Entertainment TV The ‘angelic little boy’ who wasn’t wins Australian Survivor
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The ‘angelic little boy’ who wasn’t wins Australian Survivor

Jericho Malabonga (L) was the ultimate winner on Australian Survivor. Photo: Channel 10
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Jericho Malabonga admitted he wasn’t the “angelic little boy” who his fellow contestants loved and adored.

Instead he was actually a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” and that’s, of course, why he won Australian Survivor on Channel 10 on Tuesday night.

At the jury decider, Jericho proudly admitted he was “willing to blindside everyone one of you to get ahead”.

“I think that everybody here respects those moves as part of this thing we call Survivor,” he said.

Jericho Malabonga and host Jonathan LaPaglia. Photo: Channel 10

He was up against stay-at-home mum Tara Pitt who, if you believe Twitter, was the least favourite finalist choice possible.

She had been evicted once during the series and was regarded as a weak contender. Jericho chose her to come to the final – telling her “you deserve to be there”.

But, judging by his game-playing reveal, that wasn’t true and she was really there because he could beat her. Malabonga, Pitt and Peter Conte had battled it out on the evil final challenge.

The one where they have to stand on two thin poles and have their hand on a statue for hours and hours.

It was the same final challenge as last year but, this time, it was at night and they were lashed by furious waves, rain and cold.

Oh, and lashed by host Jonathan LaPaglia’s relentless commentary. Is that man paid by the metre of narration? He reminded them how uncomfortable it was, how it will become about pain management, then it will be all psychological.

Pitt answers his question (after two hours) about how she’s feeling by saying, again, that she’s a “stay-at-home mum”. (Actually, her bio says she’s studying full-time for a Bachelor of Education, majoring in drama and history and wants to prove she’s “more than a stay-at-home mum”.)

But, for now, she’s sitting in the middle of an ocean clinging to poles but saying she’s feeling “very blessed” and she starts crying.

Watch the moment Jericho is crowned winner:

“Cry as much as you want but keep your hand on that idol, never give up,” he said as he wanders off for a break and a clean, dry t-shirt. Fifty minutes later and Pitt’s looking like she’s in serious pain. LaPaglia reminds her they’ve had 55 days in the competition.

“That’s a long time. Not much food. Not much sleep. How much is left in the tank?”

Not much as it turns out and Pitt wobbles off the torture poles.

Conte now struggles and, at five hours, LaPaglia’s at it again.

“Every wave now just cuts to the bone, soaked to the core. There’s no way to heat your body temperature when you are stuck in one position like that.”

Conte’s next to go – charmingly asking the host for a hand down.

Meanwhile, Malabonga looks like he’s standing at a bar, chatting with his mates, not in the midst of this horror. He rarely stopped smiling during the whole challenge.

For that alone, he deserved to win. Bizarrely, LaPaglia picked up the voting urn after votes had been cast in Samoa and wandered off into the night saying he would see them all in Sydney.

Ten had promised a live finale to beat the leaks. That didn’t happen but, all glammed up some months later, the contestants arrived at a fake bush set in a studio where Malabonga was duly crowned Sole Survivor.

And then they had a reunion – but that was one story too many.

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