“I Don’t Really Work in a Team”: ‘Australian Survivor’s’ Shannon on How She Would Have Thrived
Welcome to the ‘Survivor Five’ — where we asked each contestant eliminated from Australian Survivor: Brains vs Brawn five questions about their time in one of the most gruelling reality competitions in the world.
After masterminding a bold plan that sought to see Chelsea voted out and Simon devoid of his Idol, model and boxer Shannon Lawson told cameras she felt “invincible.”
Unfortunately for the whip-smart competitor, Dani and the ex-Brains members had other ideas.
During an intense double Tribal Council, in which Andrew, Wai, Emmett and Rachel were safe with Immunity, Laura and Shannon each amassed the most votes for their respective teams — only to discover the four safe players held the final decision as to whose torch would be snuffed out.
Sadly for Shannon, her big move came back to bite her as her betrayal of Chelsea was revealed by Simon and the four immunity holders unanimously decided to vote her out of Australian Survivor: Brains vs Brawn.
Speaking to The Latch following her elimination, Lawson said that she had spent many a night going over the events of that tribal council in her head.
“It was probably mismanaged and poorly executed,” she revealed. “What the viewers don’t understand is we don’t have a lot of time before Tribal.
“So we’re between a challenge and between a tribal and you’ve got to scramble to have conversations because lo and behold, I was sitting in a double tribal, where four people had immunity and two people in my tribe had Idols.
“I had to come up with something on my feet and just go, ‘can I pull this off?’, and looking back, I just should have stayed Brawn strong or just kept my mouth shut because I was so close to Merge. And I had numbers and I was feeling really good where I was sitting and I shot myself in the foot.”
What did you do to prepare before going on the show?”
“It started with the fact that COVID disrupted production timelines, so I had lots of time to catch up on all the episodes from Australia to America to South Africa, and I brushed up on some of the gameplay.
“Then I decided to make sure that I knew puzzles or logic and understood the brain training, so I started downloading apps on my phone and playing games and getting my head around some jigsaws and thought that was another notch on my belt.
“But then, there’s such a physicality to this game. I not only needed to be brawny, but I need to be agile. So jujitsu is a skill that I wanted to learn going into the game in case I was going to rescue someone or have to pin them to the ground or maybe escape a hold. So I started doing jujitsu on Monday nights, just to get my head around that
“And then lastly, I did survival training. I didn’t want to be the dumb model who didn’t know how to make a fire, so I did two survival courses. I bought a flint, I was burning paper towel in my kitchen sink. I’ve was just going for it. And that’s something that I really pride myself in, is my work ethic and being prepared. You have to be — you can’t walk into the game not knowing how to play and I think a few people did that. But I definitely went for it.”
If you had been allowed to take an item with you into the competition, what do you think would have been most useful?
“I really, really wish I took warmer clothing. I did take layers and I tried to prepare myself by looking at the percentages of cotton vs wool vs Spandex. I did my homework on my outfits.
“But now, knowing what I know by being in the Outback and sleeping at night — it was so cold! We won blankets, and I was still cold so I can’t imagine Kez without as many layers as I had.
“Maybe I could have snuggled up to a few more numbers and kept them safe under a big jumper or blanket. But yeah, I think that would have been the advantage — a better nights sleep if I was warmer!”
If you’d been in the game longer, what would we have been able to see from you?
“I look back and I realised that I’m a model, I’m self-employed, I have no boss but myself — I don’t really work in a team.
“So for me, as soon as I would have made it to Merge and had to play my own game, I think I would have thrived. I wouldn’t have been trapped in that team challenge sort of mentality, I could probably gain some momentum by hopefully winning immunity challenges and progressing on my own two feet and not relying on the people around me.
“I think I would have freed it up a little bit and hopefully become a bit of a challenge beast. That’s why we wanted but I didn’t get to that place, and hopefully, if I got to do it again I could get to Merge and play my own game.”
What was the most difficult or surprising element for you?
“The Outback. You can study for the game of Survivor, but you can’t study the outback. It’s so unpredictable, it is so harsh.
“One night the moon just disappeared and you couldn’t see more than an arms-length in front of you. It was pitch black every night. We just stayed by camp because we were too scared to go too far so we became a bit feral at the same time.
“You’d wake up and there’d be kangaroos drinking out of the billabong, there’d be snakes in the waterbed and spiders in your knickers. I just think that was the hardest part — the outback and its unpredictability.”
What’s your top tip for the next group of Survivors?
“I look back at the way we all slept in camp, and it was so telling of our alliances and where we all felt safe. And I didn’t pick up on that in the moment.
“I’m looking back and Emmet and Gavin were sleeping under the stars out the front of our camp and they were a solid two. I look back inside the camp and Simon was down the end with Chelsea and Danny and I was down with my Alliance.
“So if I could give anyone advice, it would keep your eyes open for little signals like that, because it is so telling of where everyone’s heads are at because you’ve just let your guard down and you’ve gone to sleep with the people you feel so comfortable with.”
Australian Survivor: Brains Vs. Brawn airs Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays at 7.30pm on 10 and 10 Play on Demand.
This article originally appeared on The Latch.