It’s Back Baby – Australian Survivor Returns On July 24

IT’S OFFICIAL: Australian Survivor will return to our screens on Wednesday the 24th of July!

Network Ten’s Australian Survivor made the official announcement on their social media sites this morning through a cheeky meme that heavily featured our beloved host’s biceps, followed by an acknowledgment video that the only thing we’ve all been thinking about since the June preview was released, is when the hell the third season of Survivor would make its way back onto Australian television?

Australian Survivor is based on the already iconic and extremely popular reality competition format created by Charlie Parsons and of course made famous by the 38 seasons Jeff Probst has successfully hosted in America.

It takes a group of everyday Australians, dumps them on what they want you to believe is a ‘deserted island‘, forces contestants to compete in a number of utterly untrainable physical and mental challenges, and whilst deprived of sleep, food, and comfort, creates utter social chaos by asking losing teams to eliminate a player each episode. The top players who are able to outwit their teammates socially, outplay the other contestants in the challenges, and outlast the gruelling month-long island stay, then have to plead their case as to why they deserve to be handed $500,000 and the title of Sole Survivor, to a jury of players they all had a hand in voting off the island.

I have been a longstanding Survivor stan, watching my first season of Survivor in 2003 with my family at the age of 8 which was Survivor: Pearl Islands where Sandra Diaz-Twine defeated Lillian Morris in a 6–1 jury vote thanks to her resourcefulness and incredible skills in manipulation. I have been a dedicated viewer of the US Survivor ever since, and have watched disappointingly as Australia butchered two previous attempts at franchising the series, so I am thrilled that this fascinating show finally took Australia by storm in 2016.

I know there are a lot of people out there who don’t particularly enjoy watching game shows, or are heavy critics of reality television, but this show is ultimately a world-class social experiment. It pushes people to their limit both physically and mentally, demonstrating in a Lord-Of-The-Flies kind of way the extremes people are willing to go to when desperate and alone. It is the ultimate form of pure entertainment for entertainment’s sake, for people of all ages, demonstrated by the fact that it has been one of the world’s longest running reality TV series, spanning nearly two decades since it’s initial inception in America. It is because of Survivor’s consistent turnover of diverse personalities, as well as the fact it is one of few reality TV series that has been capable of constantly reviving it’s format with a number of interesting twists, that each season of Survivor remains fresh and continues to peak the audiences’ interest.

Though Survivor is clearly a reality GOAT (greatest of all time), Australian Survivor is still trying to find it’s footing with this third season being it’s second attempt at pitting everyday Aussies against top-of-their-field champions, instead of continuously refreshing it’s core premise and theme each season like American Survivor.

Australian contestants also appear to struggle with one of the game’s most crucial elements – backstabbing. It seems our nation truly does pride itself on ‘mateship’, which has led to large groups of contestants sticking together until the very end, something that does not make way for great twists and turns on reality TV.

The Australian series has also moved the focus away from any puzzle and mental challenges, as well as the psychosocial aspect of the game, instead choosing to predominantly air strength and physical based challenges, and focus on the emotional sob stories of contestants and the social aspect of isolation.

Though these changes may be disappointing to long-term Survivor fans, it is clear that Australian Survivor is moving in the right direction for Australian audiences, having recently being nominated for Most Popular Reality Program and Most Outstanding Reality Program at the 2019 Logie Awards, winning the latter of the two categories.

It has also seen success in the choice of contestants it has cast, specifically the champions, with some of the 2018 fave champions including, five time Winter Olympian and fitness freak Lydia Lassila, The Biggest Loser trainer and army veteran Steve ‘The Commando’ Willis, and footy champion and all round good-guy Mat Rogers.

The 2018 season also saw a sensational selection of true blue, average, okka Aussies including the nacho demolishing entrepreneur Benji, ex-special forces commando and double amputee Damien Thomlinson, and the sassy yet surprisingly strong girl from Noosa, Shonee.

This new season of Australian Survivor has continued to provide a stellar cast including Australia’s most loved entrepreneur and Boost Juice founder Janine Allis, every Australian dad’s fave fishing and footy idol Andrew ‘ET’ Ettinghausen, and who could not enjoy the thought of Steven Bradbury coming from behind and winning Australian Survivor just like he did at the 2002 Winter Olympics. Iconic.

So now we know who will be on this season of Australian Survivor and when it will air on television, all we have left to do is wait for Masterchef Australia to finally finish and speculate about what twists, idols, and challenges Australian Survivor have in store for us this season.

If you haven’t already, check out the trailer for season three of Australian Survivor here:

– Courtie

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