INTO AFRICA: THE STARS TIPPED TO GO WILD FOR I’M A CELEBRITY
CLUE 1. US sitcom star: This stand-up comedian is a world famous TV star who has also made over 60 films
This clue has quite literally kept me up at night (yes I know, my life is very sad); mainly because my preconception is that no actual huge US celebrity would do this show. There are so many variables: a lot of comedians act but don’t do stand-up; a lot do stand-up but don’t act; some do all three but haven’t made anywhere near 60 films; some fit all three criteria but are octogenarians. I feel confident ruling out rumours of Chris Rock, Tim Allen and Eddie Murphy. I think the most realistic possibilities are Jim Belushi and George Lopez.
Clue 2. Shock jock: He’s outspoken, tells it like it is, and isn’t afraid of controversy
While Kyle Sandilands seems like the obvious choice here, the KIIS 1065 radio presenter has been recorded saying he’s “too lazy” to do the show and the “price wasn’t right”. But this Price might be right: 2GB presenter and regular panellist on The Project, Steve Price. Not only is he already on the Network 10 payroll, he’s also experienced in dealing with popular culture and, well, airheads – not always well, but he’s proven he can do it. He’s denied the “gossip” on Twitter.
Clue 3. AFL legend: This Brownlow medallist is not afraid to tell it like it is
I reckon Jason Akermanis is a five-pointer slam dunk (that’s an AFL term, right?) for this clue. He’s said and done just enough dumb, controversial things for producers to be rubbing their hands together.
Clue 4. Olympian: A much loved, three time Olympian who has had success in sport, business and on TV
There are quite a few threetime Aussie Olympians who have gone on to have success in business and TV: Dawn Fraser, Kieran Perkins, Susie O’Neill, Grant Hackett and Michael Klim are just a few who would make a splash. Three that stand out are
Biggest Loser host Hayley Lewis, sports commentator Nicole Livingstone and
Celebrity Apprentice contestant Lisa Curry. From these three my prediction is Curry. She has her own weight-loss program, and I assume she’d jump at the chance to plug the African daylight out of it.
Clue 5. A Pop Diva: One of the biggest names in Australian TV, this pop and soap star has had a number of top 10 hits
A wave of nostalgia overcame me as I thought about this one. Names like Bec Cartwright, Tammin Sursok and Holly Valance crept to the surface in a strange mashup of female noughties pop chaos. Bec’s busy with Lleyton and what seems to be a weekly New Idea cover, Tammin lives in LA and Holly married a billionaire, so won’t need the coin. I think this one will be a headscratcher when it’s revealed so I’m going to go with Natalie Bassingthwaite. She’s originally of Neighbours stardom, had success with Rogue Traders and recently appeared in Brock.
Clue 6. Comedian: This Aussie comedian, TV and radio presenter is sure to liven up the camp
Being a huge fan of Aussie comedy, I’m super excited for this contestant to be revealed. Again, there are so many possibilities: Rove McManus, Dave Hughes, Will Anderson, Anh Do, Amanda Keller, Ryan “Fitzy” Fitzgerald, Merrick Watts, Mick Molloy. Even recently retired Triple J announcers Matt Okine and Alex Dyson have been tipped for the spot but it doesn’t seem to fit, as Okine wants to focus on his music post-departure and Dyson has never hosted TV. If Triple J were involved at all, I’d tip Dyson’s former copresenter Tom Ballard.
Clue 7. Singing sensation: This actress, author and ARIA winner hit the big time as a teenager
There is no way in hell Kylie would do this. That’s when my attention turned to Jessica Mauboy. Hit the big time as a teen – check: Jess came runner up in 2006 Australian Idol when she was 17. She played the lead role of Billie Carter in
The Secret Daughter, which aired in October last year, and also acted in Australian films
Bran Nue Dae and The Sapphires. She’s won a bunch of ARIAs and released her biography Jessica Mauboy: My
Story in 2014, which is written in first person, though is credited to Belinda Gibbon – so that one’s a technicality but it all still fits the bill.
Clue 8. Reality star: This blonde firecracker made her name on reality TV and is sure to fire up the camp
Since The Bachelor’s “dirty street pie” Laurina Fleure starred in last season’s I’m a
Celeb, I’m tipping “villain” of Richie Strahan’s season, Keira Maguire, will be the blonde firecracker. Sassy Keira is made for reality TV.
Clue 9. Beauty Queen: This Aussie model, pageant titleholder and reality contestant is one of the most beautiful women in Australia
I think the most likely option is Tegan Martin who won the Miss Universe Australia crown in 2014. After a season of Celebrity Apprentice Australia in which she was relentlessly billed as a bimbo, she’s out to prove there’s more to her than meets the eye. I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, January 29, 7pm on TEN
We’d love to see Jessica Mauboy fill the shoes of the “singing sensation”.