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Here are your celebrities for 2019!
Here are your celebrities for 2019!

Pop CultureOctober 25, 2018

The absolutely 100% real contestants of Celebrity Treasure Island 2019

Here are your celebrities for 2019!
Here are your celebrities for 2019!

It has been announced that Celebrity Treasure Island, the iconic New Zealand reality show that almost killed Mountain Dewer Lana Coc-Kroft, will return next year. Sam Brooks peers into his dollar-store crystal ball to predict the contestants.

It’s coming back. The show that introduced us to celebrities… again. The show that almost killed our most famous Lana. The show that was Survivor but for semi-famous people. TVNZ came out roaring with their 2019 slate last night, and nothing had us at The Spinoff more excited than the return of this true Kiwi classic.

But who are the contestants going to be? Lucky for you and me, I went down to LookSharp this morning, got me an off-brand crystal ball, and did some seeing into the future, and I’ve got these 14 celebrities locked down exclusively for you all*

*All, some or none of these celebrities may be on the show.

Erin Simpson

Erin Simpson, of the appropriately titled Erin Simpson Show.

The former What Now host and current Red Carpet TV-slash-Zac-Franich-significant-other makes perfect sense for Celebrity Treasure Island. She’s at a level of celebrity where people know her name, but not necessarily what they know her from. And here’s the solution: She will henceforth be known as the woman who maintains her blonde highlights throughout a season of Celebrity Treasure Island, and good on her for that.


Renée (Photo: Sarah Hunter by permission of Playmarket)

If you’re not familiar with the recipient of the 2018 Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement – Fiction, let me give you a brief education, courtesy of Creative New Zealand:

“Renée (formerly Renée Taylor) is a dramatist and fiction writer. Born in 1929 in Napier, she is of Ngāti Kahungunu and Irish-English-Scots ancestry.

“Renée left school and started work at the age of 12, working in woollen mills, a printing factory, a grocery-dairy, and as a feature writer and reviewer. Renée started writing for the stage at the age of 50 and has also written a short story collection and numerous novels. Her most loved work is Wednesday To Come, the first in a trilogy of plays about four women of four generations in a single family. Her most recent work These Two Hands: A Memoir tells the story of her eventful life.

“In the 2006 Queen’s Birthday Honours, Renée was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to literature and drama, and in 2013 received a Sir Kingi Ihaka Award recognising lifetime contribution at Creative New Zealand’s Te Waka Toi Awards.”

Needless to say, I can’t wait to see Renée go toe-to-toe with our nation’s finest in for the privilege of shitting in a flushing toilet.

Sue Fleischel

Sue Flesichel, Bake-Off judge and soon-to-be Celebrity Treasure Island chef.

One half of Fleischelschneider, The Great Kiwi Bake Off judges, Fleischel has emerged as the star of the pair. She says ‘pretty’ about three hundred thousand times an episode, and I can’t wait to see her make a dozen cupcakes out of coconut husks, sea water and the masticated corpses of her fellow contestants.


Astar and a glorious wreath!

She made flowers for the Sultan of Brunei and sent her CV in a trashbag to Good Morning; do you think Astar is coming to the island to play? No, she’s coming to win. This is a woman who can MacGuyver a fiftieth anniversary party out of your office’s week old recycling bin, and do it with a smile. Do you think she can’t fashion a shiv out of a charred stick without chipping her manicure?

Dominic Bowden (again)

Love-hearting right through to 2019, Dom Bowden!

There needs to be a pretty city boy to round out the team, and who better to fill this role in 2001 than Dominic Bowden?

And in 2018, who better to fill this role than… Dominic Bowden also, I guess? The man is ageless in spirit if not in time, and I have every confidence that he will bring as much slightly under-qualified enthusiasm to the island in 2019 as he did in 2001.

Ben Mitchell

TK Samuels himself!

I have no doubt that at some point in his life Ben Mitchell has raved to his mates/surrounding humans that he would be the absolute best at Survivor, and he’d win easily. I would bet a lot of money on it, in fact. He seems like the kind of the guy who thinks he’d be amazing at Survivor, but hasn’t slept outside in the past decade.

I wish him well on Celebrity Treasure Island, and have no doubt that like the last time he was put on camera without a script, he will say incomprehensible things about men, women and our modern culture.

Dame Susan Devoy

Looking like a contender, Dame Susan Devoy!

Both seasons of Celebrity Treasure Island featured a lot of sports people, and who better to fill this role than former squash world champion and Race Relations Commissioner Susan Devoy? (I know very few sports people, and my crystal ball knows even fewer, so I am reaching a little bit here.)

Sally Ridge (again)

In 2001, Sally Ridge was mostly known for being Matthew Ridge’s other half. In 2018, Sally Ridge is mostly known for the physically short-lived but culturally long-lived reality show The Ridges. I think we’re all set for a Ridge comeback, and what better comeback for her than the show that made her famous originally? It’s like Roseanne, without all the unfortunate racism and Twitter meltdowns.

Jordan Watson (How to Dad)

You can’t bring your babies, Jordan!

The first two seasons of this show were chock-full of personalities from home renovation shows, and by my scientific calculations the equivalent of that in 2018 is social media influencers. And who better to represent that echelon of culture and society that the man with thirty thousand kids in a knapsack?

Leighton Smith

Leighton Smith will be officially unemployed/retired at the end of the year, and there’s no better way to keep active in his midnight years than a stint on an island with a bunch of people he’s never heard of, and another bunch of people he considers inherently lesser than himself.

I give him two weeks before he’s clutching coconuts to his ears, taking calls from invisible people who, despite not existing, are still racist and upset about things being too PC.

Anika Moa

Enter the ring/island, Anika!

Anika Moa makes amazing television. Put her on K’Road, put her in front of our prime minister’s husband or the deputy leader of the National Party, and she sparkles. Why wouldn’t she sparkle on an island full of other famous people whom she can make fun of constantly, until they are driven into the sea with the shame of her shade? And who on earth is going to vote Anika Moa off?

Jesse Ryder

You can’t bring your bat, Jesse!

It’s been a while since Ryder played in the Black Hats, and while I understand (Wikipedia understands, I read) that he’s been playing cricket around the world since then, the bad boy cricketer seems like a good fit for a show which seems to encourage rule breaking from famous people, only to judge them harshly for it. What a normal, not at all psychologically destabilising premise for a show!

The Champagne Lady

What is Anne without her Champagne?

Look, when you’ve got a show on FaceTV the only place you can go is up – and out to an island! I pray there is champagne on the island, because what is The Champagne Lady without the simultaneous qualifier and warning that is ‘Champagne’?

Max Key

You won’t have your cigarette, or USA bandana on Celebrity Treasure Island, Max Key!

Of all these one hundred percent correct and not at all parodic suggestions, this is the one I’m most confident about. In his latest single, Key lamented ‘the demise [the biggest sic of all] of social media’ and seemed to enjoy his time on various European islands. Where else can he continue enjoying that life, be completely cut off from social media and still be on an island?

See you in 2019, Max. Live your life on Celebrity Treasure Island.

Keep going!