Featured Survivor

The Blindside

It’s been a few tribal councils since my last blog.  From when Shaun got voted out I will take you back and get you updated..

 The Blindside.

With Sean’s departure, all of us thought we had a bit more of a chance in the challenges and I personally believed that the Contenders had lost their leader and were now more vulnerable.

Pia and I were as close as ever with Abbey, Luke, David and Simon as our strong alliance which left Daisy, Baden and Harry as the final Contenders. We did not trust David but at this stage he was still a number… for now.

The next reward challenge was for a car, the foot torture challenge of standing between two poles on tiny wooden pegs.  I’d lasted one hour but looking over at Abbey I thought she did not look like she was going anywhere and I just could not take it any longer so off I went to sit next to Pia.

Pia and I watched Abbey and were so impressed by her fortitude, her mental and physical strength, so much so that Pia leaned over to me and said: “she has to go”.

I always thought that Pia was a more ruthless player than me, I was more methodical, I would think ahead on the moves and try my hardest to execute in a way that we always had the majority, it had worked for us to date.

At this stage Abbey was a trusted ally and I was not ready to get rid of this number, but Pia was correct, Abbey was a threat that we needed to consider voting her out, but later.

A side note on Pia – she is the best social player on Survivor, she has incredible intuition about people and was always accurate in her assumption, to a point that if she said something was wrong, then I simply took that as fact.

Abbey won the car and off she went with David and John for the reward.  The purpose of the rewards was that the tribe gets separated meaning that each group gets to plot and plan against the other. I was happy that there was no major change in the dynamics of the group when they returned…

The next challenge was digging for the balls. This was intense and exhausting.

You have to remember we are in Fiji and the challenges are often as rough as you can get and tougher than what you see on TV. For example, as I was digging my holes, I was having to navigate additional obstacles of barbed wire, poles and rocks. This is one of the things I love about Survivor, it is raw and real with no apologies for what you have to endure or have to work through. Needless to say, I did not find my balls and Luke took home the necklace.

This was our chance to blindside David. Luke had told Pia and I that David was gunning for us (Luke may have made this up?) and we also found out earlier that he was lying about pretty much everything so we could no longer trust David and felt if we did not get him out he would come for us and soon.

At this stage of the game, even with David gone, we still had the majority. We had a strong suspicion that David had an idol so we needed him to feel as secure as possible so he wouldn’t play it. David was a confidence player and with this type you have to make them feel loved and adored. Our plan was to keep the votes tight so that only the people who had to know would know, the problem was we found that the everyone wanted David out.  He was simply too disruptive, unpredictable and wanted to make big moves. He was also a challenge beast, all of this combined made everyone feel like it could be anyone of us at any time.

Tribal came and David was blindsided going home with his very expensive necklace. I’d also like to note here that this was another near miss for Harry as he was the second vote, all David had to do was play his idol and Harry would have gone home. Once again, the cockroach survived another onslaught!


I know people either loved or hated David in the game but David was playing a character and I think he played it so well, he has made me laugh so much watching the show.  He did not take himself seriously and knew he was there to do a job. When you get to know David, he is the funniest, nicest, kindest, wittiest guy. I am thrilled that I have been able to get to know the normal David outside of the game.  I’ve told him that I thought he was a tool on the show which made him laugh.  He is also a very talented cartoonist; I hope you get to see some of his works as they are hysterical.

The John Vote

The John vote was the vote that none of us expected.  We thought it was simple, it was time for Harry or Daisy to go home. The immunity challenge was the plank.  This was the first challenge that I saw that I thought “I have got this”. From yoga, my strongest part of my body is my abs but within seconds I discovered this challenge was not about abs it was all about shoulders. My shoulders are strong but not like my abs. I came third this time and Simon took home the necklace.

There was not too much stress back at camp, the Champions knew the plan and we were about to execute it, this was until Pia and Luke told us that they saw Daisy find an idol and with Harry in her ear we thought that there was a chance that if they played it right, one of the Champions would go home.

The only thing we could do was put it on the person most unlikely for Daisy to play the idol for, which was John.  This is what Survivor does, your best laid plans are often spoilt by the Survivor Gods and this was the case and why John joined the boys in Jury Villa.


The Day Everything Changed.


We rocked up once again to another reward challenge and this time I did get excited. It was the pole challenge. This was made for me. Basically, it is vertical Twister on poles and I got the perfect partner, Simon.  As you can see on the show, I am quite lanky (and skinny) and my toes are the same.

I have always been able to use my toes to pick things up and be quite flexible, so to pick out a peg with my toes was pretty easy for me, this challenge was a synch.  I was excited (to say the least) to win a spa challenge after weeks of very little food.  The big decision came with who do I take?

Pia and I spoke earlier that if we win a challenge, we always need to split up and have someone at camp, but at this stage Pia had not eaten anything but rice and beans for 20 days and she needed a break as much as I did.

I justified it that by taking Daisy along with Pia meant we could possibly get her as a number.

The danger was leaving Luke on the island as he was the master manipulator of people and even though I thought Abbey was solid, I knew that she was nowhere near as solid as Pia.

The reward was insanely good, there was more food and chocolate than we knew what to do with and to have a bed and light at night was such a treat.  It was important that we down played the reward when we got back as everything at this point is heightened, any flippant comment can be blown out of proportion and having a reward like we did could bring out the green-eyed monster in the people who did not go.

When we arrived back you could tell that there was a shift but everyone was saying the right things, so I thought I may have got away with this decision to take Pia. (Obviously not.)


