Survivor’s Gavin Wanganeen on his ‘rough’ blindside: ‘Shell-shocked’

·Lifestyle & Entertainment producer
·3-min read

Only three episodes into the season and Survivor Australia fans have already been treated with a shocking blindside at the hands of a hidden immunity idol.

AFL star Gavin Wanganeen was the latest castaway to be voted out after tribemate Keryn (aka ‘Kez’) pulled out her secret weapon to save herself from elimination.

Survivor contestants Simon, Gavin and Emmett.
Gavin describes his Survivor elimination as a ‘shell-shocked ambush”. Photo: Channel 10

While many members of the Brawn tribe were clearly shocked with the outcome, viewers took to social media to share their similar reactions to Gavin’s departure.

“I don't get it,” one user tweeted. “Gavin is inoffensive, doesn't say much, contributes to challenges, he's hot. Was fun while it lasted I suppose.”

“Gavin voted out and I feel like a 14-year-old boy again after he left the Bombers for Port,” another added. “Shattered.”

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The Brownlow medallist echoed the fan sentiments while chatting with Yahoo Lifestyle, saying that he was “definitely gone way too soon”.

Gavin describes his elimination as a “shell-shocked ambush” as he didn’t anticipate himself to be on the chopping block at all.

“My jaw hit the floor once I saw my name,” he revealed. “I thought they’d actually go for Simon because he was leading our alliance.

“You have a target on your back when you’re leading so strongly so I thought they’d go for him, that’s why I was even more surprised. I was just shellshocked, I really was.”

Gavin getting his torch snuffed.
Gavin, who was arguably the most well-known contestant this season, was the third person to be eliminated. Photo: Channel 10

Reflecting on his gameplay, Gavin says he felt like he was “flying under the radar” within his alliance of three, including himself, Simon and Emmett.

The 48-year-old believes that it was fellow contestant Daini (aka ‘Big D’) that triggered his elimination.

“Big D led us into the lion’s den,” he said. “He got us to vote for Kez and then Kez pulled her idol. We were lead right into it.”

Big D's apparent betrayal is what confused Gavin the most during tribal council, as he thought they were close friends.

“I had some really good conversations and some really eye-watering laughs with Daini,” he acknowledged.

“We were high-fiving and hugging, so I was thinking we sort of had a connection. We did have a connection, but connections in this game don't mean all that much sometimes.”

Big D casting his vote.
Gavin says he didn’t expect Big D to write his name down as they had a ‘connection’. Photo: Channel 10

While Gavin agrees that backstabbings and disloyalties are all part of the experience, he admits that Big D’s lies had a strong impact on him.

“You’d be lying to say that ‘it’s no big deal’ or ‘it's just a game’,” he said.

“At the end of the day it is a game and you've got to treat it as a game, but when it happens it’s still like, ‘Woah man, that was a bit rough’.

“I thought I’d be okay at tribal council, but it wasn’t to be. They pulled off an amazing blindside.”

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