Last night, Tegan became the seventh person voted out of Australian Survivor… almost. Instead of being eliminated, the 32-year-old was sent to a solo camp on Exile Beach, in a shock twist at the Contender's tribal council.
Benji, the mastermind behind Tegan's almost-elimination, had convinced most of the tribe to vote out the strong competitor. When it was revealed that the vote would serve a different purpose, Benji and his alliance chose to stick to the plan, sending Tegan to Exile Beach. However, the plan will almost definitely backfire if she returns.
Tonight, the losing tribe of the challenge - Champions, or Contenders - will vote to send a second person to Exile Beach. There, the two contestants will face-off in a challenge, with the winner able to return to the show and the loser being eliminated from Australian Survivor 2018.
We caught up with Tegan, to get her thoughts on the blindside vote and find out what's in store for her at Exile Beach.
TV WEEK: Did you have any idea heading in to that tribal council that your name was even being considered for elimination?
Tegan: I had absolutely NO idea! I was… I mean you could see it on my face, I was completely shocked. Benji did a really good job of blindsiding me, I loved watching it and I loved getting to see how it all came about.
The way the votes were being read out at first – you, Zach, Anita – it seemed like there might be a few names in the mix. Then it snowballed, and it was just your name on the cards. When the first card came out, did you think you would be going?
No I honestly was really naïve. Even when my name… I think even maybe up to three votes [to my name] I was still sitting there really positive and thinking 'it's not me! What's going on?' I was still positive early when my name was getting read out [laughs].
I was very naïve and it really hit me, when I think I said 'What the f'.
Before the votes were cast, Jonathan took a moment to find out everyone's thoughts on the Exile Beach news. You said that everyone should stick with the plan and stay with the people they trust… any regrets over saying that?
No! Because I thought the plan was that we were going to send Zach to Exile. I was actually really concerned that sending Zach to Exile would mean he would just come back in to the game, because he's such a physical player. For me, I actually didn't want to send Zach, but because we had discussed that, it's what we wanted to stick to. I didn't think that voting Zach to Exile was the best idea, but we had to run with what we had discussed.
When Zach cast his vote for you he said: "Arrogance and ignorance are just two very unattractive qualities in a woman." Can I get your thoughts on that comment?
I think arrogance and ignorance in ANY person is an unattractive quality, and I definitely don't have either of those qualities. If that's what he thinks, then good on him.
It did seem like an odd comment for anyone to make about you, but especially considering Zach was told to 'keep his mouth shut' at tribal council…
Yeah you know, Zach will be Zach. He's playing his own very unique sort of game and it's interesting to watch.
How were you feeling when you left the tribe, to head off on your own to Exile Beach?
I can't explain the feeling. I was absolutely baffled because I had no idea… I was trying to run through the scenarios in my head to figure out how I had let the tribe get away from me so easily. I really did feel like I was in a good position, I was sitting in between the girls and the boys, I felt like I had everybody's trust and, I thought, I hadn't done anything to put a target on my back. Obviously just being myself, naturally, was enough of a target, and people saw me as a bit of a threat and I ended up at Exile. On the way to Exile Beach I was just in shock, I was in shock the whole night.
We'll see tonight how it unfolded for you, but you must have had a lot of time to yourself on the beach to think it over. Were you sitting there thinking about what would happen if you made it back? Basically, were you plotting your revenge?
Yeah I mean I had a lot of time to think, but with limited information and not being sure who was going to come and play up against me, it was really hard to make a bit of a plan. I needed to know why I had been voted for, so I was just really trying to map out what I had done, where I had gone wrong, the conversations I had.
In the end, I think it was being too comfortable with the girls that sent me to exile. I didn't talk to Shonee or Fenella about the vote, and I had trusted that my conversation with Anita was enough to keep me there and in the end it wasn't. I should have made sure that I worked a bit harder on those relationships and it might have kept me there.
What was the solo Exile Beach experience like for you? What will fans see tonight?
I think initially on the first night I was just legitimately in shock. So, I can't remember if I cried… I don't think I did. I knew there had to be a well for water, or something to make fire. I was literally dropped on a beach completely by myself, and I was in the dark at maybe 10 o'clock at night, my water bottle was empty, I was in shock of how I was going to survive the night. It was scary. I've spent a lot of time outdoors, so I really just pulled on my experience from my childhood and everything through my adult life, and I think I was quite strong.
Australian Survivor continues tonight, 7:30pm, on TEN and WIN Network.