Survivor

Australian Survivor Exclusive: Monika tells of her "hostile" reunion at Jury Villa

'They were putting a lot of responsibility on to me over how their game ended'

By Tina Burke

Monika became the 20th person eliminated from Australian Survivor overnight, thanks to the new 'Shhh' alliance of Shonee, Shane and Sharn.

The 26-year-old Champion became the target of the alliance simply because they suspected that Brian, who they wanted to vote for, had a hidden immunity idol.

Despite being sent home so close to the finish line, Monika walked out of the game after 46 days with a big smile on her face and absolutely no hard feelings. The same can not be said, however, for some of her other Jury Villa mates.

"It was surprisingly hostile," Monika tells TV WEEK of her reunion with some of the former Champions.

"I walked away with a big smile on my face. I think that the excitement of making it so far was greater than the disappointment I felt," she continues.

"So when I got to Jury Villa I assumed everyone would be feeling the same as me like 'yep we're out, but yay we're here together.' But I was actually faced with hostility."

Monika is eliminated from *Australian Survivor* after 46 days.
Monika is eliminated from Australian Survivor after 46 days.

Monika reveals members of her old alliance were still holding on to hard feelings.

"I had a few old Champion tribe-mates saying, pretty much, that they felt like I was the reason they got voted out," she says. "They were - I wouldn't say blaming me - but they were putting a lot of responsibility on to me over how their game ended. And I just sort of said well, I had to play my own game.

Though the hostility was uncomfortable, Monika stands by the choices she made in the game of Survivor.

"The way I saw my game moving forward was that I needed to get rid of these head honchos who were making all of the decisions for me, because for me to proud of my game in Survivor it would have to be my game and my decisions, not just what somebody is ordering me to do. I stand by that," she says.

"They weren't too upset [about breaking alliances] when they weren't being voted out! When it comes to you, you're bitter, but when you voted your best friend out, it's 'playing the game.' It's funny like that!"

Monika joins her old Champions alliance - and a few Contenders - in Jury Villa.
Monika joins her old Champions alliance - and a few Contenders - in Jury Villa.

Monika thinks some of the contestants were simply taking the game too seriously.

"The last couple of days where I was emotional it was basically because my game-play was working and I'd made everyone trust me, so both alliances thought I was with them and it meant obviously at tribal council I could only vote one way and my true alliance was revealed," she says.

"The other people were so bitter, and so angry, and it was like I'd badly wronged them. They made it quite apparent how they felt and it was just really hard to be in that hostile environment. It's a lot of pressure and that's where it all got to me."

Monika at her final tribal council.
Monika at her final tribal council.

Despite some awkwardness with broken alliances, Monika says she "loved" playing the game, and understands why she was sent packing.

"I totally understand because for them [the Shhh alliance] it was like they had a fairly good idea that Brian had an idol, so they had to vote me out," Monika says.

"With such small numbers every little decision you make can snowball and be the end of you, so I just took it in my stride and took it with a grain of salt. I was just happy I got blindsided, because if you know you're going that night it just ruins your day!"

Australian Survivor airs Monday and Tuesday, 7:30pm, on Network Ten.

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