Welcome to the ‘Survivor Five’ — where we asked each contestant eliminated from Australian Survivor: Brains vs Brawn five questions about their time in one of the most gruelling reality competitions in the world.
It was a rollercoaster 24 hours for Baden Cooke as he was voted out of the competition, sent to Redemption Rock and then returned to battle it out with Hayley to see who would be sent home.
Ultimately, after an intense challenge that required the pair to hold onto a pole suspended over water, Baden declared he was out and dropped from his pole.
But it wasn’t all bad news for Baden, as he was named the first member of the Jury.
“Going home would have been sad without having a second chance so going to redemption rock I regathered my thoughts and my motivation,” Cooke told The Latch following his exit.
“I went into the challenge against Hayley and tried my hardest but unfortunately, that challenge was not suited to me at all. I’m carrying a lot more weight than Hayley so it was very difficult to beat her on that one — she looked like a clip-on koala hanging on that pole and she told me later that she could have hung on for another two hours!”
Speaking of his role on the Jury, Cooke said that he doesn’t really need to work too hard on a new strategy because he knows who has impressed him over the course of the competition.
“Some people have just been passengers and haven’t really been making any moves so, certainly, if any of those get to the finish, I wouldn’t be voting for them,” he said.
“But there’re a number of people that I am a big fan of so it will be difficult to make the decision if I get two people to the finish that I am a fan of — then I’ll have a real decision in front of me.”
What are your thoughts on Kez giving her Idol to Flick?
“Well actually, the tribal council before that. I had actually tried to get Simon to give me his two Idols, so Flick had got that idea from me.
“I checked with the production to see if that was legal and I’d attempted to get Simon to hand his two over to me. He heard my entire pitch and he may have given them to me, however, he quickly cut me off. He was pretty upset so he didn’t hear me out and took them home with him.”
How did you prepare before going into the competition?
“I’m good mates with Mat Rogers who was on All-Stars and another season, he was my inspiration for going on the show and he helped me get in contact with the producers.
“He taught me a lot and he gave me a lot of good tips. It’s not a show that I’ve watched a lot in the past because I’ve lived in Europe most of my life so the insider tips that he gave me were invaluable and I owe a lot to him for getting so far.
“He was very adamant to not be too strong in the challenges, to be helpful; you don’t want to be head and shoulders above the rest. I’m not saying I could have been head and shoulders above the rest, but he said just don’t be too dominant in the challenges and sort of keep your head down and make strong alliances and try to be as genuine and trustworthy as possible.”
If you could’ve taken an item with you into the competition, what would you have brought?
“Maybe a tent!?” (laughs)
“I wasn’t too bad though, I had my big leather jacket — I saw David from the season before and he wore a leather jacket. You’re not allowed to take any sort of technical active gear like raincoats and stuff like that. So I opted to get a big thick leather jacket, which was my best item that I chose.
“It gets very cold out in the desert at night and some of the people were completely underprepared to how cold it was and I was always warm. So that was definitely the best choice.”
Which castaway poses the biggest threat as the competition draws closer to the end?
“Emmett is so dominant in the individual challenges, he really is a beast. Andrew is also very good and he’s a very strong competitor so I think those two are danger men moving forward.
“And clearly, George is the mastermind. There’s no doubt that he’s strategically the best person out there and then Hayley also.”
What’s your top tip for the next group of Survivors?
“Just choose your wardrobe well! You don’t get to take much out there so just really choose your wardrobe well.”
Australian Survivor: Brains Vs. Brawn airs Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays at 7.30pm on 10 and 10 Play on Demand.