Andy on that bombshell he dropped on his way out of Survivor
MAKING it to the tribal merge on Survivor is a major milestone for any contestant.
But there was little time to celebrate for Noosa's Andrew Meldrum, who was eliminated from the reality show tonight.
The advertising and marketing executive and former professional poker player knew he had a target on his back after unsuccessfully trying to throw a challenge in a bid to eliminate power player David Genat.
Throwing challenges has been a trend this season which has annoyed viewers.
But he wasn't about to go quietly, playing his last hand by claiming David was in possession of an immunity idol.
Q: You made it to merge, just. Why do you think the Champions had it out for you?
A: I was always concerned that the original Contenders would be in trouble if the Champions managed to make it to the merge with their alliance intact. I thought I might be safe for a vote or two because I expected the Champions to target Shaun first (because he was such a big physical and social threat) or even perhaps Daisy as his closest ally. But there was a perfect storm once Shaun won the individual immunity challenge and Daisy was (rightly!) suspected of having an idol after her reward challenge win. David and Luke in particular knew that I was playing the game hard so it made sense for them to target me next. If I were in their place, that's what I would have done!
Q: Do you wish you'd done anything differently, such as not letting David go into the cinema first to get that idol?
A: As players we make so many decisions out there that can be second guessed later, that it becomes almost impossible to single out individual moments. Overall though, it was my social game that cost me. For example, in the lead up to the pivotal coin toss vote, if I had been able to build a closer relationship with Daisy, then she may have come to me with her concerns about Sammie. That vote eventually set the Contenders on a path that saw us lose a huge majority pre-swap. Of course a lot of credit has to go to Dave and Luke for taking full advantage of the situation and making their way through to the merge.
I'm sure the original Contenders would love to get a do-over on the cinema reward, but it was just one of those decisions that was made in the heat of the moment on some very empty stomachs.
Q: Why did you decide to tell everyone on your way out that David had an idol?
A: As a fan, I have a huge amount of respect for the game David is playing! Incredibly, as well as helping to find Luke's original idol, he's managed to have 2 other Immunity Idols essentially gifted to him. The first by Shaun, and the second at the cinema reward. I didn't want things to be too easy for him so I thought he might appreciate being thrown a little additional challenge to keep him on his toes. Knowing Dave, he just might be able to turn the situation to his advantage.
Q: You managed to keep your real job a secret during your entire time on the show, are you happy about that?
A: Yep there were actually a few professions that were kept secret out there. Shaun initially didn't even mention the fact that he had played AFL! The main way my fake profession played out was that around the campfire at night I got to talk about travel (something I am passionate about), rather than corporate marketing/advertising. And let's face it, that was probably a good result for everyone. I'm still getting my head around the fact that Hannah is a police officer rather than a hairdresser though! I wish I had her acting skills.
Q: Who do you think has the strongest game at this point?
A: Of the gameplay I saw in person, I think both David and Shaun are playing extremely well. Both went into the swapped tribes in the minority, but managed to make it through to the merge with a great mix of skill, charm and taking full advantage of the luck that came their way. Whilst I only spent a day or so on the same beach as Janine, Pia and Abbey; it also appears that they have also positioned themselves very well for a deep run.
Q: What have you been up to since returning home and have you enjoyed watching the show?
A: Back to regular life for me! Enjoying spending time with family and friends and trying to put back on all the weight I lost out in Fiji. Seeing the finished product you gain even more of an appreciation of the hard work that goes into bringing the show to life. I can't wait to see what happens from here and I'm sure a very worthy winner will emerge.
Australian Survivor continues on Sunday at 7.30pm on Ten/WIN.