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.
The Game of Bros champion has been crowned after seven long weeks of baby oil, Ludus hoodies, and coconut cream. While the whole series has been primarily focused on the humour and silliness, this finale went all in on the intensity and we loved it.
Aunty Henga and I held a viewing party complete with KFC dinner and compulsory lavalava attire. Apologies to the few weirdos on the bus who didn’t absolutely love the smell of KFC on their commute home. One of them coughed dramatically which was a bit much, though.
With four bros remaining and a literal race to the finish, power ranking was already done for me. Henga still had her favourite, “I still go for Iosefa”. I had to agree. But everyone did so well I can’t bring myself to rank any of them last so instead, here is a photographic journey through the final obstacle course challenge of Game of Bros.
1) The lavalava diapers
The lavalavas on Game of Bros have gotten shorter and shorter with each episode until finally they became just colourful diapers. There’s something strange about seeing a grown, muscly man in a multi-coloured adult diaper, but it was only made better by the always horrible presence of a rock-climbing harness. I salute you and your definite chafing, bros.
2) Clothing crimes
Disqualifications have been few and far between since Ramon Ludus went home but the finale brought out some questionable choices from Thierry and Michael. Lucky for them I had just eaten ten wicked wings when they came on screen so was feeling generous. But still.
3) Louis goes foot commando
Louis chose to go commando and wear no shoes like a true fob. His reasoning was that it would allow him to connect more with nature. He then went on to climb a 100% artificial rock wall and run over a 100% real rock path. It’s amazing how quickly one’s feet get used to walking on rocks in the islands. And equally amazing how quickly one’s feet turn into rocks themselves.
4) Slow Thierry
Louis managed to stay ahead of Thierry throughout the entire 500m run even though he was barefoot and, you know, running on small rocks. The only explanation is that this was just one of many times that Thierry almost fell over and if so, Māori TV really dropped the ball by only showing one great stumble.
5) Iosefa and his lavalava
Anyone who has ever worn a lavalava and tried to run knows that it comes with heavy risks. Which is why it is common knowledge to always wear shorts underneath, just in case. The bros did not get this luxury and Iosefa in particular struggled to maintain his decency throughout the challenge. Nothing worse than a lavalava drifting away in the breeze.
6) Special guest star
Last week we were treated to an appearance by the microphone, and this week we got to see the man on the other end. In a true “pulling back the curtain” moment, the crew were finally given their 0.5 seconds of fame.
7) The presentation of gifts
Louis completed the obstacle course first, closely followed by Iosefa. They each presented their cup of coconut milk in a scene that brought back fond memories of 2001 memes.
8) The three-way handshake
Iosefa joins his fellow countrymen, Mike and John, to become the third third-wheel of a handshake on national television. It’s subtle, it’s sneaky, it’s Kiwi as.
9) Louis wins
As far as entertainment value goes, Louis won this competition weeks ago. But he went ahead and won it physically too, despite a lot of “bressure” from his fellow bros. Henga conceded that he was probably the real favourite and not Iosefa. “I should have gone with Louis because his grammar is the same as mine. He says the words the same as me.”
When asked why she had backed Iosefa from the beginning, she had an airtight reason. “Because I forgot the names of the other guys.” Louis may have won a trip to Tahiti with his girlfriend, but the ultimate prize was not being folded in half by Aunty Henga.
“Good on you, Louis. Your grammar is broken but you can still win it.”
So that’s it for Game of Bros. Louis is the ultimate island warrior after outsprinting, outsculpting, outflirting, and outfreshing all the other bros. In the words of every Samoan mum before she hangs up the phone,
yeah, yeah, ioe, mmm, oka, yeah, ioe, ok, yeah, yeah, fa.
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