Australian Survivor 2019: Anastasia: 'There’s No Way I Would’ve Gotten Rid Of Me'

Going into tribal council, Anastasia knew that she was on the chopping block.

Chatting with 10 Daily over the phone, Anastasia laughed.

"Look, I knew it was me or Pia --  and there’d been some other names tossed around -- but because everyone’s telling different stories and changing their minds through the afternoon, it was very difficult to identify who was being true to their word and who’s bullshitting you or has changed their mind," she explained.

In hindsight, Anastasia said that she regretted not fighting harder for her spot throughout the tribal council, noting that she thinks she "was a bit too cautious" about speaking up.

"I would’ve liked to have been a little more upfront about the differences that I brought to the tribe in a physical sense -- lightness, agility, strength and balance, and then the mental benefits that I could bring to the tribe," she said.

 Still, Anastasia said that after being one of the only Champions to win a round in the first challenge of the game, she'd hoped that they would see the strengths she was offering the tribe.

"I sort of felt like, ‘surely they can see I’m pretty feisty, and I’m pretty competitive’," she said. "I know if it was me in someone else’s shoes, there’s no way I would’ve gotten rid of me, I would’ve gone ‘I’ll put you to bed later, but right now she can help me win'."

A professional dancer and two-time memory champion, Anastasia went into the game with a strong strategy: to "build a file on each competitor that would have all the information about them", from how they voted to how they performed in challenges, and store the info away until the right moment.

Now, if you're wondering what being a memory champion entails, don't worry, 'coz we got Anastasia to explain it to us.

"It’s not something you’re born with, it’s training just like physical fitness," she began. "There’s an element of natural ability, but it’s like a top sports person in any sort of athletic sports -- you start off and you learn how to do it, and then you get better and better and quicker and quicker at it."

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With a long history in physical training, Anastasia said that she was drawn to the idea of training her brain in a similar fashion, and found that she "did progress pretty quickly" once she got into it.

In fact, it only took her five months to win a memory championship, "which is really quick", she said.

The whole idea of it, Anastasia explained, is that "you’re training yourself to retain more and more information".

Offering examples, she said that memory champions will compete to see "how many numbers can you remember in five minutes or 15 minutes, how many spoken numbers someone can say to you before you forget them, before you make a mistake, basically."

"I hold the record in that, which is pretty cool, it’s 86 digits," she shared.

In an ideal world, Anastasia said that she then would've been able to use these skills to her advantage in a tribal council when her name came up.

"I could've used all that information to put up a great argument and turn around the votes," she explained. "That would’ve been really fun, to be like ‘on day seven you said this, and on day eight you did that’ like a machine and then watch everyone go ‘oh my gosh!’ and then maybe I would’ve gone home the next week, when everyone realised how threatening that was!"

So when her name came up so early in the game, what went wrong? In Anastasia's opinion, it was her "big personality" which didn't lend itself to flying under the radar.

"My intention for the first few days was to just try and keep my head down, ‘coz you don’t wanna stand out, you want to blend in, and that was a lot harder in reality to do than I anticipated," she said, noting that "it's in your nature to be who you are".

Anastasia went on to say that she'd hoped the other Champions would see that she was bringing a different type of physical strength to the tribe than the other athletes, and that she'd be able to dominate in mental challenges.

Noting that "dancers are often misjudged or not seen in the same light as other athletes", Anastasia asserted: "you know, and there’s an advantage to having someone who’s 48kg, so you can lift them over your head and do something strong while they’re up there on your shoulders".

Still, Anastasia said that the experience as a whole "absolutely" lived up to her expectations.

"The challenges were so much fun! I want one of them every day," she exclaimed, revealing that she hopes to get a second shot at the title of Sole Survivor one day.

"I’d absolutely do it again," she said.

Used to getting up and trying again when she fails in anything, Anastasia said laughed, noting that "the difficulty" with this situation is that "it’s not up to [her] whether [she gets] to get up and do it again".

She finished: "But it’s just the most fantastic, the most unreal-but-real experience you can have. It’s an amazing experience and yeah, I just wish it had gone on longer!"

Australian Survivor: Champions V Contenders' premieres Wednesday, 24 July at 7.30pm, only on 10, 10 Play and WIN Network.

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