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Who won Celebrity Treasure Island? (Photos: TVNZ / Design: Archi Banal)
Who won Celebrity Treasure Island? (Photos: TVNZ / Design: Archi Banal)

Pop CultureOctober 25, 2023

Celebrity Treasure Island power rankings, week six: We have a winner

Who won Celebrity Treasure Island? (Photos: TVNZ / Design: Archi Banal)
Who won Celebrity Treasure Island? (Photos: TVNZ / Design: Archi Banal)

Six weeks, 18 celebrities and one inflatable unicorn later, we have a winner. Tara Ward power ranks the final week of Celebrity Treasure Island: Te Waipounamu.

Friends, we have climbed the maunga and unlocked the safe of dreams, and now it is time to pack our upside-down goggles away for good. After six glorious weeks of tears and laughter, togs and unicorns, a new Celebrity Treasure Island winner has been crowned in an epic finale that featured more apples with faces than most of us were expecting.  

Was there so much extra time to fill this week that Courtney Dawson had to tell jokes to two Granny Smith apples with facecloths for hair? Yes, but we are all confused fruit in the weedy orchard of life, and this was still a cracker of a final week. There were challenges up the wazoo, people said “yurt” on TV more times than ever before, and we also witnessed this extremely ginormous food platter, which could have fed all of Te Waipounamu itself. 

Mostly, we give thanks to the CTI Saucy Lady cards for ensuring the final five contestants included a lot of funny people. All they needed was a dressing gown and a cupboard, and the rest, as they say on the red carpet, is history. 

Was this one of the best CTI seasons ever? You bet your binoculars it was. Any one of the last three celebrities could have taken the win, and the final episode had it all: chaos, drama and a bit of standing around waiting in line to uncover the treasure. Did we mention the glamping? What a time! What a show! What a yurt! Let’s crack into the treasure. 

Eliminated: Laura Daniel

Laura lobbied for an all-female finale, but was eliminated after dangling on a rope for eight minutes. In the real world, this kind of extreme athletic feat would win you an Olympic medal and some sort of laminated certificate, because eight minutes is a long time. A winner in our hearts. 

Eliminated: Nick Afoa

He may have been giving off Tom Hanks from Castaway vibes by day 17, but Nick only juuust missed out on reaching the final and was a fierce competitor until the end. He also had a lovely time singing around the campfire, which I bet is exactly what Tom Hanks will also do when he appears on the next season of Celebrity Treasure Island. 

3. Turia Schmidt-Peke

Huge week for Turia, who not only had her first ever cup of coffee (“like a hot cup of chalk”, seems fair), but was the player to knock mega-threat Nick out of the competition. An absolute delight, an inspiring role model for Māori and Pasifika youth and a true icon of the game. 

2. Courtney Dawson 

A five star end to CTI for Courtney, who as the first player to make it to the final three, got to spend the night in a luxurious yurt with a random steak and two emotional apples. Sadly Courtney did not wear all eight of her hats in the finale, but how good to be the first CTI player to put HERSELF up for elimination, and then make it to the very end?! Incredible move, incredible game, incredible player. 

1. James Mustapic

See? This is why we love CTI. It’s the New Zealand show with silly games and ridiculous moments, but it’s also a show full of heart where the underdog can rule supreme. It’s a delight when a celeb who’s given us many moments of TV magic also manages to pull off the win, and James proved he was as nimble as he was clever by becoming the first to open the safe containing a shitload of gold bars. Straight up the guts, Jimmy!

Celebrity Treasure Island: Te Waipounamu streams on TVNZ+. For weekly recaps, get amongst The Real Pod Extra on Substack.

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