SAS Australia finale: Shock twist as star fails to pass selection

With three recruits passing the final challenge, only two were deemed worthy of selection.

SAS Australia came to an end last night, after 10 gruelling episodes but only two celebrities emerged victorious.

The final challenges were broken up into three phases which were delivered to test the remaining recruits: The Bachelor's Tim Robards, Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham, AFLW star Abbey Holmes, and Thai cave rescue hero Dr Craig Challen.

Phase one saw the recruits have a rude awakening by stun grenades before being hooded and held captive by the DS, before being forced to film a death message to their loved ones, with one catch — they couldn't show any emotion.

Tim and Craig, like most Aussie men, managed to repress their emotions well, while Abbey and Matthew failed the challenge, both bursting into tears.

SAS Australia recruits Tim Robards, Abbey Holmes, and Matthew Mitcham
SAS Australia recruits Tim Robards, Abbey Holmes, and Matthew Mitcham. Photo: Seven

Phase two saw the recruits be challenged to a five-kilometre run carrying their bergens before a 150-metre high cliff assault with a vertical ascent to the summit — however, Abbey was cut after the challenge, bringing the final recruits down to three.

Phase three then saw the remaining competitors have to undergo a hostage rescue with Tim, Matthew, and Craig completing the mission and thus, the course.

So they all won, right?


Dr Craig Challen, Matthew Mitcham, Tim Robards
While the three men completed the course, Dr Craig Challen didn't actually pass selection. Photo: Seven


After deliberation, the DS announced that Tim and Matthew passed selection, with 58-year-old Craig being congratulated on completing the course but not technically... passing.

Ant Middleton said the recruiting staff had to ask themselves one main question when making their final deliberations: "Could we have you beside us in our team on the battlefield?"

Apparently not, with Craig.

“To get this far and then not pass, mildly disappointing,” Craig said. “But I’m ecstatic at getting all the way through it.”

Tim Robards and Matthew Mitcham emerged victorious in the SAS Australia finale. Photo: Seven
Tim Robards and Matthew Mitcham emerged victorious in the SAS Australia finale. Photo: Seven

Tim was thrilled to have completed the course, saying he was excited to tell his wife Anna Heinrich who competed on the 2022 season.

“It was hard work. So many times you just want to stop, and you want to quit, and you’ve just gotta keep pushing and pushing. I can’t wait to call my wife and tell her that I made it," Tim said.

Matthew also said he was 'elated' to have passed selection.

“This has been the best experience of my entire life. I am so overwhelmed with gratitude. I was controlled by my inner saboteur before. But now I feel capable of doing basically anything," he said.

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