Daini made some massive moves, sending “Australian hall of famer” Gavin home in the ultimate blindside, as well as ensuring he had a strong position in not only Simon’s alliance, but Shannon’s as well.
In this exclusive interview with 10 play, Daini revealed that he had a secret plan which he intended to execute in the coming episodes, but everything changed when JLP announced the tribe swap.
“Oh, I wasn’t happy. I hadn’t heard the best reviews of the Brains tribe; I’m a big team player and I like having a good team around me and for some reason, I just knew in my bones that it was me going into the Brains tribe.”
Much to his dismay, Cara, Emmett, Kez, Gerald and himself joined Laura, Georgia, Rachel and George in the new Brains tribe, deciding to take Cara and George under their wings so that together, they could make up the majority alliance.
As a collective, Daini felt his new tribe worked really well together, but having this new alliance with Cara and George just “wasn’t the same” and they didn’t feel like a team unit.
“We did have to adapt and I tried to work with Cara and George… but Cara is too stressed and too erratic in her thinking. George, I actually didn’t mind too much, but you have to keep an eye on him because you don’t know what game he’s going to play. But that was the best I could make out of a bad situation.”
When the time came for the new Brains tribe to vote someone out at Tribal Council, it seemed like a clear-cut plan. In an alliance of six versus three, they decided to put three votes on Georgia, and three votes on Rachel, so if Laura used her Idol on either Georgia or Rachel, one of them would still go home. But, as is the game of Survivor, not everything went to plan.
“So, who was going to go home that night was Georgia, but I have since found out, like I said before, Cara is too stressful and her thinking is too erratic and she forgot who she was voting for. She should have run her empath tricks on herself and got her vote right,” Daini laughed.
Cara put her vote on Laura, and when Laura used her Idol on Rachel who got three votes, Georgia only got two votes, meaning Daini, who received three votes, was sent home.
In a moment which felt like “a mix of emotions”, Daini said he still felt blessed to have an opportunity to go on a show like Australian Survivor.
“I had never thought I’d be on TV and you’ll hear a couple of times, Emmett say, ‘It is what it is, when it’s our time, it’s our time,’ because everybody on the show was running around, stressing out, making themselves look like a chaotic person, trying to run away from the fact that one person has to go home that night.”
But when his time was up and his torch was snuffed, he admitted he was still “a bit annoyed. I felt like I was playing such a good game, I had everything in the perfect swing for merge, I had alliances on both sides [and was] waiting to pull the pipe on Simon when we got to merge. But it didn’t work out that way so you know, thankful for the experience, happy I got to meet the people I did and I moonwalked out of there.”
Daini revealed that he had a secret alliance with Shannon, Dani and Chelsea and they planned to blindside Simon in an upcoming episode. While expressing the one thing he would re-do in his game was search more for an Immunity Idol, Daini mentioned that he knew Simon had two Idols up his sleeve and they had a plan to de-throne him.
“Big D knows everything that goes on in his camp, that’s why me getting sent off the episode tonight is so sad, because what I would’ve done in the next episodes would have been unreal. Chelsea, Dani, Shannon and I didn’t get a chance to do the full blindsides that we had planned. Me and the girls were going to go on Simon – but that’s alright, maybe you’ll find out one day what was going to happen,” Daini teased.
On Survivor, there were two moments which stood out for Daini. First, when the Brawn tribe won a puzzle challenge after thinking they had no chance, and the other was spending time with Chelsea and Dani who he formed really close relationships with.
“The feeling of winning that challenge was nothing I have ever felt before. We just got so in our head about puzzles, that when we saw there was a puzzle that day, we had already started talking about who we were voting off that night, we didn’t even think winning was an option and then we won!” Daini said.
“Then probably my favourite moment was to be honest, hanging out with Chelsea and Dani by the hammock. I’ve come out with two solid friends from the whole experience, like I hang with Dani almost every second day now and the conversations me and those two had really set in stone what I came into this experience for; a lot of clarity and a lot of change has come from it, so I’m very thankful.”
Despite not taking the prize home, Daini took something much more important away from his journey. He was able to discover more about himself, re-evaluate his life, and implement a few necessary changes.
“I’ve found that I had just been caught in a bit of a rat race in Sydney. Taking the time out to be on Survivor, to be able to talk to people like Simon, Emmett and Gavin and see where they’re at in their lives, gave me a huge chance to be able to step back and be like, okay I need to start doing a few things different for myself. I don’t back myself as hard as I should, especially in business,” Daini shared.
Since leaving Survivor, he has made a few big steps in his career, applying what he learnt from the experience to his real life.
“To be able to go camping for the first time and live in the bush for the first time, and do all of this was a massive eye-opener. It’s changed me for the better and [I’m] definitely in for more risks now. I’m opening a gym in five months’ time! I’ve changed a lot in the past two to three months because of it.”