'I Needed To Go In Not Thinking About My Career': Pia Miranda Explains Her Decision To Join 'Survivor Australia'
Like many fans of 'Survivor', Pia Miranda has been watching the show for almost 20 years.
"I'm an absolute megafan," she told 10 daily via phone, "I'm a complete 'Survivor' tragic."
She's not exaggerating. In an interview with TV Tonight last year, Pia told the site how much she loves the show. "I never miss a season," she told them at the time, adding that if she could be on any show, it would no doubt be 'Survivor'.
"I’m not sure I could go that long without a bowl of pasta and a set of tweezers. Also if I didn’t make the jury I would be DEVASTATED! I’d never get over it," she told the publication.
"About a week [after the interview] the show called me," she told 10 daily.
But when the call came through, it wasn't the easy decision Pia had imagined. Completely apprehensive, the mum of two kept thinking about her young kids -- flip-flopping between yes and no, right up until the day she had to decide.
"When I spoke to my agent about it, we didn't talk about it as a career opportunity, we spoke about it as a life opportunity," she said.
"I'm 46 now, we just talked about doing something crazy and risk-averse. Changing up my life somehow," she added. Thinking back to all the seasons she watched passively, Pia decided it was the perfect opportunity to prove to herself exactly what she was made of.
"It's very easy to sit on a couch with a glass of red wine and say 'I could win 'Survivor''."
After agreeing to join the Champions, Pia admitted there were a few things she was worried about. Mostly being stuck in the rain for days, sitting soaked on a beach wasn't on her list of favourite things.
"And I've never really been camping... and I was worried about being hungry so I put on about three or four kilos."
That wasn't the only strategy Pia had going in. As a fan of the series, and with a back catalogue of gameplay at her command, Pia explained she went in with a few approaches up her sleeve.
"I really love the game of 'Survivor' and I really respect the game," she said, "I didn't want to take my place if I wasn't going to play.
"My aim was to play as a fan, and be someone fans were going to enjoy watching."
"I really thought I might try and be lowkey for the first few weeks if I can, and then I decided I was going to make true friendships -- but at the end of the day, be willing to vote anyone out... with a smile."
After meeting her tribemates and seeing the range of sports stars and Olympians, Pia knew she was going to have to compensate for not being able to match them in the physical side of things, having to work harder on her social game.
"I wanted to be cooler, I thought I could go in and act a bit cooler than I am," she said, laughing, "but I went in like a real nerd so... I don't know if it'll work in my favour!"
There was also always going to be the risk of thousands of jokes about her iconic role in 'Looking for Alibrandi'. Luckily, the nature of 'Survivor' meant she was spared most of those... for now.
"The thing about 'Survivor' is no one says anything to your face," she said adding she expects to hear a lot of 'Looking for Idol-brandi' when the show goes to air.