Surviving is what Pillay is all about

2011-04-30 00:00

DURBAN engineer Tejan Pillay has orchestrated the demise of many contestants on M-Net’s Survivor South Africa: Maldives — but this week he found himself being booted off the reality show.

Pillay, who lives and works in Pietermaritzburg during the week, was dubbed a snake by some tribemates but he believes his strategy and passion to play the game to the full could have gotten him all the way to the final.

Unfortunately, a hidden immunity idol, found by actress Bonnie Henna, an alpha-male clash with actor Hykie Berg, and shifting alliances brought an end to his stint on the island.

Speaking to Weekend Witness, he said: “I’m ecstatic about how long I lasted. Being on Survivor is everything I’m about. I had the time of my life while putting my mind and body through the ultimate challenge.”

And, Pillay, whose hobby is cage fighting, believes the sport helped him on the show. “Being a cage fighter is all about going beyond the body’s abilities, that’s where your mind kicks in. That really helped me,” he added.

That said, he couldn’t help missing his mum’s home cooked meals while in the Maldives. “I would go for days drooling, thinking about food, dreaming about food,” he said.

As for his favourite moment in the show, he said it was in his final moments. Having not found the hidden immunity idol, he spotted a similar looking cowrie shell and considered pretending it was an immunity idol to make life uncomfortable for Berg and Henna. Unfortunately his plan failed. “If I’d pulled it off it would have been legendary,” Pillay added.

Asked what his friends and family thought, he said they had loved watching his antics. “They know the real me and they thought I played the game of Survivor really well,” he added. “I’m so glad I did it. It’s the most epic experience of my life.”

Pillay may have left the game empty-handed, but a gob-smacked Alison de Chazal, from Durban, became the owner of a snazzy Volvo V70 sportswagon during the show’s mystery auction challenge. She is now KwaZulu-Natal’s only remaining representative.

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