The fourth season of Australian Survivor kicked off earlier this week, and in the next battle between Champions and Contenders, it was a Champion who fell first. Despite an impressive performance in the opening challenge, Anastasia Woolmer found herself the target of former Olympian Nova Peris, who used her alliance of athletes to eliminate the highly-competitive Mental Champion.
Inside Survivor caught up with the former ballerina to find out exactly what happened with the vote, who she was closest with on the island, and whether she holds any ill-will towards Nova.
1) Hi Anastasia. Sorry to see you go so soon! Why do you think your tribemates decided to vote you off the island first?
It’s life, but the first person going home always has the disadvantage of not having enough time to have had people really get to know them. In my case, a number of names were put out there, and while I did have some strong bonds with Janine, Luke and David (amongst others), unfortunately, my name was ultimately put out there by Nova late in the day’s discussions. There wasn’t much time for our group to re-meet and assess.
2) We saw Nova leading the charge to vote you out; she felt you were playing too hard out of the gate. Why do you think she had that perception? And do you hold Nova responsible for your vote-off?
Nova’s logic to the others was I should go because of a ‘big personality,’ ‘playing too hard’ and a threat. Hey, I’m not the type of personality to be unnoticed; it’s not on purpose but just who I am. I can come across as intense. I don’t think I went in too hard. I liked my tribemates, and I felt liked back from them.
Regarding her assessment of me as a threat – I think Nova felt threatened by me directly as a far better player in the challenges. I was kicking arse in the challenges. The thing is, Nova somehow managed to convince the other tribemates that it was more sensible to send home me, a still super-fit ex-ballerina and champion mental athlete, rather than an actress. I can’t help but feel my skills may have come in handy somewhere… puzzle anyone?
To me, it seems like a manipulated emotional eviction rather than a logical one. Only a politician could pull that off. At the end of the day though it is a game, so wow, well played.
3) There was a conversation around the water well where your group threw out Susie’s name. However, it seemed like you all had suspicions about whether Nova was with your group or not. What were your feelings on that situation? And did you ever consider targeting Nova instead of Susie or Pia?
I was concerned about Nova at the well. We did try to include her in the conversations or draw her in (given that she had walked up and heard the plan), but the moment she left we all felt knew it wasn’t a good thing. I did think about targeting Nova but simply ran out of time to formulate and put into action a new plan.
4) The episode showed the formation of the so-called “Sporty Seven.” I’m interested to hear your thoughts on the early tribe dynamics. Who had the closest alliances/relationships? Who was running the tribe?
It was such a short and busy time, but there were a number of early alliances/relationships that I could see forming or potentially forming; things you half pick up. I could see a bond between ET and Susie, and between Simon and Abbey. The “sporty seven” obviously had a lot in common or knew many of the same people. Steven Bradbury was one of the sporty seven leaders.
5) Who were you closest with on the island? Did you form any strong bonds/alliances?
I formed a fairly strong bond with Janine; we had some great conversations, things in common, and I liked her right away. We both do Ashtanga Yoga, which is the hardcore one. I also got along well with Luke and David and had an alliance forming there. Luke and Janine both supported me in the final vote, so there was early loyalty there, for sure. To be honest, I really did like most of my tribemates and wanted to get to know all of them better.
6) You had a strong performance in the opening reward challenge. Can you describe that feeling of winning a point for your tribe?
Laura was pretty feisty and put up a great fight, but the reward for fire is so important, and it brought out my competitive spirit. And when I go for a thing, I give everything I’ve got. It was a fantastic feeling to win in the opening reward challenge and contribute to winning fire and food.
7) Despite such a short time in the game, did you enjoy your Survivor experience? Any favourite memories?
Being on Survivor is a one-of-a-kind opportunity and a fantastic experience. One of my favourite memories is being in a group of women, sitting around with Janine teaching us how to weave for the roof. It was before all of the tribal stress and mess began; we had just come back from winning the challenge feeling elated, and we were genuinely bonding.
Stay tuned to Inside Survivor for Dylan Vidal’s recap of Episode 2 coming later today! Also, Aussie Power Rankings will return over the weekend.