Survivor's eliminated Champion ET: "I don't see David going too far in the game"

The former Cronulla Shark says that egos are dangerous in the game of Survivor.

By Alex Lilly
He lasted for 16 days on the island, but on Sunday night Andrew Ettingshausen (more commonly known as ET) became the fourth Champion in a row to leave Australian Survivor.
The former rugby league champ proved he was a physical force to be reckoned with, but as a member of the crumbling sports alliance, his teammates decided he had to go.
We caught up with ET who told us why he doesn't think sneaky supermodel David will get much further plus, he reveals the teammate he'd love to see "hold up the trophy" as Sole Survivor.
TV WEEK: Commiserations ET, but it seemed like it was pretty close between you and David at that tribal council.
ET: Yeah it was a funny one because I felt that their the alliance would stay true throughout the whole process and they just seemed to be very close. David's done an incredible job of keeping the girls really tight, especially Abbey, that social aspect was there, but it made it very difficult for anyone to jump ship right at the end there.
For myself, I didn't realise that the girls had really switched on to the fact that David was playing a pretty hard game and that he thought he was King of the Jungle! His head was getting pretty big in the last days when I was there.
You're exhausted and you're trying to work out what's going on so it was very difficult at the end. And you don't have a lot of time, I think I had probably an hour to discuss anything with the other tribe members so it makes it very difficult to work out a strategy to be able to bring David down or Pia but I never thought that Simon would be on the chopping block, he's such a nice bloke and I thought he'd go a long way in the game.
ET was one of the original members of the sport alliance. (Image: Network Ten)
TV WEEK: Simon is the last one of the sporting alliance left, or at least the only loyal one. Do you reckon a Champion will still win?
ET: The Champions still have a big chance at winning even though they're getting fewer by the day. But I think the fact that all the Champions have gone through a number of battles to make it all the way to the top, I think that still underlies all the Champions who are left in there.
Guys like Simon, he's not a huge guy but he played AFL at the highest level and won Brownlow Medals so he's an amazing person, he can get through all the challenges, it doesn't matter what goes in front of him. It's the same as big Lukey, he's proved himself time and time again.
I think the only problem is that egos can get out of hand and if you think you're going to be the one winning, you're generally the one who's going to be losing so I don't see David going too far in the game. But the other girls have got a big chance- Pia, Janine definitely, Abbey will go a long way because she's strong and can do a lot of the challenges so I'm pretty sure she'll go way further than David. His days are numbered.
"I don't see David going too far in the game." (Image: Network Ten)
TV WEEK: Is having that professional athletic background a big advantage when you're in the game?
ET: I think it is, especially in the early stages of the game because it's so physical. The biggest advantage for the athletes are those first couple of weeks because the challenges are so physically hard so the girls and the physically weakest get voted off first so the boys are pretty much in a safe house for the first bit of time and then once the alliances start to change and the girls start to dominate in that zone, all the big players, all the physical ones get voted out.
You've got to really try to fly under the radar if you can and not be too much of a threat once those first couple of weeks are over.
WATCH: Megan Gale watches partner Shaun Hampson on Australian Survivor. Post continues after video...
TV WEEK: Precisely, it's a fine balance when it comes to the social game, isn't it?
ET:It's such a fine balance, it's so hard because you're so tired and so exhausted because you haven't eaten any food and then you've got another challenge to face and then you've got 45 minutes to an hour to try to get people behind you so they'll vote for someone else.
It's a really difficult one so it was disappointing at the start for us when Rosco and Abbey moved across from our side and voted with Luke and David, it just made it uncomfortable and I could see that the other sports stars in the show really didn't like that, Steven hated it. It was a difficult one for them because once you back somebody, you tend to want to keep their back for the whole game but it's a hard one!
ET says the teams struggled when Ross and Abbey turned their backs on the sporting alliance. (Image: Network Ten)
TV WEEK: What was the biggest struggle for you during your time on the show?
ET: Definitely losing the challenges. I didn't make a big fuss about it because there's not much you can do afterwards. I went gung ho in every single challenge to try and win it and unfortunately somebody let us down in all of these immunity challenges, we won all the lovely food and those challenges that aren't so important in the end rather than the ones where someone was getting voted out. That was unfortunate because if we would've won even a couple of those, I would have gotten a lot further in the game.
TV WEEK: Being the fourth champion in a row to be sent home must've been disheartening.
ET: You try so hard and it's almost like everyone's trying harder in the reward challenges rather than the immunity ones! The Contenders were smart about it, they sat people out at the right time and for them it was an important thing to win the immunity challenges and I think they did a great job about it. That's the reason I left so soon.
Losing the challenges was the toughest thing on ET's Survivor journey. (Image: Network Ten)
TV WEEK: So who would you like to see win of either the Champions or Contenders?
ET: I'd love to see a Champion win and I think they've got an incredible chance with the girls in there.
Out of everybody, I'd love to see Luke hold up the trophy, that would be the best ever. I love that dude, I think he's such a great talent and he's got both sides of the equation. He's one of those big, happy, laughing but very tactical guys, he's got all the tricks of the trade, he'll sit up through the night trying to work things out and then he's got that emotional side with his family. The heartstrings pull pretty hard for me when it comes to the family and I think he really was doing it for them so I'll put my hand up for him.
But maybe someone like Harry on their side of the fence because he's a quiet achiever as well. But I reckon Pia and Janine are our best chance.
ET's backing fellow Champion Luke for the win. (Image: Network Ten)
TV WEEK: You were on the island for 16 days, what was the first thing you did when you arrived back home?
ET: I just went straight to the freezer, grabbed a big ice cream out and got stuck into it, I haven't had a day without it! For the months leading into it I was basically looking around the table after dinner at all the beautiful sweets and ice creams and they'd go 'Well Dad, you can have that when you get home!'
It was a pretty cool thing to not worry so much about keeping fit and also eating everything that's right for you, it was nice to spoil myself a little bit!
TV WEEK: So overall, how was your Survivor experience?
ET: I loved it. It was a great experience and I'd do it again tomorrow. It certainly wasn't fun, it was hard work but it was a great experience to have had. I've already locked in a fishing trip with Lukey and Mat Rogers from last season lined up in December for four or five days over in WA. It'll be great!

read more from