'Mate, I Need Help': How David Genat Tried To Save Mat Rogers From Elimination
After his elimination from Australian Survivor: All Stars, Mat Rogers explained how he was nearly saved from the chopping block by an unlikely ally.
As the athletes of Vakama were picked off one by one, the tribe began spending a lot more time at tribal council and Mat began to find himself treading water in an alliance of one.
In what was to be Mat's final immunity challenge on All Stars, the contestants had to complete a gruelling obstacle course that involved strength, agility, hand-eye co-ordination and finally -- a diabolical puzzle.
While the teams were even at first, you might have noticed that Vakama soon steamed ahead with an impressive lead while the usually skilled Golden God was suddenly struggling with the simple task of catching hold of a ring with a long stick.
Speaking to 10 daily after his elimination, Mat Rogers explained what was actually happening during the uneven race.
"You might have seen in the challenge that they [Mokuta] were quite a ways behind us because David was trying to throw the challenge for me," he said.
"I said to him beforehand, 'Mate, I need help, I need help big time. If we lose this, I’m going home'.
"So he was like, 'Alright I gotcha'.
The Golden God and The Godfather had previously worked together covertly during the early days of Vakama, pulling off one of the most spectacular plans in Australian Survivor tribal council history.
While they kept up appearances of being aggressively opposed to one another, Mat and David kept in close contact during late-night trips to the beach until they were torn apart during the tribe swap.
During the immunity challenge, it's clear that Dave is deliberately failing while his team shouted encouragement but looked incredibly frustrated. As Vakama moved on to the final obstacle, it looked like Mokuta would be heading to tribal and Mat would be safe for another couple of nights.
"We were miles ahead when we got to that puzzle," Mat explained to 10 daily.
"But Nick is just a freak on the puzzles, unfortunately, and I got sent home," he said.
While AK and Harry scratched their heads while jamming wooden blocks into the frame at random, Nick and Sharn attacked their puzzle methodically and swiftly to score the win.
Vakama 2.0 were sent back to camp to discuss who they'd be sending home and, despite a brief moment where it looked like Flick might jump ship with Mat, it was the NRL legend who eventually got his torch snuffed by JLP.
After gaining a solid reputation during Season 3, Mat started All Stars in a similar style -- playing honestly with an army of loyal foot soldiers around him.
On the original Vakama, Mat was joined in an alliance with Moana, Tarzan, and Jacqui -- whom he proved his own loyalty to by playing his idol for her during tribal council.
Mat was playing from the bottom but he still had three people he could trust entirely, something that was about to change when the tribes unexpectedly got shaken up.
"If only Dave had got Locky or AK’s spot [on the new Vakama], I didn’t just need a number, I needed someone who could make moves," Mat told 10 daily.
"I needed someone who could play the game."
Running out of resources, Mat remained determined to keep playing hard, thinking of what his kids would think when they watched their dad on All Stars.
"Win or lose, I just wanted to make sure that even when things got tough, I was going to do something that my kids would love," he said.
"Whether it was totally out of character or not, I knew I had to do something because my kids would be watching, and their friends at school are going to be watching this and I don’t want to look like a lame duck in this game so I went hard."
During his time on All Stars, Mat proved he was a challenge beast, a swimming champ, an idol magnet, and a leader -- although he said he's yet to eclipse his son's favourite Survivor player.
"My son Max only likes Luke Toki, the King of the Jungle and he’s a bit fed up of watching me now and Luke’s not in the series -- which is hilarious, I can’t get him to support me," he laughed.