Despite being the first target of the Sporty Seven Alliance, Pia's quick thinking allowed her to narrowly escape that Tribal Council. After her minority alliance turned the tables on the Champions tribe, she was at the core of the new majority alliance and stealthily made her moves while building social bonds and having shields such as Luke and Janine. Despite losing control at the final seven, Luke spared her over Abbey, allowing Pia a way back in. Her solid Final Tribal Council performance and ability to advocate for her game play better than Baden resulted in her winning the title of Sole Survivor by a unanimous vote.
Retrieved from 10play.com.au
Leading Actor, 45
One of Australia's most loved actresses, Pia has been acting for over 20 years in film, theatre and TV.
Originally a ballet dancer, Pia moved into acting as a teenager and has appeared on shows like Neighbours, The Secret Life of Us, Wentworth and Sea Patrol but is best known for her leading role in the cult Australian film, Looking For Alibrandi.
Winning an AFI Award for Best Lead Actress for the film, Pia has also been in theatre productions for Sydney Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company, Ensemble Theatre and Glen St Theatre.
A mum of two, Pia is a hardcore Survivor fan and has dreamt of being on the show since it began. "I have been watching Survivor since the first season in 2000 and I've been sitting on the couch for almost 20 years saying I could win so I guess now is my chance! I really want to play as a fan and be someone that a fan would enjoy watching."
Worried about going 50 days without tweezers – "I'm Italian so it could get crazy" – she has been practicing by swimming, making fire, doing yoga and practicing puzzles every day in the lead up.
Pia's reputation as a successful actress earned her a place in the Champions tribe, but since she was not an athlete, she was excluded from the Sporty Seven Alliance created by Steven. When the Champions lost the first Immunity Challenge on Day 2, Pia was in danger due to the majority perceiving her as the weakest player. When outsiders Pia, Luke, Janine, Anatasia, and David were unable to get the numbers to vote out Susie, it appeared that Anastasia convinced them to go along with the Sporty Seven and vote out Pia. However, Pia approached Susie and Nova about voting out Anastasia, which Nova was keen on due to her earlier argument with Anastasia. In confessional, Pia claimed that with her personalty and style of gameplay, she would either be the first one out or win the game. With Anastasia going out 9-3, Pia had fulfilled the first half of that statement.
The extra time in this game allowed Pia to make stronger social connections and her challenge performances gradually improved, keeping her out of significant danger for the time being. On Day 7, the outsiders' newfound connections to Abbey and Ross came to fruition as the pair flipped on the athletes, blindsided Susie, and helped Pia form a new majority alliance. Within that majority, the Champions women Abbey, Janine, and Pia grew particularly close. Though they became wary of David as he became power hungry as the game went on, for the rest of the pre swap portion of the game they picked off the former athletes.
Pia and her fellow tight allies Janine and Abbey stayed together post swap, forming the majority in the new Contenders with Ross and Simon. At this stage of the game, the roles of each of these players became more defined, especially as Harry and other Contenders analyzed the Champions' strategies. While Abbey was the more physical of the three and Janine had the most obvious strategic game, Pia's strategic game was more under the radar as she focused on befriending as many people as possible. When Harry nicknamed Janine "The Godmother", Janine took the nickname gracefully and in keeping with the theme dubbed Pia "The Smiling Assassin". After a successful start to the swap phase winning challenges, when David let them know that they were in trouble, Pia and the rest of the former Champions on the Contenders threw the Day 24 Immunity Challenge to take out their biggest threat: Harry. Harry played an idol, so Casey, their secondary target, went home instead. Pia was in danger once again in Day 26 due to Harry's idol and relying on wildcard Ross to split the vote, but ultimately the plan worked and Matt was voted out in the revote.
