Last night on Survivor: Tocantins Sandy Burgin, the 53 year old bus driver from Louisville, Kentucky, was voted off after she clashed with teammate Sydney Wheeler. The boys of the tribe preferred to keep the flirtatious and scantily clad model over the tribe mom. I was disappointed to see her go. She brought something unique to the cast not only because she was older and of a different mould but also because she brought some humor.
I spoke with Sandy earlier today about why she likes it when people think she’s a little crazy, how she intended her comment about being a sex kitten and why she thinks being voted off in the first five minutes prolonged her stay in the game. She told me why she never found the Hidden Immunity Idol, how Spencer’s ambiguous sexuality played into Sydney’s flirtations and why she receives so many obscene emails. She rambled on until she got gonged by CBS – audible on the podcast – and she almost got yanked off the stage by a cane. You’ve gotta love Sandy!
Hi, this is Henry with BuddyTV. I’m here with Sandy who got kicked off last night from Survivor: Tocantins. How are you today, Sandy?
I’m doin’ wonderful, honey. Thanks for ask’n.
Last night you had that great quote about JT leaving Timbera a bag of beans – that he was leaving them with ammunition to fight back with. Timbera did fight back, they won the Immunity Challenge and you were sent home. Do you think JT’s mistake cost you the game?
I don’t know if it actually cost me the game but what I tried to explain to them was that you’re in this thing to win and you have this other tribe that has this ammunition. If you’re going to go in and they’ve got fifty guns why not take all fifty of them? Why leave them anything to shoot back at you with. They just did things the opposite of the way I would have actually done it. Hence the age difference of thirty years. You just think different. They were looking ahead in the game like when they merge and they wanted to make sure they had food and so forth but they could have actually worn them out fast by them not having any food. See? So that was my take on it.
And not as many of them would have made the merge then.
Yeah. So if JT, Stephen and Taj had voted with you last night you would have stayed. They all seemed to like you. Why didn’t that work?
Well, I was shocked because Taj made the statement in the water that I was stronger than Sydney, which I was, at least as far as the challenges was concerned. And she had brought that up herself and of course I’m going to agree. JT and Stephen said that they felt like I was strong too. Well then Stephan made the remark – something about, well, [Sydney] is nice to look at. Well, eye candy doesn’t win challenges and everything. I hated that they kept the beauty factor over the strength factor cause I felt that my strength was above and beyond the call of duty any time that we were in a challenge.
Yeah, she seems to have a pull with all of the guys but it also seemed like she had a showmance with Joe. Is she flirting with everyone? Or does she have something specifically with Joe? Do my categories not apply?
Well, she equally spread the love. She did. She really did, other than with Spencer, and of course we found out after the game that he was gay. But I think she kind of sensed in the game that she was. So she played it hard and if I had her body and her looks I probably would have done the same thing. So I sure can’t hinder her for that strategy at all and it worked. It obviously worked. So I hate that Joe was dead set on keeping her. Stephen and JT went along with him instead of with me and Taj as far as the vote.
So who voted for Joe?
It was Taj. Yup. It was Taj because she had actually told me that she would never write my name down on a piece of parchment, so I was really impressed with that agreement, or that thing that she had told me. She said “I won’t ever write your name down” and she didn’t so I was pretty impressed with that. I really was.
That does seem like the kind of classy move that could help her out later on.
Jeff commented in the first episode, when you got to stay and you found out that you were taking a helicopter to camp, that you were missing an important opportunity to bond with the rest of the group. If you’d been with the group during the hike do you think it would have made any difference?
I think it might have actually hurt me because Carolina kind of sealed her fate by her talking too much or I’m not ever sure. But my not being with um’ – obviously it didn’t hurt me. So I was glad and everything, and then when I celebrated the fact that I was gonna get the helicopter ride, and Jeff said “I wouldn’t be celebrate’n. They just voted you out” and I said “I’m not celebrating that. I’m celebrating what you just told me – that I don’t have to make the four hour hike.” So I was really excited about that but then like I said once they came to camp they said “We just wrote down the obvious and the obvious was the old lady.” But they had no clue that I was as strong as strong as I was. So I got that second chance to make a first impression – which I didn’t think you get in life. I didn’t think you get a second chance to make a first impression. But I proved that statement to be wrong.
You did. It seemed like you had a series of clues that you could have followed to find the immunity idol but after the first day we never saw you looking. Did you stop looking?
