Local mum Chrissy Zaremba had no idea what she was in for when she signed up for Survivor, but there was no way her girls were going to see her quit 


There were plenty of times when Chrissy Zaremba wanted to throw in the towel on Australian Survivor. But the thought of her girls watching on from home inspired the mother-of-three to fight on in reality TV’s toughest game. 

The Buddina-based teacher applied for Australian Survivor: Blood vs Water with her brother-in-law, former NRL player Michael Crocker. 

“I couldn’t let anyone know where we were going. I’ve got little kids who don’t know you can lie to people, so I said there were three shows Ten was doing and I didn’t know which one we were going to be on,” she tells the Sunny Coast Times.

“My eldest daughter was very adamant about me not going on Survivor because I’d be terrible. I said to myself, ‘You’ve got to prove to them you can do it. You’ve got to dig deep.’ There were lots of things I wanted to quit on and that I had self-doubt on, but I was like, ‘They’re going to be watching this. I’ve got to have the most genuine crack at it.’”

The 42-year-old knows what it’s like to face adversity. After seven miscarriages from seven rounds of IVF, she and her husband Toby decided to adopt. 

It was a lengthy process that they went through three times to build their ‘rainbow family’ with daughters Mia-Moana, 13, Essie, 10 and Lulu, 7.

“The process is so intense and it’s so gruelling for your relationship,” she says. “Every time you adopt they give you a whole new case file and you start the ball rolling all over again. It’s a brand new journey every time.

“It’s hard, I’m not going to lie. My friends are still on the register after I’ve got my three perfect girls, which breaks my heart. But they place the kids with the perfect match, so if you’ve got to wait for that perfect kid it’s worth the wait.”

The self-confessed clueless contestant, who had only watched a few episodes before travelling to Charters Towers to film the show, was surprised at the gruelling conditions, which saw her lose 10kg.

“Honestly I thought they were going to sneak you some hot chips, but you don’t get a single thing. We would eat leaves to pretend it was lettuce,” she says.

“We’ve had a couple years of some heavy stuff happening in our world (with the pandemic) so if I can bring a bit of entertainment to people at home then it was all worth it.”


Australian Survivor airs Sunday to Wednesday at 7.30pm on 10 and 10Play on Demand.

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