Jonathan LaPaglia still a fan of Australian Survivor

Australian Survivor: Champions V Contenders host Jonathan LaPaglia.
Australian Survivor: Champions V Contenders host Jonathan LaPaglia.

WHEN Australian actor Jonathan LaPaglia signed on to host Australian Survivor four seasons ago, he thought it would be all cocktails and surfing with occasional work.

The LA-based 49-year-old quickly discovered his error.

“Every season I bring books with me that I plan to read and I don’t get to read a single word,” LaPaglia said.

“From morning until night I’m trying to keep up with prepping stuff and we’re shooting every day.

“It’s non-stop for two and a half months, which I’m glad about because if I’m going to be away from my family for such a big chunk of time, I want to be working.”

LaPaglia said he returned to host this year’s Australian Survivor: Champions V Contenders in Savusavu, Fiji simply because he was asked and was a big fan of the show, especially the Champions V Contenders format introduced last season.

Australian Survivor: Champions V Contenders host Jonathan LaPaglia.

“I think it’s a great narrative and really helps your storytelling having this boxing match-type competition between two tribes,” he said.

“We certainly had that last year and there was no shortage of it this year. We have a bunch of big characters in both the Champions and Contenders tribes and a lot of good game players.

“We had really good game play from beginning to end and I don’t think the fans will be disappointed.”

This season’s Champions include actress Pia Miranda, former AFL player Simon Black, Olympic gold medallist and former senator Nova Peris, NRL legend Andrew Ettingshausen, Olympic gold medallist Steven Bradbury, marathon swimmer Susie Maroney and WA fan favourite Luke Toki, who returns as the People’s Champion.

Australian Survivor: Champions V Contenders host Jonathan LaPaglia.

The massive machine of Australian Survivor shoots a brutal schedule of 25 episodes across 50 days with a crew half the size of the US version, which films 14 episodes in 39 days.

“It takes me a while to get over shooting Survivor; it knocks a bit out of me,” LaPaglia said.

“The first thing I do when I get home is hug my family and then I eat avocados and strawberries because you can’t get either of those things on the island and I crave them.”

Australian Survivor: Champions V Contenders is on Ten from Wednesday, July 24.

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