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Survivor

EXCLUSIVE: Australian Survivor’s first eliminated All Star Shane Gould reveals why she wishes she teamed up with Dirty Harry

“Maybe we should have used each other as a shield and worked together with our crafty play!”

By Erin Doyle
Former Olympic swimmer Shane Gould, 63, made Survivor history when she won Australian Survivor's season three, becoming the oldest competitor in the franchise to achieve such a feat.
The second time around however, the legendary sportswoman had a target on her back, and swiftly became the first All Star to be eliminated.
In an interview with Now To Love after her ill-fated Tribal Council, Shane opens up about her one regret, what campmates are allowed to bring to the island and what she spent her $500,000 prize money on.
Shane Gould was at the mercy of Tribal Council on Monday night. Image: Network Ten
Hi Shane, sorry to see you go so soon! This time around you got to experience your torch being snuffed out by Jonathan LaPalgia - something that didn't happen last time because you won. What was that feeling like?**
It was a novelty. It hadn't happened before, so I didn't quite know what to do. But I was a bit cheeky about saying I didn't know what to do - just to to rub it in about being a winner. I was still playing the game as I was leaving. It was on cards, there was a good chance that a winner would be first out. It's really hard, the first vote because everyone's still in civilian mode - just being polite and relating to people nicely. Then you have to warm up to being in the game and change into game mode. So that first vote is really hard for everyone. I think I was an easy vote having been a past winner. I kind of half expected it but I was hoping that they'd play the game a bit harder. I kind of expected it but didn't want it.
Considering you knew you had a target on your back going into Survivor, did that affect the way that you played the game?
Yes, I played the game a little bit harder, knowing that I had a target. But everyone had a target because we're All Stars. We each had our own strengths that we brought to the game and we've seen the players play before, so in that situation everyone would have had a target but definitely me, I had a bigger target, a more obvious target. And being an older person too, often in the game you get rid of the older people because they're not quite as fit or robust in challenges as Lydia will push that argument - you've got to have strong players. So yeah I did have a target on my back.
Dirty Harry voted Shane out, but the Olympian says she wished she had teamed up with him. Image: Network Ten
How did you feel about Dirty Harry describing you as "the least trustworthy person on the beach"?
[Laughs] Well, he's still scratching his head like a lot of other players, thinking "How did Shane get through to the end?" So that's why he thought I must have been sneakier than I was portrayed. He probably read me pretty well! While I was trustworthy with my alliances, I could flip and I could pretend to vote with the voting block and keep a straight face. So I probably was untrustworthy but I think Harry is thinking "How on earth did Shane do that". Now it's sort of reciprocal, I thought he was one of the more difficult players to get out. Maybe we should have teamed up! Maybe we should have used each other as a shield and worked together with our crafty play. If I went through the game again, I'd certainly do that. I'd pick the difficult players and rather than get rid of them, I'd team up.
Dirty Harry is one of the main campmates who was pushing for your exit. In light of that, are you hoping he's out next or do you take your hat off to him?
I think he knew I was an easy person for people to get on board with his voting block. There wasn't really an alliance at the start, it's more like a voting block and people just agree to vote the same way but it's not an alliance at this stage. It's too early in the game to have those relationships. I think Harry just took the lead and good for him! He led the way and got people on board and that probably helped him stay in the game for a little bit, that sort of leadership.
Was there ever a point that you thought maybe you'd convinced people to put their vote on someone else?
Oh yeah! I was quite optimistic but I thought that I had seven votes. I thought I had myself and six other people so I should have worked a little bit harder to get eight people. I'm sure that a few of the people that I thought I had in my camp did trick me. And I expect that - that's the game!
Shane says she was optimistic about not being voted out. Image: Network Ten
You all spend a lot of time at camp. How much are you actually allowed to bring with you to the island?
What they do is you have your "first day" clothes. So they set the scene like you've been on a ship or you've been marooned on an island and you've only got the clothes that you're wearing. And you've got only those clothes for three days. On the third day, you get five other items, so you have to choose which five items you want to take. And you have to choose wisely, because they have to last you for up to 60 days in all sorts of conditions. My experience was season three and I think I chose wisely except for probably two items. But I knew Fiji at night can get quite cool so I brought wool. Some people wore t-shirts and board shorts and they were really cold. That left them susceptible to get bitten by insects and to get sunburnt and losing moisture. So I was a bit scientific about what to take.
What about toiletries? Are you allowed to bring any soap or shampoo or things like that?
Nope, no toiletries. But we do have sanitation, there is a toilet provided, a bush toilet. No personal items, no combs, no brushes, no toothbrush. So your hair got pretty matted and salty. And clothes got a bit stained and you might wash them, and you have a wash everyday in the ocean but you know what it's like to have salty hair and salty clothes that don't dry… And the water that was supplied was for drinking, not for washing. All those deprivations put stress on you and add to the discomfort and you can make mistakes in your gameplay - that's part of the pressure. It puts pressure on your emotions and your thinking process.
Shane says getting her torch snuffed out for the first time was a "novelty". Image: Network Ten
Last time you were on Australian Survivor, you won $500,000, how did you end up spending the prize money?
I bought a car, a second-hand car. I bought a beautiful little pearl from Fiji, a little pearl necklace, as a souvenir of the game. Just a couple of little things - a stand up paddle board, a new lens for my SLR camera. And I had a holiday, a luxury holiday for three days in Fiji. That was sort of the indulgence - I needed a new car. I had mine for 17 years. And then I invested the money into the land I'm building on and leaving some money to do some research in Fiji, to understand the cultures in Fiji.
Who do you want to win All Stars?
Even though I was up against Harry in the first episode, I think he's a pretty smart player. I like his style, I like his character - so Harry. I think Sharn is going to be revealed to tonight so I'm rooting for Sharn, she was with me in season three. And I reckon Tarzan - he was quite the character and he gave me a great big bear hug in the opening scene and he was lovely. If I had been on his team, I would have played the game with him. Harry, I respect his gameplay and Sharn because she's a buddy and a pretty wiley player as well

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