Back in 2016, Kristie Bennett was just a 24-year-old senior account executive before she became the first woman to win Australian Survivor – if you’re counting the first two series, that is.
After winning the show, Kristie decided to not return to her normal life.
“I want to be a facilitator, that people can find a way if they have a dream or a goal – motivational stuff but also strategic things as well,” she told The Daily Mail of her new life plan at the time.
Now, Kristie has a YouTube channel where she still creates content in the motivational space. She’s also fond of a Survivor throwback, and loves discussing her time on the show.
In the season that gave us memorable players like AK Knight, Tara Pitt, Luke Toki, and Locky Gilbert, it was sweet, quiet Jericho Malabonga who ended up coming out on top.
Contrary to a lot of reality TV winners these days, Jericho seemed pretty content to return to a normal life after Survivor. He struck up a close friendship with Luke on the show, even taking his family to Disneyland, as Luke promised he would if he won the money himself.
After that, Jericho returned to his career as a flight attendant, pausing only briefly to compete on All Stars, which he didn’t win.
Although the pandemic made work difficult for him, he continued to work when he could, revealing on his Instagram that he was working on flights repatriating stranded Australians.
An icon! Shane Gould just won out over Sharn Coombs in the third season, with the two beginning a solid friendship as well.
Having already had a stellar career as an Olympic athlete, the prize money meant suddenly that there was even more Shane could achieve.
“I want it mostly to free me up to go and do good work in drowning prevention, and things with people who are scared of the water,” she told TV WEEK.
“So, I can go and do projects that help people.”
While Shane isn’t on social media, Sharn showed via Instagram that the pair returned to Fiji together for a holiday together in 2019.
It was a controversial win for actress Pia Miranda, but mostly because she had to blindside Australia’s champion, Luke Toki, to do so. People were not pleased, but nonetheless, she took out the win, and the prize money to go with it.
A long-time fan of the Survivor franchise, going on the show had been a dream of Pia’s.
“I’ve got a young family and I’m an Australian actor … it will be life-changing for us, just like it would be for any other normal Australian family.”
It was anyone’s game during season five, an All Stars round that saw the best of the best come out to play the game again. We saw Locky, Brooke Jowett, Moana Hope, and many more in it to win it.
However, no one could beat David, and he played a game that cemented himself among the best players within the entire Survivor franchise, not just Australia.
David, an international model who has since relocated to Perth, told TV WEEK about the joy of winning.
“I’m on cloud nine. It’s almost incomprehensible. I’m happy, my family is happy of course, but I think the fans are really happy and that’s what is bringing me a lot of joy today.”
David briefly returned to reality TV for Celebrity Apprentice, but otherwise usually keeps his socials pretty quiet. However, it does look like he remains friends with a lot of his fellow Survivor castaways.
Queen Hayley took out the crown super recently, winning the 2021 season, Brain Vs Brawn.
After a bumpy game that saw her win out at Redemption Rock, she came back ready to mostly outwit her way to the top. A pain researcher and PhD candidate, Hayley had studied literally every season of Survivor up until her own, and made spreadsheets about the mistakes other castaways had made, and at which point in the game. She absolutely came to play, so it’s no wonder she was crowned the sole survivor, despite the hard game played by runner up, politician George Mladenov.
After filming, Hayley got engaged to her partner, Jimmy, and told WHO that she planned to put the prize money towards buying a house.
“I’ve been renting for a long time, and I’m pretty keen to kind of get that house, that dream of having your own family, and then get started on making a little tribe of my own.”
Australian Survivor will return in 2022 from January 31.