Benjamin Law on the “Complex Dynamic” That Prevented Him From Becoming a Spice Girl

australian survivor heroes vs villains 2023 benjamin law

When Benjamin Law first hit the beach of Samoa as one of the new Castaways competing on Australian Survivor: Heroes Vs Villains, he was “really excited”.

Not only was he living his dream of competing on Australian Survivor, he was competing alongside some of the show’s biggest Heroes, including Brains Vs Brawn winner Hayley Leake, and Princess of Survivor Nina Twine.

“I came into the game actually really excited about the returning players, because I’ve watched all of their seasons, and I thought ‘I know how you play, I want to play with you!’” he told The Latch over the phone.

But in the game of Survivor, knowledge is power, and power is dangerous. Soon enough, Ben found himself with a target on his back.

“One of the things that I now realise, and Nina has told me this, she said, ‘you knew the game well, you almost knew it too well, that was another reason we started getting paranoid around you’,” he said. “I was like ‘No! My knowledge is an asset!” Poor Nigel no friends, over here!”

Following his elimination in last night’s episode, Ben broke down his time on Heroes Vs Villains, from the fake idol that landed him on the bottom of the Heroes tribe, to why he didn’t join the Spice Girls alliance.

The Fake Idol Was a Group Project

Let’s get one thing straight: the fake idol may have been Ben’s idea, but he wasn’t the only person involved in it. Paige Donald found a skull, and Sharni Vinson “provided the braiding”, Ben recalled.

“Everyone was kind of on board or contributed to it,” he added.

In fact, Ben didn’t realise until much later that it had seemingly been a turning point in his game. Shortly after creating the fake idol, some of the Heroes came to the conclusion that Ben was “shifty”, and couldn’t be trusted.

“I don’t think I connected the dots, because for ME, in my naive, trusting, Heroes-strong mind, I really did remember that fake idol being a group project!” he exclaimed with a laugh.

“We were like ‘oh my God, it looks so real!” he recalled. “I was like ‘this is great’, and everyone was really enthusiastic.” 

What he did realise, though, was that “as soon as Rogue [Rubin] was eliminated”, he was at the bottom of the Heroes tribe.

“It was very, very clear to me that even people I thought I was collaborating with were no longer having conversations with me,” he said.

“But then, it’s kind of like a self-fulfilling prophecy,” he explained. “Once you start being suspected, you start looking for idols, and once you start looking for idols, you start being suspected.”

Despite staying Heroes-strong to the very end, Ben found himself unable to shake the narrative that he was untrustworthy.

“I don’t know, I wonder if people were looking for ways to confirm suspicions or biases that they already had, in ways that felt more concrete to them,” he said of the fake idol.

Related: Jordie Hansen Was “Disappointed” By THAT ‘Australian Survivor’ Tribal Council

Related: Benjamin Law Reflects on the Impact of “Australian Survivor’s” Auslan Challenge Win

Why Ben Didn’t Join the Spice Girls

The tribe swap saw Ben placed on the same tribe as George Mladenov and Shonee Bowtell — two of the three members of the Spice Girls alliance. To viewers at home, the opportunity for Ben to flip on the Heroes and join them seemed obvious. But in reality, it just wasn’t that simple.

“It’s hard, when people are saying ‘build an alliance with George and Shonee!’” he began. “They’ve also gotta trust you, as well, and there were dynamics out there that didn’t make it easy to form an alliance with them.”

Did he consider making the move to the dark side? Absolutely.

“Oh my God, it’s the FIRST thing that I considered, are you insane?!” he exclaimed with a laugh.

“Especially after the Tribal Council where it was like ‘Ben. Ben. Ben. Ben. Vote doesn’t count’, I was like, ‘I see where I am, it’s been confirmed’.”

So what stopped him? Well, for one thing, Ben was thinking about the numbers as both tribes geared up for merge. The Villains were in the minority, not just on the tribe, but in the game as a whole.

Another factor — and one that we didn’t get to see onscreen — was Paige. Specifically, how much power she held in the game.

“One of the things you didn’t see was how much social currency Paige had with the Heroes, wherever they were in the game,” he explained.

Acknowledging that “there’s a very different conversation around Paige with the audience”, Ben explained what it was like in the game.

“By this stage, Paige and Flick were talking about getting matching tattoos, Flick had invited Paige to her wedding, the Meat Tray ADORED Paige, they protected Paige and loved her at every opportunity, and Paige was enamoured with the Meat Tray for reasons that are obvious,” Ben explained.

“I was really open to voting out Paige, but I had to think about ramifications from future Heroes later on,” he said.

On top of the love for Paige, Ben said that he and George “had a really interesting, complex dynamic on the island”.

Essentially, it boils to an old, wise proverb: never tweet.

Calling it “a whole saga”, Ben said that George confronted him over “some bad things” that he believed Ben had tweeted about him while Brains Vs Brawn was airing.

“Long story short, it ended up that I hadn’t, and George doesn’t actually even remember what I had said,” Ben said. “It might’ve been a supportive tweet of [Brains Vs Brawn Castaway] Chilli Philly that got me in trouble?”

Although Ben apologised immediately and told George he hoped they could start over with a clean slate, the whole thing “put an alarm bell” in Ben’s mind.

“[It] was ‘I’m not sure this guy is necessarily keen to work with you, as much as you want to work with him’,” Ben explained.

Meanwhile, as the tribes met at challenges and exchanged intel with their former tribemates, Ben said that he and Hayley were “still giving each other intel”.

“Hayley said to me, ‘George is feeding Flick [Palmateer] completely contradictory information to what you’re telling me about George. Do not work with George, he’s a snake, he can’t be trusted’,” he recalled.

And with that, Ben found himself with limited options, and “kind of rolled the dice” on trying to eliminate George.

“But of course, we hadn’t even seen that last HECTIC Tribal Council, where George played the Villains like an orchestra,” Ben added. “If I’d seen that I’d be like ‘I’m not even touching this guy! Are you kidding!’”

He laughed.

“The audience is one step ahead, and George is four steps ahead,” Ben said. “And all respect to him, I really admire that.”

Australian Survivor: Heroes Vs Villains airs at 7.30pm, Sunday – Tuesdays, only on 10 and 10 Play on Demand.

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