They are the Australian Survivor‘s “Dream Team” the silent men and women who test challenges before contestants are unleashed on the official course.
Behind the scenes of the hit 10 series there is a crew of 300+ people, around half being Aussies and the other half local Samoans.
“We employ quite a lot of local people which is great for the local economy,” says host Jonathan LaPaglia.
“The first time the contestants see the challenge -literally- is when they walk on and I’m there to greet them. The first time they hear about it is when I explain what the challenge is about.
“Then we (stand) down, and the challenge department will then walk the players as a tribe, through the challenge. So they’ll walk along the challenge and explain to them what each part is. If something is tricky, they’ll explain that obviously, in more detail than I do.
“There’s a lot of safety stuff that needs to be communicated to the players. But that’s all they get. There’s no hands-on, they don’t get to touch any of it or practice any of it. They just get information about the steps involved, and safety. Then they’re lined up and it’s off to the races.”
The challenges are tested by production staff, but there are sometimes very surprising results.
“We have what’s called the ‘Dream Team’. We start out with 24 and they represent the players….. We also use them to test the challenges a couple of days before to make sure it all works.
“It gives the camera people an idea where they need to put cameras, what they need to focus on, it helps me think about commentary for the challenge.
“But often what happens is with the real players, the outcome is often completely different from the Dream Team!
“Sometimes the Dream Team can do something really quickly and easily and it’s difficult for the real players. And the opposite is true, too. Sometimes it takes a Dream Team an hour to do something, and the real players will do it in 10 minutes!”
Australian Survivor screens 7:30pm Sunday – Tuesday on 10.