Survivor: Vanessa and Roxy

By admin
08 April 2011

THEY were dubbed the “Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie” of Survivor: Maldives, but celebrity contestants Vanessa Haywood and Roxy Burger’s time on the reality television show was far from the Simple Life.

The blonde bombshells may not have walked off with the R1-million grand prize, but the friendship they forged after 17 days together on a dessert island has meant more to them than earning the title of Ultimate Survivor.

“Roxy and I sort of gravitated to each other after we both became part of the Raithun tribe,” recalls model and actress Vanessa, who’s most famous for her role in Oscar-winning movie District 9.

“We both have very strong and similar personalities; it was a natural progression of friendship.”

Television producer and former K-TV presenter Roxy echoes Vanessa’s sentiments.

“People kept saying I was Van’s shadow but we formed an alliance with Jacques (Terre’Blanche) and each other based on mutual respect.”

But while their game-plan may have been to make it to the merge together, both Roxy and Vanessa’s time on the island was abruptly cut short last night, under very different circumstances.

In what was the most shocking and unpredictable episode of the season so far, fans watched as a dramatic twist in the game saw the double threat of both Roxy and Vanessa leave the island.

During the cage fighting reward challenge, Vanessa badly injured her neck while doing battle withBonnie Henna. Medical personnel feared she had broken her neck, and the challenge was halted as Vanessa was rushed off to receive further treatment and X-rays.

It’s a moment which makes the actress shiver. “When I watched the episode and saw how I fell and the angle in which my neck was twisted, I just burst into tears. I firmly believe I have a guardian angel watching over me,” she says.

But it’s Vanessa’s revelation that she had previously broken her neck as a teenager, which shows just how lucky she is to have made a full recovery since the injury.

“I was hit by a car when I was 17 and broke my neck. It was a painful memory for me reliving that moment.” Vanessa had to leave the game because of her injury, leaving Roxy’s future on the island to fate.

At the double tribal council, Roxy was voted out by her tribe members, but she says she wasn’t surprised. “People underestimated me because of my age and size,” says the petite 24 year old. “People like Simon kept calling me “Young Roxy” in a very condescending manner and that really rubbed me off the wrong way!”

Many have questioned whether Roxy would have remained on the island for longer had she not gifted Vanessa the hidden immunity idol in episode six, which subsequently saved her from elimination.

“After Jacques left it was just Van and I who remained from our alliance, and we said from the beginning that we’d have each other’s backs until the merge, so giving her the idol was a sign of my loyalty and it was a calculated move,” adds Roxy.

Both women may have rubbed a lot of their fellow castaways the wrong way with their outspokenness and water-tight alliance, but they both believe they played the game with their morals still intact.

“I think that from the moment we stepped on the island all the celebrities had big fat red marks on our backs making us targets,” says Vanessa.

The on-screen hostility with fellow tribe mate Sindy Lukhele made for entertaining viewing, but Vanessa is upset about Sindy’s recent comments in the media, publically slating her. “I’ve been trying to figure out why she hates me so much and I just don’t understand. It’s one thing telling her family what a cow she thought I was on the island, but it’s another to insult me in the national media,” adds an infuriated Vanessa.

“I think both Alison (de Chazal) and Sindy just didn’t like the fact that Van and I were so close and so loyal to each other,” adds Roxy. “The plebs were quite nasty to us and we don’t understand why!”

Scenes of Vanessa crying about missing her family last week also didn’t seem to increase her popularity with her tribe mates, with Alison calling her a “very good actress.”

But Vanessa is quick to defend her actions. “I’m a big cry baby because I’m a very sensitive person,” she says. “I was comforting Allison and then all these emotions came flooding through. What people don’t realise is that I haven’t seen my family for a year, and that when Alison was upset about missing her family, I realised just how much I missed mines!”

Both Roxy and Vanessa believed they played a fair game and that their true personalities did come through on screen, even though they both had to tone down their talkativeness for the cameras. “My strategy was to lay low and not to appear as a strong contender until the right moment, and I think I did well,” says Roxy.

If given the chance, both celebs would love to participate in Survivor again, but right now they’re content with being home and returning to their daily lives.

“I missed my bed so much,” says Vanessa. “It’s virtually impossible to sleep on hard sand and coral; I don’t miss that one bit!”

Despite losing out on the grand prize, both Roxy and Vanessa have become winners in their own right. “BFF’s forever,” laughs Roxy, and it’s evident that this alliance is for keeps!

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