‘I’ve Never Been So Scared In My Life’: How Chrissy Zaremba Played Her Own Game

Coming in with barely any idea of how the game of Survivor played, Chrissy created her own strategy, one which took her to the final Tribal.

Having watched just five episodes of Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Chrissy was dragged along by Croc to compete this season. Standing on the mat on the very first day, shoulder to shoulder with superfans and Survivor royalty, she was shaking.

“I absolutely was not exaggerating how little I knew of the game,” she told 10 play, laughing. “In terms of people, that’s my thing. I worked out real quick on day one I’m going to need some soldiers, some athletes, some warriors and some friends. I picked them out and they were in the last four, what are the chances?”

Initially waved off as comic relief, Chrissy played one of the strongest social games in the season, so much so that, after day five, she didn’t receive a single vote against her until day 46.

Looking around camp on day eight, Chrissy had an ah-ha moment that her ability to connect with her tribemates could just be the golden ticket she needed to get her all the way. Playing a loyal, social game Chrissy aligned herself with massive players, a move which saw her fall into the majority alliance for the post-merge game.

“I said on day one to Josh and Mark, ‘I’ve got you, you guys are my people’ and Josh and I didn’t really turn on each other until the second-last day.”

Describing herself as “the glue” between Josh and Mark, where there was friction between the boys or potential moves that could be made against each other, Chrissy was working to smooth things over.

But nothing could have prepared her for the final Tribal Council where the Jury were waiting to grill Chrissy on how she performed throughout the season.

Describing it simply as “hideous”, Chris admits she had been in tears just talking about it once again.

“It was really hard remembering it,” she admitted, “what went to air was amazing, I’m so happy with what Australia got to see but, in terms of being there, I’ve never been so scared in my life.”

Having to pitch herself to the Jury, Chrissy said looking back at her were 10 livid faces.

“You had superfans there, wanting to be sitting where we were sitting. They were out for blood, it was triggering as hell and I was in the fetal position. But I’ve come out and rebuilt the bridges that might have come crashing down at the end of the show,” she said.

From voting out her closest ally in Josh, to going straight into a brutal final Tribal, the adjustment from the game back into real life was difficult.

“We were absolutely cooked. You are in a reality TV show that you’re trying to make reality, those two worlds collide. So I was shook, I was cooked.

“I was hanging off a cliff, fighting for my life, and then I was back vacuuming. It was tough! I was away from my family for eight weeks… I had made and formed relationships out there that may not have come off in the real world - thankfully they have but after that jury I thought everyone hated me.”

But as the season began to air, Chrissy found herself an early fan favourite, with viewers obsessing over her lack of filter take on the game.

“I was really shocked by the love I got, lots of past contestants have reached out, and the respect they had for my game, that means a lot to me. The people that love and live for Survivor are being so kind and nice, so I feel like I must have done something right,” she said laughing, “Can’t be that bad!”

Having learned on the ground the ABCs of Survivor, the big question is if Chrissy would ever return to the game for a second shot at Sole Survivor.

“Today? It’s a hard no. Would I go on in a conversation in a month or so? Maybe… I’m still pretty shook from last night but never say never, hey?”

Re-watch Chrissy's journey or catch up on full seasons of Australian Survivor on 10 play on demand