Survivor New Zealand contestant Karla: ‘It was the worst night in my life‘

The second contestant to be voted off Survivor NZ says a rare rain storm hitting her camp became the worst night of her life.

Karla, a Palmerston North-based mother of two, became the second person eliminated from this season when her tribe eliminated her, believing her to be too weak to handle the conditions in Thailand.

She told the Herald last night‘s episode failed to convey just how harrowing her storm experience was.

“I knew in the morning that the audience was never going to understand quite how bad it was,” she says. “I think every single person there equated it to hell.


“There were people throwing up. We were in a huddle, letting people (move into) the middle to keep them warm, and stomping our feet and making up stories and just trying so desperately to make it through to the daylight.

“You had to be there to truly understand just how deeply I think we all had to dig that night. And knowing that the next day we were probably going to have to face a challenge, having just come off a night like that – it was harrowing,” she says.

The Chani tribe after their “harrowing” night in the bush. Photo / screenshot facebook twitter email linkedin google-plus whatsapp pinterest reddit

Karla was voted off by her tribe, Chani, due to the perception that she was a weak member of the tribe. Karla says she feels she was underestimated, and didn‘t get the chance to prove herself.

“The toughest part for me was the perception that I was the weakest player in the game. I felt that was not quite fair, (and) it was nice to see that the episode I think demonstrated that I definitely wasn‘t.

With the cast largely made up of 20-somethings, Karla found herself as one of the oldest competitors at just 37, which she believes ostracised her from the beginning.

“It‘s easy to understand,” she said. “I thought a lot about how if I‘d been ten years earlier, things would have been quite different for me in the game. I certainly didn‘t expect to be one of the oldest – I thought I‘d sit somewhere in between, so that definitely threw me in the first few moments. I definitely felt like it was them against me the whole time I was out there.”

At just 37, Karla was one of the oldest competitors on the show. Photo / Scott McAulay facebook twitter email linkedin google-plus whatsapp pinterest reddit

Last week, the first contestant out of the game, Josefien, said she believed she made a from a game that she has heard turns ugly. Karla agrees.

“People came to play. People came with very strong strategies, some of them with personalities that they had perhaps accentuated for the show,” she says. “I knew really quickly that there were going to be things that happened that I was going to be really uncomfortable with, and like Jose, I think, ‘thank goodness I never had to get to that point‘. I don‘t know how I would have fared in that environment.”

• Survivor New Zealand continues Sundays at 7pm on TVNZ 2.