Written by Sarah Iasiello, October 26, 2016

The newly crowned Survivor winner Kristie Bennett had fans fooled into thinking it was impossible for her to take out the coveted title, but in a stunning turn of events in last night’s finale, she transformed into the ultimate underdog, beating the show’s power couple Lee and El to claim the coveted title and $500,000!

So many people doubted you’d win the immunity challenge – let alone the entire game! Did you just want to say a big ‘sucked in’ when you walked in with that immunity necklace?

The biggest ‘sucked in’ was just me sitting there with the necklace on smiling, I didn’t even need to say anything. It was just like – you got played.

Even the show’s fans were expecting Lee or El to win!

Yeah I kind of was, like lol hehehe no one is going to see this coming at all. Like everyone’s going to look so silly when they think that I’m dumb [laughs]. I outplayed everybody, even Australia.

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Sole Survivor

Now, was being a floater really your game plan? Or did you lie so it seemed you were really clever and calculated?

My game plan was always to be on the front of the boat that sent the person home. It’s a very subtle game plan but it’s [also] massive if you’re following where people are voting. You can call it whatever you want but I was full-on adaptable and that’s what you have to be in that game.

Would you agree that you got through the game by riding on Lee’s coattails? I know Brooke said he acted like your ‘Dad.’

I totally see where they were coming from because we did have that type of friendship, he did have my back and he was looking after me. But I was playing him, we were playing each other!

Did he rig the immunity challenge to let you win on purpose?

No, our bodies were physically done. He did not step down, in fact he said ‘I am not going to step down’ and I said ‘thank you’ because it meant that I won the challenge. I won because he physically couldn’t go any longer.

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The final two

Your mind games would’ve helped your case though…

Yeah, definitely. And that’s why I started talking. That’s what it takes in Survivor, to be able to tap into that mind and train of thought and how that’s going to affect what happens next.

Why did you take him to the final and not El?

There was no way that I was going to win against El and I knew that. For me, to win, my best odds were going against Lee. So I was just throwing the game at him, I just had to tell him what he needed to hear. That’s what I did a lot of the time.

And maybe you had a little crush…

Lol. Never, that’s gross. [Laughs] I’m kidding, he’s beautiful.

NIGEL WRIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER. +61(0) 409 363 339. MAY/ JULY 2016 COPYRIGHT: ENDEMOLSHINE AUSTRALIA AND NETWORK TEN, AUSTRALIA AUSTRALIAN SURVIVOR S1. 2016 THIS EXCLUSIVE PICTURE SHOWS: EP 26. CHALLENGE, HAND ON IDOL, TRIBAL COUNCIL...ELLE AND TRIBAL COUNCIL GRAND FINAL BETWEEN 'WINNERS', KRISTY AND LEE.
Kristie reveals her strategy

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