A cast of 17 famous — or, in some cases, infamous — Aussie names are set to take on one of the toughest reality TV shows out there, SAS: Australia.
From former Bachelorettes to sporting greats and even a former prison inmate, these celebs will be pushed to their absolute limits by a team of ex-Special Forces soldiers as they attempt to complete a gruelling series of psychological and physical tests lifted from the real SAS training handbook.
What is SAS Australia about?
The star ‘recruits’ of the premiere season of Channel 7’s SAS: Australia will be dropped at a secret base in the middle of nowhere with just the clothes on their backs before their harrowing journey begins.
No longer called by their name but a number on their armband, the recruits will be stripped down to basics physically and mentally, with all the luxuries of home replaced with cold showers, camp beds and short-drop toilets.
They’ll endure ‘extreme physical endurance, sleep deprivation, interrogation and psychological testing’ at the hands of seasoned SAS professionals Chief Instructor Ant Middleton and his DS (Directing Staff) Mark “Billy” Billingham, Jason “Foxy” Fox and Ollie Ollerton.
All four men have appeared on the hit UK version of the series and will be pulling no punches. According to the press release, some of the stars suffered injuries including fractured ribs, hypothermia and wounds that required stitches.
So, why the heck are the celebs doing this to themselves? It’s certainly not to win a prize, as the synopsis explains:
“SAS Australia is not a game. There is no winner; there is no prize. Most recruits will reach breaking point and withdraw. Who has what it takes to tough it out to the end?”
Who is on SAS Australia?
ALI OETJEN, 34
Known for: former Bachelorette, wellness coach and influencer.
Why she enlisted: “I wanted to experience where my mental and physical limits were and push past them so I could grow and build strength in a way I couldn’t any other way.”
ARABELLA DEL BUSSO, 30
Known for: Glamour model
Why she enlisted: “To prove to myself that I am stronger than I think, both mentally and physically, and to show myself that I can achieve anything I put my mind to.”
CANDICE WARNER, 35
Known for: Ironwoman
Why she enlisted: “To show my daughters that mummy is pretty capable of some cool stuff and that daddy isn’t the only one that can do things. And secondly to show people what my family and husband are made of.”
EDEN DALLY, 28
Known for: ex-Married At First Sight contestant
Why he enlisted: “To get to feel what my grandfather went through. I have always thought about joining the army and wanted to see what it would be like.”
ERIN MCNAUGHT, 38
Known for: Miss Universe Australia
Why she enlisted: “I’m doing this for my boys; I’m not just the mum that packs their lunches, I’m so much more than that.”
FIRASS DIRANI, 37
Known for: actor and star of House Husbands and Underbelly.
Why he enlisted: “To test my Duendè. My Qalb. My heart. My resilience.”
JACKSON WARNE, 21
Known for: Poker Player
Why he enlisted: “To prove that I’m not just Shane Warne’s son, I’m tougher than that.”
JAMES MAGNUSSEN, 29
Known for: World Champion Swimmer
Why he enlisted: “I was really looking for a big challenge post my professional swimming career.”
MERRICK WATTS, 46
Known for: Comedian, radio host
Why he enlisted: “There was a period where I lost my self-confidence… I want to test myself and I want to rebuild myself.”
MITCHELL JOHNSON, 38
Known for: Cricket Legend
Why he enlisted: “I wanted to get a taste of what Special Forces soldiers go through in selection.
MOLLY TAYLOR, 32
Known for: Rally Car Champion
Why she enlisted: “I was hoping that I would come out the other side changed for the better and I feel like I achieved that.
NICK CUMMINS, 33
Known for: Former Bachelor, Rugby Union Player
Why he enlisted: “Because I love a challenge and wanted to bullet proof myself for life.”
ROXY JACENKO, 40
Known for: PR Queen
Why she enlisted: “I wanted the challenge and to be taken out of the environment I am used to, where I am always in control and making the calls. I wanted someone else to run the show!”
SABRINA FREDERICK, 23
Known for: AFLW Star
Why she enlisted: “I wanted to see if I could pass selection and see how far I could really push myself.”
SCHAPELLE CORBY, 43
Known for: Former Bali Inmate
Why she enlisted: “I don’t do heights, I don’t do cold. I fear open spaces. I fear interrogation. I’ve been locked away for a very long time… I’m 43 now. I want to change my life.”
SHANNAN PONTON, 46
Known for: former coach on The Biggest Loser
Why he enlisted: “I wanted to show my kids the power of the human spirit and be a role model.”
SHAYNA JACK, 21
Known for: Swimming Gold Medallist
Why she enlisted: “I made the decision to give this show a go and have no regrets about challenging myself and trying new experiences.”
When does SAS Australia start?
SAS Australia premieres 7.30pm Monday October 19 on Channel 7.