Moana Hope Got Married Three Days Before Flying Out For 'Survivor: All Stars'
When Moana Hope got the call to return to 'Australian Survivor' -- she was faced with a huge dilemma.
Speaking to 10 daily via phone ahead of the 'All Stars' premiere, Moana explained that she definitely hesitated before saying 'yes' to flying out to Fiji.
"I was in the middle of confirming my wedding date and all came apart because I got married like three days before flying out for Survivor," Moana said.
"When I got the call, I was like, 'I’m getting married so I don’t think I can,'" she said, adding that she was "a little bit unsure"
"It was such a full-on time for us."
As well as the countdown to her wedding, the AFLW player explained that her partner Isabella Carlstrom's mother had just been diagnosed with cancer and her disabled sister Vinny's school had been shut down.
"Things were pretty hectic, so getting that call I was a bit sidetracked and then confused and then after long conversations with Bel, I knew I had to go back and finish what I started.
"I had to do it for me and I knew I could do well if I went in so I thought might as well give it a go," she added.
Moana's first appearance on the third season of 'Australian Survivor' ended prematurely when she fell ill and had to make the tough decision to leave the game, just as she was getting started.
"I was proud of myself making that decision based on my own health because I think, for me, that was more important," she said, adding that it's hard to describe to viewers at home how brutal the conditions actually get on the show.
"Unless you play the game, you don’t understand what it’s like, people still ask me, ‘oh, so at night time do you stay in a hotel?’"
Moana went on to say that nothing could be farther from the truth and that "what you see [on screen] is what it is".
"You sleep in the cold, you freeze, you don’t get food," she told 10 daily.
Being fully aware of the conditions that lay ahead of her on 'All Stars' -- and after long discussions with her partner -- Moana decided that returning to the game was something she was more than capable of doing.
"I wish I could have stayed in [Season 3] because I think I could have gone really far," she said, noting that she'd studied the way she played the first time around on the show.
"I watched how I played and I played very me, I was very much the person I am outside the game, I didn’t turn into a chameleon to fit in," she said, adding that growing up with 14 brothers and sisters definitely helped her ability to sniff out liars.
Getting booted because of illness the first time meant that Moana knew there wasn't much she wanted to change about her gameplay on 'All Stars'.
The first few episodes of the series have seen Mo teaming up with her old ally, Mat Rogers -- someone who's made it clear that their Magnificent Four group (including Tarzan and Jacqui) is based on a foundation of trust and loyalty.
"He's like a brother to me," Moana told 10 daily, adding that Mat even attended her wedding just a few days before they were both thrown into the competition.
The two partied it up during the joyful celebration but didn't say a word about where they'd both be by the end of the week -- a trait Moana credits to their team sports ethos.
"We both played professional sports and we know what it’s like when you get told not to tell anyone something when you’re bound by a contract," said Moana.
So when she arrived on the 'All Stars' beach, Moana was over the moon to see someone she knew she could trust among the snakes and villains.
"I was pretty excited to see him, I was like, ‘Why didn’t you tell me?’" she laughed.