‘I had to fight hard’: Pia Miranda crowned $500k Survivor

 

Pia Miranda has vowed to never again do another reality TV show after being crowned winner of Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders.

The 46-year-old has joked however that she may never work as an actor again after taking part in the reality show.

"I probably won't work as an actor again so I might need it," Miranda told Confidential of winning the $500,000 cash prize.

"Who knows what will happen to me. I would never do another reality show … never. I came in, I went hard and I bailed."

The moment Pia Miranda was crowned winner. Picture: Channel 10
The moment Pia Miranda was crowned winner. Picture: Channel 10

After 50 days surviving on basic rations and competing in various challenges against 23 others on a remote island in Fiji, Miranda was last night named Sole Survivor.

The fact she agreed to sign on to the show shocked even some of her close friends.

"I was scared about exposing myself," she said. "I definitely felt when I went out there that I had more to lose professionally than to gain.

"I was happy doing the work I was doing so I am feeling relieved and excited and happy that I played hard and did what I said I was going to do.

"I left my family and promised if I was going to leave them for this amount of time, I was going to go out there and try to win and that is what I did. And so I can definitely hold my head high in that respect."

Miranda's fellow competitors included elite athletes like Susie Maroney, Andrew Ettingshausen, Steven Bradbury, Ross Clarke-Jones, Simon Black and Abbey Holmes.

She concedes to physically being intimidated from the start of the competition and in the first episode said she'd either be the first voted out or the last standing.

Miranda with Greta Scacchi (left) and Anthony LaPaglia (right) in Looking for Alibrandi.
Miranda with Greta Scacchi (left) and Anthony LaPaglia (right) in Looking for Alibrandi.

"When I arrived on the beach and saw the massive tribe of athletes, I knew I was in massive trouble. Times were tough," she explained. "I really had to work hard to survive that first bit. Being short and a mum, not an athlete, I am pretty fit in my normal life but around those professional athletes, it was a struggle to not be seen as the weak link. I promised myself that in every challenge I wouldn't give up and I didn't. I had to fight really hard."

Miranda is of course best known for playing Josie Alibrandi in award-winning 2000 flick, Looking For Alibrandi. She's been a regular on our small and big screens since then on shows including Wentworth, Sea Patrol, The Secret Life Of Us, All Saints and currently Mustangs FC.

A benefit of appearing on Australian Survivor as herself though has been the fact fans have seen her outside of her breakthrough role in Looking For Alibrandi.

"I was really proud to be known as the girl from Looking for Alibrandi because it was such a positive thing," she said. "But it is nice to have done something else and to have another feather in my cap, albeit a weird one. It is nice to have done something for myself and to really have done it well."

Filming Survivor in Fiji.
Filming Survivor in Fiji.

Miranda and partner Luke Hannigan are parents to Lily, nine, and James, six. And on a serious note, she intends to put the jackpot $500,000 towards her mortgage.

"We are like every other family in Australia so that money is somewhat overwhelming to think about but also it is really life changing for my kids and for our lives to take the pressure off," she said. "A fair whack will go towards the mortgage. We don't get paid a lot, we are not Hollywood actors in Australia so I am certainly not someone who is shopping at Gucci or going to Mykonos so it is really helpful."

 

Miranda spent 50 days on a reality show. Picture: Channel 10
Miranda spent 50 days on a reality show. Picture: Channel 10
Miranda in a scene from the hit film.
Miranda in a scene from the hit film.