It was one of the biggest reality TV shows around the world in 2022, and now the Australian version of The Traitors is returning for a second season.
The gripping series, which originated in the Netherlands and recently aired in both the US and the UK to huge success, follows a group of contestants participating in a Mafia-style game for the chance to win up to $250,000.
While a majority of the players are ‘Faithful’, certain people are secretly recruited as ‘Traitors’ who must lie, deceive and manipulate to win the game by eliminating their opponents one by one.
Ahead of the season premiere on Sunday night, host Rodger Corser spoke with Yahoo Lifestyle about the major changes viewers can expect - including the celebrity twist.
“It’s the same amazing gameplay as last year, but everything’s just turned up,” he teases. “We've added some well-known reality contestants into the mix as well, which brings a different element.
“And then also, it's not the first season, so even the people that haven't been on television before have had a chance to see one if not multiple versions of the show. So they go in with much more knowledge of the game plan and what to expect than last year, and we're into the drama a bit quicker.”
Among the cast is actor Gyton Grantley, Survivor star and Big Brother VIP winner Luke Toki, My Kitchen Rules and I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! contestant Ash Pollard, and Below Deck cast member Hannah Ferrier.
“Season two doesn’t disappoint,” Rodger continues. “What’s so great about this show is that with other shows, you know how it’s going to end. There’s a winner and that’s it. I’m a big fan of MasterChef, but the way someone wins that doesn’t change and the actual gameplay doesn't change.
“Ours can change differently depending on what we're left with in the last kind of two episodes with how many Traitors and Faithful there are. Every season can be different, and I think what makes good television is being surprising.”
'The perfect crossover'
Unlike most reality TV hosts or presenters, Rodger is forced to tap into his extensive acting experience in The Traitors to portray a character you’d likely find in an Agatha Christie novel, wearing period costumes and delivering dramatic monologues.
“The theatrical element was kind of the perfect crossover for me,” he shares. “I was a bit wary of just playing myself because I’m just a daggy suburban dad, but I thought that if I can sort of become this weird, kooky kind of hotel owner that is almost like an English Lord or something like that, it’s silly and it could be a bit of fun.
“We can sort of poke fun at that type of person and poke fun at myself and also use it to poke fun at the contestants knowing that you're not hurting them by doing so because they know that you're playing a bit of a role. So you can have a bit of fun and take the mickey out of them and they know it's all for show.”
Not only is The Traitors one of the most unique projects Rodger’s ever worked on, but it also has the biggest wardrobe budget in his entire career.
“Before we did season one I went for a wardrobe fitting and it took like four hours because they were like, ‘We need to have 22 looks’,” he recalls. “I was like, ‘What?’.
“Previously on Doctor Doctor, I had three pairs of jeans, a couple of sports jackets, four black shirts, four blue shirts and that was it, it was just mix and match city. This is a whole different level.”
The Traitors premieres Sunday, August 13 at 7:30pm on 10 and 10 Play
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