Australian Survivor winner reveals dramatic 17kg transformation: 'Shocked'

EXCLUSIVE: Season nine’s Sole Survivor shares how they plan on spending their $500,000 prize money.

After 47 days of intense gameplay, 25 nail-biting tribal councils and plenty of shocking blindsides, the winner of Australian Survivor 2024 has been decided.

The jury unanimously voted for Feras Basal to win the title of Sole Survivor and the grand prize of $500,000 during Tuesday night’s epic finale, which he tells Yahoo Lifestyle “still feels like a dream”.

Australian Survivor winner Feras Basal.
Feras Basal won Australian Survivor during Tuesday night’s nail-biting finale. Photo: Channel 10

“I’m absolutely over the moon ecstatic. I didn’t get an eye of sleep last night at all, the adrenaline kept me up all night,” he says.

“Honestly, the past couple of months I was thinking about this one specific thing of me winning that final immunity challenge and going down into prayer. It just kept replaying in my mind for the past couple of months and to finally see it was truly a satisfying humbling moment.”


While Feras’ bold gameplay has been compared to previous Survivor contestants George Mladenov and David Genat on social media, the Sydney-based HR manager describes his strategy in the game as “very unorthodox”.

“There aren’t many people that would willingly give up an idol to someone that you’re not really in an alliance with, or tell all of the tribe that they have an idol,” he remarks.

“I would say my gameplay was very unorthodox, very cheeky and sneaky, but very light-hearted as well. I never took anything personally and I didn't want to play like that either. I stayed true to myself, and I think that was the biggest thing for me.”

Australian Survivor's Feras Basal before and after the show.
Feras lost a surprising 17kg while filming the show. Photos: Channel 10

Feras' dramatic transformation

After competing in gruelling challenges and eating rice and beans for a month and a half in Samoa, Feras reveals that he lost a surprising 17kg.

“I remember watching the first episode and saying, ‘Holy crap, I need to wear a bra!’. That’s how big my man boobs were at that point!” he laughs.

“I didn't even recognise myself when I looked in the mirror for the first time, I was shocked by how I looked and seeing how much weight I lost and seeing all the hair on my face. It was a definite shock seeing myself for the first time.”

He adds that he had hoped to maintain his weight and build muscle, however, he ate “a s**tload of cheeseburgers” after returning to Australia and quickly regained 6kg.


As for what he has planned with his $500,000 prize money, Feras shares that he wants to use the cash to “build the future”.

“Hopefully I’ll have my first property, maybe start a business, do something valuable with the money and give back to my community, that’s a huge thing for me,” he details.

“I plan on spending it very, very wisely - unfortunately. That’s the plan.”

Want the latest celebrity news? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.