Waking from a game stupor after Sam's ouster in the previous tribal council, Matt faced Day 50 knowing he had to make the most persuasive case he could to Flick and Kristie to target either El or Lee. Flick, meanwhile, chatted up El to preserve their friendship until she knew what move she wanted to make, and Kristie knew whatever happened next, she would be the swing vote.
After Lee won his third immunity challenge in a row, Flick and Kristie pulled El aside to tell her, despite their friendship, that she would be the next vote. Then El flipped the decision on them, calling Flick untrustworthy and sowing more seeds of doubt in Kristie's game. Back at camp, Lee all but bullied Kristie into sticking with the Aganoa alliance and accused Matt and Flick of manipulating her.
While El put Flick's name down on the parchment to send her a message about the dangers of flipping, Flick stayed with Lee and Kristie to eliminate Matt from the game.
WHO spoke to Matt Tarrant, the 28-year-old Adelaide magician about becoming the twentieth person to leave Australian Survivor and the seventh member of the jury.
Q: Did you think Kristie and Flick would stick with your alliance or was it in doubt going into tribal council?
A: I had a pretty good idea it was going to be myself or Flick. I mean, Lee and El told me that day it was probably going to be me, so it wasn't what I'd call a blindside but it definitely didn't make a lot of sense to me, so I was putting a lot of pressure on the girls to be, like, 'This is not logical. Make a move, these guys have so much control. They've literally told me, 'You're going.' Please. Please!' I even said to them, 'Even if you make a move today and then get rid of me next tribal, at least you guys have a better chance at getting to the end.' But they didn't want to do it.
Q: What if Flick had voted for El?
A: It would have been a tie and there's a chance that Kristie could have changed her mind. But I don't know.
Q: You've said you have played through many scenarios since the game ended. Was your strategy to go with the Saanapu alliance and then work to see who you would take to the final two?
A: Yeah. I think the original plan was the Saanapu four, which was what we had at the very beginning, which was myself, Brooke, Flick and Sammy. The plan was to bring in people like Lee, El and JL, use their votes for a while and get rid of them when we didn't need them any more. And I kind of looked at who was there and sort of thought, well the girls will probably stick together, Sammy is then the biggest physical threat, so there is a pretty good likelihood that they will get rid of Sammy next because they wouldn't want to go up against him in a challenge, which takes me to the Top 3. Then, look, if there is a challenge that involves a puzzle or some physical stuff, there's a good chance I could beat those girls at it. I think that plan worked pretty well for all of us in that we all had an even chance depending on what challenges came up.
Q: Players like Nick and Jennah-Louise had been telegraphing to you where you stood in the hierarchy. What made those thoughts easy to dismiss?
A: I don't think they were necessarily easy to dismiss, but I kind of realised, especially when JL tried to make a change, that it was probably too late to make that change. I had a pretty good idea that if I wasn't in the alliance, I was at least very much on the bottom but… I ended up beating two out of the [original Saanapu] four anyway.
Q: What powers of persuasion did El and Lee have, you think, that made them able to keep their alliance even though they were physically strong, too?
A: [Laughs] I don't know! Watching it back, it still doesn't make a lot of sense to me, to be honest. After 51 days on that island, your head is in a very different place, so watching it back, it makes it quite obvious the decisions you should make. I know being out there, we went through a lot of hardship with our minds all over the place. I think Lee and Kristie had a pretty close relationship, or at least it seems that way and that persuaded Kristie, potentially.
Q: You had a lovely emotional moment receiving letters from home via Kristie's challenge sacrifice. Can you tell us a bit about how you proposed to your fiancée?
A: I actually proposed to Kiera on the Friday night before I left for the island, so I left on Tuesday morning so it was about three days before that moment and what I put together for her was a Survivor pack with chocolates and teddy bears and little poems and stuff for her and I accidently left one of the items upstairs, so I got her to put her blindfold back on, and came down the stairs, had her open her eyes and there was a little Tiffany box with the ring inside. So there was a little moment with myself, Kiera and our cat Chester. We've got an engagement party coming up next month and then I think we'll probably do a bit of travel, and then we're hoping to do a bit of a tour with my magic and a few other things first, so the wedding will probably come a bit later.
Q: What has she thought watching you on TV?
A: Watching it back has been really difficult. She struggles to see people not trust me and have these opinions of me that she knows are probably not really fair. And I guess to see that I was pretty loyal to that Saanapu four the whole time, I think she slowly understands that it's a game.
Q: How proud are you of your game?
A: I never expected to go anywhere near as far as I did in the game. I had no idea I was good at doing puzzles until I blurted out, 'Yeah, I'm good at puzzles' on Day 1. It was fortunate that I was good at puzzles! In even some of the physical challenges, I didn't do anywhere near as poorly as I expected to. I was proud, and people like Karlie and JL kept saying how proud they were of me, too, so that made it even better. I'm not normally the most confident sort of person, so to have those moments brought a tear to my eyes a couple times, so that was really nice.
Q: OK, you mentioned your cat Chester. What happened to your island chook?
A: Actually, the night I left, I did ask production if I could take the chicken with me to tribal council. I wanted to take him home with me but I didn't know where he was going to live but in my head it was a great idea. He had to stay, unfortunately. I had a bit of a chat to Chester before I left and tried to give him a hug but he wasn't in the mood, so he said to me he was probably going to sit out on a Samoan beach for a little while and plan out his future life without me, so I'm sure he's doing OK somewhere having a piña colada.
Q: So the chicken is the ultimate Survivor?
A: The chicken outlasted all of us! There is a time there when I know Nick and a few others wanted to get rid of him but I was pretty adamant he had to stay, so I don't know how he managed to break through that alliance when a lot of us couldn't!
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