She’s one of the most beloved contestants to ever compete on Australian Survivor, and now Shonee Bowtell has become the first person to play three times with her appearance on Heroes V Villains this year.
Shonee, who came 4th on Champions v Contenders in 2018 and 7th on All Stars two years later, tells Yahoo Lifestyle it was “definitely very flattering” when she got the call to play again.
“Not gonna lie though, when I got the call I was thinking, ‘Please be talking to me about a show with food and accommodation’,” she laughs. “And there was no food or accommodation.
“I was definitely shocked when I rocked up because I thought that there were going to be other third-time players. And no, it was just me!”
The 30-year-old personal assistant adds that she started laughing when she was told she’d be playing as a ‘villain’.
“Being on the Heroes tribe would be my worst nightmare,” she shares. “Although I don't one hundred per cent see myself as a villain, like in my previous seasons I’ve never even turned on a close friend before, I would hate being on the Heroes tribe.
“What am I going to do? Go out there and be like, ‘Hey everyone! I’m a hero because the people like me’? I would way rather be the villain just like, ‘Ooh I’m a naughty gal!’.”
'Whatever happens happens'
Speaking about why she decided to come back for another chance at the title of Sole Survivor, Shonee says “life is for the living”.
“I'm enjoying life, living life, so why would I say no to this amazing opportunity?” she remarks. “You’re just going to skip off to a beach for a while, it’s always so unknown, and, you know, just get back to nature!”
She went on to say that because she's played the game twice before and has always done well, she doesn’t have anything to prove this time around.
“Whatever happens happens,” she adds. “I feel like this has been the first time I've played where I haven't been like, 'Oh my god, I absolutely need half a million dollars!’. Obviously, I still want half a million dollars, but I didn't really put too much pressure on myself.
“I feel like the fact that I’m the only third-time player speaks for itself, so I can kind of relax a bit and have fun, go swimming, make some best friends and go from there.”
'It’s really tough'
Despite the fact that she didn’t have a 'game plan' going in, Shonee says she entered Heroes V Villains the strongest she’s ever been.
“This is like the only time of my life I have been consistently exercising,” she explains. “So I go to pilates six times a week, but in all honesty that wasn't Survivor prep, that was just me living my life.
“I actually tried to gain weight before I went on, so I was eating like a queen, but I still went in smaller than any of my previous seasons!”
When comparing this year’s season to her previous appearances, Shonee admits the change of locations from Fiji to Samoa made “a huge difference”.
“Let me paint a picture,” she begins. “Playing in Fiji is literally like checking into the Shangri La or something. It’s beautiful and it’s sunny. And then you come to Samoa and it's pouring rain every day, you open up your little backpack and you get out your little purple dress and it's just mouldy and soggy.
“It's really tough. It’s hard because if you're freezing cold and starving, things might get a little wild sooner. I really hope viewers see how much we suffered because I don't want it to look like it was easy!”
Australian Survivor continues tonight at 7:30pm on 10 and 10 play on demand.
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