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Survivor

Eliminated Survivor contestant Sarah reveals what Matty is really like

''There are some lovely blokes out there."

By Alex Lilly
She faced her fears on the Tower of Terror and was loyal and respectful until the end, but on Tuesday night, Sarah Ayles was eliminated from Survivor Australia.
The 45-year-old cleaner and mum-of-two inspired many with her real life survivor story when she was caught up in the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.
After falling victim to a blindside, her time on the hit show was cut short and she was eliminated after 18 days on the island.
We chatted to Sarah who opened up about Andy's betrayal, the terrifying reality of the Tower of Terror and why Matty is actually a real gentleman, despite his cockiness on the show.
TV WEEK: Sarah, we're sorry to see you go. That must've been a really tough tribal council for you.
Sarah: The tribal wasn't ideal but I fought hard and I said what I had to say because at the end of the day that decision was made and you can only do your best.
TV WEEK: Andy pulled quite the blindside on you, when was the moment you realised he couldn't be trusted?
Sarah: Oh my gosh, Andy, Andy, Andy! He really threw me under the bus. When I overheard him, I saw red so much so that I couldn't speak and I thought 'If I speak now, I'm going to regret what I say,' so I walked off, that was the point. He was obviously not on my side, he was obviously trying to get Daisy on side and show loyalty to her so I just happened to be in the wrong spot at the wrong time and that's when I found out Andy was a snake!
WATCH: Andy is the ultimate Survivor superfan. Post continues after video...
TV WEEK: The line that kept popping up was 'A blindside is the most humane way to let someone down.' Do you think that's true?
Sarah: Even if I'd known and it was out there publicly, you're just under so much pressure at the time but I guess if it's out there publicly you'd have people review opportunities to maybe work things differently. Either way it's not particularly humane but that sort of thing is going to happen to 23 of us anyway so either way it's not great.
TV WEEK: You were there for 18 days, what would you say were your biggest achievements on the show?
Sarah: I was really pleased with my physical strength and challenge ability apart from the epic failure of the Tower of Terror. I think I gave those challenges my all and I never thought I would come up like I did and I think that's the thing, you can be 45 and fit and still win all your individual challenges.
Sarah was impressed by her physical strength. (Image: Network Ten)
TV WEEK: That last challenge where you were under the water looked particularly tough.
Sarah: Yes, it was. I had to redeem myself after the Tower of Terror. I didn't want to do it but no one else was putting up their hand and we kind of got a bit bullied into it, in particular Hannah but I thought 'I can deal with this' and I'm really pleased I did my absolute best even though we didn't win it, that was a really good feeling.
TV WEEK: Your story as a real life survivor in the Boxing Day tsunami has wowed everyone from us at home to your teammates. Did you expect such a positive response?
Sarah: I had no idea. I guess it's part of me but from the minute I put it out there during the casting process, I was just so shocked. For me it's just normal because that's my life but seeing other people's reactions is shocking to me. I downplayed it on the beach, I remember we chatted about it one night and it wasn't really a huge topic of conversation and I think they, out of respect for the story and I guess my emotions, they never dived too deeply. I'm completely surprised at how everyone seemed to interested! We've all got our own stories.
Sarah was surprised at how interested everyone was in her tsunami experience. (Image: Instagram @sarah_ayles_)
TV WEEK: What did you find to be the biggest challenge or struggle during your time on the show?
Sarah: Initially socially it was hard. It's a young tribe and I'm quite an introvert at heart. I know that Baden came out and said it but initially making those connections was hard. But Tower of Terror was bloody awful, you can't get much worse than that! Knowing that I was up there in my bathers on national TV falling apart, that was probably my low point.
TV WEEK: Well to be fair, that looked like a really tough challenge!
Sarah: Thanks for saying that, because people, you know they sit in their lounge room chairs and post on socials, 'Why didn't you jump?' A girl from my daughter's class at school the other morning, I've got an 11 year-old saying 'Why didn't you jump?'
Sarah's experience on the Tower of Terror was a huge challenge for her. (Images: Network Ten)
TV WEEK: Living off just rice and beans for almost three weeks must have been tough though. How much weight did you lose?
Sarah: I lost six kilos but I think I probably also lost a little bit from the time I left here in Australia to when I was out there. I stopped eating chocolate and all the stuff you eat at home that you shouldn't so I think I probably lost two kilos before I got officially weighed but out on the island, in the game I lost six which I was happy about.
We are absolutely not getting secretly fed. We're hungry and those are some really physical challenges. And also the walks up and down the beach, back and forth, walking up a huge hill for the challenges that in itself, that was a lot of energy we were expending.
Sarah lost around six kilos during her time on Survivor. (Image: Network Ten)
TV WEEK: You may be out of the running, but who would you love to see win?
Sarah: I would like to see either Matty or Baden or John, don't make me choose between them! It hasn't really been shown but Matty during that water box challenge went straight to my aid, he was the first one there along with Ross, there are some lovely blokes out there.
It hasn't been shown much, but Matty was the ultimate gentleman to Sarah. (Image: Network Ten)

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