“My first thought was ‘Janelle, you’re gone. You’re gone and you’ve stuffed it,’” Janelle told 10 play.
“In the challenge before, I purposely stepped out because it’s not my personality to fight somebody and to be that aggressive. I also wanted to check if there was an idol or clue over there and I wanted to suss out the Brains, but then I thought in the next challenge I have to step up, I have to show my worth to the Tribe. But unfortunately, they caught me.”
Once Brawn lost and they returned to camp, she knew she would have to fight to remain in the game. So, she formed a plan of her own to target the boys’ alliance. Specifically, Emmett, who had almost lost them the reward challenge.
“It was scramble time. I thought, if I’m going down, I’m going to go down trying my hardest, so I’m going to try to take a big player out and it was pretty daunting. I’m standing there going, okay we are on the outer, now is the time to do something, who can we take?” she said. “I didn’t really like Emmett… they were very much a ‘I’m a man, you’ve got no chance you’re just a mere female’ and I wasn’t vibing it.”
Before Tribal Council, Janelle tried to persuade her allies to vote for Emmett. Meanwhile, Emmett was orchestrating a blindside on Shannon, which Janelle had no idea about.
“I didn’t see the Shannon vote coming. I sort of gathered that she would be the next on the chopping block, but I just didn’t see it coming. I think my mind was so focused on what I wanted to achieve, that I was just oblivious to the other plans. I got game played big time.”
Janelle revealed one of her fellow castaways did mention votes were going to Shannon which, if she put her vote there, could have saved her.
“Dani came up to me and said votes on Shannon tonight and I went no, who told you that? Votes are on Emmett and she was like ‘Oh, silly me, I was so confused, so many names are being thrown out there.’ If I listened to her, maybe I would have realised I should have voted for Shannon.”
The Tribal Council was “brutal” and the boys’ alliance really targeted Janelle during the discussion.
“Walking into tribal council, it went from being very polite to as if everyone took their shirts off and were like game on! It was so nasty. I felt massively attacked and I was just like, what the hell is going on here?” she explained.
“I wasn’t the only one doing the puzzle, Daini was there too. Like, hello why are you only doing me? Daini was really bad at that puzzle, but yet again, it was the big brawny men going for the typical weak female. But what about big brawny Daini, why aren’t you talking about him?”
When the votes were cast and counted, the blindside on Shannon failed and Janelle was sent packing. But despite being sent home so soon in the game, she was very happy with what she accomplished on her Survivor journey.
“I put myself out there and I got what I wanted out of the experience and I still feel so privileged and so happy that I put myself in such a vulnerable game where I don’t have any people to back me and I just feel honored. It’s pretty damn special,” she said.
Looking back at her time in the Aussie outback, she revealed her favourite moment wasn’t anything to do with the strategy or challenges of the game, but it was in fact forming connections with her fellow castaways.
“One of the nights when we were all just laying there and all just speaking crap, there was no game play, there was laughing and we were all cold and snuggling together. We were all from such different walks of life with different stories and we are all just at that exact same point in our lives and we’re all smiling, just so happy to be there.”
Janelle admitted that there were a few people in her tribe that she clashed with, but she also made some strong friendships which she hopes to keep in the future.
“It was pretty amazing actually, the people out there. My fellow tribe members are so inspiring, they’re so young and so accomplished already, despite being so young, and as they were going around the circle and saying, oh I’m a world champion, I was like, oh my goodness, what have I got myself into?” she laughed.
“I didn’t like all of them, some weren’t my cup of tea. I very much gave everyone a good shot, but we are playing a game. Gerald was lovely, I can’t rate him high enough - he was just such a great guy. We are hoping to catch up for one of Gerald’s woodchopping competitions in a couple of months to see each other outside the pressure of Survivor.”