Survivor New Zealand host, Matt Chisholm, at the Season 1 live finale.

What can we expect from our new batch of Castaways?

Our new crop of castaways are full of youthful enthusiasm – full of beans.

Whether they've watched just a couple of shows, or 30-odd seasons of Survivor, they turned up to play.

They're cutthroat from the start. These guys didn't enter to make friends.

They signed up to take away the Sole Survivor title and the quarter of a million that goes with it.

From your first look at the area, do you think this season is more brutal?

I think season 2 of Survivor New Zealand is a hell of a lot more brutal than season 1.

The location is tougher, it's very, very hot, there's a heap of creepy crawlies, and we're not on a stunning white sandy beach. 

Tribes live on islands in a northern Thailand lake. While in some ways it's beautiful, the outlook is pretty much the same every minute of every single day.

The ocean offers change. These guys aren't fortunate enough to be able to enjoy that change.

The lack of variety is a good mental test. 

What is different this new season?

There are a lot of positive changes this season. The biggest change - contestants are duking it out for a quarter of a million dollars. That's life-changing, no matter where you grew up.

On top of that, this year, hidden Immunity Idols are in play, which means everyone has to turn up to Tribal Council with their thinking caps on. 

Also, there is no Redemption Island, so once castaways are voted out, they really are out. Someone goes home every episode. 

Knowing what you know from season 1, what do you think it will take to win the title of Sole Survivor this time round?

I think the winner of season 2 has to be smart and/or have a great social game.

If they stick around for long enough, I guess they could make it to the end with a strong physical game. Either way, they'll probably need to be dishonest and they'll certainly need some good luck. 

What was your favourite moment from season 1?

I think season 1 delivered so many great moments, but my favourite would have to be the "House of Cards" Redemption Island duel. Georgia and Shay were neck and neck building their stacks. So much was riding on the duel - whoever left the game meant the "numbers" would sit with the opposition going into the merge.

Georgia edged out in front, but with just one tile to place, her house of cards came tumbling down. A foreshadowing of things to come for her alliance.

What has Survivor taught you, if anything?

Survivor has taught me that it is extremely hard to separate "the game" from reality.

People find it really difficult to betray others, but most would argue it's part of the game. Some people, of course, find it easier than others.

On a personal level, Survivor has taught me that family is more important than anything and that wives don't really like it when you miss the birth of your first child. 

Do you need to be a fan of Survivor to win this game?

I don't think you need to be a fan to win this game. Some fans "come in too hot" and end up going home early.

Being a fan with a lot of knowledge would help, but you'd probably want to keep a few cards close to your chest. 

If you could offer one piece of advice to this season’s castaways, what would it be?

I would say - listen to the host, always look interested, answer questions fully, laugh at his bad jokes and always, always blow on piping hot rice. 

 

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