Celebrity Treasure Island week 5: Is this really one team?

The Celebrity Treasure Island teams have merged, and as everyone knows, when you mix blue and yellow you get a new colour; kākāriki.

Source: TVNZ

But, as Sam Wallace innocently asks, are these remaining celebs really one team or are old factions still simmering underneath the new bandanas? 

We don’t have to wait long to find out; the blood of Kahu and Mako undoubtedly still runs through the veins of these famous treasure hunters. The bandanas are only there to cover the fresh, gaping wounds.

What was, at times, feeling like a poorly catered school camp by the beach has finally become a world where alliances are key and clues are the golden ticket, and there is so much wheeling and dealing to get them, hide them, keep them secret, pass them on, make alliances based on them, and in the case of Eric Murray, spitefully burn them so no one can ever eyeball the information ever again.

We are neck-deep in a game of strategy now, like Game of Thrones in the tropics. 

By the end of week five, Moses Mackay is our Ned Stark (dead but never forgotten), Sam is Little Finger, selling out his teammates left, right and centre for his own benefit. Eric is King Joffrey, all blond and out for blood, Sansa Stark is played by the quietly powerful Shannon Ryan and, well, you get the gist...

Away from the Westeros game playing, Gary Freeman’s ability to choke at the last hurdle is unprecedented. He can’t have been this bad on the league field, right? This week alone, he’s bungled bouncy-floaty-beer-pongy noughts and crosses and another hunt for those bloody stackable cats.

Meanwhile Barbara Kendall began speaking in #LiveLaughLove mantras (“You can’t change the direction of the wind, but you can change your sails”), which one Millennial colleague of mine has really taken to heart, adopting it as his new life motto. The cult of Barb is all powerful!

But the important thing to remember is that King Sam is on a winning streak. 

All three face-off wins have gone his way since the teams joined together, and that’s where the power lives. Now, whoever wins the individual challenges gets to decide who goes up for elimination - and who stays safe. 

Sam is making all the calls, and even though everyone is pretending his previous, uh, let’s kindly call them “interactions” with the former Mako players are water under the bridge, in reality, that water is a raging river and the bridge is looking pretty bloody shaky right now.

He simply can’t understand why they are all holding a grudge against him and Eric and the pretty average behaviour they have paraded around the beaches of Fiji for the last month and a bit.

He also can’t understand why the likes of Athena Angelou, Shane Cameron, Barbara, Gary and Moses are so happy all the time. 

The hard corners are buffed out a little after a scary (albeit brief) moment of sickness, which leaves Sam weak, vulnerable and apparently collapsed on the dunny. But even then, his rapid return to challenge domination has his teammates scratching their heads.

Are all those mosquito bites giving him extra powers? 

In the end though, what other people think of Sam means next to nothing right now. His determination to win balancing puzzles, Baywatch-come-triathlon treasure hunts, sand castle competitions, ball games and an emotional phonecall home to his baby son means he has been dishing out immunity promises to everyone - except his former Kahu teammate, Shannon. 

She isn’t fussed about the target on her back, though. 

She’s happy being the chilled-out woman with a steely determination boiling under the surface.

She’s happy to sit back and let Barb take over her island yoga class because, in a blink, she’s booting the almighty Olympian right off the island.

It turns out Shannon Ryan - media personality, peacekeeper and goddamn queen - can front three elimination challenges in a row and win every single one without raising a sweat. 

Goodbye Eric. Goodbye Moses. Goodbye Barbs. Watch out Sam. Queen Shannon is here to slay. And she is nabbing your clues as you lie there whimpering. 

Celebrity Treasure Island screens on TVNZ 2 on Sunday at 7pm and then on Monday and Tuesday at 7.30pm.

Bridget Jones is a TVNZ publicist and former entertainment reporter.