Jonathan LaPaglia in a scene from season two of Australian Survivor.
Jonathan LaPaglia in a scene from season two of Australian Survivor. Nigel Wright

Jonathan LaPaglia takes you inside Australian Survivor s2

AUSTRALIAN Survivor is anything but a getaway for those who choose to play the game.

And this year's castaways are one bold bunch, says host Jonathan LaPaglia.

After watching the inaugural season of the reality show, filmed in Samoa last year, 2017's contestants think they know what's in store for them.

"They definitely think they're more savvy," LaPaglia tells The Guide.

"The fun thing about this group is they're not afraid to make any moves. There are lots of crazy moves going on throughout the entire season. Most of them are great moves, but some are just moves for the sake of moves.

"That's what I want in the players - that they're willing to make moves and try things, and they certainly did that in spades this year.

"They're all swinging for the fences and the result is fun and entertaining TV."

Castaways compete in a challenge in season two of Australian Survivor.
Castaways compete in a challenge in season two of Australian Survivor. Nigel Wright

But don't expect anyone to copy last year's winner, Kristie Bennett's strategy. The former account executive hid her intelligence and true motives from all of her competitors until the final tribal council, frustrating her campmates and viewers alike as she constantly flip-flopped on alliances.

"Everyone is playing their own game this year and so they should," LaPaglia says.

"It worked for Kristie last year because of the bunch she was playing with and the circumstances.

"There's no one way of doing it. Anyone can play it and win it."

Channel 10 has made some major changes this year, responding to fans' calls for a live finale and reunion special.

While the bulk of this year's series has already been filmed, the finale is likely to be broadcast from Sydney months after the castaways have returned to the comforts of home.

Survivor follows 24 players as they rough it on a tropical island in "tribes" while also competing in a strategic game for a $500,000 grand prize.

There are plenty of hardships, from sleeping outside and eating meagre rations to social isolation, physically gruelling challenges and injuries.

Last season an ongoing health issue forced one player to throw in the towel, while the treatment of another's boil became a viral sensation.

"There was a ton of cuts and bruises, a broken finger and infections this year but nothing major that required medical evacuation," LaPaglia says.

"The weather was brutal this year. When we first landed it was incredibly hot and then we had cyclones come through nearby. We didn't get a direct hit but we definitely felt the ramifications of it.

"The contestants really had it tough weather-wise this year."

Last season's alliance between finalists Lee Carseldine and El Rowland blossomed into a real-life romance for the Queenslanders.

Are there any sparks between this year's castaways?

"Not to my knowledge," LaPaglia says.

"There wasn't an obvious connection like Lee and El last year, but who knows what was going on at Jury Villa."

This year's contestants, selected from more than 20,000 entries, include a model, a farmer, a poker player, a former special ops commander, an endurance athlete, a doctor and a former Olympian.

Season two of Australian Survivor premieres on Sunday at 7.30pm on Channel 10.



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