Australian Survivor 2021 – Pre-Season Assessment

Survivor’s ready? The sixth season of Australian Survivor, titled as Brains vs Brawn is about to launch, and it promises to be the toughest edition yet.

As David Genat was crowned the Sole Survivor of Australian Survivor: All-Stars early last year, the COVID-19 pandemic was quickly sweeping its way through the world, prompting sudden shutdowns, lockdowns and travel restrictions.

Australian Survivor was just as much impacted, as it was soon forced out of Fiji and left to film onshore in Cloncurry, Queensland. Swapping beaches for desert, and oceans for sweltering heat – it’s a season like no other in the Australian outback.

Pinching a theme from its American counterpart, the 2021 season exhibits a Brains vs Brawn battle, where returning host Jonathan Lapaglia provides the beauty. It’ll be an interesting and exciting take on a very popular theme, and there’s no doubt we’ll be in for a wild ride now that the kind of Australian Reality TV is back.

The usual 24 contestants are competing, 12 on the Brains tribe and 12 on the Brawn. Now everyone has been promoted and revealed at varying stages in the lead up to the season, so I will do my best to dissect each of them as evenly and justly as possible. But for those that were announced just this week, a three-sentence bio might be all we can go off of for now (and a stalk of their Instagram profile). Nevertheless, let’s get to know each of the Brains vs Brawn cast.

PSA: Reality Review is hosting an Australian Survivor Fantasy League this season – draft up your team of four contestants and watch as the season goes on and your team scores you some points. The top three finishers win some Survivor prizes, more information and the sign-up details are found here. Registration closes Sunday (18/07), so don’t miss out!

THE BRAINS TRIBE

PHIL FERGUSON
28, ARTIST

IMAGE: NETWORK 10

There’s a reason why I’m starting off with Phil – I think they’re going to go a long way, or fall early trying. The crochet artist and viral sensation says they’re straight up, honest, and pretty loyal, with a heightened ability to read and understand people. Whether this lasts for Phil will be telling, it’s pretty tough to survive 50 days without stabbing SOMEONE in the back, but I also believe Phil when they say they’ll play an honest game. You CAN play with integrity and win. I feel like Phil is still a schemer though. Maybe they’ll stay loyal to their alliance, but if you’re on the outs, they’re coming for you. My gut says they’re going to stir the pot strategically, but everything I’m hearing is telling me otherwise. Because of this, I’m torn. Do they bow out semi-early because they were TOO loyal and were an easy target from another side? Or do they run deep hiding in the shadows, plotting everyone’s demise until the rest of the cast finally realise they’re a threat to win? It’s one or the other for me. Regardless, the result means that I don’t think Phil will walk away the winner.
Prediction: Middle-Late Pre-Merge or Early Merge

RACHEL DOWNIE
50, TEACHER/BUSINESSWOMAN

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This is a pretty neat casting choice from the production team here, Rachel was the 2020 Queensland Australian of the Year (GO QUEENSLAND!). I think that’s a pretty admirable title to hold and equally a powerful quality to use within the game of Survivor. Her Instagram is full of inspirational quotes, and her bio reads that she has, “transformed the education system”. I think Rachel will be really underestimated, if you can literally transform an age-old system, and be named as 2020 QAOTY in the process, you’ve got some power and a drive to put your plans forward and take them far. I can see Rachel leading a dominant Brains alliance, taking out a few weak links to the tribe and becoming a force to be reckoned with early on. After a few Tribal Council’s, there’s going to be a few eyes on Rachel for her strategy, and I can see her alliance quickly turning on her to ensure she gets spiked out of the game before she gets too much power, but also to ensure she won’t turn on them when the time comes. I think she’ll be an easy vote out early, but only because she’s going to be a massive threat out of the gates.
Prediction: Early-Middle Pre-Merge

