The winner of Australian Survivor 2019 is …

Ten Network
Ten Network /

It took a grueling 50-day competition to finally crown a winner of Australian Survivor 2019 and considering their journey, it was a lively finish.

Spoiler warning: We will be discussing the entirety of Australian Survivor 2019, including the reveal of the winner.

The last confessional before the very first Tribal Council in Australian Survivor 2019 saw Pia remark that before she arrived, she thought she would either be the first one out, or she would win. Considering she escaped the chopping block, it was such a suspicious one-liner that you would wonder if the show would be bold enough to include if she did eventually win.

Ten Network was, apparently, bold enough, as actress Pia Miranda is your winner of Australian Survivor 2019, defeating student Baden Gilbert 9-0 in a jury vote. Since the jump to the Ten Network, she is the third of four female winners and the second-straight under-the-radar woman winner, following Olympic Gold Medalist Shane Gould from the previous Champions vs. Contenders matchup.

It was a tumultuous journey for Pia, who as previously mentioned, had the potential to go home first. Although an alliance of athletes seemed destined to run the Champions, it was Pia, David, Janine, Abbey and Luke that combined their social, strategic and athletic prowess as a group to run the table and dismantle the group led by Stephen Bradbury.

Being split up from the boys after a tribe swap, the group of Janine, Abbey and Pia seemed destined for the long run. They were the decision-makers on that Contenders 2.0 tribe, helping to orchestrate the rebalancing of the original tribe numbers after the Champions were down 7-11 early.

Her strategy for the majority of Australian Survivor 2019 was to shield herself within a group of leaders whose strengths are slightly ahead of hers. David represented the leadership shield, Luke represented the social shield, Janine was the strategy shield and Abbey was an athletic shield, all becoming beacons for votes later down the line.

That’s not to say that Pia didn’t share some of those qualities; she’s led votes, strategized who went home, whipped up the votes, and even won a challenge of her own. She just had a better understanding of the game on a macro level, positioning herself within them all to find herself in a position where she could make it to the Final Two.

Speaking of, she gave a hell of an effort in the Final Immunity Challenge seen in the finale. With her son, daughter, and husband watching on, the Final Three found themselves perched on tiny pedestals less than half the size of their feet while having to hold up an idol pulled on a rope on each arm.

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Pia’s biggest challenge was not to win the test, but to ensure that Harry didn’t win. She had a good shot to be taken by both, but she saw Baden’s game as weaker than hers. It was a grueling challenge that saw all competitors last longer than anybody else in Australian Survivor, passing the 6:30 mark.

Six hours and 40 minutes into the challenge, Harry asked for Jonathan to help him down, forcing him out of the challenge. It was at that moment Pia knew that Baden would take her to the end, not Harry, which let her ask Jonathan to do the same as Baden won his first (and most crucial) individual immunity. Baden knew that Harry would take more ownership of their moves, so he voted out Harry and took Pia to the end.

At the Final Tribal Council, both players came gun blazing. Baden defended his actions by arguing he played from the middle from the start of the game. Pia, however, stated that she had more ownership of the game, planning to get out David from the swap and using her social skills to make people feel comfortable going to the end.

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Though both players were grilled by the jury, including David, for being perceived as goats, Pia demonstrated beautifully why she was in control from start to finish. She convinced the jury so well that she became the first Australian Survivor winner in the new era to win unanimously 9-0.