Pegged as a super-smart game whiz immediately upon setting foot in Samatau, Aaron 'AK' Knight, 29, a wedding DJ in Adelaide, found himself on the wrong side of the numbers when host Jonathan LaPaglia announced a tribe swap on Australian Survivor. Landing in Asaga, AK tried to scramble but Tara, still bitter from being booted out of Samatau by AK the week before, orchestrated his elimination on Day 30. AK spoke to WHO about his experience.
Q: And so it ends! As a fan of the show, did you enjoy playing?
A: Oh, most definitely. I had an absolute blast out there.
Q: What did you learn about yourself?
A: Just how little I am able to live without, and my ability to form relationships with people was so nice to see when you are out there on an island with nothing. I was always the last person to go for the rice. Everyone got to get their serving first, and yeah, I was really happy with, I guess, just my all-around general play.
Q: You admitted on the show that you played too hard to early in the game. Did you try to dial that back the rest of the time, or did you play up the role of "master strategist"?
A: Yeah, once I had that reputation, I decided just to run with it, and then I started to do things to make people want to take me to the end. So I knew I had this title of a huge game player, someone that would be worthy of winning, so then I thought, you know, I am going to not do things around camp, like not help with the fire, to frustrate people. That would give some people a reason to take me to the end because they felt others might be bitter about the fact that I was there.
Q: Did having Henry and Ben on Samatau help you initially?
A: I knew Henry was going to be pretty strategic from the get-go but it was nice we got Ben on board because he was going to be the No. 6 of our Samatau 5 so we could have a solid 6 to move towards the merge with.
Q: And then Jonathan has to go and surprise you.
A: He has to go and do the old tribe swap on me, yeah! I had a lot of conversations with Luke out on that island. I only spent 36 hours with him but I spoke to him more than anyone. I saw straight through the fact that he was never working with me. He had heard too much about my game to want to try to work along side me. I tried to get Sarah and Odette on board but unfortunately they felt safer working alongside Luke and Jericho.
Q: Did you sense something was up when you saw Tara and Anneliese survive a few Asaga tribal councils, that perhaps Henry had overestimated his influence?
A: When you get two new faces to a tribe, it's either going to be easy pickings or there's going to be a minority that's going to sweep them up. Once I saw that they weren't going home, I gathered the tables had turned over there and I was just trying to gather whose tables they had turned on, and as it turns out it was Odette, and I gauged it very well. I think Henry came over thinking it was the best move for him and his alliance, but inevitably, the minority were able to swing things on his main alliance of Kent and Jacqui, so it will be very interesting to see how he moves forward now.
Q: It was interesting seeing Jonathan wink at you after one of the tribals.
A: Jonathan and I had a lot of banter out on the island. A lot of it wasn't shown, but I had a great relationship with Jonathan and once I was voted out, he came up and we spoke for a while and he's Team AK and I was very happy to hear that!
Q: Do you watch the show with friends and family now?
A: I like to watch Survivor alone! I like to enjoy it and hear. One conversation might be so pivotal in the game.
Q: Where do you keep the jar of love hearts your partner Bec sent you on the island?
A: I've kept it. Before I went out to the island, I kept it on my TV cabinet, and it's been placed straight back there. It means a lot to me.