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.
Dr Mitch Shaw became the latest casualty on Australian Survivor: Brains vs Brawns leaving the Brains tribe don another valuable player. Of course, the tribe was hoping to finally vote George out, who has been ostracised by his teammates since his big first-night play.
Unfortunately for Mitch (and everyone, really), George was able to locate the immunity idol leaving him safe—at least until the next time the Brains tribe faces Tribal Council.
“George and I didn’t get along,” Shaw told The Latch following his exit. “And, interestingly enough, having watched it back, I didn’t realise he hated me from day one or at least felt strongly negatively towards me.
“I had no ill will towards George in the first few days. It was only at the first Tribal Council that I was like, ‘Whoa, this guy is not who he seemed.’
“The experience of the show made me really value honesty. And his dishonesty was just something I couldn’t get past.”
What did you do to prepare before going on the show?
“I went to the gym a lot.
“I tried to get fit. I tried to get strong. I tried to choose activities that were good for me.
“I mean, I’m always eating and living healthily, so I believe in practising what you preach. As a doctor, I try to present a body of health. I drink rarely, I don’t smoke, I exercise between four and 10 times a week. I have a mostly vegetarian diet.
“I’m not a plant-based superhuman, like some people on the show. But I believe in eating a balanced and healthy diet. So I was doing all that stuff already.”
If you’d been in the game longer, what would we have been able to see from you?
“I ultimately don’t think that big moves should happen at the start of the game.
“Obviously, that’s not what the executive producers want, they want the show to be spicy right from the beginning.
“But I had intended to start making big moves the next tribal or the tribal after that because I think that there’s value in having a bit of unity to win challenges and you want to go into merge with the larger tribe.
“So I just wanted to, you know, stick with a bit of unity, ideally, continue to win immunity challenges, and then start picking off the threats in the game.
“So I would ultimately look to pick off one or two people pre-merge, and then try to form a party to strengthen that Alliance into going all the way but yeah, here I am.
“I would have picked off any of the “Tight Four” — and that was Andrew, Joey, Georgia and Laura. It’s difficult because they are all really lovely, but I would have happily picked off any one of those four as they all represented the biggest threat.”
“Interestingly, having watched it last night, and seeing Joey launch his vote against me… I really like Joey and I know he’s painting himself like he’s in charge of the four.
“He’s a fool if he thinks he’s in charge of the four, Georgia and Laura are in charge of that four and I would have seen them as the bigger threats. Ultimately, if I’d had a shot, it probably would have been Laura or Georgia, but I just couldn’t take my eyes off getting rid of George.”
What moves do the Brains tribe need to make next in order to finally get rid of George? Or would there be value in keeping him?
“George is a fantastic goat, he would have to be one of the best goats that I’ve seen. The only problem is, you want a goat to be predictable, you want to be able to manage them, but I don’t think he’s manageable. He’s largely chaos. I cannot see him in the final two, winning votes off anyone. He’s difficult to enjoy the company of. So I think you would have to hate the other person more than George. And that would be tricky.
“I would think it makes sense to me to get rid of Wei and George, but once Tribal happens and once you get close to Merge, they become very valuable to people because again, you’re easily going to be able to beat them into individual challenges and you’re going to be able to beat them at the vote at the end.
“So as much as it made me get rid of them early, you know, the game changes quickly and there is absolutely value in keeping them on.”
What was the most difficult or surprising element for you?
“I would say the social game was probably hardest. I think that I definitely underestimated how draining it can be.
“I’m someone who’s a bit extroverted, but I’m a bit introverted as well. And I need to spend time gathering my own energy but it was difficult actually getting that time.
“You’re constantly working with people, and if you didn’t feel a really natural connection, it was very draining to hold a conversation and to build up friendships and alliances. I didn’t think that on average, I was that bad at that. But what I saw were people that were so much better at it. I remember kind of looking around and seeing people like, ‘Wow they’re amazing. They’ve got endless energy for others.’ And, they sort of put my social game to shame.”
What’s your top tip for the next group of Survivors?
“I have two tips and they are almost opposite.
“My biggest lesson or tip to people generally should be to be yourself, but that will probably get you kicked off, as was true for me. But I felt when I was myself, I felt good. Even if I did something to blow up my game, when I was true to myself, I felt good about it. Now, if you can be yourself and move forward in the game, that’s phenomenal and you’re probably gonna win.
“But the other suggestion I would make is not getting stuck on principle and having a rigid game plan. As you saw last night, I was so fixated on taking out George, I suspect that some people thought ‘well, we can’t work with Mitch because he is basically only willing to engage in one plan.’
“So you need to be dynamic, you just need to move with the crowd as much as possible.”
Australian Survivor: Brains Vs. Brawn airs Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays at 7.30pm on 10 and 10 Play on Demand.