One Question Quiz
Images: TVNZ / Design: Archi Banal
Images: TVNZ / Design: Archi Banal

Pop CultureJanuary 26, 2023

What each Treasure Island star’s favourite inspirational quote reveals about them

Images: TVNZ / Design: Archi Banal
Images: TVNZ / Design: Archi Banal

Before a fresh group of Treasure Island castaways wash ashore next week, we predict what their go-to words of wisdom might say about how their gameplay. 

When the Treasure Island: Fan v Faves castaways find themselves marooned on a deserted Fijian beach, it’s likely they’ll need to call on some inner strength and wisdom to survive. Before Fans v Faves began filming, we asked each player what their favourite motivational quote was, and while some immediately recalled a beloved phrase they call on in tough times, others thought long and hard, and the rest just made one up on the spot. Still, who are we to judge? In the words of Treasure Island veteran Karen O’Leary, “at the end of the day, it’s night time”, and it’s hard to disagree with that.

With this highly scientific evidence in hand, we turned to award-winning playwright, renowned oracle and Spinoff staff feature writer Sam Brooks to deliver some rigorous, high-level analysis of the castaway’s favourite expressions. As a word expert, Brooks prophesied what each choice of phrase reveals about the castaways, and what insight they provide into how they’ll play the game. Can someone really feel the fear and do it anyway? Is life truly a gym, and how does one become their own shower witch? Let’s find out.

In the interest of accuracy, Brooks was given no information about the castaways prior to evaluation. Their identities were kept secret, like some top level spy shit. 

The Faves

Alex King, Art Green and Joe Cotton (Images: TVNZ)

Alex King: “Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship.” 

King was so determined to get this Denzel Washington quote right that she googled it during our interview, and Brooks reckons this attitude will take her a long way. “Fear this person,” he deduces. “This person takes the stairs when the lift is free, the escalator is empty, and there’s not even a second floor.” Love to see it.

Art Green: “Life’s a gym.”

Short and sweet, but Brooks was split on whether this player actually liked the gym or not. “If this competitor loves the gym, they are your average CTI contender,” he guessed. “If this person hates the gym, they are a soul-destroying warrior with nothing to lose and therefore will end up in the top three.” Average? Not our Art Green, surely.

Joe Cotton: “Never eat anything bigger than your head.”

I’m saving all my love for this number one, number one quote. Brooks predicted this player was either a nutritionist or someone who once ate something bigger than their head and deeply regretted it. “Expect them to play a smart game,” he said, depending on the size of their head. Poetry in motion, philosophy in action.

Josh Kronfeld, Lana Searle and Lance Savali (Images: TVNZ)

Josh Kronfeld: “Just try your hardest.”

“Don’t underestimate this one,” Brooks warned, unaware “this one” was a two-time Treasure Island winner. Former All Black Kronfeld explained his choice of quote by sharing a heartwarming story about not scoring a rugby try as a young lad. Even being named player of the day and winning a king size block of chocolate couldn’t cheer Kronfeld up, until his dad said that as long as Kronfeld tried his hardest, he’d always be proud of him. No wonder he’s won twice already.

Lana Searle: “Fake it till you make it.”

This was the radio announcer’s second choice, having pivoted during our interview from her original “what you see is what you get, and if you don’t like it, then it wasn’t meant to be”. Brooks knows this kind of flexibility is crucial on Treasure Island. “Having two quotes suggests that this contestant will either have something up their sleeve and should be feared… or will be unable to make basic decisions.” Even he can’t decide, so good luck to us all.

Lance Savali: “If I’m not having fun, don’t do it.”

This sent Brooks into a spin. “This is clearly Kim Catrall who will probably not do well at this sort of thing. Nothing further, your honour.”

Matty McLean and Dame Susan Devoy (Images: TVNZ)

Matty McLean: “I don’t have to prove myself to Barbara Kendall.”

An oldie but a goodie, and a saying that works in any situation. “This is clearly Matty McLean, so expect him to play slightly better than last time,” Brooks concludes.

Dame Susan Devoy: “Those that matter don’t care, and those that care don’t matter.”

Surprisingly Devoy didn’t choose “Jim’s got a big vag” for her uplifting quote, but maybe she should have. “I like this kind of wordplay,” Brooks began, before turning quicker than a crayfish on an empty stomach. “You know what doesn’t win Survivor-esque reality shows? Wordplay. First out.” Shocking.

The Fans

Adam O’Brien, Anna Thomas and Dave Ward (Photos: TVNZ)

Adam O’Brien: “Carpe diem.”

Brooks predicts O’Brien will have a whale of a time. “A lover of marine life quotes clearly has the determination of Moby Dick’s Ishmael. So… top three!”

Anna Thomas: “Always trust your gut.”

A brave choice of inspirational wisdom, given Thomas is about to enjoy a staple diet of rice and beans. “These are the words of someone who has never had their gut betray them, as I assume it is wont to do on an island where you have to fend for yourself,” Brooks ruled.

Dave Ward: “Do or do not, there is no try.”

“If this Yoda quote is any indication, this contestant will play the game like the little green goblin from the space wars,” Brooks decreed. “By which I mean, they’ll mess with basic grammatical structure, live in a swamp, and ride on the back of an enterprising youth from a desert planet.” Absolute plot twist.

Jane Yee and Jessica Waru (Images: TVNZ)

Jane Yee: “Be your own Shower Witch.”

What, who, where and how? These wise words bedazzled Brooks, which is exactly what a shower witch would want. “I have no idea what this means. Chaos energy. Expect this person to hang around for a while.”

Jessica Waru: “Go hard or go home.”

An admirable attitude from the show’s youngest competitor. Brooks went both hard and home in his evaluation by predicting a high placing, even though “the suggestion that you might go home, in a competitive environment where going home is a very real possibility, is not a great sign”.

Josh Oakley, Katie Middleton and Micah Marsh (Images: TVNZ)

Josh Oakley: “The worst thing that can happen to a man is to become civilised.”

“The musing of someone who talks a big game, but gets one splinter and makes it all about them,” Brooks mused. Fair enough, splinters really hurt. “They will place accordingly.”

Katie Middleton: “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”

This is what Prince William was rumoured to have whispered to Kate Middleton on their wedding day, and look how far it took them. “A standard quote,” Brooks ruled, feeling the fear and doing it anyway by predicting a middle of the pack finish for the castaway definitely not married to the heir to the throne.

Micah Marsh: Pressure makes diamonds.” 

“I feel like when things get uncomfortable, it’s only going to benefit you for the future,” Marsh said, but it seems Brooks succumbed to pressure by mistakenly guessing this player was X-Men ally Emma Frost, rather than a league player from Waiheke Island. “As Emma Frost is a telepath who can turn into diamonds, expect her to do well in the competition. As she is also completely fictional, expect her to not do well, as she does not exist.” Look, life’s a gym – what more can we say?

Treasure Island: Fans v Faves premieres on Monday 30 January at 7.30pm on TVNZ2 and streams on TVNZ+.

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

Keep going!