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A Strategic Hail Mary’: Mel Chiang’s Final Fiery Tribal Paints A Massive Target On Another Player

After playing from the middle for most of the game, when Mel’s back was up against the wall but she wasn’t going to go out without a fight.

On Monday night, the core alliance, made up of the remaining men, informed the tribe that they would be splitting the vote between twin sisters Mel and Michelle, with Mel being the target once again.

Since the merge, Mel admitted that she had felt like she had been on the out, and had hoped that her sister had made connections on the other side she could benefit from. Sadly, most of those connections fell into the core alliance that turned their sights onto her.

Refusing to believe that she and her sister were the biggest threats to the game, Mel came up with a strategy to take down the alliance’s top dog: Josh.

Attempting to rally the other players who were on the bottom of the pecking order, Mel outlined that this would be the last chance for the women in the tribe to chip away at the power the men had gained since merge.

But she also told 10 play that it didn't feel like a battle of the sexes. “I think it’s just a group of people that got along really well and have similar interests regardless of gender,” she said.

As the men quoted movies and referenced YouTube clips, Mel admitted she had no idea what they were talking about most of the time.

“Maybe it was a social thing at first that kind of gelled into an alliance,” she added.

On top of the social aspect, in a rare instance in Survivor, post-merge the game is over populated with stronger players that usually find themselves the targets just before merge.

“Usually the stronger men get voted out because they will excel in the physical challenges by themselves,” Mel said, adding that it isn’t even just the men that this happens to.

“People with the body type like Shay, her athletic ability is insane! She can do handstands and do a pushup while doing a handstand I mean, that’s not normal,” Mel said, laughing. “People like Shay, they’re a huge threat when it comes to merge and I think the boys kind of figured that out early and said we need to stick together or else they’d be targeted.”

Prior to what would be her final tribal council, Mel knew that she had an uphill battle trying to get the target off her back.

“I just got voted out of my tribe and had to do a fire making challenge to save my life, my spot in the game, I wasn’t feeling too optimistic,” she said. “Once your name has been put out there it’s very hard to put it away.

“I think once my name was thrown out, they thought it was an easy vote because my name had already been thrown out before.”

Not giving up, when Mel went into tribal she attempted what she called “a strategic hail Mary deflection pitch” where she overtly called out Josh as being one of the biggest targets in the game.

When Jonathan usually asks questions, players attempt to answer in code so as not to blow up their own game, or put heat on themselves. In this case, with very little to lose, Mel went all in.

“If I knew my scrambling was going to work I wouldn’t have pitched that hard at tribal,” she added. “I thought, if I was going out, I needed to drop this nugget, this grenade, whatever you want to call it so it’s in the forefront of everyone’s mind that you need to watch out for people like him.”

Hoping to not only attempt to swing a few votes onto Josh, Mel also said she wanted to paint a bigger target on Josh’s back so that even if she went out that night, there was a slight chance that she could buy her sister more time in the game by exposing one of the bigger threats.

“I think people were too afraid to make a big move,” she added. “I mean, Amy tried to make a big move on the boys, I thought that was a bit early but at least she tried. Being at merge, this was the right time to strike… but I think the women must have thought it wasn’t the right time.

“I feel like you’ve got to look at the game strategically, who you can beat at the end, and at that point if I was up against Josh — or anyone was up against Josh — I don’t think they’d have a chance at winning. That’s why I put his name out there.

“When I left I said, you guys need to start making big moves and building your resume. I said y’all better watch it, Josh is gonna win it all, you may as well just give him the money now.”

Australian Survivor: Blood V Water continues Sunday - Monday at 7.30 on Network 10 and 10 play on demand