A librarian from Casebrook and a receptionist from Templeton have out-played 15 other castaways to make the grand final of TVNZ’s Survivor New Zealand.
On Sunday night, Lisa Stanger, 39, and Tess Fahey, 24, will find out who is the sole survivor in the third season of the “gruelling” reality TV show set in Thailand.
The live final, where the winner will be announced, will take place in Auckland and the sole survivor will walk away with $250,000.
Another contestant from Auckland, Dave Lipanovic, makes up the final three.
Twenty years of being a librarian didn’t hamper Ms Stanger’s chances of being a successful contestant.
The self-proclaimed Survivor-addict always dreamed of being on the show and admits she was never “much of an outdoors person.”
Merrin School, where Ms Stanger works, was accommodating and supportive when she asked for the time off.
“They really wanted me to fulfil this long-held dream of mine,” she said.
Miss Fahey quit her job as a receptionist in the United Kingdom and returned to her New Zealand home shortly before her departure for Thailand.
She admits she spent the last month before the show “drinking and partying with friends” and even ate a triple Big Mac combo at the airport before she left.
“It’s probably not the advice I’d offer anyone else but it worked for me,” she joked.
Miss Fahey’s competitive drive and desire for adventure led her to the show, which she said she would do all over again.
Ms Stanger said she wouldn’t do it again and that watching herself on the show “was a little bit distressing.”
“It was so hard. I was a huge fan of Survivor but you could never understand how hard it is until you do it . . . I was staggering more than I was walking. I was so weak and so hungry,” she said.
Both competitors said they would share the prize money with family and charities to help children.
•Survivor New Zealand, TV2, 7pm, Sunday.