Hello and welcome to part five of this eight-part interview.
And just as we reach the final stages of our chat, we’re also reaching the final stages of Pia’s Australian Survivor experience…
SH: Now we’re getting down to the pointy end of the show… when Baden took you – and not Harry – through to The Final Two with him. I remember watching it, and at that moment, I thought ‘Pia’s got this’. I thought if Baden were to have any chance, he should have taken Harry; Harry had made himself unpopular in various ways along the way, so at least Baden would have had some chance against him. But when Baden chose you instead, did your heart soar?
PM: It was complicated… because Harry didn’t play a great game up until maybe the final eight and then he played a fairly a good game. Whereas I played a really good game up until the final eight, and I had been on the bottom before, so I was struggling to survive. Baden didn’t see the first three quarters of my game (before the merge) so he didn’t know what game to play–
SH: He was on the other tribe then, of course.
PM: And I’d been working with Baden a lot to get him to take me through. I’m like, “you can’t take Harry, because you both play the same game”, yada-yada. So, I was pretty confident Baden was going to take me; that’s why I didn’t have to beat him in the challenge. But my heart did soar, yes! Harry and I had told each other we weren’t going to take each other… but we also thought we could lose to Baden because this is Australia and Australia loves an underdog and Baden is sweet. He annoyed people, and he was a blabbermouth – that was probably his worst trait, but that was the trait he owned and was part of his game. But I thought you could totally lose to Baden because it’s that thing where people can vote with their heart sometimes and be like “Oh, he’s a sweet kid, let’s give him a shot”. I loved Baden, but Harry and I both though that losing to Baden would be very traumatic.
SH: Yes, because you worked so hard and you gave it your all.
PM: Yes, so we definitely had a moment where Harry and I thought ‘it could happen, because this does happen sometimes in Survivor‘. My heart did soar a little bit, though, because when I looked at the jury, there were a couple of people I was convinced would vote for Baden…. but when I was counting in my head, I thought ‘I think I can count on five votes here’.
SH: Yes, you needed five out of nine to win…. but as it turned out, you got nine out of nine votes! That’s never happened before.
PM: Nine has happened a couple of times in America, but I’m the only female in the history of Survivor to get a nine-zero vote, which gave me legendary status on Twitter – that’s where it counts!
SH: I imagine that when the votes were being counted and they told you that you won… that you didn’t learn about the number nine until well after all the hoopla. You only needed five.
PM: Yes, I was expecting to do that thing where they create jeopardy… you know, “that’s two votes Pia, two votes Baden….” and build the suspense as they go.
SH: But they didn’t, because they couldn’t – they didn’t have any Baden votes to add into the mix.
PM: They did “two votes for Pia” and then I expected two votes for Baden to come up… but then they went to “three votes Pia, four votes Pia”… I think you can see my face getting really confused. I’m just so shocked. And then I’m like “I’m going to need one more”. When Jonathan said “you’re the winner”, I just didn’t process what had happened… but then when I went into the interview afterwards, they said “you’ve got every single one. You’re the first female in history to get every single vote.” I was just like pretty overwhelmed.
… and here’s the picture of that moment, which Pia shared with her son James.
What a LEGEND! Next week, I ask Pia about the differences between Australian Survivor and American Survivor and whether she’d ever consider returning to the franchise as part of an All Stars season…
See you then!