Reality TV

The surprising quality Shaun Hampson is looking for in a Survivor winner

After missing out on his second chance to be crowned Survivor, Shaun Hampson opens up to TVWEEK about the relationship he wished he'd nurtured, what he wants to see in a winner and more.
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Following Shaun Hampson’s exit from Survivor Heroes vs Villains, the former AFL player talked to TVWEEK about his second Survivor experience and whether it would be his last…

TVWEEK: What was running through your head at tribal council? The writing has been on the wall for you for a long time now….

SHAUN: I felt like everybody was honest with me with what was going to happen and that was that votes were going to be split between me and Simon. It would most likely be a revote and then Simon would go – unless he had an idol. But Hayley had different plans and she did what was right for her game, which was unfortunately wrong for mine.

Shaun Hampson is the 16th contestant to be voted off Australian Survivor: Heroes v Villains.

(Image: Channel 10)

If you hadn’t been eliminated when you were, how did you see the rest of your game progressing?

That’s why I so gutted, because like the first time since merge I’d seen the light at the end of the tunnel and I started seeing past towards the end.

That that was the hardest part because, you know we were on the bottom so long after the merge. And then I was like I can’t see, I can’t see where to the end.

And then all of a sudden you know, you have one conversation with George and I could see a path and I started feeling really positive and wanting to be really proactive again.

And knew that once I got through tonight, if Simon went it meant that, you know, if there were any sort of challenges I had a good chance of winning them or you know, having a good chance of winning.

So I think that’s why I was gutted. I could see the way to the end, who do I want to go there with and stuff and obviously it wasn’t to be. And I think that was the most frustrating thing and the hardest pill to swallow.

If you could play this season over a second time around what would you change?

You’re always going to have regrets and things that you wish you did differently. I think one thing in particular is I would really liked to have sort of nurtured my relationship with Hayley a bit better because she was somebody that, you know, I really respected and I really wanted to work within the game, not only because she sort of provided a field for me, but because she’s got a brilliant mind for the game.

And talking to her, you know, you often see things that didn’t cross your mind, that she’d been thinking about. And I didn’t nurture that relationship well enough, particularly after merge. And perhaps if I did, I would have still been in there.

WATCH: Shaun Hampson reveals his Survivor weight loss (article continues below video)

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Now that you are a member of the jury what are you looking for in a player when it comes to voting for them to win sole survivor?

That’s a good question because if you asked me before I ever played Survivor, I just, as a pure fan of the game and not a player, I would have said, ‘well, you should award the win to whoever you know played the best game’.

But now having played and been a part of two juries, you realise the importance of the social game. And I think you absolutely do need something to show game wise and strategy wise at the end – you know that you’ve made moves, that you’ve been a player, but you also want to get there having burnt as few bridges and upsetting as few people as possible.

Because you’re out there, you leave your family, you leave the comfort of your home for eight weeks to play this game. And ultimately only one one person will win the thing. And you understand that, but it’s commitment.

And then to go all the way and if there’s people who really upset you sort of socially or belittle you or, you know, bully you, like that’s something you absolutely take into account at the end. So it’s something you’ve got to be mindful of as a player, yeah.

You you wanna treat everybody with respect and humility, regardless of what moves are being played.

What has it been like watching this season back with your wife (Megan Gale) and two kids (River and Rosie)? It must have been very difficult to be away from them for so long?

I love sleeping in the dirt. I love challenging myself and starving and it’s all things that I genuinely love but I just miss them so much when I’m away. It just weighs on your mind the whole time. Just the stuff you’re missing out on. You know life doesn’t stop when you’re away. It doesn’t pause. Like you know kids have still got basketball and gymnastics to get to and there’s still bills coming in and still, you know problems coming up and cars that need servicing.

So it’s like I realised what a huge commitment it is. And you know, I’m so grateful eternally for, you know, not just Megan and the kids letting me go, but, you know, my family chipping in when I’m away as well. And it puts a strain on everybody. And I’m so grateful they let me do that not once, but twice.

Would you play again?

You know, because I’ve made it to jury both times, it’s been about 16 weeks away from my beautiful family and it is a huge commitment and it is mentally exhausting. It’s a 24 hour game. I was in the game for 37 days. So you you cannot shut off that whole time. Like you get to the end of it and you’re just fried. So it’s a big commitment on a lot of fronts, obviously being away from home and the stress that puts on every body.

So I think if I did ever play again, I would have to have sort of three or four years off like I did last time.

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