think you're going to see some bitter people, for sure. But you're going to see some people who recognize it's a game as well."
"Manipulation is a huge part of Survivor, it's just how you do it," she added. "It's like when Jeff [Probst] asked me about who I would reward the million to at the end, and I said, 'Yeah, you can blindside someone, but are you going to rub salt in the wound?' And I think there's two ways to do it. You can vote someone out, but don't be their best friend all day, and kind of shove it in their face when you vote them out. So I think there's definitely a big difference in how you do it."
Aubry, Brad, Cirie, Sarah, Troyzan and Tai all still have a shot at the $1 million and the title of Sole Survivor. The season finale of Survivor: Game Changers airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.