The season premiere of “Australian Survivor: Blood V Water” aired January 31 on Network 10 and 10play on demand (but sadly not in the United States). Among the 24 castaways were former NRL player Michael “Croc” Crocker and his sister-in-law Christine “Chrissy” Zaremba, and Chrissy shocked the fandom during Episode 1 thanks to her true lack of knowledge of the long-running reality TV show.
“I’m learning as I go,” Chrissy admitted at the start of the season premiere. “I’ve got to cram in how to play this game.” She’s a stay-at-home mom who “keeps it all together” for her three adopted kids, but she hasn’t really seen a lot of “Survivor” — like, almost none at all. “I don’t know the game enough yet, but I think my competitiveness will get me over the line,” she hoped.
Croc, meanwhile, said he wanted to tackle “Survivor” the same way he did the game of rugby: as soon as he stepped onto the battle field he’d be competing as hard as he could. He played rugby for 13 years professionally and referred to himself as an “aggressive” person.
After the first reward challenge, in which the Blue (Water) tribe beat the Red (Blood) tribe and won a blazing fire pit, firewood, flint and comfortable seating, Chrissy announced she was “gutted” she wasn’t playing with Croc, but instead against him on a different team. (She clearly didn’t do her homework and watch the two American cycles of “Blood vs. Water,” or she would have known this is how it works.)
“[Croc] is a professional NRL superstar and I’m just a hot mess,” Chrissy opened up. “Forty-seven days out here is ridiculous. What am I, Bear Grylls?” She described herself as loud and opinionated and said that Croc was the only reason she was out there. Her confessional was then interrupted by something biting her leg, possibly a “green ant.”
On Day 2, Chrissy found a clue to a hidden immunity idol, and that’s when the fun really began. You see, the idol was actually hidden at tribal council on host Jonathan LaPaglia‘s podium. (Who else got major Adam Klein flashbacks?) But Chrissy seemed confused by one aspect of the clue, which she read aloud: “This idol demands you to be daring. It is hidden at tribal council.” She then turned to the camera and revealed, “So I don’t know what that means, because, well, I don’t think that’s where we’re staying now — that’s our tribe.” Yikes!
In Chrissy’s defense, perhaps she was just overwhelmed by the excitement of finding the clue, because earlier in the episode she and Croc had specifically talked about how “tribal council” was not in fact called “tribunal” or “tribute council.” So she knew the voting ceremony was a thing that existed. Despite her lack of “Survivor” knowledge, Chrissy was still keenly aware that finding a clue to a hidden idol was a good thing. “This is huge for my game,” she expressed. “I can’t believe it. As long as I can beat whoever else has got one. I love it!”
As it turned out, there were two clues to the same idol, with the other one being found by Shayelle “Shay” Lajoie, who quickly shared it with Briana Goodchild. Later that night at tribal council, the two girls tried to work together to snatch the clue off of Jonathan’s podium, but Chrissy was much faster and she came out victorious.
Minutes later, after the Blue tribe voted, the host asked if anyone wanted to play an idol, and Chrissy smiled ear to ear. She proudly stood up and handed over the idol, proclaiming, “I would be very silly not to play that tonight for myself.” Jonathan then read the votes, but Chrissy didn’t receive any, so she essentially wasted the power of all powers. Instead, it was Andrew “Andy” Meldrum who went home in a 9-2-1 vote over Alex Frost and Briana.