ENTERTAINMENT

Australian Survivor: Wai Chim on the strong women of this season

“I could still win!”
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It’s been a big year for young adult fiction author Wai Chim, who is currently both working from home in Sydney’s lockdown, and watching back her season of Australian Survivor as it plays out on television.

“Thank goodness we have Survivor on our screens to keep us entertained,” she joked over the phone.

WATCH BELOW: Australian Survivor: Meet Wai

Wai was born and raised in New York City, and relocated to Australia in 2006 to ‘pursue writing and enjoy the sunshine’.

These days, she wears many hats, having authored six books throughout her career as a writer, but also currently works as a Business System Analyst at The Starlight Foundation.

She took up the opportunity to go on Survivor to challenge herself.

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Wai with her bestselling book, The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling, and her cat. (Credit: Instagram)

“I was really looking for a different experience,” she mused.

“As an author, I’m used to sitting at my desk and imagining things in my brain but not kind of playing out difficult situations for myself.

“But when the opportunity came up I thought, you know what, why not? I don’t want to live my life with any regrets, and I thought if I didn’t take this opportunity and just kind of see what I could do, I would really regret that …” she explained.

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Wai as part of the Brains tribe on Survivor. (Credit: Ten)

Wai has managed to fly mostly under the radar across this season of Survivor, sitting comfortably in the Brains tribe at first before moving across to Brawn 2.0 prior to merge.

“I was so out of my comfort zone, there’s no hiding the fact that I had no idea what was going on during day one, but I’m really proud of myself – I’ve made it this far and I’m at merge!” she recounted excitedly.

With this season down to its’ final nine castaways, Wai is in with a chance to win sole survivor. However, even if she doesn’t, Wai seems to be backing a woman to win.

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Wai enjoying the prize of a reward challenge on Survivor. (Credit: Ten)

“I could still win!” she laughed.

“I think the women are the people to watch out for, and they’re playing a good game, very cunning, and also developing the relationships to sustain themselves, especially at this critical part of the game,” Wai explained.

“The men are doing an amazing job too, you can’t deny that George and Emmett are super power-players, but definitely, I’m here for the sisterhood, for sure!”

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Wai with fellow castaway, Simon Mee. (Credit: Ten)

Winner or not, the impression this year’s cast has left on Wai is palpable.

“You know, it was just such a talented cohort – you have everyone from an AFL legend to someone like Rachel, who’s a social entrepreneur who does so much purposeful work,” Wai gushed of her fellow castmates.

“Also, people I would have never met in my normal day-to-day, so someone like Dani, who’s a prison officer … I learned so much just talking to her, and she’s just a strong female with such amazing ideas.

“That was really great for me because … these aren’t the type of people I encounter every day and it’s just such a wonderful environment to have different points of view and to be able to share with people outside of that,” she explained.

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Wai with a fan at a book signing. (Credit: Instagram)

With such extraordinary people surrounding her, in an environment so far from her daily life, Wai’s biggest struggle on Survivor was her inability to write it all down.

“What I really did miss was having a notebook and pen for some way to capture all my thoughts down. I tried using a stick to write in the dirt – it’s definitely not the same,” she laughed.

“I am so used to processing what’s going on around me, and my observations, and I always have a notebook and pen, so not having that was a challenge for me, to kind of digest what was going on.”

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Wai at tribal council with her fellow Brains. (Credit: Ten)

And as for any books she’ll be writing based on her experiences, it seems there are some stories in the works.

“I was really inspired by my journey in Survivor, which is part of the reason why I went on there in the first place,” she said thoughtfully.

“I think that’s definitely going to be something that I’ll incorporate in my future books, and I’m working on some things that I hope might take shape,” she said contemplatively.

“It’s just such a beautiful country up there, and all of that I think will find itself in some way, shape or form in my future work, for sure.”

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