Survivor All Stars: Let the games begin, again
IF AUSTRALIAN Survivor fans think it's too early to have an all-stars series, then they need to do their homework says the show's host.
Jonathan LaPaglia returns to our screens next month in Australian Survivor: All Stars, which pits previous winners, villain and favourites from the past four seasons against one another in the reality show's most competitive instalment yet.
"Honestly, that was my initial knee jerk reaction too when I heard about it way back when," says LaPaglia.
"But as some other people have pointed out the US had their first all-stars season at season seven, so six seasons in, but remember their seasons are half of ours in terms of episodes and number of players. We've had almost the same number of players they had for their first all stars, so you know I think there's an argument for it and against it, but certainly there were enough highly competitive players in the previous four seasons to fill out the card.
"You never know until it's all cut together but I think it's going to be a killer season."
Preparations for All Stars began in Savusavu, Fiji immediately after Pia Miranda was crowned the season four winner.
"For me it was a six-week break, but some of the construction crew didn't even leave the island. A lot of those guys are there three months before we start shooting, so they stayed on. They had a total of eight or nine months working on the island."
Only a handful of the 24 all-star contestants have been revealed so far, including previous winners Shane Gould and Jericho Malabonga.
"Everyone in this season are high profile players, so they all have a target of some description on their backs," LaPaglia says.
"It's not impossible to win twice. Sandra (Diaz-Twine) in the US did it."
The other returning castaways are out for redemption and, in some cases, revenge.
"A lot of them did learn from their first time around and a lot of them felt like it was a chance to prove themselves," he says.
"There really was a noticeable difference in a lot of their gameplay.
"The moment they hit the beach, it really was gloves off. You've got 24 highly competitive people; there was a lot of testosterone in the room. It was pretty savage gameplay. There were a lot of brutal blindsides. It gets pretty nutty but that's good."
Filming at a different time of year presented new challenges for cast and crew alike.
"We were lucky to have no major injuries but we did have a spider issue," LaPaglia says.
"A lot of contestants ended up with spider bites. They weren't particularly a problem in and of themselves, but a lot of them got infected and there were some people who had some pretty serious infections."
Australian Survivor: All Stars premieres Monday, February 3 at 7.30pm on Ten/WIN.