Pia Miranda‘s Survivor immunity challenge.
Pia Miranda‘s Survivor immunity challenge.

Viewers fume over Survivor controversy

Australian Survivor favourite Pia Miranda took home her first immunity challenge win during Monday night's episode - but controversy has clouded her win, with some angry viewers labelling her a cheat.

Survivor's production company Endemol Shine Australia has today backed the actress in the wake of the controversy, telling news.com.au that "Pia was the winner of the challenge. All that were there saw the win play out this way".

The dispute was born out of blink-and-you'll-miss-it scenes in the closing seconds of the immunity challenge, with Survivor fans reaching for the pause button to determine what had happened.

Contestants had to withstand a simple yet gruelling challenge for a chance to win immunity and their safety at tribal council: lay on an angled platform over water while hanging from a bar, with the last to let go declared the winner.

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Forty-five minutes in, and with half the contestants already dropped out, host Jonathan LaPaglia made the challenge even more difficult: Each player would have to hang from only one arm. They could not switch between arms either - their entire body weight would be hanging by one hand.

After more than 90 excruciating minutes, there were only three players left in the challenge: Miranda, Luke Toki and Simon Black.

Simon was the first of the three to let go:

Luke Toki (left) and Pia Miranda (centre) watch on as Simon Black (right) starts to let go of the bar.
Luke Toki (left) and Pia Miranda (centre) watch on as Simon Black (right) starts to let go of the bar.

In a few brief seconds, the two other players left in the game reacted very differently. Realising she'd won, Pia reached up and placed her second hand on the bar. Accepting defeat, Luke let go and slid down to the water.

 

As Simon slides down, Pia puts both hands on the bar — but Luke still seems to be hanging.
As Simon slides down, Pia puts both hands on the bar — but Luke still seems to be hanging.

The two moves happened within millisecond. It appeared Pia made her move before Luke made his, so it seemed for the briefest of moments she had two hands on the bar to Luke's one. Did this mean Pia should've been eliminated and Luke was actually the winner?

Two hands are better than one.
Two hands are better than one.

An immunity challenge win can make a big difference at this late stage in the game, and as Pia celebrated her win, many angry viewers took to social media to call foul:

 

 

 

 

 

In a statement provided to news.com.au today, Endemol Shine Australia said that "at the split second Luke was coming off and Pia was reaching up it was determined that Pia was the winner of the challenge. All that were there saw the win play out this way".

Pia's challenge win wasn't the only controversy in last night's episode, with both Pia and "godmother" Janine Allis suffering an epic blindside as their ally Simon was sent to Exile Island.

 

 

With her quiet control of many aspects of the game, Janine's been a divisive player this season - and it's fair to say some Survivor fans enjoyed watching her squirm for the first time as she realised half her "Champions" alliance had secretly voted against her:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australian Survivor airs 7.30pm Sundays to Tuesdays on Ten.


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