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Susie Maroney: 'Abbey Said She Wouldn't Vote For Me'

As the Champions faced their second tribal council of the season and the five non-athletes scrambled to get someone to flip on their alliance of seven, it seemed that all would be right for Susie.

Speaking to 10 Daily over the phone, Susie said that although she thought that the votes would be "really close" between her and Janine, she trusted in her alliance right up to the moment they voted her out.

"I had thought ‘surely our alliance is strong enough, surely Abbey isn’t going to go to the other side’, because she said to my face ‘yep, I’m not gonna vote for you’," she revealed, adding: "the lying started pretty early!"

So what happened? Susie put it down to a combination of Abbey's friendship with David, and Janine's convincing speech at tribal council.

"Abbey kind of took a friendship with David early on, and that made her jump to the other side," she said, before noting that it wasn't typical of athletes to jump ship on an alliance.

"I would’ve thought -- you look at sporting backgrounds, usually you’re loyal to your coach, you’re loyal to your team, you’re loyal to your club," she mused, "but Janine was so good with the gift of the gab, too. She’s a business person, they kind of win at all costs, really. They’re kind of ruthless…"

She paused for a long moment.

"... but in a good way. It worked to her advantage," Susie added, laughing, "even I started believing she was an Olympic athlete!"

Reflecting on her time in the game, Susie said that she found the social game the toughest element to tackle, describing it as "like school".

"You walk around the camp and suddenly when it’s tribal council coming up, people are talking about you and it’s so awkward and you’re trying to stay strong, try to find an idol and not be paranoid!" she laughed. "It really is mentally tough out there."

Despite not lasting as long as she would've liked, the experience still lived up to expectations, though.

"It was harder than I thought it was going to be -- you watch the TV and you’re like ‘oh is it really like that?’ but it is! It’s actually really hard," she shared. "It’s raining, it’s freezing, you’ve only got one outfit, you’re on the ground so your hips hurt when you’re trying to sleep, yeah, it’s very much… one of the toughest games out there."

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When approached to be on the show, Susie said that she "jumped at the chance", but the game itself wasn't the biggest motivator for her signing up.

"My twin brother Shaun who passed away, it was his favourite show," she shared, "so when I heard about it, I knew my brother would be looking at me just laughing or telling me to go for it. So it was kind of personal and I just wanted to prove to myself that I could do it."

Also a fan of the show, Susie's plan was to "fly under the radar" like last year's winner Shane Gould, but once she got there, she soon realised that her strategy wasn't going to work.

"When you’re around different personalities and different egos, it changes," she explained. "So every game of ‘Survivor’, there’s a completely different outcome, because the people that you’re put with can change the game. Your plan can go out the window."

Had it worked, Susie said that we would've seen more strength from her once the competitors started tackling water challenges.

"I had no water challenges!" she exclaimed. "It would’ve been good to be able to show what I can do -- but that’s the game! And there’s a water challenge tonight!" 

With hindsight being 20/20, Susie said that she "should’ve said that at tribal council" to try to swing her tribe mates back.

With everything said and done, though, Susie is rooting for Nova and Simon.

"I love Nova,"she began. "You didn’t get to see at night time, she’s telling Dreamtime stories and you know, all about the land. She really brought the tribe together, so I really have a soft spot for Nova, and Simon Black, I mean, what a gentleman he is, what an athlete he is, but he’s such a nice guy as well. I hope he goes towards the end."

Meanwhile, she thinks "Pia’s going under the radar", and may make it far in the game that way.

"She’s doing well in her acting," she finished, with a laugh.

Australian Survivor: Champions V Contenders' airs Sunday - Tuesday at 7.30pm, only on 10, 10 Play and WIN Network.

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