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Double thumbs for the last episode of Celebrity Treasure Island 2022 (Design: Tina Tiller)
Double thumbs for the last episode of Celebrity Treasure Island 2022 (Design: Tina Tiller)

Pop CultureNovember 2, 2022

Celebrity Treasure Island power rankings: At last, we have our winner

Double thumbs for the last episode of Celebrity Treasure Island 2022 (Design: Tina Tiller)
Double thumbs for the last episode of Celebrity Treasure Island 2022 (Design: Tina Tiller)

The sun has set on another season of Celebrity Treasure Island, as Tara Ward delivers her final power ranking for 2022. 

After 27 episodes, 1,000 packets of Tim Tams and a million hopes and dreams, we have found our newest Celebrity Treasure Island winner. The final week of the competition was a slog of challenges and strategy, so praise be for Elvis Lopeti, who brought us light and joy while Courtenay Louise and Jesse Tuke freaked out about everything else.

The final six castaways were put into pairs by Courtenay Louise, and it seemed like the show saved the most exhausting challenges until last. Our celebs had to endure a wacky “keep flipping the boards over to your team colour” challenge that seemed impossible to win, a “dig some puzzle pieces out of the sand” challenge that demanded way more effort than the prize deserved, and an endurance test that drowned the loser in a bucket of their own tears, before eliminating them from the competition forever.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Grab yourself one last packet of Tim Tams and do the splits like Dame Suzy D, as we tumble into the power rankings for the final time.

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Eliminated: Cam Mansel 

Cam left after a tragic turn of events that saw him miscount the objects he and Susan had dug out of the sand. We’ll never know what could have been, but it was fitting that Cam left with Nana Susan, two new mates whose unlikely friendship has blossomed over the past few weeks. She called him her fifth son, he picked her up when she fell off a box. Maybe these new BFFs found the treasure after all.

Eliminated: Dame Susan Devoy

Susan was the undisputed star of this season, closely followed by Lynette Forday’s illegal apple and Jesse Tuke’s tube of zinc. Dame Suzy D played this game with brutal honesty and fierce competitiveness, yet refused to take this ridiculous school camp seriously. She also fell off a box and lay on the sand laughing like a drain, thus blessing us with the second best stumble of the season after Dr Joel’s elimination challenge trip.

In a perfect world, Nana Susan would have found the treasure and then followed through on her promise to suck Dylan’s Schmidt’s toes, but that will have to remain a dream in the CTI vault of my heart. Susan said she’d had a blast, and then ran off into the distance screaming “silly game, silly game, silly silly silly game”. Just like “Blind Jim’s got a big vag”, never a truer word was spoken.

Eliminated: Siobhan Marshall

CTI’s quiet powerhouse stormed into the final four, only for a bucket of water to prove her undoing. Siobhan was knocked out in an emotional endurance challenge that saw her pitted against her feminist ally Courtenay, and while the boys took their shirts off and feasted on grapes, the women held ropes and silently cursed the patriarchy. A true legend.

Runner up: Elvis Lopeti

I’m locking myself inside a bamboo prison to protest what happened to Elvis in the final, and I’ll stay there until either he or Blind Jim the Vaggy Possum digs me out. Making Elvis do two additional challenges in lieu of having any clues basically ruled him out of the competition as soon as it began, but full credit to him for refusing to give up and for reaching his goal of getting to the end and enjoying all the nice food. He also got to squawk at Jesse Tuke’s hairy chest, so live, laugh, love, Lopeti.

Runner up: Courtenay Louise

Courtenay was gracious in defeat, even though it must have hurt more than the time Team Kuaka realised Nana Susan ate all their spaghetti. Courtney did everything she could to beat Jesse Tuke, and nobody was more tenacious in this game than the Shorty Street actor. Courtenay tried to get more women into the top three, she realised Jesse was the traitor who buried the treasure and she had to carry the hopes and dreams of the other women in the competition. Sadly, Jesse Tuke is descended from several Greek and Roman gods and thus impossible to beat. An emotional journey from one of the fiercest competitors CTI will ever see.

Winner: Jesse Tuke

In the end, Jesse Tuke made it look simple: you had to run really fast and hope the treasure was exactly where you left it. He did and it was and that was that, and Jesse Tuke earned his chosen charity Live Ocean a jazzy $100,000. He spent the week sleeping on his web of lies, and even though Jesse’s conscience got the better of him and he admitted to Courtenay and Elvis that he was the traitor, it made no difference. He knew where the treasure was! He had a million clues! He runs like a whippet! Some say it was his game play that got him to the final, others say it was the monolith that helped him, but I say it was all down to the face zinc. That stuff is powerful.

Celebrity Treasure Island is available to stream on TVNZ+.

Follow our reality TV recap podcast The Real Pod on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast provider.

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