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Survivor

Survivor's David Genat spills on his massive blindside and why he has no regrets

''In terms of having a Survivor bucket list I think I got to do all the things I wanted to do.''

By Alex Lilly
The Golden God has officially been dethroned!
Monday night saw one of the biggest Survivor blindsides of the season with all the contestants (minus Luke Toki) sending international model David Genat packing making him the 15th person voted out and the second member of the jury.
Here he tells TV WEEK why he has no regrets about his game plus what his relationship with his arch nemesis Shaun Hampson is really like.
TV WEEK: David, what an exit! Do you still think a blindside is the best way to go?
David: Yeah I genuinely believe that, I think in some ways it's a bit of a badge of honour. I really do stand by that phrase that it's the most humane way to put someone down and it really is because I've got to say I spent a lovely afternoon on the beach without any paranoia or worry that I would be voted out!
TV WEEK: So you had no idea or any clues at all?
David: I mean in retrospect you think back and there are little things that make you twig but to be honest I was trying to play a very confident game. I hate that feeling of paranoia that happens when you're out on the beach, it's so easy to buy into that and make you do something silly so I was trying to play with confidence in all those scenarios and I put a lot of stock in the fact that Luke and I were playing a very close game but we were also kind of making the other players think that we weren't close. We were really putting a lot of stock in that and going out of our way so the fact that they managed to orchestrate the blindside without telling Luke was kind of my undoing. That and also trusting the Champion girls, those naughty girls...
"I spent a lovely afternoon on the beach without any paranoia or worry that I would be voted out!" (Image: Network Ten)
TV WEEK: They're a sneaky bunch! We can't believe how strong Janine, Pia and Abbey's alliance has been.
David: I think they did a fantastic job. Obviously after we split and then going to the Contenders' tribe gave them a chance to get together and unravel a lot of the lies that I'd been telling them which was a bit of a bummer. But they got close, they're tight. At this point they're coming across as a very strong three and a strong three is an unusual power dynamic. I can see strong fours because it will line up as a two and a two but a strong three is a pretty interesting way to play the game. But Pia's pretty devious, hey?
TV WEEK: So devious! Do you reckon she could win?
David: I don't know, I kind of think Janine's playing a pretty good game. Janine's pretty switched on, she knows what's happening there. It was so funny watching that back because Pia really is an amazing actress, I honestly had no idea she was gunning for me. I had a sneaking suspicion that maybe things were going a little awry with Abbey but Pia, flawless performance! I had no clue she was spearheading it.
RIP to our favourite Survivor bromance. (Image: Network Ten)
TV WEEK: You beat your nemesis Shaun 'The Horse' Hampson by one day, is that something you're pleased with?
David: Oh yeah, you know it! I would've been devastated if I'd left before Shaun but I think it was more a product of who won the individual immunity at the time they did. We had our sights firmly set on Andy for the 12th and then going into jury, it was probably a toss up between who'd won that third individual immunity and unfortunately for Shaun it was me.
We had a really great time, he's a genuinely nice guy and he's also a great game player. He had a lot of good strategies that couldn't really be implemented because of the Contenders messing his game up! In a way it was good to get with Shaun after the game because I was playing such a fake game and a persona that he could get to see the real me which was nice. And we had a really good time in jury, like actually talking about the game and strategy, he's a brilliant player so it was good to hear his side of the story and things were playing out for him.
And for both of us, it was purely the game. I know a lot of people come out of the game and they're a bit upset or sour, I'm not upset at all and Shaun wasn't either. We really respect the game, we respect Survivor and for us, anything that happened in the game was just part of the game. Whilst you're frustrated and annoyed, there was no personal vendetta or anything and we got along great.
TV WEEK: So you have no regrets about how you played?
David: No, no regrets at all. I think I played exactly how I wanted to. Obviously I regret still having that idol, that's the big one but no regrets. In terms of having a Survivor bucket list I think I got to do all the things I wanted to do. I wanted to be a villain, I wanted to play a fake idol, I wanted to have a really good rivalry and those are things I got to accomplish in the game.
"He's a genuinely nice guy and he's also a great game player." (Image: Network Ten)
TV WEEK: And you've earned such a massive fan base. People are calling you the best villain the show's ever seen!
David: Well that's it, I feel like I wanted to play a bit for the fans too, I wanted to entertain people. I knew that idol swap was going to probably come back and bite me in the butt at some point but how can you be a Survivor fan and not jump on opportunities like that? You can't take it too seriously. I know it's a lot of money but I was looking at it for more than just the money, I was looking at the entertainment value, playing for the fans and people rooting for a villain! I really loved being able to do that.
TV WEEK: Your popcorn eating video where you seemed to ignore your family's video message went rather viral. Were you surprised by the reaction?
David: I'm surprised a little bit by the way it came out, I mean my focus really was to play the game. I'd spoken with my wife extensively about what I'd be doing in there, of course I couldn't have known that there would be a popcorn challenge with a reward but knowing Survivor you knew there would be some family related stuff. And we'd spoken and she said, 'You know what, you play, go hard. If that means forgoing a call home or letting someone else have a family reward that I don't get to do, go for it.' You're there to play and to win and she knew what the score was. We had a really good laugh about that scene when we watched it back together.
WATCH: David ignores his family's video message after finding an immunity idol. Post continues after video...
TV WEEK: We probably know the answer to this but we assume you're backing Luke for the win.
David: Oh yeah, 100 per cent. I think it was a really funny thing for me to experience out there because I went in being like, 'I'm not going to make friends, I'm going to do whatever it takes to win,' and then playing alongside Luke, it got to a point where I wanted him to win more than me. We got into this friendship and just knowing his story with his daughter having cystic fibrosis and his sons having autism and getting to know him and his family, there were definitely points where I was doing stuff thinking 'I want Luke to win, I want to sit at the end with him so that if I lose I won't be upset.' So it was a really strange, somewhat conflicting feeling because I'm such a competitive person and I wanted to win so badly but if anyone else was to take the crown, I'd want it to be Luke.
You see it from a lot of people coming out of the game where they're like 'Well I'd love Luke to win,' and they didn't even have this kind of relationship with him that I did. So it's funny to hear people, like ET didn't get to play that much with Luke but he came out of the game saying 'I want Luke to win.' Luke is just such an amazing guy, a fantastic dad and family man. Knowing my socio-economic standing and his, I genuinely wanted him to win and give him that chance to sit in the final two.
TV WEEK: You're based in New York but are you still keeping in touch with your fellow Survivors?
David: Yeah I got to come back and we had a little viewing party in Perth before I took off and that was a lot of fun. We went to Luke's house and we got to see Mary [Luke's wife] and his kids and stuff so it was good to connect with him and some of the others.
Now this is one Survivor viewing party we'd like to join! (Image: Instagram @luketoki)

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