Pop CultureOctober 27, 2021

Celebrity Treasure Island power rankings: The dissolution of the Awesome Foursome


It’s week eight of our favourite reality show featuring a queen dethroned and a fiancé phoned. Duncan Greive and Jane Yee sub in for Tara Ward.

It seems like just yesterday 21 fresh-faced celebs washed up on an idyllic Northland beach, ready to put their bodies and reputations on the line in the hope of raising money for charity (and also maybe raising their profile via prime time telly?)

Now, after an epic week of ailing alliances, lunching ladies and fiancé facetimes, only six castaways remain in the battle for fictional treasure that is bringing out some very real rivalry.

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Brynley Stent

The Puzzle Queen has been dethroned, leaving her allies all lost at sea(shore). Without four members, the Awesome Foursome becomes an Awesome, and that doesn’t even make sense, much less rhyme. An adjective pretending to be a noun is a threat to absolutely no one, so as Bryn finds herself setting sail for home, the Decreased Threepiece™ find themselves trapped in a poo cave without a paddle. / Jane Yee

Anna Simcic

Anna’s week started brilliantly, with her going the full Stallone on first Candy, then Jess in the inaugural CTI arm wrestling championship. Then she had a nice steak. Unfortunately that was as good as it got, and her week fell apart into betrayal amid the shifting alliances, and she was surprised to find herself up for elimination in a clearly impossible contest against Buck. Approximately three hours after they began a torturous spelling challenge, comeback Buck sent her home. / Duncan Greive


6) Buck Shelford

It doesn’t matter how much good cop/bad cop treatment he has to endure, it’s all water off a Buck’s back because this legend is a hefty anchor that refuses to budge. Unless he has a rugby ball tucked under one arm, Buck simply has no interest in moving. In stark contrast to his fellow castaways, he’s been happy to take the bench in challenges, is rarely seen straying from the campsite for strat chat and is definitely not keen on moving house. In fact, getting out of a house move was Buck’s sole motivation in signing up for this silly show, such is his commitment to staying put.

But being a stubborn slab of stone isn’t enough to take out this competition. You also have to be hungry for the win, and I suspect Buck is just hungry. It won’t be long before camp dad gets sick of all this childish nonsense and heads for (his new) home like Lance down a slip‘n’slide / JY

5) Edna Swart

Is Edna Swart channeling Chester Bennington? In the banger ‘Somewhere I Belong’, the late Linkin Park frontman sang “I was confused, looking everywhere only to find that it’s not the way I had imagined it all in my mind” – lyrics that perfectly describe Edna’s entire Celebrity Treasure Island experience. Not that she knows it, mind you. Influencer Edna is so good at her day job, she’s swayed her very own self into believing she’s part of every alliance going when the truth is, it’s not the way she imagined it all in her mind.

If Edna can summon the grit she displayed when knocking the Puzzle Queen off her throne she’ll soon realise the somewhere she belongs is at the top of these rankings. She just has to release herself from the shackles of fake friendships and get past those other pesky pirates first. / JY

4) Candy Lane

As my Real Pod colleague Jane Yee noted on our recap this week, Candy could have been mistaken for an extra in the early going, so little screen time did she command (why am I phrasing sentences like a pirate now? Arrr) Yet here she is, somehow in the final six and seemingly completely immovable. This week she won two charity challenges, and gave us the second most emo moment of the week when she bonded with Bree over endometriosis. She continues to be in a war with Edna (who told her “Shame. Your plan didn’t work” after defeating Bryn), which was classic Candy, attracting her fury for something which Buck had actually done. Even when she tried to over-deliver on her swapping a clue for immunity, Lance had his doubts.

The mild-mannered grandma has done it tough the whole way through, yet somehow she abides. It seemed inconceivable that she’d make it this far, but having made it this far, maybe she can sashay her way to the treasure? / DG

3) Chris Parker

If Chris is Sampson then Brynley was his hair, and as his metaphorical locks tumbled, so too did the Instagram funny man – from top spot in the rankings to bobbing around the middle. His old best mate Bryn has set sail, his new best mate Lance is about to go rogue and Chris spends his days in a paranoia pyramid of his own making. A video call to his fiance may have buoyed his spirits somewhat, but true love gets you nowhere on this island of treasure and treachery. If Chris has any hope of landing the loot he needs to go full pirate and ask himself the same question he yelled at Angela Bloomfield during the boat challenge – Chris, “where the fuck are you going?!” / JY

2) Jess Tyson

Where Lyin’ Lance Savali thrives on having no opponent ever confident in what he might do, Jess has chosen essentially the opposite path. She has never met an opportunity she won’t take, nor a question she won’t give a straight answer to. This is how we have ended up with six competitors spread over two alliances with a total of seven people in them, via Jess holding dual citizenship of the dirtbags (nee Awesome Foursome) and the Buck and Candy shop.

She characterises the approach as “If I can use their love for me as an advantage, I’m going to do that”, which seems sensible. She also uses being really good at puzzles and athletics as an advantage, which is quite a lot of advantages. It feels like the only thing standing in her way is being paired with someone who drags her down, which is coincidentally exactly the power that Lance holds. / DG

1) Lance Savali

“I’m about to be a villain,” were Lance’s final words this week, and said with a very attractive combination of incredulity and glee. Incredulity because at heart this is clearly a sweet-natured and open-hearted dude, glee because he seems to have enjoyed discovering this week that he is a true savant of everything Celebrity Treasure Island asks of you.

Right through, his gangly athleticism and astonishing ability to lie with perfect sincerity appeared his biggest assets. This week he won a puzzle challenge, casually plucked a clue from Candy for a bargain price of absolutely nothing, then out-smarted the whole group at the fiendish game theory skull challenge. That leaves him with an absolutely abominable amount of power – the ability to pick duos heading into the final week. He is extremely stoked about this, and Chris Parker described what he did with that power as “maniac-level genius evil” which is about as strong a tease for next week as I could possibly imagine. / DG

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