‘Australian Survivor’ Host Jonathan LaPaglia Promises More Bold and Villainous Games

jlp jonathan lapaglia australian survivor brains vs brawn full cast tribe

Back for season six after a COVID-related extended hiatus and a location shift back to Australia from the blue skies and crystal clear waters of Fiji, Australian Survivor is back with a new theme: Brains Vs. Brawn.

Chatting to The Latch ahead of the Sunday, July 18 premiere, Jonathan LaPaglia described the theme as “a Survivor classic”.

“It asks the question ‘what’s more valuable in the game of Survivor, brains or brawn’? So I think it’s a good theme that works and offers up a good narrative,” he said.

As for future seasons, LaPaglia has a bunch of different Survivor themes he’d like to see Australian Survivor adapt, with Fans Vs. Favourites being top of the list.

“Blood Vs Water is great, it’s interesting for a number of reasons,” he mused. “I really enjoy Gen X Vs Millennials, I enjoyed David Vs Goliath, and Heroes Vs Villains is a classic.”

Of course, Survivor is a game that’s constantly shifting, adapting, and evolving, and LaPaglia is happy with the way Australian Survivor has evolved over its five previous seasons.

“Look, I think season one was a little hamstrung by the idea of mateship,” he ventured. “It’s something that’s part of the Aussie culture, but it’ll only get you so far in the game of Survivor, because the name of the game is voting everyone else out, right?

“At some point, deception needs to come into the game,” he explained, adding that the game has “rapidly evolved” from season one.

Crediting All Stars winner David “The Golden God” Genat for “advancing the game”, LaPaglia also gave nods to Jericho Malabonga, Luke Toki and Benji Wilson for “playing at a relatively sophisticated level”

“I think the more players we get like that, the more advanced the show becomes year after year,” he said.

In a post-Golden God version of Australian Survivor, LaPaglia believes we’ll begin to see more players choosing to play big, bold, villainous games, rather than focusing on honour and flying under the radar. But it’s more easily said than done in a season with 50 days compared to US Survivor‘s 39.

“The one problem we have with our show is the length of it,” he explained. “I think it’s easier to play a big, bold game when the game is shorter.”

With the extra 11 days, LaPaglia said, the game becomes “more difficult, because the more times you pop your head up, the more people start to worry about you and the more they conspire to get rid of you”.

For a player who wants to play a bold, in-your-face game, then, they have to figure out how to pace themselves through the season, lest they find themselves blindsided and sent home.

“It’s tricky! Even if you look at David’s game; the first time he played he was big and bold and he got blindsided and he went home,” he said, “then in All Stars in the middle of the game he really tried to take as much of a backseat as he could, and then saved his run of the end. He was smart enough to learn from the first time around that it’s hard to keep that going all the way through.”

Australian Survivor: Brains Vs. Brawn premieres Sunday, July 18 at 7.30pm on 10 and 10 Play on Demand.

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