TelevisionAugust 21, 2019

Celebrity Treasure Island Power Rankings: The Sam Wallace reign of terror begins


The first week of Celebrity Treasure Island had it all – mud, vomit and coconut brassieres. Alex Casey ranks the celebrity contestants vying to win $100,000 for their chosen charity. 

It’s 2019 and mostly everything is bad, so I am choosing to focus on the positives of Celebrity Treasure Island NZ. I love the opening credits that make it look like we are hopping digital islands in a Crash Bandicoot fantasy. I love the integration of te reo throughout the show espesh when they get sent “back to hopuni”. I love the bizarre Bree Tomasel and Matt Chisholm double act, particularly when Bree goes off script and makes Chizzy dance like Russell Coight in All Aussie Adventures

Literally a still from an Ari Aster film

I also love how the challenges range from incredibly complicated key and clue jobbies to the celebrities literally playing with giant blocks like big, famous babies. I really love how they all seem to be starving despite eating almost constantly. Lentils for breakfast? I call that $23 at your local vegan café. Snack o’ choccie biscuits? Basically a birthday-only treat. Basil for seasoning? Sorry Marco Pierre White. Stick that in your Kathmandu sleeping bag and smoke it. 

Despite the good times and luxury conditions, we still saw the back of three whole celebrities this week. Pour one out for the fallen homies and then ONTO THE RANKINGS!


Karl Burnett, left to burn at the stake

In episode one, I was all in on Chaos Karl aka The Harrison Hurricane. Firstly, he was completely forgotten about and left tied up to a pole in a Street Fighter t-shirt, leading to a fabulous new reboot of Ashton Kutcher’s finest hour: 

I think we can all agree that this was worth the photoshop

Then he complained about rope burn, then he complained about getting his feet getting wet, then he visited the other team’s hopuni and destroyed Moses’ fabulous weaving – just because he could. “I saw it, and I had to destroy,” he told the camera from beneath his petrolhead cap. Some people just want to watch the world burn. 

Athena is all of us and all of us are Athena

But what I thought was just Big Eeyore Energy turned out to be something much more serious. Karl hadn’t slept a wink, and desperately needed to return home to take care of his mental health and spend time with his new baby. Just as Chizzy says, “The old noggin is really important.” Fare thee well Karl, thanks for bringing a vital conversation into the most unlikely of settings. 

Best quote: “I’m not used to being tied to a pole – it’s normally a bed”. A Brentism for the ages. 

ELIMINATED: Zac Guildford

Damn. I was so excited to tell you every single week about how Zac Guildford went to my primary school and how he was the school hottie and how all the girls held a running race one day to see who would be his girlfriend, but I’ll have to just get it all out of my system now. Because Zacky Boy’s gone home, turfed out on his arse before he had a chance to shine. In a way just like me, left in the dust at Greytown Primary School that day. 

Best quote: “No regrets, but a few decisions I would have tweaked.” Same Zac. Absolute same. 


A devastating loss to have to farewell the Ladi herself this early in the competition. I loved her vast array of political t-shirts, I loved how she refused to run in the hectic, extremely stupid first challenge, I really, really, really loved the way she looked at Sam Wallace with an extreme amount of disdain. My queen. 

Ladi was on track to overthrow the Wallace reign of terror with the exact deft precision she used to throw that potato in that hole, and I’m sad we will never get to see that happen. Plus, I don’t want to get involved with ranking charities, but when she talked about her dad’s charity Safe Man, Safe Family, it packed a bloody wallop to both the heart and the soul. 

Best quote: “No.” (after being asked if she would help massage Sam Wallace)


13) Sam Wallace

Let me just start by saying that I am absolutely living for the Weatherman Wars of Celebrity Treasure Island NZ, one which kicked off basically as soon as Kahu won the big baby blocks challenge and Sam Wallace fired the first Good Will Hunting-based shot. 

The forecast for Sam Wallace isn’t great. He refused to let poor old Karl have the bed of his choice, he asked Zac Guildford if he had ever been to prison (he hadn’t, but he was once the object of my affection, which is basically the same as being in prison), and there is an extreme cold front moving in from the direction of the women in his team. 

Plus, he was unnecessarily mean about Rosie. “She comes across like an Instagram star, a bit superficial.” Huge call from a career telly man who seems to be bizarrely hellbent on turning into a Sam Eagle tribute act.

12) Eric Murray

Yes, he’s an Olympian. Yes, he’s wearing a snazzy pendant. Yes, he hit lovely Shannon Ryan on the head with the cage door and didn’t say sorry. But at least he later told her “me Tarzan, you Jane” before promptly setting the shelter above it on fire. In a word: oarsome. 

11) Lana Van Hout

What’s in a name, I hear you ask? Well, someone’s got to carry the torch for Celebrity Treasure Island contestants named Lana everywhere, and someone’s got to have the same last name as the artist who gave Wellington a huge hand this week. Topical? Check. Personality? Pending. Am I bovvid? Not really. 

10) Shannon Ryan

Shannon Ryan seems extremely earnest and cool, delivering the most serious line of all time within five minutes of the first episode. “We lost,” she told the camera, looking absolutely gutted. “We lost because we lost sight of our team.” C4? More like see more (of your team). 

9) Shane Cameron

I think Bree put it best during the mud challenge when she said, “Shane Cameron looks like he’s done a turd in his pants.” Respect. 

