Madeleine Chapman and her Aunty Henga assess the skills, builds, and tattoos in Game of Bros, Māori television’s reality quest for the ultimate Polynesian warrior.
Last night was the penultimate episode of Game of Bros. The semi final. The final bend. That last spoonful of palusami before you’re left with the perfect ratio of taro and coconut cream. Sticking to our well-established theme, we had chicken for dinner to ready our hearts for the “charming” episode ahead.
Pani and Pani also stuck with their own theme by once again wearing fugly as footwear. Turquoise crocs? TURQUOISE CROCS?
With only five contestants remaining, they had to spice things up by bringing in some special guests. What they may not have anticipated was that all three special guests would outshine all five of the bros.
There was the goddess of fire.
Aunty Tala playing Sina.
And this microphone.
The Game of Bros producers also decided to beat me to the punchline this week, subtitling Louis after he struggled to pronounce “intimidating”.
Thanks a lot guys, are you trying to run me out of a job?
With the two challenges being to woo female characters from both Māori and Samoan mythology, the bros were in for an uncomfortable day. I asked Aunty Henga how she had been wooed as a young woman.
“When you go to dances most of the Samoan boys will say ‘oh you’re so pretty.'”
And what did you say back to them?
“I say ‘Rubbish! Lies!’”
So Henga was not one to flirt with disaster. I tried a safer question. Where did she and Uncle Asora go on their first date? She thought for a second then turned to him and very genuinely asked,
“Did we even date?”
Jordan was listed as the only actor among the contestants, but Michael caused a stir with his committed acting in the role of The Eel. He even barked viciously while playing said Eel in what can only be a described as a searing critique of the current debates regarding the banning of dangerous dogs. Bringing social issues into his performance? Wow, there’s a reason Michael won overall this week.
Louis couldn’t believe the craziness that was Tofiga of The Laughing Samoans – a man, acting as Sina, a woman. Which means Louis might be the only Islander in New Zealand to not know who Aunty Tala is. Because of this, not only did he have to spend the duration of his “date” with Sina staring at the ground to keep from laughing, he also didn’t know which pronoun to use in the post-date interview.
“Oka! What is he doing?” Great question, Henga. In what I can only assume was an act of pure desperation, Thierry performed an interpretive dance as an eel. His goal was to capture the heart of Sina, instead he recaptured a moment in New Zealand history that everyone has been trying to forget.
Like Ramon and his Ludus merch, Iosefa just can’t seem to part with someone else’s skin. He actually performed reasonably well – despite being in the bottom two. Unfortunately, since he did not employ any method acting like Michael the Dog and Thierry the Plank, he came very close to being eliminated and breaking Aunty Henga’s heart.
In the first episode Jordan was the clown, the jester, always ready to laughingly mock the others. But as the weeks have progressed – right up until when he was eliminated – he has slowly revealed himself to be the sneaky competitive guy. Like that one uncle at every family barbecue who insists on starting a “fun” game of basketball then next thing you know, elbows are flying, screens are moving, and he’s yelling at your little cousin who was jokingly assigned as ref.
And so, after a night of truly uncomfortable viewing, only four remain. Next week is the series finale and Aunty Henga is pumped, mainly because she just wants to fold down the last three pages of her calendar.
Game of Bros airs Thursdays 8pm on Māori television, click here for the rest of our GOB coverage
This content, like all television coverage we do at The Spinoff, is brought to you thanks to the excellent folk at Lightbox. Do us and yourself a favour by clicking here to start a FREE 30 day trial of this truly wonderful service.
The Bulletin is The Spinoff’s acclaimed daily digest of New Zealand’s most important stories, delivered directly to your inbox each morning.