An army sports officer by profession and a repeat competitor of the rigorous Iron Man challenge, Marsha Wessels was positioned as possibly the only female contender who had what it took (from a physical perspective at any rate) to go the distance.
But it’s this stamina that ultimately proved her undoing when she became the second person to be ousted from Survivor South Africa: Champions this week.
“I was very complacent about my position in the tribe, precisely because of my physical strength,” she admitted. “I took it for granted that my physicality would be an asset to the tribe, but I think they saw it as a threat, which is why they wanted to get rid of me so quickly.”
She added that because of her “extreme confidence” in this area she took it for granted that the psychological aspect of the game would come into play later – perhaps putting paid to captain Corné Krige’s concerns that what his Selatan tribe possessed in ‘brute strength’ it lacked in the kind of mental agility required to win Survivor.
Wessels, too, conceded the point, stating: “I got comfortable where I was. I was not vigilant to the politics. It taught me that I need to be more observant.”
This is particularly relevant of the person she blindly believed to be her proverbial wingman – Zavion. That is, before he decided to save his own skin and sold her down the river.
“I definitely view him as the gunner in my eviction. I guess the word I would use to describe what he did is ‘disappointing’. I put myself out there for him because I thought he was truthful.
“From the start we had planned to go all the way to Top 2 together. I certainly was truthful to him and I would have told him what was really going on if I had been in his position.”
Does this denote that we’re likely to witness another Ashley Hayden and Kaseran Pillay scenario come finale time?
(During the Survivor: Santa Carolina season, Pillay famously refused to have anything more to do with his big island buddy post production, after he learnt that Hayden had deceived him.)
A chuckling Marsha reponds: “I’d have a cup of coffee with him, but I’d want to tell him exactly what I think of what he did first. And then we’d take it from there…”
Zavion, you have been warned.
• Survivor SA: Champions airs on M-Net at 5.30pm every Sunday.