Hello and welcome to part four of my exclusive interview with Australian Sole Survivor Pia Miranda! Before our interview officially began, Pia had mentioned that there were two challenges out there that really tested her...
PM: The first challenge that was the hardest was the first Tower of Terror, where you had to grab the peg. Because there are a couple of challenges in Survivor that if you’re short, you’re at a real disadvantage.
SH: Yes, we noticed that, while we were at home, watching you…
PM: Yes. And it wasn’t just because the peg was high up; it was also very far out, so I just couldn’t get it. I did that one 14 times in a row…. which was painful! Slamming into that water every 6 minutes is painful. I was literally lying on the floor of that tower just waiting for my turn, with no breath, going “Physically, I can’t do this”….
SH: And yet you did.
PM: I eventually did it. And the other one there was the Stepping Stones. Ross broke his ankle doing that one. There were these big poles you had to run over, and they were so far apart.
SH: So again you were at a disadvantage.
PM: Yes. I think I fell off of that about 12 times too.
SH: So that’s just a built-in unfairness in those challenges. If I were to do it, for instance, I would find it much easier than…
PM: Shaun just stepped over them. (* Shaun is 201 cm tall). So the taller contestants aren’t running and jumping and falling like I was.
SH: Of course.
PM: So, you get through that stuff. I think the Tower of Terror was the worst one for me, but you get through that stuff, you go through all this pain and your family is there that really propels you because I’m looking at my husband going “I really want to win this money for us!”, you know.
SH: Yes, when I was watching that final endurance challenge at home, putting myself in your shoes, I found I was also putting myself in your husband’s shoes, watching you endure that stuff. If I was watching my wife do that, I’d find it pretty challenging.
PM: Yes, he said it was hard not to just jump in and take me off.
SH: Yes, you’re suffering – he wants to help end your pain.
SH: So, you earned your money!
PM: Yes, medical came up to have a chat with me because my feet were getting too swollen, but I didn’t want to get off and he said that it was tough knowing that medical actually stepped in. I did it and I beat Harry.
SH: You did it!
PM: But it’s okay; I’m flying Harry out for the holidays. I only made two promises on the beach.
SH: What were those?
PM: The first one was to Janine; I said I would never vote her out. I said, “I may keep things from you, but I’ll never lie to you.” And Harry and I made a pact that whichever one of us won would fly the other one out for a holiday.
SH: Out where?
PM: He’s from Perth so he was going to fly me and the family to Perth if he won. I’m flying him and Jordan to Melbourne for a holiday in January.
SH: Nice! It sounds to me as though this whole thing taught you stuff about yourself – stuff about what do you think you can do, as opposed to what you actually can do.
PM: Yes, I think there is a thing I learned… if you keep trying, you can do something. It’s not that my brain was in the way, it’s just my body had to learn. When I was jumping off the tower, my body had to try 20 different things so I could get a peg. But knowing that I can get through it has definitely toughened me. I feel really toughened after all that. Even three days of rain, and “I’m just not gonna get warm!”, and no food – all of that stuff will toughen you.
SH: Yes, you’re so far outside of your comfort zone!
PM: I was hoping it was would make me more appreciative… and it did.
SH: Of the comforts of home?
PM: Of the comforts of home, yes, but I feel more than that, it just made me really tough.
SH: Which you can obviously take into other areas of life…
PM: Yes, I wonder if it’s a good thing or bad thing. When I was watching it, I see myself for the first 30 days or so… and I see this other version of myself click in, that just becomes ruthless and wants the money. That was really scary to see! I mean, it’s good – you’re, like…
PM: Driven! That’s why Survivor’s so good; it brings out a part of people that is shocking. But I could see myself – the minute I spoke to my family, when I got that phone call – it was like a switch flipped.
PM: And I just turned, and I was like “I’m going to win the money and I’ll step on anyone who gets in my way.”
SH: No matter what! Yes, fantastic!
PM: Is it, though?
SH: (LAUGHING) “Is it though?”
PM: (LAUGHING) Am I really an a***hole underneath all of this, and Survivor just showed the truth?
Never, Pia – NEVER! Hey, I don’t think I’ve mentioned yet that you can follow Pia on Twitter (I know I do!) and she’s on Instagram as well. And of course, you can catch the next instalment of my chat with her right here, next Tuesday!