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David Revealed The Trick He Used To Manipulate His 'Survivor' Tribemates

The Golden God has fallen with an idol in his hand -- but David Genat will still go down in 'Australian Survivor' history as one of its most cunning players.

He might have been seriously underestimated by his tribemates -- and the whole of Australia -- for entering Fiji in a leather jacket, but the model worked quickly in forging alliances and crafting fake idols.

From the outside, David's success seemed to be a combination of his charm, good looks and the naïveté of some of his tribemates.

READ MORE: 'I Got Massively Blindsided': How David Left 'Survivor' With An Idol In Hand

But there was another, more devious element at play.

Remember when Daisy and John insisted that David went first into the 'Survivor' cinema reward -- even though he was on the outs -- where he then inevitably found a hidden idol?

Photo: Network 10.

Well, David confided in 10 daily that there was a lot more going on in that scene than anyone in the new Champions tribe even realised.

"I have a little confession to make," he laughed. 

"I have a friend of mine in Brooklyn who’s a mentalist and I was kind of asking him about his work and how he does manipulation with people’s minds as part of his show.

"And he put me onto a couple of books related to neural linguistic programming (NLP) -- which sounds very complex," he explained. 

That's right, David was pretty much trained to use Simon Baker-like skills and apply them to the 'Survivor' arena to gain things like popcorn, idols and TRUST.

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Teach Us Your Tricks, David

David told 10 daily that he read two books about NLP and was constantly aware of how he was using body language, eye contact and verbal cues to become the puppet master of the Champions tribe.

"NLP is kind of just an interesting way of seeing how people think about things, trying to manipulate those things," he said, adding that while "people do these things naturally, being aware of these things gives you an interesting power, socially,"

When it was announced that the contestants could only enter the 'Survivor' cinema reward one at a time -- David knew it was time to use some NLP.

Photo: Network 10.

"I just kind of used a few little tricks, like I made sure my back was to the pathway, blocking the path," he said of the infamous reward scene. 

David said he "zeroed in on John" who first suggested that anyone with a family should head into the cinema first.

"And that was kind of the little cue I needed to be able to go like, ‘Oh man, thank you so much!’" he laughed. 

Using Anchoring

David explained that NPL is "a way of changing the way your mind thinks or pulling yourself out of certain situations" and in particular, using a technique that's referred to as "anchoring". 

"If you have a good experience with someone or a happy experience with someone, you maybe touch them on an arm or on their elbow," the mastermind explained. 

"Every time things are happy and good and you’re sharing that moment, you try to anchor that moment with something tangible like a touch on the arm," he said. 

Photo: Network 10.

Which, if you search back through the 10 Play 'Survivor' archives from this season, you can actually see David's tricks at work.

"And then when it comes down to needing someone to trust you when you’re like, ‘Listen, this is how it is’, you try and touch them in that same spot," Dave explained. 

So whether it’s a little squeeze on the shoulder or a touch on the leg. Even for tribal council, if the votes weren’t going our way and I was sitting next to any of the girls, I had my hand on their lower back.

It's the kind of pure evil genius that got David so far in the competition -- until his hubris took over and got brutally blindsided with an idol in hand.

"One of the funny things about my blindside that they [Soli Bula] probably noticed later on was that when my name started coming out of the hat, my hand was immediately removed from their lower back as we were sitting at tribal. "

The only downfall of David's ~mentalist~ preparation was he didn't account for one thing -- coming up against the theatrical masterclass Pia was about to pull on him.

Photo: Network 10.

"You just need to make David feel confident and happy but lucky for me, I'm really good at that," Pia smiled before she engineered his downfall.

"Because that's what we do as an actor every day, I'm very good at fake laughing and making people feel like I'm a really good friend of theirs."

Check and mate, DRAMA.

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