Australian Survivor: Former Miss Universe Is Not Just A Pretty Face

"I want to prove that there’s more to me than pageants, but more importantly I want to be a positive role model to young women."

She may be a beauty pageant queen, but don’t underestimate former Miss Universe Monika Radulovic as she competes in this year’s Australian Survivor: Champions Versus Contenders.

Ten daily sat down with the 27-year-old, who revealed that she hopes that her experience on the show will inspire young girls across Australia that they really can do anything they set your mind to -- despite what others might think.

“It really terrified me to sign up for Survivor, but I did it for the same reason that did Miss Universe -- to get out of my comfort zone,” she told ten daily.

"I wanted to prove that there’s more to me than pageants, but more importantly I wanted to be a positive role model to young women. I want them to take away the idea that they can achieve anything -- and even if they're not the best at it, the main thing is to try your best.”

Just three weeks after marrying her longterm partner Alesandro in a lavish wedding back in March, Radulovic had to jet off to the island of Savusavu in Fiji to kick off the competition -- a decision she admits was difficult for her.

“Leaving my husband and having no contact was definitely the hardest thing -- it was almost like I had a solo honeymoon! It really made me appreciate him that much more,” she revealed.

And while she may be known best as a model and pageant princess, the Psychology graduate spills that it was people’s preconceived notions about her that gave her an advantage.

“I wanted people to think, 'Oh, Monika, she's not going to be able to do anything, she’s just a silly little pageant queen!' So I used that and played up to it," she said, adding, "I used a lot of what I learned in my psychology degree as well as my ability to read people. I would observe other contestants’ behaviour and pick up lies and things like that,” she said.

Contrary to the popular theory that all reality shows are a set-up, Radulovic revealed that she was shocked at how “real” the entire Survivor experience was, saying:

"My family and friends have asked, ‘Surely you have showers and toothbrushes?’ -- but we had none of that, we had to fend for ourselves completely. What you see on the show is what you get, it was really hardcore, but I’m actually glad it’s so genuine.”

As for the one tip she has for anyone hoping to compete on the show in future?

“You only eat beans and rice -- but once I discovered you can add some salt water to the dish to actually give it a bit of flavour it’s nowhere near as bad!” she laughed.

And while she admits her stint on the series was “incredibly challenging”, Radulovic has no regrets about her time on the island, even saying she would do it all over again if given the chance.

“If I knew what the experience would be how it was before I entered it, I'd be entering it every single year!” she said.

“It made me realise that I'm courageous and taught me to never back down, no matter how scared you are you just have to keep going -- and I'm really proud of myself for that.”

Australian Survivor is set to premiere at 7.30pm on Wednesday 1 August, on TEN and WIN Network.

Image: Getty