At the merge, the original Champions stayed together and made enough inroads with the Contenders to get them to turn on Andy and Shaun. This put Pia in a strong position but provided a dilemma: at what point do the Champions women blindside David, who had already won an Immunity Challenge and has an idol. The answer was the following Tribal Council, where Pia and her alliance convinced the remaining Contenders to blindside David 8-2, flushing his idol as well. Despite this move, the Champions decided to continue Pagonging the Contenders. On Day 37, Janine, Pia, Simon, and Daisy went on reward. While they contemplated the possibility of blindsiding Luke, Luke, Abbey, Harry, and Baden discussed forming a new majority alliance after Daisy was voted out. This plan came to play in Day 40, when Pia won individual immunity. Simon, Pia, and Janine were confident that Baden would be the next to go, but instead Simon was blindsided 4-3. Though Simon returned due to a twist involving Exile Island, the new alliance stayed strong and despite Pia's best efforts to infiltrate it, her two remaining allies Simon and Janine went to the jury.
Though Pia was the clear outsider, even more clear than that was Luke's threat status in challenges as well as likelihood to win the game. When Luke won immunity on Day 46, though they initially planned on voting Luke off, Harry, Baden, and Abbey set their sights back on Pia. Pia approached Luke about the possibility of him saving her, appealing to Luke's love of switching the game up as he had done on various occasions. Using his secret advantage, Luke sent Baden back to camp making him ineligible to vote. By whispering different plans to Pia and Abbey at Tribal Council, Luke and Pia succeeded in blindsiding Abbey in a 2-1-1 vote as Harry voted for Pia and Abbey voted for Harry. The following Tribal Council, Luke was finally vulnerable due to Harry winning immunity. Pia had another dilemma: take out Luke, a huge threat, and hope she can beat Harry and Baden in the Final Immunity Challenge, or keep Luke by forcing a 2-2 tie to potentially increase her chances of making it to Final Tribal Council albeit with a tougher opponent still in the game. This was also a tough choice because both Pia and Luke bonded as parents with young children and worked together for most of the game. Pia ultimately put the emotions aside and voted out Luke.
Pia's husband and children got a chance to see her prior to the Final Immunity Challenge, and he cheered her on as Pia contributed to breaking the Australian Survivor record for longest challenge at 6 hours and 40 minutes. At that point though, Pia stepped down, allowing Baden to win immunity. At Tribal Council, Pia convinced Baden that the only reason Harry wanted to take Baden to the end was because Harry felt he could beat Baden. Baden was also concerned that Harry would take credit for his moves, so he voted out Harry and took Pia to the Final 2.
Prior to Final Tribal Council, Pia claimed that she was prepared to give "the performance of her life", no small feat being an accomplished actress. She lived up to that statement though, effectively refuting David's claim that she was a goat, owning her strategy, and explaining why her gameplay was more impressive than Baden. Pia explained that Australian Survivor is not like American Survivor where big moves and taking charge is more likely to result in a win, that she had to let others take those leadership roles in strategy while she made moves behind the scenes. A strong Final Tribal Council performance motivated the jury of 5 Champions and 4 Contenders to unanimously vote for Pia to win the title of Sole Survivor over Baden 9-0.
|Pia's Voting History|
| Voted Against|
|2||Champions Tribe Immune|
|7||Contenders Tribe Immune|
|8||Contenders Tribe Immune|
|10||Contenders Tribe Immune|
| Harry, Matt;|
|13||No Tribal Council|
| Jury Votes|
| Abbey, Daisy, David, Harry,|
Janine, John, Luke, Simon, Shaun
|Sole Survivor, Day 50|
^1 In "Episode 9", the Contenders were subjected to a mock Tribal Council where the Champions voted for someone to kidnap.
^2 In "Episode 12", Harry used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating Pia's vote against him. Also, the vote ended with a 2-2-0 tie between Pia and Matt, forcing a revote. On the revote, Pia did not receive enough votes to be eliminated.
^3 In "Episode 17", the vote ended with a 4-4 tie between Abbey and John, forcing a revote. Pia did not change her vote on the revote.
- Pia is the first castaway on Australian Survivor to win the jury vote unanimously.
- Pia starred in the film Looking for Alibrandi alongside Australian Survivor host Jonathan LaPaglia's brother Anthony.
|Australian Survivor: Champions v Contenders (2019) Castaways|