WHO: How has this season compared to the first two?
The first season, a lot of the cast were trying to work out the game, whereas in Season 2 they were very well-versed in the game. This feels like a balance between the two. With the Contenders, more players were well-versed in the game, while the Champions were less so, but were quick to learn and are obviously doing quite well.
WHO: Did the athlete-packed Champions have an advantage given the nature of the challenges?
It’s always easy in retrospect, but one of the faults this season was that the challenges leading up to the merge were maybe a little too weighted to the physical endurance and power side of things.
WHO: During endurance challenges that go for hours, do you have to commentate the whole time?
Absolutely. When they’re hanging on a pole for four hours, I’m talking continuously – and you kind of run out of subject matter. It gets pretty challenging dreaming up ways of saying the same thing for four hours because you never know what piece the producers will use.
WHO: Were you surprised which players made it to the final four?
Not really. Maybe Shane, because on the island, I’d get verbal reports about what’s going on and what was coming back about her was that she wasn’t really doing much, but now I’m watching the show, I see that’s not true – it was just the producer’s interpretation.
WHO: What about Shonee being the final Contender?
She’s definitely flown under the radar, but she’s cleverly kept out of people’s view, which is a completely valid strategy – and it’s worked.
WHO: What can we expect from the final two episodes? Are there more big twists to come?
Yes. Yet again, in typical Survivor fashion, it is pretty unpredictable how this is going to play out. Even when we were on the island, we were like, “Wow, we didn’t expect that.” If it surprises us, it’s going to surprise the audience. People will not be disappointed – the best is yet to come.
WHO: Are you feeling any pressure with the result and reunion episode?
I totally feel the pressure. I feel pressure with the whole show because it’s reality and it’s not like drama where you can retake something, but there’s extra pressure with the live show – there’s an audience of 500 people. But it also brings a level of excitement and there’s an immediacy to it, too. I’m looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time.
WHO: Do you have a standout moment this season?
The one that really stands out is how many idols people had that weren’t played and went home in pockets.
WHO: From the three most arrogant players there …
I know, I know. It’s brilliant that hubris caught up with them. Crazy stuff.
And for more on this season of Australian Survivor, check out the latest episode of Binge List for our chat with Jonathan LaPaglia. Listen on iTunes http://po.st/1vN2h7 or Google Podcasts: http://po.st/yUocbZ or Spotify http://po.st/7Zn8WQ.