Heath had Australian Survivor fans on the edge of their seats last night, as he debated playing his immunity idol at a tribal council where he was being voted for by 100% of his tribe mates.
The cunning-yet-gentle giant played his idol after the vote, meaning he was safe from being sent to Exile Beach. As the rest of the tribe did not think ahead far enough to split their vote, Anita was sent to Exile Beach with just one vote to her name.
Heath's move left the Contenders tribe visibly shocked, as Anita was sent to Exile Beach to face-off against Tegan in a challenge that will see one of them return, and one of them sent home.
We caught up with Heath to find out more about his cunning plan, his thoughts on Benji's blindside, and how he thinks Tegan will face off against Anita…
TV WEEK: Heath, what an episode!
Heath: [laughs] It's funny because obviously I know what happens, but seeing everyone's facial expressions from a different point of view… it was just good TV! Very exciting to watch, that was absolutely unreal. It's funny because sometimes watching it you think things could be different, or something else could have happened, or you might have been hoping that it does, but that played out last night perfectly! I don't think it could have been any better than it was.
At the start of the episode it was clear there was some tension, how did you feel after what had happened at tribal council? Did you think after Tegan, you would probably be next?
I had, I guess, a little bit of an idea that they were coming for me. I hadn't really been told too much by anyone, but knowing they had gone for Tegan and she was an alliance of mine, sort of made me think at that point, well if they're getting rid of her, then they're going to come for me as well. Just to knock us both out of the game. But… I don't know… it's very hard to gage out there. You don't see everything you see on TV, so you only hear what people are saying to your face. All the other individual conversations that go on between your tribe mates are obviously just done between them, so you've got to go with your gut feeling. I had a feeling they were coming for me, but I didn't think it was going to be the entire tribe.
You were obviously gunning for Anita, and trying to get a few votes on your side, did you think any of the people you spoke to – Zach, Paige, Benji – were on your side?
I thought I did, but obviously I didn't [laughs]. I thought everyone was on the same page as me, but I also knew my name was going to come up. I wanted to play that idol so that I gave Tegan the best chance possible to come back in to the game. I didn't want to go up against her. I didn't want to give myself a 50/50 chance of coming back to the game, it could have been the end of me. So to play it there and then was the perfect time. Yeah, I knew my name was going to come up, but I didn't think it was going to be the full tribe coming for me.
Were you always intending on playing the idol? Because it seemed like you weren't sure in the episode, and it was making us viewers VERY nervous for you!
I didn't want to play it if I didn't need to. I was under the impression that we were on the same page and we were going to vote for Anita. I did consider not playing it, I guess by the time we got to tribal council I was still a little bit unclear about what I was going to do. So, after listening to what everyone had to say at tribal council and trying to gage where I was sitting in the game with my tribe, it was probably at that point I thought 'if I don't play this now this could be the end of my game and it's not worth me going home with an idol in my pocket. I'm going to play it right now and save myself, and see how much further I can get in this game.' And yeah, it all worked out!
It was such a relief when you played it! And you got a bit sassy, too, joking about it weighing your bag down. The looks on all of their faces were priceless…
I know! It was like… watching that back from the camera side of things last night and seeing the expression on Benji's face when he knew that what I had in my bag was going to save me from the votes cast against me, that look was priceless. It was incredible to see that it completely turned the game around at that point, as to where they thought they were and what they thought they were going to do with the votes. It was incredible to see, and by far my most memorable moment at this point in the game, that's for sure!
How did you feel walking away from that tribal council? Were you excited, nervous, maybe a little awkward?
I couldn't wipe the smile off my face. I think I pretty much sat there with a smile on my face all night. I was feeling pretty good, but at the same time I was feeling like I now had to scramble, because I was going to have this whole tribe coming after me. I felt safe for that moment in time, so I guess it just gave me a little bit of information about the tribe coming for me, and I had to do what I could to stay in the game.
We spoke to Tegan about her blindside in the tribal council the night before. Watching that episode back, you saw how Benji manipulated the tribe in to voting her out, and how he tried to do the same to you, did you have any sense of that while you were actually in the game?
At that point in time I couldn't tell. Obviously Tegan's blindside happened and I had no idea that it was going to happen. It was hard because, at that point in the game, there were certain people in there who we thought we could trust and who we were in an alliance with, that just so happened to be untrue. Benji was playing the game pretty hard, much harder than we had thought. It's interesting to see everyone's game play now that we're sitting back and watching it, but at the time when Tegan got blindsided, we had absolutely no idea that Benji was the one in the middle of the lies. It didn't occur to us that that's what he was doing, but you know, hats off to him! He was playing harder than anyone else there, and that's what the game is all about.
By voting for Anita, you were obviously hoping that Tegan could beat her. How were you feeling heading in to their challenge, which we'll see in the next episode?
I mean… nervous would probably sum it up pretty well! Because, if Anita comes back she'll be gunning for me, if Tegan comes back then there's my alliance. I was definitely nervous going in to it, but it was one of those things where whatever happens from here on, that's what's meant to be. I had done everything I could to give Tegan the best shot possible at coming back in to the game.
Anita will join Tegan on Exile Beach in the next episode of Australian Survivor. In promos for the episode, it seems Anita will reveal to Tegan why they voted her out, leading to an understandably furious Tegan gunning for revenge on Benji. The two will face-off in a challenge, with one of them being sent home.
Australian Survivor airs Monday and Tuesday, 7:30pm on Network Ten.