Australian Survivor 2018: Lydia Reveals It Took Time For Her To Accept Being Blindsided
"It's a compliment to be blindsided, but at the same time... it wasn't."
There was a moment during what would become her final immunity challenge where it appeared Lydia was defying gravity. Hovering in the air, clinging to a pillar for four hours she barely looked the slightest bit uncomfortable. Until it started to rain.
"It only rained for a few minutes," she told ten daily but that was all it took to leave her vulnerable to the plotting that had taken place during the challenge.
Following Shane's big move to get Lydia out, the entire tribe voted for the former Olympic freestyle skier except new allies Benji and Robbie.
"It's a compliment to be blindsided, but at the same time... it wasn't," she said adding, "I was excited to be back with that core alliance and figure out our game plan moving forward".
"Between the tribe swap, merge and immunity challenge, there just wasn't time for the chats I needed to have. I just assumed the solid five were still solid."
Lydia always had a target on her back, being one of the strongest castaways, both mentally and physically, proving to be near unstoppable in challenges.
"I knew my physicality would be a hindrance at some point," she said, "but I loved the whole survival aspect, that's where I really thrived."
But it was the shock that some of her closest allies would vote against her that really shook Lydia, seeing Samuel and Sharn writing her name down was difficult to come to terms with.
"We've chatted about it since," Lydia said, "and if they didn't go with the grain I guess they would have been at risk. But if I had known it was going to be that night... I could have defended myself and put up a fight."
But it wouldn't have been a blindside if it came with a warning. The newly merged tribe's first move was to eliminate who they perceived as one of the biggest threats in the game.
"You see [this move] all the time in Survivor. You come to merge, the strong physical assets have had a massive contribution keeping people safe from Tribal Council... you think that would go a little further," Lydia said.
"That was hard, because it was so typical. That strong alliance that we formed, I thought they'd want to do something different."
After her torch was snuffed Lydia said she couldn't enjoy the comforts of a proper bed or a good meal, she was too busy thinking about everything she did on the island, and everything she could have done to stay longer.
"It was [overwhelming] and I was shocked. You have scenarios playing in your head like what if I searched for idols? What if I had conversations I didn't have time to have... I regretted all those things."
Lydia felt like she put too much effort into keeping the camps running than what she described as those terrible small-talk chit chats.
"Sharn and I were so used to putting wood on the fire, I was like... maybe I should have let the fire go, let the cooking go and have had those conversations."
While it was tough to leave, Lydia still raved about her Survivor experience, for so many of the reasons a lot of people struggle.
"Just being disconnected from electronic devices and the niceties. It was hard to be away from family but, that transitional period after retiring, it was really good [to have that peace]."
As for who Lydia wants to see taking out the title of Sole Survivor, despite seeing them write her name down she's still on board for Samuel and Sharn to go all the way.