No, I didn’t. I continued to look and then I had forgotten a little piece of the note that actually kind of got old in the water. It actually got kind of blurried and I couldn’t read it that well. But it actually said that the idol was only good for the first vote the first time that we actually went to Tribal Council. So it actually wouldn’t have done me any good to use it as far as keeping me in the game. But if I had found it – and I actually did continue to look for it – had I found it my plan was to actually use it in another manner, to say “I have the Idol.” They wouldn’t have known I couldn’t use it. Or to actually gave it to someone saying “Hey, this’ll secure your spot if you intend to get voted out.” But yeah, I did continue to look for it for a day or so.
That’s really smart. So you don’t think they removed it after the first Tribal Council?
I believe that was the case because they said “Would you believe us when we say it was only good for the first Tribal Council?” And I was like “Well, I guess I would, but on the same token I’d still like to look for it.” And then I was told it was gone. So it wudn’t there to be found.
I suspect you would have voted anyone out the first week so long as it wasn’t you. I would have. But in an ideal world would you have voted out Carolina? She just seems so cheerful.
No, but the fact of the matter was that was what everybody was gonna do and I went along with the majority of the tribe. And obviously everyone there was seven votes for her and one for me. So I went with the majority.
We saw on the show that she made some pointed suggestions but it didn’t seem like they were that rude, and it seemed like she gave some specifics for how they might do it, and like she wanted to be part of the solution. What do you think it was that upset them so much?
Well, she was constantly making so many moves that it was unreal. She was trying to form alliances with each individual instead of getting a couple of people together and trying to form a three way or whatever the case might be. And then her constant persistence on “We need to do this and we need to do that. We need to clean!” How in God’s name do you clean outdoors? You know? You can’t – you can’t do that. And it was like ‘Oh this is ridiculous.’ So like I said, she really sealed her own fate and I was glad she did because it allowed me to be in the game for four weeks instead of the one.
You were certainly known for having some good soundbytes. That was sort of your trademark. Could you explain “People look at you like you’re crazy and you like it that way.” Why do you like it that way?
Well I’m not saying that I really like for them to look at me like I’m a crazy person because I’m not a crazy person. I’m cray-zee. Like seize the moment and there idn’t too much I won’t do and if you’re going to parachute I’m gonna do it with ya! If you’re gonna race cars I wanna do it! I’m crazy – that kind of crazy. I’m definitely of sound mind. Obviously! And I’m a pretty smart person. But most people perceive me as crazy because of my actions.
Then you had another line that got a few comments on our message boards. You said that you’re a sex kitten? What was that about?
Well, we woke up in the morning and Spencer had actually slept up against me. I usually slept on the end but Spencer was on the end and we kinda snuggle bunnied or whatever. And when I woke up it’s just something that came to mind. And I’m pretty good it speaking what’s on my mind and I said “I’m a sexy kitten. Ain’t I?” because I just figured I looked really cute that morn’n in all honesty. It wudn’t sarcastic at all. I got a lot of comments from people around here about that too and everybody loved it, they did, they really loved that remark. They really did, in fact. So that cracked me up. But I was myself in this game. I try to be myself and sometimes that’s not a good thing because I can be a little hyper. I need to knock it down a couple notches, which I think I probably did. But I should have knocked it down maybe five or six. I get on my own nerves so I know I get on other people’s nerves. But I’m just a happy-go-lucky person, high on life. I do seize the moment and that’s the way I’ve done it all my life. I really have.
My nickname – both my daughters, ever since they were itty bitty, have called me hot tail cause I never sit still. Imagine when I first got a computer and my nickname was hot tail, boy did I get some wild a** messages. Cause I knew noth’n about the computer. Hot tail was like – man, I coulda had a sex site and made millions a’ dollars prolly but I didn’t seize that moment, obviously. But my kids even call me hot tail cause I never sit still and I’m always on the go. Even at 53 I’m always on the go. I’m riding dirt bikes and stuff with my grandson. We have a lot of fun.
That’s great: The Internet just pretty much robbed everyone’s innocence. Sandy, it was a pleasure and thanks for talking with us.
[A loud buzzer goes off ending the interview.]
Oh, it was my pleasure sweetheart. Absolutely my pleasure.
-Interview conducted by Henry Jenkins, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of CBS)