‘If You Sacrifice Shonee, I’ll Sacrifice Abbey’: The Failed Alliance That Stitched Up Lydia
Lydia Lassila has become the seventh All Star to leave Australian Survivor after a disastrous tribe swap, an alliance gone wrong and a failed fire-making challenge.
Lydia left the competition after both Mokuta and Vakama went to tribal council and she was placed in the bottom two with Phoebe in a race to create enough sparks from a flint to burn a piece of string.
The former Winter Olympian seemed to be the favourite with her meticulous approach to building up her kindling but it was Phoebe who managed to block out the fierce wind and burn her way back into Mokuta.
Speaking to 10 daily after her elimination, Lydia said she was still playing the fire-making challenge over in her head when she got back to Australia, unable to sleep while thinking it over in her head.
"I got up in the middle of the night and I got some twine, got some sticks, chucked some Eucalyptus leaves in there and started working on the flint," Lydia explained. "I made a fire on my balcony and I just sat there going, ‘Well, bloody hell!’
"But at least I could sleep knowing that I can actually make fire -- just not when there are two fricken tribes looking at me!" she laughed at the fiery test that sent her home on day 18.
The fire-making challenge was just the final nail in the coffin for Lydia's All Stars game, which had been slowly dismantled by the chaotic tribe swap.
"It was tough because you spend a couple of weeks making alliances -- I had a really good spot in Mokuta, I’d established a really strong alliance," Lydia told 10 daily.
While we saw Lydia working with Abbey, John, Lee, and Zach, what we didn't see on screen was the backdoor deal that was arranged before the swap uprooted the plan.
"An alliance was proposed to me that included myself, Sharn, Nick, Harry and Shonee and I didn’t quite like that because I was the only physical player in that alliance," Lydia explained.
She added that she was "pretty uncomfortable with that proposal" so she refused, later returning with a compromise that would work for both parties.
"I said, 'If you sacrifice Shonee, I'll sacrifice Abbey and bring Lee into the mix instead.'"
This clears up a lot of unanswered questions we had about why Nick and Harry voted Shonee off to Exile when they were supposedly in the Little Rascals alliance together.
"The next vote was going to be Abbey and she didn’t know, either," Lydia continued.
But JLP's tribe swap was about to completely blow up the planned five of Sharn, Lee, Nick, Harry, and Lydia -- with Lyds quickly telling Abbey what had been happening behind the scenes.
"When the swap happened, Shonee and Harry switched pretty quickly, then Harry told Abbey that I was gunning for her and I thought, 'hang on a minute, that’s so dodgy'.
"So I told her the truth, I said, 'This was the plan, I was going to sacrifice you and they were going to sacrifice Shonee and you were going to be the next vote, but obviously that can’t happen now so we need to come up with a plan.'"
Lydia said Abbey was "fine with that, it's gameplay" but the pair, along with John were left scrambling at the bottom of the heap, with Abbey getting brutally blindsided that night.
As the next tribal approached, Lydia had no choice but to appeal to the All Stars' egos, attempting to goad them into making a big move -- taking down the Godfather and his immunity idol.
While it was a tempting move for players including Locky, Brooke, AK and Harry, they decided it wasn't the right time to strike on Mat and stuck with the plan that eventually sent Lydia home.
Ultimately, Lydia doesn't regret her relatively short stay in Fiji, where she collected a few more life-long friends that have shared the unique Survivor experience.
"I went in unemotionally attached thinking I didn't want to make friends but I came out with some really solid friendships, which was really surprising.
"I wasn't there for very long but some of the relationships I made with Lee, with Nick, obviously Sharn and I are really close, and Abbey, and John -- they're really deep relationships that I'm going to nurture and treasure. "