ANDREW UCLES
33, SURVIVAL EXPERT

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Andrew’s a freaking wildlife and survival EXPERT! Are you kidding me? This guy’s got the fire done, water boiled, shelter built already. He’s already got the camp set up like it’s a Sunday picnic. There’s not a chance the Brains don’t find him one of their greatest assets in the tribal stage of the game. They’re gonna love him and he’s going to be extremely valuable to their success early in the game. My biggest looming question is whether Andrew’s going to play a strategic game as well, or if he’s going to join whatever alliance he finds most favourable and run with whatever he’s told to do. I get the feeling Andrew won’t want to make any waves too quickly, he’s going to be a great strength in challenges and survival so there’s no reason for the tribe to get rid of him UNLESS he gives them a reason. Part of me thinks he might emerge as one of these greatest strategists after a few weeks into the show (ala Benji from 2018), blindsiding both the audience and his tribe. I can see Andrew being charismatic, personable, and powerful, and that’ll be great to get to the merge. But once it hits, he’s going to be in a world of trouble and everyone will turn on him just when he finds his footing as the one to beat.
Prediction: Early-Middle Merge

LAURA WELLS
36, ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCATE

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Yes! I’m loving Laura a lot so far. I’m getting major social player vibes, she’s going to be right in and amongst every plan and weaving through alliances like it’s nothing. On social media, she’s got a bright smile and genuine approach to life, this tells me she isn’t going to rub people the wrong way at camp and will easily get along with the varying personalities that will clash. At work, Laura is an environmental advocate and curve model, two important and bold professions that she excels at. I don’t see why her Survivor journey won’t be just as successful. With an honest and integral approach to the game, Laura will probably keep it in the back of her head that the threats have to go and she’s gotta be the one to dismantle them. With a couple of close allies, I can see Laura really going deep into the game and becoming a massive threat in front of the jury. And while I certainly think she’s got the ability to go all the way and win the whole game, I’m worried she might come up just short and go home within the final six. I’m hoping for the best.
Prediction: Late Merge

GEORGE MLADENOV
31, PUBLIC SERVANT

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Here we go. Don’t mess with George because he’s already got your name on his hit list. Pledging that he’ll let the audience decide if he’s a hero or villain, George will absolutely come out of the gates guns blazing and sending anyone that gets in his way of 500K out of the game. He’ll be valuable in challenges, but just as much a strategic necessity on the tribe. I can see him pulling the strings behind every alliance, and leading the blindsides of some of the biggest personalities on the Brains, he’ll be a strong force that I don’t actually think anyone will want to take out too soon. “An expert negotiator and a master manipulator,” George will easily be front and centre of our screens every week until he’s voted out. And that’s exactly what will happen. He’ll get voted out. I think going so hard so early will be what sees his demise, much like AK in 2017 or Andy in 2019. And looking at our past winners, only David was able to make it to the end despite being a relatively large strategic threat at the beginning of the game, that’s a 20%/1 in 5 success rate. Not bad odds… but not great. I think if George isn’t taking out from a bad tribe swap or blindsided by his allies just before the merge, his goose is cooked the moment the tribes come together as one.
Prediction: Late Pre-Merge or Early Merge

CARA ATCHISON
47, REAL ESTATE AGENT

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Cara’s got an interesting ability that might work well in the game: she’s an empath. Throw out the fact she’s a real estate agent, which I think is an underrated profession in Survivor considering the massive sales pitches they have to make, but as an empath Cara will be in tune with just who’s going to be a worthy ally and who she might want to stay away from. She’s going to get in touch with the genuine personalities in the tribe, really being the mother figure that’ll be crucial to the Brains insanity. And while I think Cara has the potential to be a great player, I don’t know if the tribe will even give her a real opportunity to showcase her skills. She might survive a couple of Tribal Council’s, but unless she finds her footing with some solid allies, I don’t know whether Cara will actually be valuable enough to keep around. I hope she is, I think she’s got an interesting story and great potential to become a strong player, I just don’t know if the Brains will let her though. I hope I’m proved wrong.
Prediction: Early Pre-Merge

