'SURVIVOR 2' CUTIE FINDS LOVE IN THE OUTBACK

Published on: April 3, 2001

'SURVIVOR 2' cutie Elisabeth Filarski didn't travel all the way to the Australian Outback just to win a million bucks -- she wanted to put her love for Boston College quarterback Tim Hasselbeck to the ultimate test.

And spending two long months away from each other convinced both Elisabeth and Tim how much in love they really are. Now friends say the couple will be heading to the altar by the end of this year.

"Thanks to 'Survivor 2,' Elisabeth and Tim are happier than they've ever been," an insider told The ENQUIRER.

Elisabeth and Tim, both 23, met at a Boston College function and began dating four years ago, the insider disclosed.

"Since then, they had never been separated for longer than a week at a time. So when Elisabeth told Tim she was sending a videotape to the 'Survivor 2' producers to try to get selected for the show, he was devastated.

"Tim didn't know the real reason Elisabeth wanted to be separated from him until days before she boarded the plane for Australia.

"She explained to him that the million dollars wasn't nearly as important to her as finding out if he was the man she was meant to spend the rest of her life with.

"She said their relationship had grown stagnant and that she needed to find her own identity -- instead of being known for her role as the girlfriend of Boston College's star quarterback.

"Tim didn't want Elisabeth to spend the rest of her life with regrets, so he gave her his support and wished her well.

"Little did Tim know that as soon as Elisabeth's feet touched down on Australian soil, she found herself feeling just as lonely, upset and lovesick as he was. She spent hours sitting alone around the campfire under the stars, thinking how wrong she was to second-guess her love for Tim.

"Had it not been for Elisabeth's good friend Rodger Bingham, she may not have been able to fight off her tears for Tim the way she did. Rodger was her rock. When she was sad she'd confide in him and he'd offer caring, heartfelt words and encourage her to keep her chin up.

"In one episode Rodger found a heart-shaped stone on the ground, then handed it to Elisabeth and told her to give it to her boyfriend when she returned home.

"What 'Survivor 2' fans don't know is that scene was shot only moments before teary-eyed Elisabeth told Rodger that coming to Australia was a terrible mistake.

"While in the Outback, Elisabeth had numerous opportunities to form 'special bonds' with many of her male counterparts. But as hard as they tried, none of the guys had a chance at winning Elisabeth's heart because she was so devoted to Tim.

"When she finally returned to the States she greeted Tim with open arms and tears in her eyes, and told him she'd never leave his side again.

"Now that she's back, Elisabeth is convinced Tim is the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with.

"And pals close to the couple say things are going so well that they're secretly planning to tie the knot by the end of the year!"