“I Ended Up Sleeping on the Floor!”: ‘Survivor’s’ Laura on Adjusting to the Jury Villa

Laura Survivor

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.

The 16th person voted out of Australian Survivor: Brains vs Brawns was Laura, after yet another of George’s diabolical schemes.

Having found a secret Immunity Idol earlier in the day, the political operative pledged to use it to save his closest ally Cara without anyone being the wiser.

At Tribal Council, vote after vote was lodged against Cara, but ultimately, it was the single vote against Laura that saw her torch get snuffed.

“I was glad that it was only that one vote, to be honest,” she told The Latch following her elimination. “At least it wasn’t the entire tribe voting for me, so I took pleasure in that.

“At first I thought that maybe there were a couple of other names in there, but once we started getting down to the pointy end and more and more votes kept coming for Cara, I just knew that she had voted for me and I was packing my bags to go.”

Of course, the episode also featured a tragic twist, as Flick Palmateer got the devastating news that her mother had lost her battle with early-onset dementia.

How did finding out about Flick’s mum affect everyone’s mindset?

“It was a really difficult time for absolutely everyone on the tribe, obviously Flick the most.

You know, you become a really close, tight-knit family when you’re playing Survivor. It’s just you guys and the elements so you become quite close, even though you’re all trying to beat each other out.

“So it was quite hard for everyone, but we all rallied around and gave her whatever she needed support-wise. And it does make you think about your own family and your loved ones and what’s going to happen when you get out. So it was a tough time. But I’m glad that we could all be there.”

Tell us about the Jury Villa — what are the best features?

“It was so nice to get back there and have an actual shower. It was luxury! Rubbing off 35 days worth of Outback dirt takes a long time.

“Actually, when I got there, I found it really difficult to sleep in the bed and I ended up sleeping on the floor of the bedroom. I got into bed and just found it so difficult to get comfortable, so I ended up going to sleep on the ground in the bedroom with no pillow and just a blanket.

“Two days into Jury Villa I felt like I had a Survivor come down and I was a bit lethargic. I spent all day in my pyjamas doing nothing and not eating much.  It is kind of funny, after a few days of eating a lot of food, you actually want to go back to just plain rice. And I ended up eating plain rice for breakfast.”

Now that you are on the jury what are you looking out for at each tribal council?

“Obviously, you make relationships, so there are people that you do want to see make it through to the end, but you don’t have any control of that at all. You’re literally a spectator and at Tribal Council, everything is everything’s very cagey — no one wants to give too much away because you don’t want to kind of share where your vote going.

“So, you kind of have to see through that and just listen and watch out for, you know, cues and eye contact or body language between different contestants. I went in with a totally open mind and that’s how I played it to the end as a jury member. So I didn’t want to have any preconceived notions. I just wanted to see how people played, who was at the end and then go from there.”

If you could have taken one item into the competition, what do you think would have been most useful?

“Some moisturiser probably would have been helpful — you do turn into a crusty old crocodile out there. Or even face wash!

“I was so filthy, watching old episodes back I just laugh at how disgustingly gross I looked the entire time, there was just dirt in places there has never been dirt before.

“I thought I would really struggle with not brushing my teeth, but you actually just get over it and start using your t-shirt or spinifex grass to brush your teeth. It helps that you’re not really eating too much. And you’re only drinking water. That is a saviour. There’s definitely no luxuries out there, you don’t get anything.”

Name one castaway who completely changed your mind about them (for good or bad) over the course of your 34 days in the competition.

“Dani. I didn’t know her because she was on the Brawn tribe, so I didn’t really get to meet her at all except at challenges. And just seeing how she was at challenges, I just always thought she was absolutely a beast and just super competitive and pretty flashy.

“But then when I met her after Merge, we got along so well, like a house on fire and she is just a big softie at heart.”

Australian Survivor: Brains Vs. Brawn airs Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays at 7.30pm on 10 and 10 Play on Demand.

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