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Meet Australian Survivor’s 2021 top five

Here's why each one of them thinks they should win that $50,000.
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They’ve got brains and brawn, but do the top five contenders have what it takes to outwit, outplay and outlast their rivals?

WATCH BELOW: Meet Australian Survivor: Brawn vs Brain’s Hayley

Hayley, 31, NSW

As we head into Australian Survivor’s final week, why should you win the $500k prize money?

I feel that my game epitomises the best traits of a Brain and a Brawn. I’ve orchestrated blindsides, made strategic moves, and adapted my game; but I’ve been a contender in the challenges and pushed to my physical limit.

Favourite blindside of the season?

Blindsiding Joey would have to be up there. That alliance felt invincible, which seemed like the right time to strike! Plus, the timing was ideal, taking out a huge social, physical threat just before tribe-swap.

What do you wish you’d known before coming on the show?

I watched passed seasons on repeat to figure out my own strategy. My advice for someone yet to play: try to zoom out and think about your opponent’s best move to predict their behaviour.

If you were to compete in a Survivor All Stars season, who do you want to play?

From Australian Survivor I was inspired by Phoebe Timmon’s strategic game, so I’d love to team up with her one day. And of course, who wouldn’t jump at a chance to play with the social queen Shonee Fairfax – especially if there was a margarita reward on offer!!

What will you spend the money on if you win?

If I am lucky enough to win, I want to buy a house and start a family. My partner Jimmy and I just got engaged and are planning a wedding next year (Covid permitting), and winning the money would really kick-start our plans.

If you don’t win, who should it be?

Flick has played an under-the-radar game, which is smart in Australian Survivor. She was socially connected to everyone and used those soft social skills to manoeuvre her way to being the last Brawn! Plus, I admire the strength she showed to stay in the game and play for her Mum.

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“I feel that my game epitomises the best traits of Team Brain and Brawn.” says Hayley of why she should take home the cash. (Credit: Ten)

Cara, 47, NSW

If you were to compete in a Survivor All Stars season, who do you want to play?

I’d include the wonderful George and Hayley from this season and Survivor heroes like David Genat and Luke Toki. I’d also like to play with Janine Allis and Sharn Coombes – smart, resilient women with amazing social games!

What do you wish you knew before you arrived in camp?

I wish I paid more attention to my son teaching me how to tie knots.

What’s been your favourite blindside of the season so far?

Firstly Kez as this was vital to allow George and I to cull the Brawn tribe to continue to control the votes…and of course, Laura.  Eliminating Laura allowed me to stay and take away a social threat that I had been gunning for – for a while. I didn’t know that George had found the key and planned but I trusted in him fully. We were always out to protect each other as long as we possibly could. We definitely were a dynamic duo and force to be reckoned with.

Why should you be crowned Sole Survivor?

Strategy and alliances are key to Survivor success. I’m a 47-year-old woman, but I’ve been seen as a threat. I’ve got that something extra.

What will you spend the money on if you win?

My family and I operate a successful and solid business and yet money has never been a serious life driver for me. I imagine we would have invested a solid sum and also contribute a portion to some very worthy charitable causes. Our family makes certain donations and the prize money would have allowed an escalation on this front.

If you don’t win, who should?

That’s an interesting one because we are not comparing apples with apples. George has played a phenomenal strategic (and bloody entertaining) game, Hayley is strategically and also extremely physically strong… Maybe we should draw rocks to decide.

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“I wish I paid more attention to my son teaching me how to tie knots,” says Cara of how she wishes she’d prepared. (Credit: Ten)

George, 31, NSW

What do you wish you knew before arriving in camp?

I packed my wardrobe as if I was going out for cocktails at Bankstown Sports Club on a Friday night. I really regret not googling Cloncurry weather!

What’s been your favourite blindside?

I only consider it a blindside if multiple players do not foresee the outcome of the vote, it’s not really a blindside when the only surprised person is the one having their torch snuffed. The way I stacked the Kez and Gerald votes, neither of them or their alliance members had a clue what was going on. Those two blindsides are two of the best in Survivor history because they needed every single tribe member to trust me and I managed to pull them off despite the high degree of difficulty.

If you were to compete in a Survivor All Stars season, who do you want to play?

