Monday 2 March 2020

Survivor: All or Nothing winner interview

After a harrowing 32 hours, the winner of Survivor: All or Nothing was finally crowned. Katie Allan outwitted, outplayed and outlasted 14 others player to be the Sole Survivor and winner of $300. We caught up with the two-time player to see how her strategy going into the game changed second time round, and whether there's more Survivor life left in her.

So, congratulations once again, how does it feel now that it's been a week since you won?I’m still riding the survivor high and it still feels very surreal but I’m also still very, very sore and both mentally and physically exhausted. I’m definitely juggling multiple feelings and emotions, which is difficult now that I’m back at work.

Did you go in there expecting to win?
My first answer is absolutely not but I think everyone who plays this game has every chance of winning so I hadn’t ruled myself out completely.

What was your reason for coming back?
Redemption! I was blindsided out of the game last season (Survivor: Worlds Collide) at the fourth tribal council. If the people that were involved in that blindside were playing I was out for revenge. I also just really wanted to make merge so that I could add it to my tinder profile. We all know you’re not dateable if you don’t make merge.

There was a lot of conversation on the meaning of strategy and what it can mean in the game of Survivor. What was yours? 
I would probably say it was to stay under the radar. In saying that, I certainly don’t mean stay under the radar and not play the game. I wanted to make moves and I wanted to make big moves the further I got in the game but I didn’t want make myself known as a threat. Alliances were certainly a key part of my game as well and I had two very important ones. There was a “secret alliance” made with Shannon and there was a “car alliance” made with Xavier on the way down that was somewhat “secret” too. I think Eden’s analogy of me playing the shark that swam through the water unseen before I’d cut people was pretty spot on.

Tell me about your relationship with Shannon in the game. Were you really a power couple? Who instigated the break up? Were you surprised when there were no votes for you when Shannon was voted out?
I think my relationship with Shannon in the game (up until the blindside) was the same as our relationship outside of the game. Most importantly we get along and like hanging out with each other but we also seem to be on the same page about a lot of things and that’s why there was no dictating from either of us about who should be voted out. We probably could have done the whole ‘on three say a name’ and nine times out of ten it would have been the same name.
I wasn’t aware that the players had identified us as a power couple. We did try to keep our alliance secret and not spend too much time before tribal together. Once Clementine outed us at tribal council we knew we’d be in trouble and we knew we had to have the talk. It was a very mature and respectful break up and the decision was mutual.
As far as not getting any votes when Shannon was voted out, I was more surprised I didn’t receive a single vote throughout the whole game!

The original Leon tribe: Xavier, Patrick, Courtney, Shannon & Katie
What was the most challenging part of playing this season?
Aside from the physical challenges of lasting so long in the sun, through the cold night, without food and without many toilet breaks (which I purposely did to ensure I didn’t miss any important conversations), I think the most challenging part was coming back as a returning player and managing the new players’ perception of that.

You won two immunity challenges - equal most with Ra who came second. How did those wins feel given they were quite pivotal ones?
I feel like I only won one individual immunity challenge. The first one was shared with Xavier and there’s no way I would have won that on my own. That was a crucial immunity challenge to win too considering the twist behind it! I definitely felt more proud winning the second one. I had ruled myself out of every challenge because I was up against such strong and intelligent players. Other than the pride and the surprise of winning a puzzle challenge there was a significant sense of relief to be safe at tribal council and to make the final five.

You seemed in total control of the game and you hid your emotions well when twists and blindsides occurred (you were behind most of those so that might be why), but did you ever feel like you were scrambling or that your game had just taken a huge wrong turn?
In the game of survivor you have to be adaptable. There’s tribe swaps which you can fall on the wrong side of, there’s unknown twists which are bound to mess up your game and there’s hidden immunity idols and advantages that could also be used against you. I was fortunate as far as the tribe swap went and ended up with three original Leon players, both of which were my two strongest alliances.
I managed to find out about nearly every clue, idol and advantage in the game and used that knowledge to make my decisions. The biggest game changer was the double elimination. Even though I was safe at that tribal, I had to work out which player I was willing to sacrifice to get rid of the player I actually wanted out of the game. Unfortunately with the additional two immunity idols played, I had to put my vote on Emma and Courtney and then reassess what to do next.

How difficult is it to face a barrage of questions from the jury after 32 hours? Were you nervous about facing any aggressive or betrayed jurors?
I was so exhausted by the time we had to face the jury. I was feeling sick after the last challenge, I was sunburnt, the muscles that weren’t aching were cramping, I was tired and I really wanted a beer. They wanted me to fight and I had nothing left in the tank. I wasn’t nervous about aggressive or betrayed jurors, I was more nervous about being able to eloquently describe my game especially up against an actress and teacher.

Katie is crowned Sole Survivor
Who did you think was going to win just before the votes were read out. At what point did you think, "it's me?"
After facing the jury I initially thought it was going to be very close between the three of us and potentially a 4-4-4 split. Ra and Xavier kept saying they thought I had it. They said it so much that at one point I thought I had already won it even though the jury was still voting! That was awkward and could have led to a very embarrassing outcome for me. When I realised it was down to just Ra and I, again I thought Xavier might be making the decision but probably at the sixth vote I thought it was me.

Apart from winning, what are you most proud of?
Winning that immunity challenge! Still can’t believe I did that.

Would you play again?
I love this game and I would love to play again but it takes SO much out of you. I don’t think I’d have it in me to do a Queen Sandra but if the producers want me back I’d struggle to say no.

*Season 4 of Survivor is coming...*

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