For its third season, Australian Survivor is mixing things up. A tribe of Champions comprised of footy legends, Olympians and the like will be pitted against the Contenders tribe: 12 everyday Aussies.
Host Jonathan LaPaglia, 48, is confident the show's fanbase will love the format. "This is our most eclectic mix of contestants so far," he says.
Outside the competition, viewers will also be on the lookout for potential romances. Several relationships blossomed over the past two seasons, and in March, former contestants Samantha Gash and Mark Wales welcomed the first Australian Survivor baby with the birth of their son. But LaPaglia has bad news for those hoping for flirtation: “There aren’t many singles this season, so there’s not a lot of hanky-panky!” he says.
Though the show’s contestants are doing it tough, LaPaglia says both he and the crew are equally under pressure. “It’s a really tight schedule—even tighter this year,” he says. "It pummels the hell out of you, it really does. You come home and just all into a heap."
Home for him is Los Angeles with his wife, actress Ursuala Brooks, and daughter Tilly, 13. He's been based there for the past 24 years, and this year marks the couple's 20th year of marriage. "I hadn't even though about it! You figured it out before me. Damn it, I'm going to be in the doghouse for that!"
After almost three decades working in America and Australia, LaPaglia is once again doing the rounds. "I'm auditioning for tuff, looking for m next project. I have directed before and I'd love to get into that again, but does does everyone else in Hollywood. So I'm starting from round zero to make it happen."
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Australian Survivor stars Wednesday August 1, 7:30pm on TEN