Gone Too Soon: ET Thinks David Might Have Thrown The Challenge

Chatting to ET about his colossal effort during the final challenge with the Champions tribe, the NRL legend laughed.

"Oh, don’t worry, it was painful!" he assured us, chatting to 10 daily over the phone.

Knowing that his name was on the chopping block, ET added that he "kept thinking 'this is my last hurrah!'" as he struggled to hold the rope that was keeping fellow Champion Simon Black from falling into the water -- for over half an hour.

"In retrospect, if I would’ve been with Luke, I’m sure we would’ve won the challenge, but it comes down to who you’re partnered up with at the time and who’s got a lot to lose." he mused.

Noting Luke's "incredible, superhuman effort" in the challenge, ET added: "David didn't really care that much. After about 10 minutes he was opting out. I thought he'd actually thrown the challenge, you know."

Even so, ET had no hard feelings for any of his fellow Champions at the end of the day.

Despite "desperately trying to win" the immunity challenges that would've gotten him "a lot, lot further" in the game, ET said that their unfortunate losing streak meant that his head was "gonna be on the chopping block at some point".

"You can only shrug your shoulders -- when you’re in a team environment, different people let you down and you end up losing, you can’t do too much about it," he explained. "There’s no point screaming and shouting and yelling or whatever, it doesn’t help."

And of course, having Abbey and Ross flip on the sports alliance didn't help matters.

Like his fellow eliminated Champions, ET noted that David had "done a very good job of getting on side with Abbey", but felt that in hindsight, he "could've gone really hard after David" and flipped the vote back in his favour.

 "In retrospect, you can think of all these things!" he laughed, exclaiming: "The 'what ifs'!! I tell you, you have about 10 sleepless nights of 'what ifs'!"

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Asked to join the Champions tribe back in December, ET said he was "definitely very, very keen" from the get-go.

"I was like ‘WOW!’" he recalled, adding: "it took me about 10 seconds to say yes."

Although he'd "never dreamed" that he could be on the show, ET said that "as a big 'Survivor' fan", his wife and four daughters quickly got on board when he told them.

"They basically said ‘oh Dad, that’s right up your alley!’" he shared. "I was so excited to even get asked."

Being a fan of the game, ET told us that his strategy going into the game "changed immediately".

Originally planning to spend the first few days sussing people out, his plans were flipped upside down when Steven Bradbury came to him with the idea of the sports alliance.

"My gameplan was changed my third step in the door!" he exclaimed, "And it meant that people like David and Luke and the girls were sort of kept out of the seven, and it changed things, because I actually really liked some of those other contestants."

He added: "It was sort of like ‘oh, bugger! Do I have to vote this person out?!’"

Despite his qualms about voting out people that he may have wanted to work with, ET was happy that he'd stayed true to himself and his alliance, explaining that he didn't want to "swap and let down the people I’d placed my trust in".

Had ET survived in the game, he told us that his plan would've been to try to get Janine and Pia onside with Simon, and to try to work with Luke.

"I think Lukey would’ve been really keen, you know, he tried so hard in that last challenge to try, because he knew my name was on the chopping block and he wanted to keep me in!" he said. "But someone had to go."

As a fan of the game, ET said that he had "no hard feelings" for any of his fellow Champions, and reiterated that he "really wants Luke to go on and win, simply because he's probably the one who played the game the hardest, and he's the most likeable".

He continued: "He’s just a guy who's in there fighting for his family, you know. It’s real, and that aspect for me wants to really see him triumph, if possible. He’s just one of those guys who sort of -- he’s got the two sides, he’s got this incredible energy and passion for the game, and yet you know that behind all of that there’s a lot of emotion going on and hearing him talk about the family, the tears come rolling down and he’s just, he’s just one of those great people who you wanna see succeed."

As for ET, he's happy to have had his time in the game and is now looking forward to being a fan for the rest of the season.

"I’m excited about watching the game unfold!" he finished.

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

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