PE’s Tom Swartz talks about ‘Survivor’

“THE first thing I did was buy a rack of those delicious ribs from Steers, though I admit I couldn’t even finish them,” said Tom Swartz who has returned R1 million richer as the winner of Survivor SA:Philippines.

After a total of 39 days on a remote island in the Philippines, the end of the sixth season of the reality game show saw Swartz head-to-head with Jeanne Michel in front of a chilling jury that would determine who, between the two, would take home the coveted prize.

“The jury was absolutely brutal. I recall thinking to myself that I do not stand a chance of taking this home,” said Swartz.

In the beginning Tom was seen to be quite the loud mouth who did not listen to what others had to say.

He was described by the majority of the jury as a man who started from the bottom and conquered his way to the top towards the end of the game.

“In the middle of the game I realised that I had to change my strategy. No-one could ever be prepared for the emotional and mental challenges that were faced in the game.”

Swartz admits that his experiences as a camp adventure manager proved to be beneficial for the physical aspect of the game.

“The experience as a whole was tough.

“I adopted what I called the bush bath which involved using my clothes as a wash cloth,” said Swartz.

Tom lost a staggering 18kg and recalls being shocked at how pointy his shoulders seemed when he got a chance to look in the mirror upon returning home.

“I have made quite a few friends and I am sure some of us would still get along even outside of the reality game show,” he said.

He has big plans with his winning money.

“I am planning to buy a house for my family. My wife let me leave for two months on the condition that I spoil her when I return home and I plan on keeping my word.”