Having now seen the show I can see that Abbey was feeling like the third wheel with Pia and I and she started to work with Luke. What you did not see was that Luke told Abbey that we had promised HIM final three.  This was a Survivor lie but it worked like a charm as she started to doubt us and think we were plotting against her, now Luke had her firmly under his wing.

The next challenge was the bicep challenge. The moment I saw this I just thought there is no way I will last a minute never mind win the challenge.  What you often find with these challenges is that you need to find a technique and in this instance, this is exactly what I did. I found a certain angle with my body and I noticed that I was so skinny that my hip bones were sticking out which made for a perfect place to rest my arms. This did not save my wrists and it did not take all the weight but it helped me go further than one minute.

I knew Simon was struggling near the end of the challenge and I had more in my tank but when Simon made an offer to drop then who was I to say no? Either way I knew I would win this one, it was just a matter of time.

I have to say at this point in the game having the necklace around my neck it made tribal council actually quite pleasant. I had no idea what Luke and Abbey were planning, but clearly it saved me for this night.


Tribal council came with a twist when Daisy went to Exile beach. You have to remember at this stage we had been on the island for over 40 days and we were all very tired, hungry, cold and over the conditions. Everyone wanted to win but if you are not going to win then going to Jury Villa with food and a warm bed was actually quite appealing, to make your conditions worse by going to Exile was just the worst-case scenario.

And if it wasn’t bad enough for Daisy to go to Exile the biggest storm of the season came through. We are talking 80km winds and rain coming into the shelter sideways.

An example of how bad it was, over on our camp the camera man lost him umbrella, his camera was wet, he could not stand up because of the wind and he said “F$%ck this, I did not sign up for this shit!” Unfortunately, he got no sympathy from us as we had no wet weather gear, no umbrella and were huddling together to stop from shivering.  All I could think about on this night was Daisy. She had no one to support her, no body heat, no fire, no food and if she’d pulled up that white flag, I would not have blamed her. My admiration for her grew that night, she wore her emotions on her sleeve but she was one tough chick. When I did see her next, I gave her a hug and told her how proud I was of her. She did so well.

This leads to the next vote which was the next person who went to Exile, Pia was safe as she won the last immunity so it was the rest of us that were in trouble.  Simon was pissed at me for not pushing harder for Luke but to be honest I stand by this decision because Luke for me at the time was more predictable than Daisy and by this stage Luke had Abbey in his back pocket.

What you did not see is that Simon was gunning for Abbey. I think he was pissed that she did not vote with us last time.  Simon approached Luke and told him of his plan to vote out Abbey, Luke told Abbey about this and then Harry and Baden. Unfortunately, Simon’s future was written after this.  Pia and I had no idea that it had changed from Baden and we happily voted how we thought everyone was voting. Clearly, we were very firmly on the bottom of the alliance.

This is what is so good about Survivor, it can twist and turn all the time with people plotting here and there and you can go from top to bottom pretty quickly.

Pia and I did attempt to work with Harry but at this stage Harry simply did not trust us and I did not think he ever would. That meant that Simon went to Exile and Pia and I were left thinking … shit we are in trouble.



The Battle

The battle between Simon and Daisy was intense. You would think Simon would have it in the bag, but Daisy was close.  In fact, they both had at least 10 attempts at getting the balance right only to have each one fall down.  By the tenth time both were being so super careful but in the end they just could not get to the twelve. They went to a time-based challenge in which the one that got the most blocks in 10 minutes would win.  This was even more intense. You had to decide to only do 7 or 8 blocks and hope the other drops theirs or do you try for the twelve?  Simon was victorious in the end and he returned back to camp. In camp we had a new Simon, a very angry determined Simon.

Simon was always the polite, loyal guy – this new Simon was fierce and wanted revenge.  As Simon was so loyal, he really struggled with the survivor lying part of the game.  He tried to pull together numbers to change the outcome but he just could not do it so his only hope was to find an idol.

Simon found an old clue that Harry and Luke left out (it was fake) saying there was an idol underground, near a palm tree and he was digging for literally hours (I am talking 12-15 hours) to find this idol, he was not going without a fight.  Unfortunately for Simon all that effort was in vain and his fire went out that night.

Hopefully I can pull a rabbit out of my hat for Monday night Channel 10 at 7.30pm.  We will have to see.

To catch up on episodes check out: Survivor on Ten Play

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  • Reply
    September 6, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    This is Vela From South Africa. i would like applaud you about how smart you play the game of Survivor and also to comment on your personality, well I have not seen such a high profile and successful person being so kind and loving. you’re always smiling and being friendly to every one at camp.

    Fan from South Africa
    Vela Mbanjwa

  • Reply
    Jacqueline Austin
    September 7, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    Hi Janine, I have been watching Survivor since it started goodness knows how long ago that was, I think about 18+ years and i have never missed a series of the Australian or US. This series is one of the best due to the celebrities in it. I am just loving it. What makes it more interesting for me is I was given your book (the secrets of my success) last week to read and just loving it. I am in awe at your strength, commitment and dedication to what you have achieved, and that certainly is showing through in Survivor. I have previously worked in Senior Management in both the corporate and government sectors and gained many skills. After seeing you on Survivor it has given me the confidence to commence my dream of teaching others, especially skills that I have learnt over the years and certainly Customer Service/Delivery is my speciality and absolute passion. So hand on heart, at the age of 65 I am going to pursue this and see how I go. I cannot thank you enough for coming into my life the way you have and giving me the Boost (pardon the pun) I needed to get cracking. Thanks heaps Janine and I hope to God you win Survivor. But hey even if you dont you are a winner in so many peoples eyes anyway. The very best wishes to you.

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