“Five years from now, what I will remember is my victory on the posts and the journey I have made.” Winner of the mythical pole event, Géraldine was not unanimously accepted by the final jury on Tuesday, June 21, 2022. Indeed, the only woman in the running was beaten by Bastien and François who tied for this finale of Koh-Lanta, The Cursed Totem. Although she did not win this 23rd edition, she does. “There have been so many victories in 39 days.” A week after this unprecedented final, Géraldine confided in Planet.fr about her adventure.

It was after two long hours that Géraldine finally won the post test against Jean-Charles. “Physically, my foot really hurt, but I only realized it once I got off the poles,” she says. “To not think about it, I managed to put myself in my bubble by describing everything that I had in front of me. I was analyzing every cameraman!”

But, at the end of the event, the rule remains the same for each edition: the winner must choose the candidate who will accompany her in the final. A choice which can be strategic since it is the votes of the final jury, composed of the candidates eliminated after reunification, which elect the winner. “Choosing François was logical for me. He was unifying on the camp, generous, and strong in the trials. It also saved me with Fouzi and offered a nice comfort. So it was logical,” explains Géraldine. “Nothing was calculated. It was the choice of merit and that’s what I thought was the fairest.”

But, there, a twist. There were not two, but three finalists facing the final jury. A scenario that she and her teammates had not considered. “It was a first, so we hadn’t anticipated this option at all!”, Indicates the finalist. Nevertheless, for the dean, there were no good or bad situations. “When I think about it, in any case, this three-way final would have been complicated for me. Even if I had chosen Jean-Charles instead of François, the votes would have been dispatched and I would have had very little chance of winning.

Triumphant over the last events, Géraldine did not think she would go so far in the adventure, especially as dean. “It is a great pride to have come this far. It’s true that at the start, I had it in my head that I shouldn’t be eliminated first. I had to move forward as far as possible,” she says. Often prohibitive in the editions of Koh-Lanta, having the role of dean can sometimes be seen as a sign of weakness. “What helped me was that I didn’t impose myself as the oldest. When I meet someone, I don’t take their age into account and I think it’s something that was felt in the relationship I had with others.

Even if she managed to get past this apprehension, her age still had an impact on her adventure since she struggled to reveal herself fully on screen as she would have liked. “I think I’m a little diesel (laughs)”, admits Géraldine. “I took time to stand out and feel good. First of all, because I am a very observant person, but also because I was the oldest. It took me longer to secure myself and get my bearings.” This is his only regret during this adventure. “I surely lacked lightness. But, looking back, I think it’s normal to have been like that, because the context remains very complicated to manage.

But, as the trials and the days follow one another, Géraldine gains self-confidence, thanks in particular to her team. “It is something that matters a lot. When I realized that the orientation was getting closer, we can say that it made me grow wings”, confides Géraldine. “I always say that you can be a champion of nothing and capable of anything. In other words, you may not be the best in an event or in a sport, but still achieve great things!” For the dean, Koh Lanta could be like a life lesson. “I learned that doubt and lack of self-confidence are not obstacles. On the contrary, it allows you to stay awake with the things around you.”

From her adventure, she also retains the strong bonds she has formed with the other candidates. “It’s something that we don’t experience with everyone, so we create strong bonds that will last over time,” she says.

By doing this adventure, Géraldine also wanted to make her loved ones proud, and in particular her two boys. “When I got home, I absolutely wanted to see the eyes of my darling, my children and my friends shine,” explains Géraldine. “The more the weeks went on, the more they wondered how far I could go. And, it is this wonder that I wanted to provoke by doing Koh-Lanta. It was amazing to see them get emotional in every episode.”

Indeed, during the adventure, Géraldine already confided on the screen that she wanted to impress her two big boys by participating in this edition. “I even believe that I exceeded all my expectations!”, she describes. “I wanted to teach them the taste of effort and show them that it could generate a lot of emotions.”