The Survivor gods giveth, and the Survivor gods taketh away.
After recently orchestrating one of the most spectacular blindsides in recent memory on Game Changers, kooky Jane of all trades Debbie Wanner was the victim of the ruthless show’s latest surprise elimination on Wednesday’s episode.
In Wanner’s mind, she had a good shot at getting to the final three with close friend Sierra Dawn Thomas — but the third woman in that presumed trio, Sarah Lacina, had other plans in mind.
Now Wanner tells PEOPLE, “Sarah swore on her son’s life — on a little boy’s life — over and over again: ‘I’d kill my son before I would backstab you.'”
That said, the 51-year-old has been very clear that she knows Survivor is “a game of deception” first and foremost, so she didn’t put too much stock in the vow.
“Everybody at some point throws out a final three, and we probably threw out a conglomerate of names — you can come up with anybody saying almost anybody’s three names,” she says. “So when somebody goes to that extreme to swear on their son’s life, you kind of raise your eyebrows — it’s a little bit over-the-top.”
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And while the final moments of Wanner’s 40 days in the game (she competed in season 33, Kaoh Rong, directly before heading to Game Changers) didn’t pan out exactly as she’d hoped, she does look back fondly on her time in Exile.
Naturally, she was surprised when she was cast out of the three tribes during a swap to be met with a lavish yacht and gourmet food. “In the back of my head, I’m thinking, ‘Okay, I’m going off to the depths of Hell — a desolate pile of rocks.’ But I looked on the bright side and thought, ‘At least I’m going to get out of this circus of noise and have some peace and be able to pull my thoughts together for a couple of days.’ … Then I get to this yacht. I just couldn’t stop laughing. I’ve gotta be the only person who’s actually gained weight — or didn’t lose weight — playing Survivor.”
And the fun didn’t stop there — though some of it wound up on the cutting room floor, she reveals.
“I wish they would have shown me with my chicken and my beans saying, ‘I’m going to eat my chicken with my fava beans and a nice Chianti [makes slurping sound] — you know, like Hannibal Lecter,” she recalls, “and then doing the Titanic thing, ‘I’m King of the World!’ and jumping off the top of the boat. Because they were two really cool scenes that I would have put in, of course.”
Survivor: Game Changers airs Wednesdays (8 p.m. ET) on CBS.