MITCH SHAW
33, DOCTOR

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Is it really a Brains tribe without a doctor or medical variant on it? Mitch has one of the highest IQ’s on the planet, the guy’s going to be a puzzle master in these challenges. Not only will I think he deliver as a strong asset to the tribe, but I think he’s going to amongst the best strategically. I can’t find all too much on Mitch other than the fact he hopes his ability to connect and build trust with patients will translate to his game this season. It’s a very heroic approach to the game (I think we’re seeing a trend where most Brains want to play with trust and loyalty at the helm), and I don’t see why Mitch wouldn’t be a great ally to other members of his alliance. I just can’t quite figure out if he’s going to be under the radar strategically or if he’s got some other tricks up his sleeves. With little to go on, and the fact I don’t see a legitimate reason for him to go early, I expect Mitch to prepare himself for a deep run in the game before falling short at around 9th or 8th place. But I’m hungry for more.
Prediction: Middle Merge

WAI CHIM
38, AUTHOR

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I’m going to be cheering for Wai this season, I can see her being a very underrated player almost the entire season and making an incredibly deep run this season. She’s an award-winning author and clearly has the brains necessary to be a powerful player amongst the Brains tribe. I don’t think anyone’s going to want to get rid of Wai early, she’ll be a hard worker around camp and asset in strategic and physical areas of the game. I do feel like her personality will emulate that of Pia Miranda’s in 2019. And we all know how that worked out for Pia, $500K richer. Can Wai outlast everyone to become the Sole Survivor? She’s the first person I’ve come across that I genuinely believe and foresee with the cheque. And a lot of this is just gut reaction and instinct. But from what we CAN tell from Wai, she’s got a great ability to connect with anyone. She knows how to write, and there’s no reason why her words on paper can’t transcend into plotting and scheming for someone one’s demise. I want to call it as my winner prediction, but I’m thinking she could just make it to Day 49 and miss out.
Prediction: Final Juror

BADEN COOKE
42, EX-PRO CYCLIST

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At first glance you might ask yourself, ‘Why is Baden not on the Brawns tribe?’ He’s a former Olympian, has won over 50 cycling races – he’s no doubt got a keen ability to keep up physically with the rest of the cast. But there’s so much more to Baden than meets the eye. He’s also a businessman and excellent poker player, with his bio dubbing him, “a pro at convincing others to do the dirty work for him.” Now THAT sounds like a future Sole Survivor to me. A strong resume on paper, and an even stronger likelihood to be a strategic powerhouse, I don’t think you’d be too crazy to assume Baden will make a deep run, I’m certainly calling it. His social media profile shows he’s very active and very charismatic, a family man at heart, Baden will do very well connecting with many of the over-40s on the tribe, as well as finding relatable experiences and challenges with those that fall under that age mark. He’ll be a strong asset to whatever alliance he falls into. My only concern is that when we get to a point where two alliances are battling each other, Baden might be the head honcho of his side and thus will be the first target. If I’m right, it’s going to be a big episode and I don’t think he’ll go down without a fight.
Prediction: Middle Merge

HAYLEY LEAKE
31, PAIN RESEARCHER

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Australian Survivor superfan? Check. Lover of Pia Miranda’s 2019 game? Check. Yeah Hayley’s got me. No doubt about it, I’m cheering for Hayley this season. Superfans of the latest Australian and American versions of Survivor have shown an extremely impressive ability to beat the stereotype they’ll play too hard too fast and actually outwit, outplay and outlast at just the right amount to secure the win. Hayley’s not going to change that anytime soon. I think Australia’s going to fall in love with Hayley, it’s only a matter of time before she shows she’s got the strategic, social and physical chops to be one of the better players the show has ever seen. Hayley won’t be too prevalent early on, that’s not what you want to be in a game that lasts for 50 days. She’ll find her footing, work out who actually helps her chances to win as opposed to hinders them, and ride with them as long as they are useful to her. If she takes a shot at the right moment and then can hide again before her target grows bigger, I don’t see why Hayley can’t make a strong run to the end. And I think it’s realistic to think Hayley can take home the win once she’s there. My only grievance will be that the others will see it too, and she’ll be a casualty of someone else’s eventual run to the win. And if you’re going to go down to anybody, you want it to the be the person who won the whole damn thing. But, I’m truly hoping that’s not the case! Go Hayley!
Prediction: Late Merge

