Bianca Anderson, a fan of Boston Rob and John Cochran from the US seasons of Survivor, wanted to bring her version of their high-level strategic play to Samoa.
Hiding her occupation as a private investigator by claiming to work in insurance, Anderson, 36, spent a lot of time observing, ready to form alliances within alliances when the moment was right. The only problem — the moment never came as her Saanapu tribe won the first two challenges on Australian Survivor and seemed to get along.
When Saanapu finally faltered on Day 5, older tribe member Peter argued he was a physical liability and an easy vote, but Bianca saw an opportunity to break up what she thought was a too-tight pair in Brooke and Flick. When word of her ultimate plan got back to the women, they orchestrated Bianca's ouster during Saanapu's first tribal council.
WHO spoke to Melbourne-based Anderson on being the second person voted out of Australian Survivor.
Q: You came clean to Conner that you thought Brooke and Flick were too close. Did you scheme to get them out too quickly?
A: I don't think so insofar as I was on the bottom of the numbers and rather than just be a sitting duck and wait to get taken out, I thought I had to try something and it obviously didn't work in my favour. At least I can go out knowing I tried.
Q: Did you how attached Conner was to the pair?
A: I had suspected yes, so it was risky to confide in him, but Kylie, Peter and I needed to try and strengthen our numbers, so it was either confide in Conner or confide in Matt, and we thought that Conner was the less risky of the two. Fundamentally, everything you do in Survivor carries a risk to it, and you've got to keep pushing forward and hope for the best.
Q: Was it difficult to juggle your strategy against Peter's wishy-washy desire to stay or leave the game?
A: It was. Fundamentally, I did believe that he wanted to leave the game, but it was also in the forefront of my mind that that could have been a strategic play on his part, so with that in mind, that's one of the reasons I came up with the prospect of voting out Flick pretty much as a backup plan in case he was just playing me. I really believe he was genuine at the time and wanted to leave and thought he was leaving, but some people can be good actors and you just never know in the game of Survivor, do you? You've got to hedge your bets sometimes.
Q: Did the early success of the tribe give people a false sense of being unified?
A: I think people got too comfortable too quickly and just had the expectation that we were going to keep winning and that it was just Easy Street, so losing the challenge and going to tribal was really a wake-up call for everybody and really kicked up the game a notch, which was really needed. But we didn't need to lose that challenge. The decision was made very late that the people going through as sacrificial lambs would change. I was supposed to be one of them as the lightest person. I was down to 48 kilos by Day 5, so to make me lift Conner, who was 75 kilos rather than the other way around, was really stupid. I think they had a false sense of security leading up to that particular day and their decision to vote me out was quite reactionary.
Q: Did you intend to be so open about Brooke and Flick's closeness at tribal council or was that Jonathan egging you on?
A: That was Jonathan prompting me but it's not certainly anything I wanted to hide. It was clear that they were a threat and I think the fact that they are allowed to remain together is going to come back and bite certain people down the track.
Q: Did you try to make inroads with what you considered the young group within your tribe, or were they always a clique?
A: They were always very cliquey and I did try between Day 2 and Day 5 to do various things to get in with them individually and none of them had worked. My idea on Day 5 was that people had been talking about getting massages and they had been all talk and no action, so my plan was to give people individual massages, which I thought would give me a chance to get in with them one on one, have some private conversations, plant some ideas, plant some suspicions but obviously they voted me off before they got their massages! They missed out.
Q: So would you do it all over again?
A: I loved every second of it and I would go back in a heartbeat. I'm hoping there will be a Survivor: Second Chance or a Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains. Boston Rob was voted out in his first season because people were so focused on friendship and loyalty and he wanted to strategise and that is the exact same situation I found myself in. Obviously Boston Rob has gone on to be what everyone considers Survivor royalty, so I'm hoping… I've reflected and I've learned, so if I get a chance to go back in, I'll be more experienced, more assertive and more aware, and hopefully more successful.