8) Athena Angelou

Also known as the pocket rocket, I think we should all be keeping a close eye on Flava’s Athena Angelou. “I’m going to fucking win it,” she whispered to the camera in her first talking head, and has since demonstrated a top notch set of skills. She twerked at camp, she mastered a “long drop” technique during the mud challenge and, in her own words, her “tongue game is strong.” 

If that combination of things won’t win you Celebrity Treasure Island NZ, or at least a lot more screentime, then I don’t know what will. 

7) Gary “The Whizz” Freeman

If I was at the gates of heaven, and God allowed me to say one more thing before I entered, I would put on an enormous straw hat, look straight down the barrel of the camera (there’s a security camera outside heaven, I’d hope) and say this: “Yer a wizard, Gary.” 

Mark my words: nobody has ever worn a bigger hat in the history of mankind. Not Homer Simpson. Not Pharrell. Not this Sheriff in Scary Movie 3. The Whizz played for the Balmain Tigers in 1988, but I think we all remember best for this move in the biscuit-to-face challenge where he retracted his neck like a weak water bottle. 

Viva la Gary.  

6) Rosanna Arkle

Rosie from The GC has 4.7 million Instagram followers and is still dating that other guy from The GC which, to me, is the greatest love story never told. We haven’t seen heaps of her so far, but then the biscuit challenge came along and I started laughing and never stopped. Poor Rosie’s Botox’d face wouldn’t move an inch, the poor biscuit was left, frozen in time. But you know what they say, still faces run deep, and Rosie proved herself as a proficient hunter gatherer when she returned to camp with one small hermit crab to feed the tribe. Legend. 

Never has a single biscuit done so little for so many

5) Jodie Rimmer

Me hearties, Jodie Rimmer’s Instagram handle is @shouty_pirate and frankly that is all you need to know. Determined to win the mud bucket challenge to win the platter of tropical fruit – “my bowels need that” – Jodie opted for a hilarious mud backpack technique not unlike Yoda piling onto Luke’s back and calling it a day. Yo ho ho and a fibre-filled tum, it absolutely paid off and they won the challenge. 

Do or do not, there is no try

And just when you thought the Shouty Pirate couldn’t show any more Kiwi ingenuity, she used the precious bowel treasure to FAKE a VOMIT to KEEP her in the COMPETITION. “Don’t look at it!” she yelled, feigning embarrassment as Sam Wallace tried to call for a medic. Give her an Oscar, give her a Tony, give her the Black Pearl. But definitely don’t give her any more 3D animal masks because I’d very much like to sleep again at some point in my life. 

The Shining reboot going well

4) Moses McKay

I am overjoyed to report that Moses stood on my foot at the Celebrity Treasure Island NZ launch party, which means that we are married now. I love Moses so much that I don’t even care that he cut his toenails with a machete, or that he seemingly either has very fast-growing toenails (skilled) or purposefully left his toe talons untrimmed before coming on the show (demon).

I see fire, when I look at this pic

He can weave a lovely thing, he’s the master of getting a biscuit from his forehead down to his mouth, and he has the voice of an angel. Plus, any man who can pull off a Jim Halpert shrug to camera on a reality show is cruising straight to my top five, no further questions your honour.

3) Barbara Kendall

With five Olympic games, three medals, and one ripper Ripcurl deal under her belt, Barbara Kendall did NOT come here to play games. Except she did, and that game was called “Pineapple in a Box” and she was very, very good at it. 

She may have a target on her back as leader of Mako, but I have faith that her “mama bird” energy will prevail. At the very least, she makes some pretty loopy and menacing faces to the other team and I’m here for it. 

2) Lily McManus

Lily might appear chill, but do not underestimate her social game. Last night we saw her convince Sam and Eric to undertake an inane coconut bra fashion show challenge, a mere distraction while the women went off and plotted to overthrow the leadership. As Ladi 6 put it, “they are doing this coconut bra thing and we are organising a coup.” A mastermind. A visionary. 

Put it this way: I met Lily once at a thing and she told me to drink an entire glass of wine like it was water and, guess what, of course I did it. Lily has an extremely magnetic personality and knows how to use it to her advantage. That’s how Eric Murray and Sam Wallace ended up wearing coconut bras and no pants on national television, and also why I ended up spewing in the toilet later that night. Onya Lilz. 

1) Matty McLean

Matty McLean is famously an extremely nice man, but I think we should believe him when he says he’s got “a bit of mongrel in him”. First of all he’s a Survivor superfan, which means he will be coming in extremely hot to this format and will have been practising every possible puzzle, dexterity and eating challenge in his basement for the past year.

He was also (rightly) mad when Karl Burnett destroyed Moses’ weaving for no reason, raising his voice (!) calling him an asshole (!) and then saying, “if you break it, you buy it” (!). He’s fiercely loyal, will be watching everyone’s moves like a hawk, and has even found time to squeeze in a bit of weatherman pro bono work (pointed out a rainbow). Go the mighty Matt. 


Hermes the Hermit Crab

If this pet crab didn’t die within five hours of being “rescued” then I will eat Gary’s huge, huge hat. 

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Mad Chapman, Editor
Aotearoa continues to adapt to a new reality and The Spinoff is right there, sorting fact from fiction to bring you the latest updates and biggest stories. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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