JOEY MCCANN
35, HEAD OF PARTNERSHIPS

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Immediately my eyes are drawn to the job title – Head of Partnerships. I can’t wait to hear exactly what this is and exactly how his tribe takes it. On the one hand, it sounds like someone with an ability to bring people together and ensure everyone works sound and smoothly – great news for the Brains. On the other hand, it sounds like ordering an alliance around because they’re at the top of the food chain between two merging groups – not so great news for the Brains (or Brawn). But Joey boasts a bundle of positive energy and determination to kill with kindness. So I’m thinking he’s going to be a much more loyal player than it may seem at first. I mean look at that smile, is it meant to fool me into thinking he’s got a heart of gold or is just a natural reflection of his inner self? Only time will tell where Joey lands, and he’s a tough nut to crack just pre-season. I’m expecting some strategic secrets that only a few will see coming, and that’s why he might fall short of making the merge and having a real impact on the game.
Prediction: Late Pre-Merge

GEORGIA RAY
35, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST

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I think the Brains tribe should be terrified of what Georgia is going to bring to the season. Her bio says, “she’s spent years delving into the mindset of Australia’s most devious criminals and will use her razor-sharp judgement to profile her Tribe mates”. Um, hello? Anyone else kind of scared of just how Georgia is going to perceive you? You’re gonna wanna be on your best behaviour around Georgia, otherwise she’s coming for you, she’s gonna swing, and she won’t miss. I think Georgia really can live up to the hype of being one of the most calculating players Australian survivor has ever seen. And she might just be the underdog who rises to the top of the Brains tribe after a massive blindside, but we’ve seen this happen a few times in the past, because just as Georgia might take out the biggest threat… she’ll slide right into that position and all eyes will be on her. I’m very excited to watch Georgia and I hope she can pull off some great moves that will make her a real force in the game, unfortunately, I don’t think she’ll shake off the target she’ll eventually find, and be voted out either just before or after a tribe swap.
Prediction: Middle Pre-Merge

THE BRAWN TRIBE

EMMETT PUGH
31, HEALTH COACH

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I mean look at the outfit! You wouldn’t think this guy is a superman in hiding, but Emmett has been training to accomplish the world’s toughest game as a self-entitled ‘Plant Based Superman’. He’s going to be a BEAST in challenges. An absolute powerhouse. The problem with challenge beasts is they’re so quick to go once they don’t grab immunity. Will Emmett make a run physically before he falls short? Maybe. But I’m inclined to think the Brawn tribe might even take him out sooner than you’d expect. Why battle a challenge beast at the merge when you can take care of it before it becomes a problem? The big question will be where does Emmett end up socially. If he mixes well with the big personalities on the Brawn tribe, then he’ll for sure be seen as valuable and an easy ticket to the merge. But if his personality rubs shoulders with some others, and they start to catch on that he’s an adversary waiting to be taken care of, then I’m inclined to think he’s a shock early boot. The hat and smile might charm everyone at first glance, but when the gloves come off, I don’t think he stands a chance. It’s a bold blindside for me.
Prediction: Early-Middle Pre-Merge

