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'I Gave It My Best Shot': Baden Gilbert's Epic 'Survivor' Journey Comes To An End

Long live the challenge beast!

Flashing back to his first tribal council, where he had to plead for his life, Baden's time on 'Australian Survivor' was full of surprises.

"To be honest I thought I'd last a week or two if I was lucky," Baden told 10 daily. "To make it this far has been utterly amazing. I could never have expected it.

"That first tribal, I was on the ropes! I walked into that tribal thinking 11 people were lying to me and I'd be unanimously voted out. It would have been another 35 days before I got another vote to my name," he added.

While he played a more subtle game than some -- playing from the middle -- it was undeniable that he scored the most important Individual Immunity wins of the game, securing him a place in the final two.

After a harrowing six-and-a-half-hour of standing on pegs holding onto two heavy idols, Baden won the ability to choose who to sit next to at the Final Tribal Council. Plus he got to do it all in front of his family.

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"To have my family out there, to show them that I can make it so far in the game and win a challenge -- that's super special to me," he said. "To show them what I'm capable of. It was a really powerful moment for me."

Baden Gilbert's Epic 'Survivor' Journey Comes To An End
What a star. Photo: Network 10.

Coming close to winning Individual Immunity a few times as we got to the point-end of the game, the Challenge Beast reared his head one last time, and did so with a smile on his face the entire time. While Harry and Pia looked in excruciating pain, Baden happily chatted about crispy rice, shooting stars and whatever else came to mind.

"I don't like to sit there and grit my teeth and complain about how sore everything is! It was all good... a bit of pain! I put a smiley face on it as much as I possibly could," he said, laughing.

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Even his family were stunned by how casually confident Baden appeared in the challenge. "He's not actually normally this talkative," his mum admitted, "he's a changed person."

Truthfully, Baden admitted he first applied for the job to push himself into being more comfortable talking himself up, as practice for job interviews.

"I needed practice bragging about myself, essentially," he said, even admitting in the Final Tribal Council that he had wanted to get as far as he could to represent introverts, but ended up coming out of his shell a whole lot more than he expected.

"I tried to be as social as I could, it's not a strong point but you just talk and -- once the ice has broken -- you just feel it from there," he said adding that since his time on 'Survivor' he feels more confident in himself.

That confidence also extends to any second-chances that may come his way to try and claim the title of Sole Survivor once again.

Looking back on his game, Baden said he has absolutely no regrets with how he played -- especially considering it got him to the final two -- but a future opportunity would look a whole lot different.

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"I've seen what you can get away with," he said especially of David and Luke's gameplay, "I probably had a bit more agency than I realised." While he felt like his ability to 'fly under the radar' suited his gameplay at the time, Baden admitted if he ever got a second shot, "I would play so differently".

Fingers crossed this isn't the last we see of the challenge beast.

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Featured image: Network 10.