Author Wai Chim Reveals How ‘Australian Survivor’ May Have Inspired Her Next Book

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.

Wai Chim’s journey on Australian Survivor: Brains vs Brawn came to an end after an impressive show of resilience in the competition.

Chim found herself handing back her torch after Flick played her secret Immunity Idol and George and Cara‘s plan to split the vote proved to be a wise one.

“It was a really cathartic experience,” she told The Latch following her elimination.

“I didn’t know that Flick had the Idol, so when she pulled the Idol out of her pocket, I was like, ‘yeah, I’m going home’. I kind of recognised that because I kind of sensed that George and Cara were doing something behind me. So I kind of processed that as quickly as I could, emotionally.

“It was a bit of a bittersweet moment. I was gutted to be going but also I was just reflecting on what an amazing experience it had been and everyone helped me out so much — even yesterday with George and the challenge. It was definitely a nostalgic bittersweet, little bit happy, a little bit sad moment.”

How might your experience on ‘Survivor’ serve as the inspiration for your next book?

“Survivor really taught me so much about what it’s like to be human, and just really encountering so many things that I hadn’t really encountered before.

“One of the first things I was thinking of while I was still in the game was about a little story about resilience, and a little girl who basically comes in last place all the time. So I really wanted to write that as a quick little story and I’ve got that out on the page.

“I was so inspired by some of the twists and turns and the epicness of challenges and how they tested people on so many different levels, so I think those types of emotional and strategic moments will be things that I think will come forward in a future book, I just don’t think I have a full plot for it yet. But I definitely think I’m going to be drawing a lot on what it meant and what it felt like to be out there against all odds and having things just pop up every other day.”

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

“The hardest thing for me, as a writer, was being without a notebook and pen. So yeah, I would have loved a notebook and pen.

“Especially because with everything happening around me, I’m the kind of person who likes to write things down to process them correctly so I would be able to understand what was going on. I tried sticks and the dirt but it doesn’t really have the same effect!

“I would have loved to jot down a lot of those moments as well that are really clear in my memory because it’s lovely to capture some of those things in writing. But you know,  hopefully, my memory is pretty good.”

What is something that you have now learned to live without since being on ‘Survivor’?

“I was absolutely blown away by how resilient and how quickly your body does adapt. I was ‘like, how are we gonna sleep on the dirt for however many days?’ but pretty much after day one, you just do. Your body is exhausted and you just do.

“So I think I learned a lot about the capabilities of what about what you can do. I was also wondering how I was going to just eat rice and lentils because I wouldn’t voluntarily, but I actually learned about seven different ways to cook them!”

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

“George was really a surprise to me. And throughout his entire time, he had a really interesting approach to things. We connected really well, because we’re actually from a similar area. He’s from Bankstown, obviously, and I’m actually in that Council. So we connected really well.

“He really, really surprised me and continued to surprise me throughout the entire journey, he’s quite an interesting person, lots and lots of depth, and lots of different facets to him. And it just goes to show you can never really take someone at face value. And you really have to get to know them for various things. He just played an incredible game and has done so many extraordinary things and he’s a fascinating human being.”

What’s your top tip for the next group of Survivors?

“Definitely go for it and kind of embrace the experience for what it is and to challenge yourself. You never just know what you can achieve.

“Definitely, for me, it was incredible and out of the ordinary that I even applied and made it onto the show. And I’m absolutely amazed by and still really proud of how well I did.

“So I think for anyone who’s doubtful or not really sure, you just don’t know until you try. So that would be my tip.”

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

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