After a brutal season of physically and emotionally demanding challenges, Sam Burgess has become the latest celeb to make it through the SAS Australia course. The season began with 18 recruits, five of which made it to the final episode, but in the end, the team — former SAS soldiers Ant Middleton, Mark ‘Billy’ Billingham, Jason ‘Foxy’ Fox and Olli Ollerton — decided that only Burgess had the brains and brawn that they were looking for.
“I’m feeling a lot of things, really,” said the former professional rugby league footballer about his win. “A bit of emotion, joy. It’s a bit unbelievable”.
Burgess said that it was his goal from the beginning “to get to the end and be selected, and it was great to achieve that goal”.
“It’s a once in a lifetime experience,” he said.
As for the lessons he learned along the way, Burgess said that it’s taught him where to put his “time and emotion” in life.
“It starts with my kids and just making sure I’m the best role model for them,” he said, adding that the experience was “just a great lesson in life”.
The final episode saw the recruits take on three extreme challenges, pushing them to the absolute brink of human endurance.
During the first challenge, the recruits were ambushed and taken hostage by masked hostile soldiers. In order to prove their worth as “thinking soldiers”, they were then asked to recall as many crucial details about their capture as possible, from the code names used to insignia on their uniforms, to sounds and smells along the way. Unfortunately, Dan Ewing wasn’t able to remember enough about the capture and didn’t pass the challenge.
Next, the recruits were paired up and sent into a simulated war zone, with the mission of locating a cache of important intel. Then, the recruits were put under fire. In order to escape, they had to hang from the end of a helicopter extraction rope.
Running on empty with nothing in the tank, this challenge took out the show’s final female, Jana Pittman, leaving John Steffensen, Mark Philippoussis and Sam Burgess to compete in the final challenge.
In this challenge, the recruits had to climb across a rope that was hanging 300 metres above a deep ravine.
Once they were in the middle, they had to drop, and hang by their arms for 90 seconds.
While all three finalists made it to the end of the course, in the end, only Burgess made the cut.
SAS Australia returns tomorrow at 7.30pm, where all 18 recruits will return to base camp for a reunion special.