Warning: This story contains spoilers ...

One incredible scene in the explosive finale of Australian Survivor has made the show must-watch viewing for casual and hardcore fans alike.

If you didn't catch the finale, which is yet to screen in New Zealand (spoilers follow), let us set the scene: The three remaining contestants - golden couple Lee and El and solo misfit Kristie - competed in a gruelling final immunity challenge, with the winner guaranteeing their place in the top two.

Lee, El and Kristie from Survivor Australia competed in one of the reality show's toughest challenges yet.
Lee, El and Kristie from Survivor Australia competed in one of the reality show's toughest challenges yet.

The three had to stand on narrow poles, one hand on a totem, being battered by waves on a clifftop - and not move. One hand or foot off the poles and they were out of the game.

To turn the emotional screws, producers had flown in a loved one to support each of the contestants - Kristie's reunion with her father was especially emotional.

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And for Kristie, the stakes were spectacularly high. She knew loved-up Lee and El would bring each other to the final two, and she knew immunity was her only chance to plead her case in front of a jury of her peers.

Her biggest obstacle? In 55 days on the island, she'd never won a single immunity challenge. The odds were not in her favour.

After a torturous six hours and 25 minutes atop the poles - with El already having dropped out - the pain was writ large on Lee and Kristie's faces. Knowing she was up against a physically stronger opponent, Kristie started begging.

It was brutal. Tearfully, she bargained with Lee, telling him she'd take him to the final two if only he'd drop off the pole and give her immunity.

Was it desperation or manipulation? Who knows - but it worked. Exhausted, Lee came crashing to the rocks below, with Kristie crumbling in a heap on top of him seconds later.

"Can you get me off Lee, cos I'm hurting him," she wailed to host Jonathan LaPaglia as he rushed to her aid.

Then, Kristie's father's paternal instinct kicked in. Scooping his adult child into his arms, he carried her like an infant and laid her out in soft grass nearby, comforting her as she wailed from the pain inflicted by the challenge, her numb limbs still contorted.

It was jaw-dropping, unflinchingly brutal television, the sort of raw human drama you don't get on, say, Zumbo's Just Desserts.

Watch the incredible two-minute segment below:

* Watch episodes of Survivor Australia here.