‘I Knew My Time Was Done’: Castaway Andrew Ucles Voted Off Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn

Andrew Ucles found himself in a minority alliance after Hayley Leake flipped on him during Tribal Council and remained in the Brains-strong alliance.

“My strategy going in was I didn’t want to come out too much as a leader, so I was all about staying in the background. The idea was I wanted to be a dark horse for as far as I could,” Andrew told 10 play.

“I guess my game plan was to have a strong social game, but I wasn’t trying to make myself apparent in any way. The less of a target I had on my back, I knew that was going to be my greatest advantage.”

In his final days, Andrew attempted to form a strong connection with Hayley in the hopes she would vote with him to get George, who had been Andrew’s main target for a while, out of the game.

“George was incredibly intelligent, and he was very forward-thinking. He knew the game very well, as did Hayley. I recall saying to everyone 'Hayley and George, how many times do I have to tell you guys, these guys are the biggest threats in the game', and it was because of their strategy.

Read More: ‘I Went In To Play A Selfish Game’: Emmett Pugh Reveals All After Being Booted At Top Eight

“I think George was just so great with his words and such a good communicator and manipulator that he just seemed to duck and dodge the entire time, so that was why I wanted to get rid of him,” he said.

Andrew felt that, to remain in the game and go forward with his plan, he needed to win the Immunity Challenge. But the challenge was more geared towards Hayley’s strengths, so he wasn’t able to secure the necklace.

“When I lost that challenge against Hayley, as soon as I let go of that rope, I knew my time was done. At that point in time there was just me, Flick and Dani who were in an alliance and the majority was Cara, George, Wai and Hayley.”

Andrew’s ideal situation was to move forward in an alliance of strong, physical players and to remove the castaways who were weaker physically.

“Hayley was always going to be the swing vote in this situation so I had a chat with Hayley saying ‘Hey look, it think it would be better viewing for the Australian public for us to go forward together, and to go head-to-head in the challenges.’ But I think Hayley saw that as the dangerous route and opted to go the other way and join the alliance with Wai, George and Cara, which seemed to be easiest.”

At Tribal Council, when the writing was on the wall, Andrew revealed he wasn’t surprised that Hayley had swapped.

Read More: ‘The Whole Moment Is Such A Blur’: Flick Palmateer Opens Up About The Difficult Decision She Made In The Outback

“I definitely wasn’t surprised, if I was in that situation, I would have done the exact same thing, hence I feel if I had a stronger connection with Hayley at that point in time I may have been able to become a part of her alliance.”

But surprisingly at Tribal Council, Andrew wrote Flick’s name down, who was one of his own alliance members.

“I know it’s probably going to be odd because the votes get swung between George and myself and I’m the only random person that put Flick’s name down, but I had a gut feeling if it wasn’t going to be me, it would be Flick and I guess it was an odd vote out but to no avail.”

But all hope was not lost because there was a saving grace at Tribal Council. JLP had four urns and one of them had a scroll inside. If Andrew was able to pick the one with a scroll, it would save him.

Read More: 'That Was My Downfall’: Australian Survivor Laura Wells Eliminated In Shocking Twist

Unfortunately, his urn was empty, sealing his fate.

“I didn’t really think I was going to get much of a shot, it was a one in four chance and it all comes down to luck at the end of the day, but it was no big disappointment.

“I was actually surprised I lasted that long because I’d never watched the show before and it was all just one big learning experience… I do believe that my social game got me as far as I did.

“Having not watched it and being surrounded by a number of people that were die-hard fans of the show, and have literally watched hundreds of seasons of it, and for me to just go in and wing it and go so far I was so happy.”

Making it all the way to the Jury was such an incredible experience for Andrew, and he's excited to have a say in who the Sole Survivor will be.

“When you spend so much time with the individuals out there and you’re in such a powerful position when you know we’re ultimately contributing to who’s going to win… it's great!”

Don’t miss new episodes of Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn on Sunday – Tuesday at 7:30pm on 10 and 10 play on demand. Plus, see what Luke Toki and Nathan Morris have to say about the strategy on 10 play’s web series, Australian Survivor Talking Tribal