KEZ MCGEE
25, BODYBUILDER

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Now I’m a fan of Kez. Despite the little information I really have about her strategy going into the game, she’s no doubt going to be one of the strongest players out there this season. When her bio says she has an intense physical training, it’s pretty on the money when looking at her Instagram account. Like Emmett, she’s going to be unbeatable in challenges and a strong opponent in one-on-one match ups. While she fits the Brawn tribe, I’m not sure whether she’ll make much of an impact in the strategic side. I can see her being very social and well liked across the cast, but when she no longer serves a purpose for someone, I think she’ll be blindsided, maybe even with an idol play. I like Kez, I’m hoping she proves me wrong and will become one of the most memorable players this season… but I fear the game will start to roll on without her and the Brains will orchestrate a blindside on her right after the tribes swap.
Prediction: Middle-Late Pre-Merge

GAVIN WANGANEEN
48, AFL LEGEND

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A Brownlow medallist, several AFL premierships, and a stand on Adelaide Oval – we’ve found the sport star of the season. Ever since Lee appeared in Network 10’s first season of Australian Survivor, it’s a given that some sport legend is bound to make an appearance on the season. Hell, there were like six or seven just between both Champions vs Contenders seasons. Now I’m not opposed to bringing in someone with a bit of a national following onto the show, Gavin certainly isn’t the only familiar face on the cast (depending on what kind of influencer you’re after). But we’ve never seen any of these sport players take home the win. Just, you know, a 61 year-old former Olympic swimmer. The thing about Gavin’s bio is that it doesn’t include anything about how he will play this game or what his strategy will be, nevertheless how much AFL has prepared him to take on the show. It’s just a long list of great achievements by the man. Which leaves me asking just how he will fare in the game. While Gavin says the beast is ready to come out and play, expecting to be underestimated by his tribemates. I beg to differ, in fact, I think he doesn’t stand a chance and might just go down in an epic blindside sooner than expected.
Prediction: Middle Pre-Merge

CHELSEA HACKETT
22, MMA FIGHTER

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Look out, Chelsea is going to be one to watch this season. She’s a two-time world champion MMA fighter, who won her first bout at only 13 years-old. I mean, that’s not even ten years ago for her. And she looks like a physical beast now! Unlike some of the other Brawn tribe members, which I am quick to write off as flame outs who will be more underwhelming than they may promise, I think Chelsea’s the one that’s going to be an outlier and really play the social game well. She’s young, she’s ruthless, and promises to cut anyone to catapult herself ahead in the competition. And I think Chelsea’s got a real chance to back up her claims and become a strong contender in the game. If she can make the merge, I can see Chelsea laying really low and overcoming some of the stronger personalities and make it to the final few. She’ll be underestimated as a strategic threat for her age (she’s the youngest on the cast), so she’ll make waves without too many taking notice, or doing anything about it. From there, an immunity run might secure a spot at the Final Tribal Council and facing the jury for the win. While I’m not sure if she can pull it out over my winner pick, she’ll certainly be one of the better losing finalists we’ve seen, so I’m calling my first finalist position on Chelsea.
Prediction: Runner-Up

DAINI TUIQERE
26, PERSONAL TRAINER

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Tall in stature, strong in muscle, Daini comes to Australian Survivor without the macho attitude. Without a doubt, the Brawn tribe is going to like Daini. He will absolutely dominate the challenges, I think there might even be a tussle to work out just WHO will be the most dominant, we’ve got so many strong competitors on this tribe. I can see Daini becoming a partner in crime with one of the more strategic players on the tribe, and together they’re going to run the Brawn tribe to ensure their survival. But while Daini is bringing the goods physically, someone’s going to be plotting his demise. Much like Emmett, I don’t think everyone is going to want to see Daini at the merge. It’s too threatening, and the ‘big guy’ has been placing lower and lower as seasons go on. When we get to a tribe swap, I think Daini might be in trouble if the Brawn tribe doesn’t get the numbers. With that said, I think a tribe swap is a signal we’re heading to the merge soon, and everybody’s eyes will be on Daini to go.
PREDICTION: Middle-Late Pre-Merge

