At long last, Australian Survivor is returning to our screens, and this season there’s a brand new theme: Brains Vs. Brawn.
Host Jonathan LaPaglia returns as the show moves from Fiji to our own outback of Cloncurry, Queensland. Gone are the tropical landscapes and crystal clear waters, replaced by a harsh climate that promises scorching days and freezing nights.
“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.
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.
With COVID-related production delays and a location shift from Fiji to Australia, the new season promises to be one of the most challenging yet.
With the whole production team having to travel on unpaved roads for three-to-four hours a day between filming locations–in blistering heat, no less–JLP said that it “really took its toll” filming seven days a week.
“From a production point of view, it was tough, but the contestants, it was even harder; you’ve got that blistering temperature, you’ve got the wildlife that can kill you, snakes, spiders, crocodiles, and then there’s the lack of food,” he explained to POPSUGAR Australia.
“They don’t have the coconuts, the papayas, the fish that they had in the tropical locations,” he said, “So all of those things create an environment that’s much more difficult and adds another layer to the show”.
We can’t wait to watch, but the question remains: when is it on?!
Australian Survivor: Brains Vs. Brawn will premiere on Sunday, July 18 at 7.30pm on 10 and 10 Play on demand. From there, it will air Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays at 7.30pm every week.