On Tuesday night, that opportunity presented itself when self-professed “queen of rewards” Dani won the Outback Retreat reward challenge.
“There was 15 rewards all up and I won 12 of them, so I definitely didn’t go hungry at all, which was nice. It’s always a great morale booster and a chance to bring people into your alliance… I chose Hayley to come to the Outback Retreat because I really wanted to work with her,” Dani told 10 play over the phone.
“We had an opportunity earlier in the game to work together and Emmett came and ruined it for us, but I would've loved to work with her, so I had one last chance to try and convince her to come over to my side and take us to final three; myself, Flick and her. I knew she was a great threat and a huge strategic player, so I'd be silly not to take her.”
Despite Hayley flipping on Dani during previous Tribal Councils, Dani shared that she still trusted Hayley and thought that she would help them make a big move to get rid of George.
“After she woke up in the morning from the outback retreat, she said she had an epiphany and wanted to work alongside us,” Dani said.
But then, when push came to shove, Hayley decided to remain in her Brains alliance.
“It was a little kick while you're down, but that’s the reason she made it so far, she's trusting her own instincts and I can appreciate and admire the way Hayley plays. I wanted to trust her, I thought that maybe she could potentially make a big move in getting rid of George, but she saw protection in the numbers, so she went that way and that’s okay.”
Despite Hayley choosing to work with George at this Tribal, Dani wasn’t entirely sure that was the right choice.
“I think maybe they thought it'll be great because George will never win the endurance challenge because you know, Hayley is such an endurance beast and Flick is so great. But it was silly to take someone who is such a threat and such a game player. Like, the show is pretty much about him, would you want to compete against him at the end? But yeah, that's on them and look, whatever choices they made I hope it works out for them.”
Prior to Tribal Council, Flick found an Idol but she didn’t end up using it for anyone.
“Flick is an amazing woman, so when it came down to me or her going home tonight, I said hold on to it and play it for yourself, like it’s a guaranteed spot in the final three so I wanted her to win if it wasn’t me.”
When Dani’s name was called out by JLP, she wasn’t surprised and “this sense of calm” came over her.
“I knew it was my turn to go, so I wasn’t too worried. I was super proud of the game that I played thus far like I’ve been playing against huge strategic players that are massive fans of the game and I think I did well for myself.”
Making it to the Jury was an exciting achievement and it felt like her game still wasn’t over.
“You get to play your role in who goes home with the money and who gets the title of Sole Survivor, so being on the Jury you aren’t just watching from the TV screen thinking I wish this or that happened, you still have great influence in the game and it still gives you great power.”
Sitting on the panel, Dani said she will be judging the castaways based on how well she believes they outwitted, outplayed and outlasted everyone.
“I like to consider myself as an all-rounder player and I’d like to see the same. You want someone who goes to the challenges and never gives up, who gives their best regardless of their fears or their strengths or weaknesses. You want someone who has played an amazing strategic game and you’re probably going to vote for someone who has fooled you because, you know, that’s the game.
“It’s about deceit and strategy and finding that alliance, so someone who outwit, outplayed and outlasted all of us.”
Of all her massive gameplays throughout the season, her favourite move is one that broke an Australian record.
“I definitely have to say the Simon blindside. It hasn’t been done before on Australian Survivor history, so it was a great big tick in the box and that was a lot of fun and risky on my half. It has to be number one blindside, for sure.”
Dani played hard and fearlessly during her time on Australian Survivor, and she said she wouldn’t change a thing.
“I don’t regret anything that I did in the game, you kind of have to adapt day-by-day and you have to go in there knowing and trusting your gut and, I guess you've got to pick a side to trust, and it doesn’t always work but… I had a great time playing the game, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and I got to meet an amazing group of people and some that will be friends for life.”