JANELLE DURSO
43, CLEANER

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Unlike pretty much everyone we’ve looked at so far, Janelle isn’t training, or throwing a ball, or boxing before she chose to play Australian Survivor. She’s just a mum-of-three Aussie battler who’s got one goal in mind: bring home some money for the kids. I really like that the Brawn tribe isn’t just full of the typical archetypes you’d expect, but instead, we’ve got a mum who’s just as strong on the outside as she is on the inside, and I admire the quality of ‘doing it for the kids’. It’s endearing. I just hope the tribe doesn’t stereotype her too quickly. She’s the oldest woman on the tribe and certainly doesn’t have the physical credentials to hold up against an MMA fighter and football legend. I can see Janelle being an early casualty purely because the Brawn tribe is going to need to take someone out. And if we’ve learned anything from the Champions tribes of yesteryears, which were full of sporting heroes and more, physicality is an easy and obvious reason to vote someone out. Janelle will be an early target, but early targets have gone to the end (Baden and Pia anyone?), so if Janelle can squirm her way out of the first couple of Brawn Tribal Council’s, there’s no reason why she can’t go far. But when we talk predictions, I’m going the easy way out… I hope I’m wrong though!
Prediction: Early Pre-Merge

BENNY BURDO
38, ENTREPRENEUR

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There’s something about Benny that’s just calling out to me. I really want to root for him. His life journey has been just that, a journey. A lavish lifestyle in Sydney finally came crashing for Benny when he realised luxuries meant nothing, so made a sea change to Los Angeles to pursue multiple business ventures, where he made his status as a hustler known by selling million dollar properties and running a call centre. I think Benny’s going to be a huge threat in all areas of the game. He might not make it far but I think he’ll be one of the biggest characters this season. Where will Benny land? I’m really hoping he manages to make the merge and can steamroll it from there… but part of me believes he’s going to be one of the first few casualties of the game. Also, he hasn’t promoted the show in any of his Instagram posts thus far, which isn’t a great sign for a future finalist or juror. So for me, Benny’s getting the early boot card.
Prediction: Early Pre-Merge

FLICK PALMATEER
28, BIG WAVE SURFER

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I’m excited to watch Flick play, hell if she’s a shadow of the first Flick that played Australian Survivor, she’ll do great! As an athlete, Flick knows just what it takes physically to endure during some of these challenges and bring it all. So she’ll be integral to the early success of the Brawn tribe. She’s also an artist which gives her a nice edge against the others because of the more creative background over just solely physical qualities. I don’t know what her strategic game plan is, I hope it’s got the ‘do whatever it takes’ mentality, but I equally can see Flick playing a loyal game to her alliance and being blindsided early. Given this doesn’t hold up, a bit of weaving through the big personalities should catapult Flick to the merge. From there, I’m not too sure just how strong she’ll play against some of the more strategic characters. Maybe she’ll make a good run, but I just don’t see her lasting to the top nine. Without a clear strategy to really decipher, I think Flick will be one of the earlier boots at the merge, or she’ll be out sooner than we might even consider.
Prediction: Middle Pre-Merge or Early Merge

GERALD YOULES
26, CHAMPION WOOD CHOPPER

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A fifth-generational cattle farmer, living in the Australian Outback isn’t going to be a problem for Gerald. Gerald’s bio is all about his wood chopping past, and it’s certain that he’s good at the craft when he’s a world champion. But I don’t know much else about Gerald other than what we can read and see on his Instagram… which is all wood. If Gerald applies himself on the goal of winning $500K just as much as he can chop the wood, then he’s pretty much got the damn thing wrapped up already. I just don’t know where he’s going to land strategically. Socially, I think everyone’s gonna love Gerald, and I see him being one of the most popular members of the tribe. But that’s probably what will see him undone. Once we hit the merge, Gerald will be a big threat to take the cash, I think he’d be tough to beat at the Final Tribal Council, so it will be a couple of Brains who pull the trigger on him before he gets the chance.
Prediction: Middle Merge

