Written by Zoë Holloway, October 26, 2016

Lee Carseldine, 40, stole everyone’s hearts while appearing on Australian Survivor as his honest gameplay and strength in challenges saw him winning people over week after week.

However, last night the title of Sole Australian Survivor was stolen from him by 24-year-old Kristie, the competition’s underdog and someone he admits to ‘helping nurture through the game when she was going through those tough periods at the first merge,’.

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While Lee may have been helping keep Kristie strong, Lee’s new partner who he met on the show, El Rowland, 33, was helping him keep sane during those 55 days. When speaking about El, the ex-crickitor admits ‘There’s no doubt that she was my rock,’

‘I’ve had a lot of tough times and she helped me get through it. She played how I would have liked to have played… I wasn’t there for everyone and she was there for everybody. The ability to look outside of yourself and help people in a game that is so cut-throat says a lot about a person.’

And it’s a person that he came to like over time, as ‘It’s hard to be in that situation where you look across from this dirt-infested, bug-infested shelter and lock eyes. But getting to know someone stripped to their absolute barest, and getting to know that person so quickly, I just knew from the start that she was someone I could trust,’

‘And the fact that there were hardly any words spoken about that, that we didn’t have to constantly reassure each other about the trust, that was really good. I recommend that people get to know each other on an Island before they get into a relationship, it’s a good basis for a good future.’

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Hardest thing about living in the camp?

The nights when it rained. Time never moved so slowly.

First luxury you indulged in when you got home?

Hot bath doused in Epson Salts

What luxury item did you miss the most while on the show?

A tin of milo. If I’d had that I would have won way more challenges

Weight lost?

15kg (92kg down to 77kg)

How would you describe the hunger?

“A deep chasm of emptiness and pain”

How did you/your body cope readjusting to the real world?

Not great. The noise, the exposure to people and technology all hit me hard. I took a good month to get back to a normal routine.

Did you miss any important moments back home while on the show?

My youngest boy Sam scored his first goal in soccer

Craziest fan moment since the show went to air?

Getting asked to do a selfie video to a Survivor superfan couple that I had never met before. It was going to be shown in front of the whole service on their wedding day.

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