KJ Austin Reveals She “Hasn’t Really Spoken” to Sister Sophie Cachia Since Australian Survivor Elimination
A quick recap: Sophie played a big game and was voted out of the original Red Tribe, only to have Jonathan reveal a twist: she was actually being tribe swapped to the Blue tribe, where she would be reunited with her sister KJ.
Hellbent on revenge, Sophie’s volatile game sent waves through the camp, and brought KJ into the firing line alongside her sister.
Once the writing on the wall became clear, KJ chose to stick with the majority and cast her vote for Sophie.
Speaking to POPSUGAR Australia following her own Top Five elimination, KJ revealed that she’s “not sure” if Sophie has forgiven her for her part in Sophie’s elimination.
“I’m not sure. I’m not sure,” KJ said hesitantly. “We weren’t incredibly tight going on the show, and I feel like we really wanted to strengthen our bond on the show, but it didn’t really go to plan.”
KJ said that while Sophie understood that KJ didn’t orchestrate the vote herself, and knew that “the vote was already going her way”, she wasn’t sure how Sophie felt about it now.
KJ said that her time on Australian Survivor was “a lot more mentally draining” than people would anticipate, adding that “the Blood Vs Water element really hit home”.
“We haven’t really spoken too much, there’s a lot going on,” KJ said of her relationship with her sister, before adding, “But that’s okay! I need to just focus on my family and the journey I was on, and my achievements, because I was there for 45 days, and I did really bloody well.”
KJ went on to note that Sophie is “very busy with her life”, running her businesses and having recently gotten engaged.
“I think Survivor was not an integral part of her life, it was sort of a great little bucket list thing for her, but for me, it’s completely changed my life for the better,” KJ mused, adding that she’s made “some really incredible friends, bonds that will last a lifetime”.
Despite the fact that KJ was forced to play the majority of her game from the bottom of the pack, copping votes from the majority alliance week after week, KJ said that she’s immensely grateful for the opportunity to play Australian Survivor.
“How many people get to live out their dream of playing this game?” she said. “I got to do it, and I not only did it, I experienced every twist and turn there was. I feel like I really lived the full Survivor experience.”
Calling it a “wild ride”, KJ said that she feels like she’s “let down a lot of people” by not making it to the Final Tribal Council, but that “a lot of things needed to fall into place” for that to happen.
Asked whether KJ was surprised to find herself eliminated over Josh and Mark, the two most obvious threats in the game, she said no.
“That probably comes from the history of my game; my name was always being thrown out,” she said, laughing.
With most viewers considering Mark the frontrunner for the win, KJ said that people have been asking her why they chose to target Josh instead.
KJ said that the edit we’ve seen this season has been “underselling Josh’s game a little bit”.
“He was flawless, he had a great social game, he controlled the vote, he had numbers, he was great in challenges,” she explained. “He had a great strategic mind — he had the pilot’s mind — he was always assessing the risk, and his game was really, really impressive.”
There were other reasons to target Josh over Mark, as well, KJ said.
KJ’s “ride or die” ally, Shayelle Lajoie felt that she’d have a better chance at beating Mark than Josh in the final challenge, and they “weren’t sure where the jury votes would go if Mark was at the end”, compared to Josh, who has incredibly strong social connections with the jury.
The most obvious reason to target Josh, however, was simple.
“We were sure Chrissy wasn’t going to flip,” she explained. “She hadn’t flipped the entire time and that loyalty was such an integral part of her game.”
KJ explained that “those boys were her family”, and that “they were so tight, you didn’t even get to see how tight they were”.
While KJ “would love to see one of the girls win”, she believes “it’s the boys’ game to lose” at this stage.
“I think Shay will really give them a run for their money in the final challenge and I cannot wait to watch it tonight, and then it’s just going to get really interesting because they’re all going to have to turn in on each other if Shay does win that final immunity challenge,” she said.
As for what’s next for KJ, she said she’ll be “enjoying the episode with a gin and tonic in hand” without having to worry about what she said or did in the episode.
“I can just look forward to the moment I strut out with the jury with my hair and makeup all done,” she laughed.
“I may not have won the $500,000, which would’ve been very handy, but it’s pretty evident that I came away with a lot more than I thought I would,” she said.
“My husband and I have just taken a leap and bought a house in the country, I’ve gone in a completely different direction in my career and I’m now working in an area I’ve wanted to for a long time,” she explained. “It’s just given me so much confidence to do things that I was a bit hesitant about before, so we’re in a good place and we’re really happy.”
Australian Survivor airs at 7.30pm, Sundays and Mondays, only on 10 and 10 Play on Demand.