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Survivor

EXCLUSIVE: Gerald reveals how George nearly set everyone on fire in wild unaired Survivor moments

And why he never used his full strength.

By Maddison Leach
Despite being one of the biggest and most physically intimidating guys on Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Gerald knew his strength could work against him.
Watching the series in the past showed him that being a big physical threat puts a target on your back, so the champion woodchopper developed a new strategy.
"Being underestimated is certainly not a bad thing, and I used that to my advantage," Gerald tells TV WEEK over the phone.
"I knew I had to fly under the radar a bit with the physical side. The moment you start standing out, you become a target.
"You've just got to look at Simon, or Emmett, or Hayley."
Gerald has revealed his unlikely strategy on Survivor: Brains V Brawn. (Ten)
Instead of flexing his unreal strength, the cattle farmer planned to let the other castaways underestimate him and focus on building strong social connections instead.
It may sound surprising, given he seems like such a strong silent type on TV, but Gerald reveals that's just editing.
"Ask any of the other tribe members, I'm the one person who never stops talking. I'm the person that they tell to shut up all day!"" he laughs of his TV edit.
There were some other wild things Gerald reveals never made it to air - but more on those in a bit.
His strategy on the show was to hold back physically and focus on social strength until the two tribes merged and it became every man for himself.
Even then, Gerald was careful about showing his strength in the Fire tribe, admitting he dropped out of some challenges to avoid making himself a target too early on.
"I didn't want to look like a massive threat, so dropping out was a really good option," he says of challenges he forfeited, like the one in Episode 13.
"If you don't think you can 100 per cent win in a challenge like that […] there's no point trying to push yourself right to the end.
"I could gain more from dropping out early and staying under the radar."
But you can only fly under the radar for so long, and Gerald says that people eventually started to realise the social game he was playing.
Castaways like Hayley and George saw what he was doing and knew he had the potential to go far.
Gerald says that's why they voted him off in a twist that left him speechless last night, the farmer admitting "it was brutal".
He, Flick and Emmett had hoped that by trying to vote off Dani, a fellow Brawn original, they could get the former Brains on their side.
"If we voted for a Brawn, we thought George and Cara would stick with us," he says.
But it didn't work out and the former Brains turned on him – but nothing ever really goes to plan on Survivor, Gerald says.
And it was probably a good move from the former Brains, given what he had planned.
The champion woodchopper pulled his punches in several challenges to fly under the radar. (Ten)
"My plan the whole time was once we got to ten people […] I'd start pushing myself and pushing to the front," he admits.
After making it so far at half strength, there's no telling what Gerald could have done using his full potential.
That is, if George didn't accidentally set him on fire first.
"George, at some point or another, set all but every person on fire at least once – no lie," Gerald reveals.
The champion woodchopper detailed several shocking moments that never made it to air, revealing that George had a real issue with fire safety.
He almost set all the castaways alight when he tried to tie his shoelace while they were walking to tribal council with their torches one night.
George had a serious issue with fire on the show, Gerald revealed. (Ten)
"He looks down while we're all standing there, and George reaches down with both hands – just lets go of the torch – and starts doing up his shoelace," Gerald recalls.
"His torch just falls straight over into a massive patch of spinifex!"
The dry grass immediately caught alight and Gerald rushed in to try to put out the flames, but George managed to make things worse moments later.
"I'm trying to stomp out this fire and George grabs the bottom end of the torch and lifts it up and tips all of the gas - which makes the torches burn - out onto this spinifex!" Gerald laughs.
"All of a sudden there's a two- or three-metre-wide ball of flames just in the middle of the outback taking hold.
"We were madly trying to put it out! That was pretty wild!"
Fortunately, the fire was put out and that near-death disaster was avoided, but it wasn't George's only fire fiasco.
Gerald says the Bankstown political operative accidentally splashed him with hot coals while tossing a log on the fire at camp on night.
George did it again another night and sprayed coals onto Cara's bag, which she was using as a pillow at the time, setting it alight.
Thankfully, Gerald has no hard feelings about it – but we'd be keeping George away from the flames if we were on Survivor!
Gerald says it's all about playing the social game for the remaining castaways. (Ten)
As for who Gerald hopes to see take out the title of Sole Survivor, he's still got high hopes for Emmett and Flick.
But he says at this point it's anyone's game, and it's all about social strength.
"At the end of the day – it doesn't matter what we want to see as the public, or what makes great TV," he says.
"The jury is who picks the winner and social game is everything.
"You can be the best strategist in the world and blindside everyone – if the jury don't like you, you're not going to win. End of story."

Survivors ready? Get more info on the Brains V Brawn season here

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