NUMBER 1: Marisha is the first member of the jury. Photo: M-Net
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Marisha On Becoming The First Survivor SA Jury Member: ‘It Was A Great Blindside’

Guesthouse owner Marisha du Plessis (35) was sent home after being blindsided in Survivor South Africa: Immunity Island on M-Net (DStv 101).

With the second most votes, the farmer’s wife from Tulbagh saw her torch getting snuffed – but she won’t be gone for long. Marisha becomes the first jury member for this season after the episode saw the two tribes merge and Survivor turned into an individual game.

 

Marisha du Plessis on Survivor SA: Immunity Island.
Photo: M-Net

 

Why did you decide to enter, and how did you feel when you got told you made it as a castaway?

It was amazing; it was just such a nice feeling, and I think I did it to prove to myself that I’m capable of doing anything – that you can push your body to the limit.

I went in open-minded, not expecting anything. I wanted to enjoy the ride to its fullest, and it gave me so much more than I expected. I came out a different person. I’m more content with life. So, I would tell anyone to do this game. Play it. And see what it throws at you.

We saw you discover a hidden message and hidden immunity idol in the last episode. You ran to Renier, and he came to help you, and he then kept it. Do you think that maybe it was a mistake?

Yes, I was too excited and overwhelmed when I saw it. You’ve been searching for this idol, and you never find anything, and I just looked up, and there it is. If I could redo it, I think I would have kept silent, kept it to myself because I could get it out of the tree, and things might have played out differently. I would have shared the information eventually because I always knew that having an idol could put a target on your back.

NUMBER 1: Marisha is the first member of the jury.
Photo: M-Net

 

Why did you guys not blame Anesu for the chickens escaping? It seemed as if it didn’t really bother anybody?

It wasn’t a big thing; we weren’t upset about the chickens! I mean, hearing her saying that I threw her under the bus, it was not my intention at all. I would never blatantly throw someone under the bus. You’ll know if I want to throw you under the bus. I think it was more a joke than anything else. I would have liked to eat the chickens at that point, actually. I was hungry.

You went home because Chappies got the most votes, but none of those counted, and you got the second-most votes. Do you see that as a blindside, or did you expect it?

I think something in myself knew this was too easy. That it’s too easy to be true. And it’s a great blindside because I thought they were on my side – I thought we had formed bonds that were stronger than them voting me out. I really thought that when we merged and we got together with the previous tribe swop that these were relationships that I could build on. But it’s a game, and everyone is out there to win and to make their mark on the game, so I take my hat off. I’m just sorry I’m the first one to be voted out of the merged tribe.

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Santoni and some of the others said you came across to them as dismissive, like, ‘Oh enjoy it, you have five days left.’ Looking back, do you feel that you could maybe have rephrased your wording?

Yes, I struggle to phrase wording, I would say. Santoni came to me, and I discussed how far she thinks she can go in the game, and I was just honest. That was my opinion. I thought that was how it would play out, but this is just how wonderful Survivor is because nothing works like how you think it will play out. I love Santoni. If she comes to my house I will greet her with open arms, kiss her and give her a drink and we’ll be friends, I can promise you that! There are no hard feelings.

 

TRIBAL COUNCIL SHOWDOWN: Osindile pensive around the fire.
Photo: M-Net

 

What makes this season so great is the degree to which the castaways are speaking up at tribal council. South Africans are so polite and won’t say something to someone’s face. How hectic is it to sit there and speak out while the other people are sitting there, and it seems to have built over the past few episodes?

As you say, as South Africans, we are very polite and Afrikaans speaking people; even worse, you’re so scared to step on someone’s toes. Tribal council is a place where you are supposed to be open and vent and find out what’s going on.

So it does get heated, and Nico is great because he will ask the right questions, and then something pops up: “Oh, I forgot about that! But this or that happened.” I wasn’t at tribal council so many times, but you have to realise: “Get yourself together, I’m still in the game; I can’t burn a bridge now,” although you might be upset and want to explode. You have to stay calm even though it’s such a struggle sometimes. I struggle with keeping in my emotions, so this was a great learning curve for me as well as a person.

When Nico snuffs out your torch, I think you must be so overwhelmed as a castaway that it’s difficult to focus and to be in the moment. Instead of walking off, you took off your jacket and gave it to Nicole. Can you talk about being in the moment, what you thought and that gesture?

You’re correct; when he tells you that you’re the person voted out, there are like 200 thoughts going through your mind. The only thing I could think of was that I must give my jacket to someone, I’m not going to need it anymore. I wouldn’t have been able to leave without giving it to someone. It wasn’t to buy favour.

Nicole, shame, she only had a windbreaker; it’s not even warm. I would have given it to anyone. We used to cuddle, and I used to open my jacket up to three people just to keep warm. I don’t know why I did it, and looking back, I would have done it again.

‘I WOULD DO IT AGAIN’: Marisha hands her jacket over to Nicole after being voted out.
Photo: M-Net

 

Survivor SA: Immunity Island airs Thursdays at 19:30 on M-Net (DStv 101)

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