Alex Casey introduces the next batch of brave celebrities washing up Celebrity Treasure Island season five.
It wouldn’t be spring in Aotearoa without the blooming of a new Celebrity Treasure Island cast, and boy are we in for a treat this year. Beginning on September 18 on TVNZ2 and swapping the beaches of the winterless north for the breathtaking lakes of Te Waipounamu, this season’s 18 castaways run the gamut from Shortland Street legends to reality TV stars, activists to broadcasting stalwarts. Before we get into it, we’d love you to sign up to The Real Pod substack for our weekly reality TV recap podcasts and assorted pop culture curios.
Onto the cast! And their desert island song and TV show choices for you to mercilessly judge!
Whomst? One of half of New Zealand’s golden reality TV couple after being chosen by Art Green at the end of The Bachelor NZ season one. Has since published two books, had two children and adopted two celebrity cats. She’s also a podcaster, social media influencer, Chemist Warehouse ambassador and choir member. There is possibly nothing she can’t do.
Desert island song? ‘Someday’ by The Strokes.
Desert island TV show? Real Housewives. “All of them.”
Whomst? Activist, artist, actor, writer, poet and a key figure of the Māori rights movement since the 1970s. Most recently went viral after correcting the spelling of his name on an artwork at Wellington’s QT Hotel to the tune of Dr Dre & Snoop Dogg’s ‘The Next Episode’ in 2022.
Desert island song? ‘Sailing’ by Rod Stewart. “It keeps me calm. I like the lyrics that allow us to sail freely and capture the breeze.”
Desert island TV show? “I watch Māori TV every now and again, otherwise I don’t watch TV.”
Whomst? The comedian has starred in everything from Jono and Ben to Taskmaster, Dancing With the Stars NZ to The Masked Singer NZ. She’s known for her photorealistic celebrity cakes and producing pop parody bangers with Joseph Moore as Two Hearts.
Desert island song? ‘Sexual’ by Neiked ft. Dyo. “While it is explicitly sexual, it always makes me feel happy. You need a spirit-lifting song out here.”
Desert island TV show? White Lotus season two. “High drama, entertaining, fun.”
Whomst? Shortland Street fans rejoice because I’ve got three words for you: Damo. From. I.T.!!!!!
Desert island song? ‘Mysterious Ways’ by U2. “It’s got a good groove to it, it’s uplifting, it gets me in a good mood.”
Desert island TV show? Gold Rush. “A reality programme following gold miners in Alaska.”
Whomst? Former archangel of lifestyle heaven on The Cafe, alongside our beloved Mike Puru. A radio mainstay on everything from Coast to Today FM, Radio Hauraki to Magic Talk.
Desert island song? ‘Where is my Mind’ by The Pixies. “Because you’d be thinking it too, wouldn’t you?”
Desert island TV show? “My comfort TV is always Brooklyn 99.”
Whomst? In the words of absolutely everybody, up the Wahs. The Australian rugby league legend is the former captain of the New Zealand Warriors and was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2011 for his services to the Wahs. “He began the role (as captain) following the club’s worst-ever season and helped rebuild it to become one of the league’s best,” the citation read.
Desert island song? ‘What a wonderful world’ by Louis Armstrong.
Desert island TV Show? “Shawshank Redemption.” [We’ll allow it, up the Wahs.]
Whomst? Comedian and New Zealand’s number one celebrity roaster, Mustapic is best known for Shorty Street Scandal, Repressed Memories and his TVNZ show Abandonment Issues. Also wrote the best Shortland Street love song of all time in ‘Hold Your Hand in Mine Harry Warner’.
Desert island song? ‘White Flag’ by Dido. “Beautiful song, so emotional and so much substance. It really keeps you coming back.”
Desert island TV show? Sticky TV.
Whomst? Played Geo in the bilingual series Ahikāroa, a role she told The Spinoff she thought would last one season but is now in its fifth. She also starred in gritty spinoff Shortland Street: Retribution, returning to Ferndale as messy fan favourite Steph.
Desert island song? ‘Manako’ by Maimoa. “A Māori pop band with about nine members, and my little sister is in it and I’m a big fan.”
Desert island TV show? “Probably Celebrity Treasure Island, I’ve only seen four episodes so it would probably be a good reference.”
