SAS Australia's Sam Burgess crowned winner in nail-biting finale

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·Lifestyle Editor
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The winner of SAS Australia has been crowned after a nail-biting finale episode. 

Five recruits, former NRL player Sam Burgess, dual Olympian Jana Pittman, Olympic medallist John Steffensen, Home and Away actor Dan Ewing and tennis legend Mark Philippoussis made it to the last episode. 

Sam Burgess crowned winner of SAS Australia
Sam Burgess has been crowned the winner of SAS Australia. Photo: Channel 7

Former NRL star Sam Burgess took out the coveted title, becoming the only recruit to pass the selection process for the SAS. 

Dan Ewing was dismissed early in the episode after an intense kidnapping task, where the DS made a cutthroat assessment and decided to cull him. 

Olympian Jana Pittman was next to go. She was also dismissed at the final hurdle after the recruits were tasked with recovering a cache in an active war zone.

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“We are all super proud of you and we would have loved to have brought you forward, but your reserve is empty," Ant said to Jana. 

“Naturally I’m disappointed but I gave everything I had and I’ve learnt so much on the course, it’s been an extraordinary journey,” said Jana. “I was the last woman standing for a while. I’m really proud of all the things I achieved.”

SAS Australia final five recruits 2021
The winner of SAS Australia has been crowned. Photo: Channel Seven

The final test saw John, Sam and Mark desperately crawl along a rope suspended across a canyon. 

They were tasked with dropping off and hanging on fully extended for 90 seconds, without falling into the ravine below.

John Steffensen was the first recruit to pass the selection process, managing to hold on for the full 90 seconds and passing through to selection. 

32-year-old Sam Burgess held on until the end, gritting his teeth with his determination also carrying him through to the selection process. 

Tennis legend Mark Philippoussis took to the rope next saying his whole mindset had changed over the course of the show, both emotionally and physically. 

Impressively, Mark managed to hold on for the whole 90 seconds, making him eligible for selection and to be considered as one of the winners of the show. 

Despite all three recruits making it to the final, only Sam Burgess was selected to pass the entirety of the course, making him the winner of the show. 

"There's not many people that fit the mold. It takes a unique person to do a unique job," Ant Middleton said. 

He went on to say that that's what joining the SAS is all about, "no glory, just getting the job done".

Sam Burgess on SAS Australia
Sam Burgess was a favourite to win the show from the outset. Photo: Channel Seven

Just hours before the season finale aired, betting agent Sportsbet placed Sam Burgess at $1.08, with many claiming it was a surefire sign the former rugby player would be crowned the winner of the show. 

Sam had been a firm favourite to take out the title throughout the entirety of the show.

During the very first episode of the show, he opened up the breakdown of his four-year marriage to ex-wife Phoebe Burgess.

The 32-year-old, who is referred to as ‘Number 16’ on the series, confessed that he had been unfaithful during their relationship in an intense interrogation with the show’s instructors.

After discussing his debilitating shoulder injury that lead to the end of his rugby league career, Sam opened up about his relationship with Phoebe.

SAS Australia 2021 cast
SAS Australia is known as one of the most brutal reality TV shows. Photo: Supplied

“Two days after I retired, I separated from my marriage,” he said.

“Oh f**k me. So you hit it hard then,” Ant responded.

Sam went on to say that he doesn’t think he was “the greatest husband at times” and spoke about his extramarital affair.

“I embarrassed my wife,” he declared. “I had an affair with a woman in Melbourne, it’s true. I was away on tour and regretfully that happened, which would have been a tough place for Phoebe to be.”

Later, he shocked viewers after completing a gruelling wormhole challenge and impressed the directing staff with his determination. 

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