Last night’s episode of Australian Survivor: Champions versus Contenders saw Monika Radulovic’s torch snuffed out after being completely and utterly blindsided.
The former Miss Universe Australia and model literally had zero idea she’d be going home. Nada. Not a clue.
Even after host Jonathan Lapaglia read out her name, she still didn’t really register what was happening. It was that good.
The 27-year-old made it further in the game that many people watching at home (or her fellow contestants) thought she would. Outlasting louder, faster and stronger players to make it to the final five, Monika flew under everyone’s radar.
Despite Monika’s talent and intelligence, there’s one question we just had to ask her when we interviewed her after her elimination.
HOW DOES SOMEONE LOOK THAT GOOD AFTER SPENDING 47 DAYS STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND?
Yes, this is a bit superficial. OK, a lot superficial.
But seriously, COME ON. No one looks as glowy and radiant as Monika did at Tuesday night’s tribal council without a few helpful tricks up their sleeve.
“It was all about just feeling that little bit put together out there. Little bits and pieces made me feel a bit more like myself. When I saw myself [on TV], I noticed I was really tanned and even I was surprised with how glowing my teeth appeared,” she told Mamamia.
Survivor contestants don’t get access to basic personal hygiene tools like toothbrushes, mouthwash or deodorant, but Monika said they came up with a creative way to somewhat look after their teeth while on the show.
“I don’t have veneers, they’re my natural teeth, I’ve used White Glow toothpaste for years so that’s what I do on a regular basis to keep them white, but then apart from that, we cut up some palm fronds (the hard bit in the middle of the palm tree leaves) into little rectangles and that’s what we used maybe once a week to brush the grime off our teeth.”
“You felt slightly better, but also, because we were eating such a bland diet, rice and beans, there’s not much to rotor get stuck in your teeth.”
Monika also credits the Survivor diet of rice and beans, as well as the tropical climate, for the glowy skin we saw her maintain throughout her time in the island. And no, she’s not recommending anyone go on that kind of diet in real life, but she found the lack of processed foods helped with her skin.
“My skin was really great on the island, which I think came down to where we were living, the climate worked wonders for my skin and hair, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. The diet helped – there’s no processed food and no processed sugars out there – it’s not a diet anyone would recommend, but limiting processed foods helped.”
Other beauty-related things Monika did while on Survivor included using sand to exfoliate her skin, and plaiting her hair to help keep it from getting too knotted.
“My hair would get extremely knotty, so in quiet time, I’d sit there and run my fingers through my hair to brush it out as much as I could. My hair always felt gross, but eventually it self-regulated a bit and the oiliness tapered down,” she said.
“Other than that, there was literally nothing I could do except bathe in the ocean and use sand to exfoliate, that was something nice you could do to make yourself feel a little bit cleaner, use the sand under your arm pits to feel fresher.”
Obviously, it’s Monika’s job as a model to look physically beautiful. She also has access to the best makeup artists, brow artists and skincare professionals in the business to keep her looking her best in the real world.
Sure, if we went on Survivor, we might end up looking less beach waves and more Tarzan, but Monika’s attitude to her appearance on the show is what’s really important.
“The first thing I did when I got to the Jury Villa was eat a Mexican feast, then I went and had a warm shower. I just under the water, I didn’t even wash my hair that night, I was so exhausted I thought ‘I’ll just wash my body and get started on everything the next day,” she said.
“I can’t tell you how amazing that felt, and I don’t know if it was a matter of not caring, I found it really empowering to let myself be free and natural, and I couldn’t have cared less about how long my armpit hair grew or my leg hair.
“I’ve never had laser and I was kicking myself when I realised ‘oh no, I’m going to have a hairy body’ on the show. But you quickly learn that’s the least of your worries, so I was really relaxed and confident, and comfortable in my own skin.”
Do you think you’d be able to go 47 days without a toothbrush or a hairbrush? What do you think would be the hardest thing about going on Survivor?