Harrowing Survivor scene you didn’t see
Australian Survivor fans were devastated when season favourite Luke Toki was eliminated from the game in Monday night's episode - as was Luke himself.
Speaking to news.com.au today, Luke revealed he'd found it difficult even watching back his elimination months after it was filmed.
"Did they have to play that hell-depressing music too? It cuts through you like a knife! They really played it up," he said with a laugh.
Luke put on a brave face as he was eliminated from the game, hugging the tribemates responsible for booting him out and giving host Jonathan LaPaglia a smile as his torch was snuffed.
But the second he was off-camera, it was a very different story.
"When I got my torch snuffed by Jono, you can see, I'm trying to hold it all together, but then as soon as I walked down that little lane, I was a mess. I was hugging the camera crew, just bawling. Even when I was sat in the chair trying to give that (post-tribal) confessional, it took me about 20 minutes to compose myself.
"I was so close and I'd come so far … I thought I had it, you know?"
The emotions continued in scenes shown in Luke's Jury Villa package, as he makes a quick call to his family back home as he's being driven to the Villa.
First he has to break it to partner Mary: "I don't have the best news … I got voted out. I've been crying for the last hour," he tells her.
The tears start flowing again when Luke's two young sons hop on the line: "Dad misses you. Dad will see you soon," he tells them.
Luke's unique family story is one of the reasons many fans wanted him to take home the $500,000 - his sons are both on the autism spectrum, while his daughter, born just six weeks before he left for Survivor, has been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. Multiple GoFundMe pages have been set up to support his family in the wake of his eviction, so far raising more than $100,000 and counting.
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#Repost @marytoki84 • • • • • • Update: Three weeks today Madeline has spent in the NICU and we finally have answers as to what has caused her rough start to life. Our gorgeous little baby is not coming home the perfectly healthy baby we imagined we would have. After in depth genetic testing, 2 rare genes were found which unfortunately led to the diagnosis of cystic fibrosis. Life will now consist of a highly rigid regime of medications, physio therapy and specialist appointments for the rest of her life as we try to keep her as healthy as possible and avoid hospital admissions. We will try to keep life as normal as possible for her and with medical advances these days she has a promising future ahead. Hopefully she will be discharged within the next few days so she can make herself at home with us where she belongs xxx 💜💙💚💛🧡❤
"I never would've started one myself … there's still a couple of people left in the game who deserve (the money) just as much as me. But I think my story resonates with a lot of people who have family members with autism or cystic fibrosis. I'm extremely thankful to my core about the donations. I hope the message gets out there that I am thankful, it is going to help my family, and I'll try to give back as much as possible."
Some viewers turned on Pia Miranda for her role in Luke's eviction last night - which seems misguided, given Pia was the only remaining tribemate to seriously consider Luke's plea to stay in the game. On social media overnight she said the decision to vote Luke out had "torn her apart", and she understood the inevitable social media backlash.
"I hope everyone backs off her and gives her the recognition she deserves. She played the best game she could from day one. She's an amazing person and an amazing mum, and she deserves to be there. I hope my fans see that - I love the girl," he said.
Luke says he's taking this groundswell of public support one day at a time. He's already started a podcast called Welcome to the Jungle, "just to get my own thing going".
"If opportunities come my way, I'll look at them closely. You never know what's around the corner … I could be on Home And Away next! I could be one of the River boys! You never know."
This season of Australian Survivor concludes 7.30pm tonight on Ten.