The latest season of Survivor South Africa is no stranger to some shocking blindsides and this week, one of the strongest contestants on the show, Olympian javelinist Rocco van Rooyen, was the latest to see his torch snuffed out.

The episode started off with a reshuffling of the tribes and Rocco found himself in a newly-formed Ta’alo tribe. While Rocco seemed to be a huge asset for the team, they feared would become an unstoppable force once the Tribes merged.

Prior to this week’s developments, Rocco’s time in the game had pretty much been plain sailing, mainly due to his Tribes’ success at challenges, but behind his back, there have always been rumblings of the danger he posed to his rivals and plans to get rid of the guy who’s like a saint, as Rob described him to Nathan, were whispered more than once. Instigated by Rob, the deal was quickly sealed with Jacques, Mike, Seipei and Cobus who all believed that Rocco was the one who stood between them and the ultimate prize of R1 million.

We caught up with the castaway shortly after his exit:

What was your highlight about playing on Survivor South Africa?

My highlight in the game was definitely the different challenges. They’re a great deal of fun because they are well-rounded challenges that stimulated you both mentally and physically. I enjoyed playing them.

What do you think the hardest part of the game is?

The hardest part is playing a good game whilst battling the emotional and physical challenges like being hungry and missing your loved ones.

You were voted off for being an incredible threat. Do you think your physical ability put you at a disadvantage in the game?

I think the physical not necessarily as much, but combined with my social skills, yes, because it put a target on my back.

Who, in your opinion, has been playing the game the best.

I think Dante or Meryl, because they strategise well and they play a moral game. I’m excited to continue watching them throughout the series.

Tell us a little bit about who you are outside of Survivor.

Outside of Survivor I am a very sociable, competitive and impulsive person. I enjoy socializing with friends and we often find activities to compete against each other – like golf, or playing games on the x-box. I recently entered Mr South Africa and won the South African championships in Javelin throwing. I am a proud husband and a father to the cutest golden retriever that the world has seen. I am a Medical Representative for a natural health care company which I am enjoying very much.

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