Whomst? Sat next to a CGI penguin as the host of Squirt before heading to Studio 2. Ran the good ship ULive on TVNZU, and has since presented on everything from Breakfast to Good Morning, Kiwi Living to Country House Hunters: New Zealand.
Desert island song? ‘Take the Country to New York City’ by Hamilton Bohannon. “It’s a banger.”
Desert island TV show? “Let’s go back to The Sopranos. Can’t go wrong there.”
Whomst? Four words for you: Rangi. From. Shortland. Street.
Desert island song? ‘Suspicious Minds’ by Elvis Presley. “That’s my karaoke number.”
Desert island TV show? The Mandalorian. “Because Temuera Morrison’s on it.”
Whomst? Best known for hosting TVNZ’s Good Morning show from 1997 to 2003 where she was infamous for bringing her Birman cat Louis to set. Is lesser known for this cool video of her testing out a Wii Fit, and the fact that she once ran a Subway franchise.
Desert island song? ‘Mr Brightside’ by The Killers. “An upbeat song to get through dark days.”
Desert island TV show? Clarkson’s Farm. “It is absolutely fantastic, he [Jeremy Clarkson] just really resonates with me, I think he is smart and funny and bold.”
Whomst? You’ll recognise screen legend Miriama Smith from basically every local production ever: Young Hercules! Xena: Warrior Princess! Shortland Street! The Tribe! Mercy Peak! 800 Words! Filthy Rich! Cousins! Mt. Zion! Vegas! Celebrity Treasure Island!
Desert island song?‘Redemption Song’ by Bob Marley. “Anything Bob Marley. Stir It Up, One Love…”
Desert island TV show? “I would have to take Succession.”
Whomst? Star of 7 Days, Paddy Gower Has Issues, Funny Girls and Chris and Eli’s Porn Revolution. Who can forget the shock when he was brutally eliminated far too early from Dancing With the Stars NZ despite making history as half of NZ’s first same sex pairing?!?
Desert island song? ‘Never Too Much’ by Luther Vandross. “A disco jam, really sexy, I was hoping to do the cha cha to it on Dancing With the Stars but my time got cut short.”
Desert island TV show? Parks and Recreation.
Whomst? He’s been all over our screens from live Lotto draws to hosting Studio 2, but Vandermade has another specific set of skills. He’s a medaled decathlete, tennis champ and former junior Māori sportsperson of the year, and that’s what you call an absolute CTI powerball.
Desert island song? ‘Three Little Birds’ by Bob Marley. “Need it to make me feel calm and relaxed.”
Desert island TV show? “As many episodes of Saturday Night Live as I can take.”
Whomst? Mental health activist, author, speaker, TikToker, filmmaker and reigning Dancing With the Stars NZ champion (relive the winning routine here). Angered the entire United Kingdom last year after eating a Terry’s Chocolate orange incorrectly.
Desert island song?‘Flowers’ by Miley Cyrus.
Desert island TV show? Grey’s Anatomy.
Whomst? An award-winning comedian who you would have seen recently in Paddy Gower has Issues, Have You Been Paying Attention, Guy Mont Spelling Bee, and The Spinoff’s First. Famously performed alongside her Dad and won the 2019 Raw Comedy Quest.
Desert island song? ‘People Get Up and Drive Your Funky Soul’ by James Brown. Because it’s real long and has a bunch of different parts to it.”
Desert island TV show? The Simpsons.
Whomst? Best known for performing as Simba in the Broadway musical production of The Lion King in Auckland, Sydney and London. Was fixated on becoming All Black until a traumatic knee injury ended his rugby career, so he settled for singing the national anthem for the ABs instead.
Desert island song? ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’ from The Lion King. “I used to sing it onstage with my wife.”
Desert island TV show? “I don’t watch much TV. Some kind of documentary?”
Whomst? Three words for you: Megan. From. TrueBliss.
Desert island song? ‘Run the World (Girls)’ by Beyoncé. “Because we have so many wāhine toa on this show.”
Desert island TV show? “Honey, I’m a sucker for old people stuff. Give me the 6pm news.”
Celebrity Treasure Island starts Monday September 18 on TVNZ2 and TVNZ+.