With Survivor NZ set to begin its debut season, Joseph Harper puts host Matt Chisholm through the ringer to see if he has what it takes to lead the world’s most challenging reality television series.
Survivor fever is most certainly sweeping the nation, with an unpredictable finale of Survivor: Kaoh Rong almost ready to be illegally streamed and the debut local season on the horizon.
We don’t know much about Survivor New Zealand, but this week’s announcement of the show’s host has the hype machine pumping like Josh Kronfeld as he rips down the beach en route to some buried treasure.
Matt Chisholm may have recently gotten married in Omakau, but he has his work cut out for him. Jeff Probst, whose tanned, leathery, old-timey bike saddle face is the rock upon which Survivor built its church, is probably one of the best TV hosts of all time. He’s a master of squeezing damning revelations from players at tribal council and taking terracotta pots on long, unbelievable journeys through exotic locations via sky dive and motorbike.
The question now on everyone’s lips must be 1) Who is Matt Chisholm? And 2) Does he have a snowball’s chance in hell of being as good as Jeff Probst?
The answer to both those questions is “maybe”.
An investigation as to whether he will be good at snuffing torches is ongoing:
I’m sure he’ll be fine at the day to day stuff. Explaining challenges, reading pieces of parchment, wearing shoes on a beach etc. It’s the more esoteric elements of hosting Survivor that Matt Chisholm may struggle with.
In terms of alphabetical aesthetics, “MATT” is undeniably the New Zealand version of “JEFF” and “CHISHOLM” – just like “PROBST” – sounds a lot like something you’d yell in Europe before doing a shot of Drambuie. It also probably helps that they look pretty much exactly the same.
The only real difference is that Matt Chisholm has more of a furby quality to his eyes. I used some Silence of the Lambs-style face swap technology and the chilling results speak for themselves.
Stylistically, extensive googling reveals that Matt seems to wear check button-ups 100% of the time so it’ll be interesting to see if he can handle the kind of extra-marital straps and pockets a Survivor host is obliged to sport. It’s a good sign that he is comfortable in the buff (Survivor terminology) just like Probst.
The most worrying thing for me is whether Matt Chisholm will be able to perform Probst’s most famous host technique: making a million classic immature balls/pole double entendres per episode. Troublingly, Chisholm seems to be a massive rookie in this regard.
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