He was the biggest strategist on Australian Survivor but even with a hidden immunity idol up his sleeve, it didn’t stop a major blindside from pushing Henry Nicholson out of the game.
The 26-year-old labourer went into the series under the façade that he was a yoga instructor in the hope that his tribe mates would be unsuspecting of him.
Henry threw challenges, swapped tribes and lied to his tribe mates on the regular – basically, he was seriously entertaining to watch.
When it came to his final days in Samoa, Henry, from South Australia, thought he was safe and that the target was on Peter Conte.
Even at tribal council with Locklan ‘Locky’ Gilbert whispering in his ear to use the idol, he still felt too comfortable to use it.
Speaking to TV WEEK, Henry explained why he didn’t pull it out: “We already had information, me and Locky, that Jericho [Malabonga] was against me. I still thought for some reason we might have Sarah on our side and it would have been a five-five [vote]. Hearing Locky say “play it, play it”, for me that was a reactive move and I’ve made proactive moves, that’s my game. I’ve been one step ahead. I never wanted the idol to defend me, I wanted to use it for other people. I wanted to make a move out of it. And it wasn’t to be.
Despite how frustrated viewers were that he didn’t use it, he has no regrets.
“I don’t regret it. I thought I had the trust in people that made the choice not to stay with me.
“I went down in what I think is one of the best blindsides that I think I’ve ever seen in Survivor. I was the one blindsiding everyone and to have six people team up to blindside me, I was humbled by it to be honest. All I wanna do is play a big game and I think that’s credit to me with the way I went.
He continued: “A lot of the time I was making moves when I was on top. I was very much in control of the votes and when I was throwing challenges I was on top. When I got to merge, I was getting rid of Jarrad [Seng] and then Anneliese [Wilson]. I wasn’t happy being safe and going for the easy vote.
“I think I made big moves when I was in a comfortable spot. The first time I go for what I call the easy vote and I don’t make my next big move, the big move is on me."
To Henry, his strategy of telling people he was a yoga instructor paid off.
“The reason behind it was to have this trustworthy, loyal, zen vibe. During that, I was able to find out where all the idols were in the game, I was able to get Ziggy [Nicola Zagame], who I voted against in the Jarrad vote, to get on my side on the next vote for Anneliese. So the whole façade allowed me to draw people in and allow them to give information that they probably shouldn’t.
Now in the aftermath, he wants to see how the rest of the game plays out.
"I’m still curious why the original Asaga of Luke [Toki], Sarah [Tilleke], Michelle [Dougan] and Jericho didn’t decide to take out Tessa and Peter before me when they had relationships with me.
So, who does he think will make it to the final two? He tells us he’d love to see Tessa [O’Halloran] and Sarah. “I’d love to see some girl power,” he adds.
Now that he’s the third jury member, it’s a task he believes is an important one.
He says he’ll be basing his final vote on how the person played the game, but not necessarily about big moves.
“I need someone sitting there that made a strategic move that had reason behind it and also someone who is very conscious of putting people on the jury and knowing that they have to fight for their vote at the end.
“One of the best things about Survivor is that you vote someone out and they have to then vote you into the win.”
We couldn’t agree more, Henry.