Booted Survivor champion ‘disappointed’ by athlete alliance

 

MEMORY Champion and former ballerina Anastasia Woolmer says she was disappointed not to be able to prove ballet dancers could match it with the other athletes after being sent packing from Australian Survivor: Champions v Contenders.

The Queensland mother-of-three was the first person eliminated from the Channel 10 reality show last night after the Champions tribe, led by former Olympic athlete and politician Nova Peris, voted her off instead of actor Pia Miranda.

It came after the group of athletes, including Olympians and NRL and AFL professionals, formed a "sports team" alliance without her.

Anastasia Woolmer, a memory champion and former ballerina, was the first person eliminated from the new season of Australian Survivor: Champions V Contenders. Photo: Nigel Wright.
Anastasia Woolmer, a memory champion and former ballerina, was the first person eliminated from the new season of Australian Survivor: Champions V Contenders. Photo: Nigel Wright.

"I thought that might happen. There's often a tendency to think of ballet dancers as being not particularly strong but the reality is it's tough. It's very physically demanding … and you have to put up with pain," Woolmer told Confidential.

"I was really looking forward to the challenges because I wanted to prove that dancers can be really tough."

After doing well in the first challenge Woolmer said she felt she was in a "good spot" but when she didn't click with Peris she wasn't surprised to hear her name being thrown into the ring before tribal council.

"I just tried to connect with Nova but it felt like it didn't work. It was like two magnets pushing in the opposite direction," she said.

"I'm not the sort of person to fly under the radar and I never intended to. In retrospect I would try really hard to just keep my head down just for the first couple of days."

Nova Peris convinced others to vote out Anastasia after the pair struggled to get along.
Nova Peris convinced others to vote out Anastasia after the pair struggled to get along.

Woolmer won the Australian Memory Championship two years in a row in 2016 and 2017, winning her first just five months after getting into the sport having read a book on the topic.

She was the first woman to hold the title and set two Australian records, including recalling 86 digits in a row without error.

She had previously worked around the world in ballet companies, beginning with the Queensland Ballet as an 18 year old before working in Austria, Norway and Sweden.

"The thing I was most disappointed about was as a memory expert I had this strategy and plan in place to collect information on what people said and what happened and have it in a file for each person including a date, so half way though or in the final you have these files of information at your disposal," she said.

"I think it would have been really interesting for the audience to think 'how is that possible to know all that information like a computer?'"