I would love to return for another crack at Australian Survivor! How great would a Battle of the Nations be across international versions of Survivor? King George and Queen Hayley from Australia, Chappies and Santoni from South Africa, and Sandra Diaz Twine and Boston Rob from the USA.

What will you spend the money on if you win?

My parents are low-income earners, nearing retirement age, and like a lot of Australians still have a considerable mortgage and credit card debt. After everything that they have sacrificed to support me and my siblings growing up, I will clear their debts and enable them to retire in peace.

Why should you win?

Survivor’s about outwitting, outplaying and outlasting and I’ve done all three far better than any of the other tribemates. I’ve always been a target, but I’m still here. King George deserves this crown!

If you don’t win, who should?

Cara is extremely strategic, business minded and empathetic. She has deliberately downplayed her threat level and been involved in every play that has mattered. We are the strongest alliance in Survivor history and if I don’t win it, I hope it’s Duchess Cara.

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“I packed my wardrobe as if I was going out for cocktails,” George admits. (Credit: Supplied)

Flick, 28, WA

Why should you be crowned Sole Survivor?

I should be crowned Sole Survivor because I have played the most all round game – physically, strategically and socially. I’ve surprised myself with my ability to push through pain both mentally and physically throughout the game. My social game has by far been the strongest. My strategy for playing survivor was to just be myself and that’s allowed me to form genuine and authentic relationships which have seen me this far into the game and will come in handy when I’m giving my final two pitch to the jury.  

What was your favourite blindside of the season?

Haha! That’s an easy answer! Simon’s blindside, he was a massive threat, physically and strategically. It was the biggest blindside in Australian Survivor history! It really took the whole tribe to pull that move off. Everyone had a role play for that move to work and we pulled it off seamlessly. 

What do you wish you knew before going on the show?

I have watched a lot of Survivor and love it! I listened to a lot of podcasts with previous players to try and get as much intel as possible. That was so helpful! Thinking back on my experience I wish I didn’t place so much importance on being super fit, it’s definitely a social game! 

What will you spend the prize money on if you win?

I’ll be donating a big chunk of the money to Dementia Australia and the Perron Institute who specialise in frontotemporal dementia (FTD), which is what my mum passed away from. Then I’d love to spend some money on my family and take them on a holiday somewhere in Australia. We need a break. 

If you don’t win, who should it be?

I really want to see a girl take home the title of Sole Survivor. I think it shatters the stereotype of girls “not being brainy or brawny”.  And with that being said, I think Hayley would be a really all rounded deserving winner! 

If you were to compete in a Survivor All Star season – which contenders from any version of Survivor would you like to play against?

I would love to play against Dave Genat, his game was incredible in every aspect. My other favourite players that I’d like to play against would be Brooke Jowett, Shonee, Luke Toki and I’d love to have a bit more time with Shannon and Kez from Brains v Brawn. We had a lot of unfinished business with our Space Bun Mafia alliance…

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“I really want to see a girl crowned Sole Survivor,” says Flick. (Credit: Ten)

Wai, 38, NSW

What have you been proudest of in your game play?

I’ve been playing strategically and socially, and I’ve been putting myself, dare I say it, Wai out of my comfort zone physically!

What will you spend the money on if you win?

I’d love to be able to have some money to travel and see my parents in the US when it’s safe to do that again.

If you don’t win, who should?

Hayley has been my girl since Brains 1.0 and her game has just been phenomenal. She is playing on a whole other level!

What was the best blindside this year?

I’m still shook that we sent Simon home with two immunity idols. It was a history-making blindside for sure.

If you were to compete in a Survivor All Star season – which contenders from any version of Survivor would you like to play against?

Oh wow, could we do a puzzle season please? I’d love to match wits with brainy champions like Nick Iadanza and Matt Tarrant. Also, I would love to bring back Crochet King Phil from our season because we never got to see them play!

What do you wish you’d known before playing Survivor?

I wish I’d known to take long pants to camp. It was freezing at night! I also wish I’d taken some swimming lessons from a surf champion beforehand, too. That would’ve been helpful.

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“I’m still shook that we sent Simon home with two immunity idols,” Wai admits of the epic blindside. (Credit: Ten)

Watch Australian Survivor Sun-Tue., 7.30pm on Network Ten

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