But Genat’s former Survivor co-star Shaun Hampson tells WHO he believes his friend needs to take a different approach.
“Likeability was never David’s weakness but if he can show a bit more restraint
when it comes to trying to take charge and steer the ship, it will really improve his game,” Hampson says.
However, Genat is up against some tough competition. Although he didn’t win his season of Champions vs Contenders in 2018, former footballer Mat Rogers was nicknamed The Godfather due to his power and high status in the tribe.
But the NRL legend has admitted he’s got “scores to settle” after he was blindsided and kicked out by AFL star Brian Lake and Benji Wilson. “I learnt the hard way that you can’t trust anyone in this game,” 43-year-old Rogers says. “I won’t be making that mistake again.”
Former Olympic swimming legend Shane Gould may be 63, but she’s just as capable as the contestants half her age, as she proved during the Champions vs Contenders series in 2018.
Gould surprised the sceptics when she became the oldest person in the world to win any Survivor show. “People make judgements – I make judgements, about young people – and yes, I think people underestimated me because of ideas of what a so-called ‘old person’ is,” she says.
But it’s not just the high-profile contestants from the past who are getting a second chance at victory. In Season 1 of the show, allies Felicity ‘Flick’ Egginton and Brooke Jowett were among the strongest contenders in their tribe, but their union ended on a sour note when Egginton felt threatened by Jowett and turned on her.
With both women back this season, and Jowett “the strongest and fittest I’ve ever been”, there could be drama ahead if Jowett is still reeling from the 2016 betrayal.
But Hampson thinks it’s wise for Jowett to let the past be the past, saying, “I feel Brooke has to be careful … if she goes in set on evening up the score with Flick, it could easily derail her game.”
Among the other notable contestants are Mark ‘Tarzan’ Herlaar and Henry Nicholson from Season 2, former Olympic ski champion Lydia Lassila, nice guy winner Jericho Malabonga from Season 3 and Season 6’s Harry Hills, the ice-cream maker who took out Janine Allis.
If Hampson had his time on the island again, he would change a few things. “I wouldn’t swap any idols … and I would definitely keep my cards closer to my chest,” the 31-year-old says. “There will definitely be some envy watching on, but as alife-long Survivor fan, I’m really excited to see how it all plays out!”