On Monday night, Michelle was the fourth and final player to arrive at purgatory and would participate in a challenge to earn one of three spots back in the game. But before the vote, there was so much talk about finally flushing Sam’s hidden idol.
“I knew that Josh was floating the idea about Sam, probably as a decoy,” Michelle told 10 play. “I think it was always going to be either Dave or I… they wanted to play it safe once they heard another person was going to purgatory.
“My fate was sealed once that information was out. They played a conservative game.”
Since merge, the core alliance made up of Josh, Jordan, Sam, Mark, Chrissy and Dave have dominated the way the game has played out, quashing blindsides and moving as a single unit.
“No matter how much I tried to convince Josh and Jordan to be thinking about Sam and Mark to get them out, or Dave being at the bottom… I tried to play them against each other but they were very solid,” Michelle said.
“They built that trust very well with each other. It was close to impossible to play any game.”
Though she wasn’t able to win her way back into the game, Michelle said she felt ‘a sense of relief’ throwing her buff into the fire and knowing her time in the game was officially over.
“I know I was right at the end, and the is of them who were watching were on the other side, but all I could hear was Josh telling KJ what to do, Shay telling KJ what to do, everyone telling KJ what to do.
“The only person that gave me some tips — I asked Jordie for help and, when Jordan would shout he would be my cheerleader. That was it. I was like, even if I went back, it seems like they don’t want me there. They’d rather have KJ.”
According to Michelle, she and KJ were out there, going at it for 45 minutes before KJ landed her final ball into the bucket.
Out of the game and heading to the jury, Michelle was finally reunited with twin sister Mel who she only got to play with for three days in the game, despite Mel being the major reason why Michelle was out there in the first place.
“I wanted to make my sister’s dream come true to play her favourite game,” Michelle admitted. “I was very much like a fish out of water at the beginning.”
Not feeling like she had the knowledge she needed to get through the game, Michelle found herself aligning with some of the most knowledgable players out there, initially forming a tight three with Queen Sandra and Kate.
“Sandra was my bible and Kate was the encyclopaedia of Survivor, so I could ask them anything and they were an open book with me. It was a big learning experience.”
Losing both of them through the game, Michelle said she had a ‘slow burn’ bond with Sam, and was always able to know what the votes where both in Water 2.0 and after merge.
“I was pretty much a swing vote most of the time [which is] very powerful. You can dictate how the game is going to play! Just like the old books back in the day, you can choose your own ending, it felt like that!”
Becoming the fourth member of the jury, Michelle admitted that she was not in a rush to ever come back to play the game of Survivor again.
“I am definitely retiring from the game,” she said, laughing. “I did it for my sister, it was a big learning curve for me to be able to lie and manipulate others when I am a speech pathologist who works with children and tells them they shouldn’t lie and cheat.
“I have a huge respect for everybody who comes back and plays the game and wants that redemption but, for me, I’m happy how I played,” she continued. “I’m thankful for all the bonds I made, I’m still very close with a lot of the contestants and wouldn’t change anything.”
Australian Survivor: Blood V Water continues Sunday - Monday at 7.30 on Network 10 and 10 play on demand