American Survivor has concluded its 38th season; Edge of Extinction. Oh boy, what a ride. Now we Aussies are eagerly waiting for the new season of Australian Survivor, or at least we were until we saw the leaked cast list.

To be fair, it really doesn’t matter who is going to be on the champions tribe this season, I just wouldn’t have cared. It’s not like the cast is terrible, we have some real Aussie legends joining us: AFL superstar Simon Black. Looking for Alibrandi star, Pia Miranda.. and then there is this guy!

Australian Survivor Champion Tribe Player - Andrew Ettinghausen  | Sausage Roll
Don’t know who he is…. I just know his face.

I was genuinely excited when channel 10 announced ‘Champions vs. Contenders’ in 2018. And the first few episodes were amazing — but then it just kind of went south. After the third episode it started to feel more like Celebrity Big Brother instead of Australian Survivor, or at least that was the case for the champions.

Russel Hantz last night in Australian Survivor | Sausage Roll
‘I ain’t going home!’ – Russel Hantz, Famous Last Words

Russel called it, the champions were far too concerned about their public image and played the game cautiously and generously. That may sounds great on paper but it is an absolute bore to watch. Every player in the champions tribe was voted out by unanimous decision. The tribe would sit together and just decide who would be going home that night so they could avoid blindsides and, in turn, not upset anyone.

Discussion

Of course this didn’t last the whole season. It couldn’t. Especially after one of the dumbest moves ever made in Australian Survivor history, voting out public enemy number one; Russel Hantz. The decisions to vote him off the island was purely and emotional one. Keeping him around just to use as a decoy would have been smart thing to do. However, voting him off came with some consequences that definitely spiced things up game-wise. Nobody had Russel to hide behind anymore so that whole kumbaya tribe mentality wore off.

Damien Thomlinson, war veteran and purple heart amputee voted out third triba in Australian Survivor | Sausage Roll
Voted out Damien? Went from Champs to Chumps.

Same could not be said about the contenders. They out-played the champions in almost every way, except PR. You know you are watching quality Survivor when a player decides to throw a challenge to advance their stance in the game. Okay, I will admit it, maybe I am a little biased for the contender side. Survivor has always been about getting people from all different walks-of-life and pitting them against each other in the most uncomfortable and awkward scenario; sweaty, stinky and partially nude on an island with a lot of things that like to crawl up your butt-crack.

Cringe-worthy

Champions vs.Contenders certainly was a fun season. There were a lot of memorable moments. But that whole us against them thing got boring pretty quickly. I was kind of hoping for the producers to throw a bigger twist our way this year – I guess they still can – but for now we just got to way and see.

With all that being said I will still be pulling for Pia Miranda to be the Australian Sole Survivor in 2019, thanks to a celebrity crush I had about 20 years back.

Pia Miranda, Australian Survivor Contender - Champions Tribe - 2019 | Sausage Roll
If only you were single.

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