Tara Ward picks up the pieces after a tumultuous week on Celebrity Treasure Island: Te Waipounamu.
It’s only week two in Te Waipounamu, but Steve Price is already breaking bunk beds on this twisted celebrity summer holiday. It was a dramatic week lakeside, where we said goodbye to three important players, enjoyed two feeds of fast food and heard a whole lot of swear words in one incredible moment.
As for the remaining 13 players? It feels like any one one of them could win this season, with cross-team alliances hard at play and powerful advantages turning challenges on their head. It’s game on! It’s anyone’s contest! We’re absolutely fizzing!
Actually, some of us are fizzing mad. This was me after Tuesday’s outrageous Kārearea elimination that saw the queen of morning television eliminated long before her time:
Look it’s fine, I’ll be over it by next season, probably. In the meantime, let’s hold hands and form a circle of trust as we breathe our way through this week’s rankings.
Self-eliminated: Tāme Iti
It’s not every castaway who leaves their team in tears when they depart this silly little game, but Tāme Iti is no ordinary CTI player. After he and James had an inspiring kōrero about leadership, Tāme called his team together and announced it was time for him to return home, telling them “kei te pai, I am here in your heart”. Despite being in the game for only a few days, it’s clear Tāme’s wisdom, mana and generosity had a meaningful impact on everyone he played with – and hopefully, everyone who watched as well.
Eliminated: Mary Lambie
I’m calling 111 to report a crime of treason against the queen. In one of CTI’s most memorable moments ever, Mary was eliminated after captain Jordan – who had promised to save everyone, and assured them nobody in his team would be going home – decided he wouldn’t save Mary after all. We all thought Mary had won the challenge, but sadly she spelled “victorious” wrong twice and you can’t spell it wrong three times or you go to prison, or something.
But Mary’s elimination gave us a moment that will go down in CTI history. As she finished retelling the events of the challenge in a piece to camera (including calling Jordan “cowardly” for not having an honest conversation with her), Mary began to cackle and fell to the ground, legs akimbo. Then, she sat up and stared directly down the camera. In a truly eloquent piece of oration, our next poet laureate leaned forward and said: “Fuck you, you fucking fucker”.
Look, I’m chowing down on these sour grapes forever. It’s a travesty Mary wasn’t saved. She said duvets are more important than food, which is definitely true, and she also gave some of the best facials in this entire game:
Come back soon, Mary Lambie.
Eliminated: Matilda Green
Last week Matilda was the game’s most powerful player, but things change quickly on CTI. This week Matilda’s CTI journey was over, after The Guy From Shorty Street won the tie-the-ropes-and-throw-the-rings elimination challenge. Matilda bid everyone a sad goodbye, ending a classy game from a classy player.
13. Nick Afoa
Showed those upside-down goggles who was boss, which on this show is basically the same as winning the whole competition. Double thumbs up(side down).
12. Turia Schmidt Peke
A quiet week from Turia, whose helpful suggestion that her team should stay warm by getting naked and huddling together was seemingly ignored by her teammates?! Strange.
11. Matt Gibb
Matt is a charity challenge beast and is now officially New Zealand’s best celebrity thruster and shaker. Had he not spent approximately three weeks looking under the Tohorā fire pit for a clue that Mel Homer had already claimed, Matt would rank higher in these terrible rankings, but we are all too busy putting pedometers on our heads to feel sad about it.
10. Steve Price
This absolute unit only went and broke his bloody bed!!!! He’s never been happier about it!!!! Where’s a helicopter to fly in a lilo when you need one, Steve Price?!?!
9. Miriama Smith
Should you ever find yourself in Central Otago pushing a long, rotating trough of water against Miriama Smith – and science shows that at some point this will happen to all of us – be very, very careful. Miriama will kick your water trough arse.
8. Jazz Thornton
A brilliant power move saw Jazz use her reward steal advantage to claim Tohorā’s hard-earned feast of fish and chips, duvets and pillows. Five star luxury for Kārearea! What more could you want from a lakeside holiday with a bunch of new chums – other than a possum who eats a shitload of pineapple? (Blind Jim? That you?)
7. Zaddy Strang
Blair had a hell of a week, shapeshifting through several identities including “Blair Grylls”, “The Guy from Shortland Street” and “Zaddy”. After eliminating Matootles and winning a mysterious scroll, Zaddy had more power in the last two minutes of the week than he’d had all game. “How through the wheel of time things change,” he mused, possibly thinking about his next strategic move, but probably remembering the night he got up to pee and panicked about being bitten by werewolves?!?!
6. Mel Homer
Mel Homer is a smiling assassin and I could spend the rest of my days watching her look on as her teammates searched for a clue she’d already found. “They think I’m a good bitch!” she chortled. “Please don’t let me be the villain.” No worries there, that position has already been filled.
5. Laura Daniel
Incredible tactics from Laura, who agreed to throw a challenge, but didn’t throw the challenge, but somehow still threw the challenge. Is that some sort of superpower? The answer is: yes.
4. Courtney Dawson
Courtney was burning with rage after Jordan refused to save Mary, and she took out her anger during the team face off and won her team some cold McDonalds. Most telling of all, Courtney has nearly as many alliances as she has green hats. Make of that what you will.
3. James Mustapic
Oh captain, my captain. James rockets up the rankings after seizing the Tohorā captaincy from Matilda, and his multi-party comedian alliance means he has protection in both teams. As soon as he remembers the name of the guy from Shortland Street, he’ll truly become a force to be reckoned with. Love to see it.
2. Eli Matthewson
There’s nothing more New Zealand than some celebrity sledging that involves a kids’ TV show called “Squirt”, and Eli really showed Matt Gibb and that 3D animated penguin who was boss. Eli’s brute power during the challenges proved he should never be underestimated (much like a 3D animated penguin), and he’s built clever alliances with a gazillion people, including captain Jordan. Also, Eli lives in the lake now? Seems fine.
1. Jordan Vandermade
Big plays from the big man this week – almost as big as the bite he took from the cheeseburger that he didn’t share with his teammates. Jordan masterminded the eliminations of both Mary and Matilda, and announced he wouldn’t save Blair from elimination, despite telling Blair he would. Jordan’s playing a ruthless game, especially when he brings cheeseburgers into it. Are the cheeseburgers in Jordan’s circle of trust? Makes you think.
Celebrity Treasure Island: Te Waipounamu is on TVNZ2 at 7.30pm every Monday to Wednesday, and streams on TVNZ+. For weekly recaps, get amongst The Real Pod Extra on Substack.