Sur­vivor host Jonathan LaPaglia ex­plains why this sea­son of sur­vivor is its most un­pre­dictable yet

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Sur­vivor host Jonathan LaPaglia talks to TV SOAP.

If you think lm­ing a show on a trop­i­cal is­land would mean plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties to put your feet up and re­lax by the beach, you are so wrong. Jonathan LaPaglia worked day in, day out, to host re­al­ity show Sur­vivor in Samoa, along­side a 200-strong crew.

“The truth is it’s a beast,” he says. “It’s way more work than you re­alise just from watch­ing the show. It’s just a mas­sive, mas­sive show. It’s ev­ery sin­gle day, no days off … it’s a lot of hard work but I en­joy work­ing hard so it’s all good.”

Sur­vivor started off with 24 con­tes­tants fac­ing the ul­ti­mate test of strat­egy and en­durance while for­go­ing the crea­ture com­forts of home. Now, as the num­bers start to dwin­dle, LaPaglia, who is also known for his act­ing on dra­mas Love Child and The Slap, sat down with

TV SOAP talk fron­trun­ners, blind­sides and dark horses.

How is this sea­son shap­ing up com­pared with sea­son one?

This bunch were not afraid to stick their necks out and make some moves, make a

lot of moves ac­tu­ally [laughs]. They’re all swing­ing for the fences this year. It’s go­ing to be a roller-coaster ride.

Have you no­ticed any fron­trun­ners emerg­ing?

That’s the in­trigu­ing thing about this game. To be hon­est with you, the crew and my­self in­cluded lost a lot of money plac­ing bets on who was gonna get out in front and who was gonna win! It’s just so un­pre­dictable. What we found par­tic­u­larly this year was one per­son one day looked like they were sit­ting pretty and they were go­ing to make a mad dash to the end and then two days later they found them­selves on the bot­tom of the pile and then they get voted out. It was re­ally chang­ing that quickly this year.

Have there been any dark horses?

An­other thing that was kind of pe­cu­liar this year was pretty much ev­ery­one played re­ally hard in the sense that al­most ev­ery­one was try­ing to make big moves. There were very few peo­ple who were sit­ting back and wait­ing.

Ev­ery­one loves a good blind­side. How epic are the blind­sides so far this sea­son?

Pretty epic. There are a lot of blind­sides and a cou­ple of beau­ties in there for sure [laughs] – some very mem­o­rable blind­sides for the au­di­ence and also for the peo­ple that were blind­sided [laughs]. They will be think­ing about it for years to come.

I always find it funny that peo­ple get up­set that they’ve been blind­sided be­cause isn’t that the name of the game?

It is. To be hon­est with you, this sea­son not ev­ery­one, but pretty much ev­ery­one, they were com­pli­men­tary to peo­ple that blind­sided them so they re­ally re­spected the game. They ac­tu­ally took it as a com­pli­ment that they got blind­sided be­cause they were ob­vi­ously a threat on some level so they took it like they should take it. Hav­ing said that, it’s a so­cial game and we as hu­mans want to be part of a group so when you get ejected from the group it still hurts on some level. It’s a dou­ble-edged sword but for the most part I think the peo­ple that were voted out [this sea­son] re­spected the way it hap­pened.

Hav­ing watched par­tic­i­pants up close for two sea­sons, have you been able to iden­tify what qual­i­ties make a suc­cess­ful con­tes­tant?

From my ob­ser­va­tions one of the best ways to get fur­ther in the game is to ex­e­cute moves in such a way that get other peo­ple to make moves for you with­out tak­ing the credit for it in the mo­ment be­cause if you make big ashy moves sud­denly you have a tar­get on your back at some point and then you’re at risk of be­ing voted out.

So ide­ally you want to make moves that are not big and ashy but the ip side to that is once you get to the end and you have to prove to the jury that you made those moves so you need to do them in such a way that you can lay them out and prove that they were yours.

What’s your favourite spot in Samoa to film and why?

There’s a lo­ca­tion called Tapa Tapa beach. I just re­ally liked it be­cause the beach was re­ally pretty and the eld was right next to the beach so it always had — you know, Samoa’s in­cred­i­bly hot, doesn’t mat­ter where you are [on the beach] at least there there’s always a nice breeze — so it’s pretty [and] has a breeze.

You said you didn’t get a day off. Does that mean you didn’t get any time to ex­plore?

No, once I get to that is­land it’s just all work. Last year I bought a 1000-page book and I didn’t get to read one word of it. It re­ally is non-stop, you know, if I’m not shoot­ing then I’m prep­ping for what’s com­ing up so I re­ally didn’t get much time to en­joy the rest of the is­land. But hav­ing said that I stayed in a nice re­sort on the beach so when­ever I could I jumped into the ocean for a quick re­ju­ve­na­tion! TVS

GUTSY The lat­est con­tes­tants are not afraid to stick their necks out.

FOOTBRAWL Luke and Ziggy get em­broiled in a splashy con­test.

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