'I Proved Them Wrong': How Shonee Used Pilates To Balance Her Way To Immunity
Shonee Fairfax has become the first member of Kalo Kalo to nab a coveted individual immunity necklace by using her unique skill set.
The final 12 players on Australian Survivor: All Stars arrived at the challenge well aware of how crucial the win was post-merge -- a guaranteed lifejacket to wear through the uncertainty of the group's first tribal together.
"It's super important," Locky told Jonathan La Paglia ahead of the challenge.
"We haven't gone to a tribal all together so we don't know where people lie and you definitely don't want to be the first boot in merge," he added.
And with that, JLP announced the challenge that lay between the top 12 and their first opportunity to get their hands on an individual immunity necklace (not counting Brooke and Jacqui's wins earlier in the season).
While balancing on a see saw, take blocks from one side and attempt to stack them on the other side. If any of your blocks fall, you’ll need to start over. First person to stack all nine blocks wins immunity and is safe from the vote.
Like a cavernous room hosting multiple giant jenga games, the challenge was soon filled with the sound of wooden blocks crashing to the ground as the All Stars tried, and failed, to keep their legs from wobbling, while carefully stacking their towers.
But one player stood out from the rest with her feet remaining as firmly planted as the roots of a Moreton Bay Fig, her gaze steady and her hand as deft as a surgeon.
Shonee Fairfax has long been telling her tribemates that there is more than one type of Survivor player and this challenge was her moment to show those muscular 'challenge beasts' what she was made of.
While her stack toppled three times before she nailed it, Shonee's final build was cool, calm and collected -- particularly the three seconds she had to wait to make sure her structure was indeed erect, before JLP crowned her the winner.
As Kalo Kalo congratulated Shonee, it was Jacqui who asked what everyone was thinking: "What was the bloody secret?"
"Pilates!" Shonee smiled in reply.
Speaking to 10 daily before the episode went to air, Shonee gave us a bit more detail into her balancing act prowess.
"I actually don’t do Pilates that regularly, I guess I' m just naturally gifted," she said, adding that she started doing the physical exercise that focuses on muscle strength, endurance and flexibility "a couple of years ago".
While Shonee has previously been singled out on All Stars for not being a jacked-up challenge beast, she pointed out that low-impact physical routines can be a secret weapon on Survivor.
"Pilates is super useful, you can hold positions for ages, it makes you have good balance," she added.
"I think people think, just because you don’t have muscles, you can’t do things but I proved them wrong and I’m so happy."
The Noosa/London-based personal assistant and Dalmatian lover added that her dance experience helped her to stay focused.
"I mean, when I do dancing, when you’re spinning around, for balance, you just look at one spot," she told 10 daily.
"I was so surprised to see people that were moving their heads from the tower, obviously you need to look at the tower, then you just bend down a little bit, move the tension through the thighs and then build it up!"
Here's hoping we see a lot more Pilates-based challenges for the rest of the season.