SHANNON LAWSON
30, MODEL

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It wouldn’t be Australian Survivor without a model, so here’s Shannon in all her glory! Not only is she a full-time model, but she is also a fitness advocate and Instagram personality – this puts her in a great position, with an excellent tool kit, to charm everyone on her tribe and solidify herself in an alliance with some of the alpha Brawns. Shannon also has a mean fitness routine which means she’s not one to count out in these challenges despite such a small physique. There’s no telling just how much she can hold her own against her Brawn tribe mates, but I don’t think Shannon’s got to worry about being labelled physically weaker than the rest. For me, it’s the Parvati effect I’m worried about. A common showing on the American counterpart, Parvati Shallow is one of the greatest players of the U.S. Survivor, who is known as a flirty and charming player which led her to win the 16th season of the show. Ever since, just about every attractive, fairly physical and strategic woman has been labelled ‘Parvati 2.0’. If Shannon falls under this banner and is seen as threatening for her social gameplay, I think she’s going to be in trouble sooner than she may expect. I think she’ll be lucky to make the merge and escape a looming target.
Prediction: Late Pre-Merge

SIMON MEE
31, CARPENTER

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Eyes staring into your soul? Yep, Simon’s here and he’s ready to flip the script just as fast as he did careers. Trading in a desk job for becoming an apprentice carpenter, Simon’s no stranger to completely changing course if it’s to his benefit. This makes Simon a perfect example of someone who will adapt to every situation and ride the middle of alliances, siding with whatever way the wind blows. Despite a tough exterior, I think Simon’s actually going to be a real charmer on his fellow tribe mates. He’ll be a physical asset for sure, but I actually see Simon being one of the more stronger players socially and strategically. His Instagram brings forward a bright smile and clear dedication to family. This gives him both the motivation to do whatever it takes to go far, but also the ability to throw some of the bigger meatheads under the bus when the time is right. Given he secures a spot at the merge, I think Simon has a real chance to fly under the radar and hide behind the more obvious social threats to make it to the final few. From there, a tight final two buddy will get him to Day 50 and a date with the jury and one $500K cheque. One that I think Simon will walk away with. Ladies and gentlemen, my winner pick.
Prediction: Sole Survivor

DANI BEALE
34, CORRECTIONS OFFICER

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And finally, we have Dani. I really like Dani and I think she’s going to do some serious damage in this game. She’s got a great background which will serve her well in the Australian outback fighting the conditions the show will bring. But even more than that, Dani’s got a very interesting and likable strategy coming into the season. According to her bio, “Dani wants her Tribe mates to think she’s an average all-rounder and team player, but when push comes to shove, she’ll take no prisoners!” YES DANI! BRING IT DANI! I mean how can’t you root for a player that comes in wanting to fool all the other athletes who are used to team sports and want to stay loyal to each other? Dani’s got heart, she’s got soul, but she’s got a brain too and I think Australia is going to be quite surprised with the strategic chops of this corrections officer. She reminds me of Moana, who fared very well in All-Stars, so it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest of Dani was able to make a deep run right to the very end of the competition. However, I do think her strong season-long gameplay will make her the number one threat towards the end of the game – so I think she’ll go down in an amazing blindside only few will see coming.
Prediction: Middle-Late Merge

FINAL THOUGHTS

I think the Brains tribe is going to be in trouble up against the Brawn in these challenges. Australian Survivor is very physical so I’m not seeing the Brawn just giving away a win anytime soon. I really like this cast, there are many great characters and players I’m rooting for, with several I’m still intrigued to work out and watch as they develop on the show. But my picks to either go far or be one of the more major players this season are: Laura, George, Wai, Hayley, Chelsea, Simon, and Dani.

Good luck to the entire cast! I hope the Australian Survivor adventure is everything you could hope for.

And don’t forget, registrations for the Australian Survivor fantasy league are still open. Draft your team of four and root for them all season to potentially win some Survivor prizes. Entry is available here: Australian Survivor 2021 – Fantasy League.

I’ll see you all soon!

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Australian Survivor: Brains vs Brawn begins on Sunday the 12th of July at 7:30pm on Channel 10!


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