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EXCLUSIVE: Meet the contestants of Survivor SA: Philippines

2018-04-13 09:29
 

Cape Town - The backstabbing, the stratigising, the hunger pangs . . . this year’s crop of Survivor contestants have seen it all in series gone by – and now they can’t wait to experience it all first-hand.

The 18 South Africans chosen for the latest season of one of the first reality shows to hit the small screen are all Survivor superfans. And for 39 days, on a cluster of remote islands in the Philippines, they’ll finally be given their chance to outwit, outplay and outlast their countrymen.

Nico Panagio returns to host the show – and this week we’re exclusively revealing the names of the contestants, among them a pastor, doctor, graphic designer, radio host and caterer. Of course, it wouldn’t be Survivor without a troublemaker or two.

Werner Joubert (34), Pastor and Biokeneticist, Secunda

Who he is 

He’s passionate about God and people. “I strive to enjoy the heck out of life. I love to make a game out of everything and generally my motto is ‘the more the merrier!’”

How he prepared

Survivor nut Werner entered Survivor in 2013 but didn’t make it, “so I’ve been playing the game in my head for four years. I’m quite a fit person but I did drop some weight to prepare my body for what lay ahead.”

Packing essential

Non-chafing underpants.

His strategy

“To be invisible at the start and just go with the flow, then step up at the right time and take control. The truth is I’m a leader, but I’m going to try hide that for as long as possible.”

What he thinks he’ll miss most

His son, Kaeleb (4). “He doesn’t understand why I have to go away.”

Tevin Naidu (24), Doctor, Durban

Who he is

Tevin describes himself as “a rational philosopher, governed by reason, informed by science, cultured by music, refined by literature and inspired by art.” He prides himself on his openmindedness and strives to turn the status quo on its head.

How he prepared

His main preparation was mental. “Basically, I did what I always do [for fun] and read up about the human mind and the way people think, act and behave. Survivor is about people. I prepped by learning more about people.”

Packing essential

A black vest inspired by Rob Mariano, aka Boston Rob – his favourite Survivor villain and a previous winner of the series.

His strategy

Tevin is planning on lying – a lot. “I chose to have fun and play like the Survivor villains I love watching. Not regrets.”

What he thinks he’ll miss most

The internet – although family will be “a very close second”.

Ace Chetty (28), Graphic Designer, Johannesburg  

Who he is

Ace – whose real name is Adrian – loves adventure, the outdoors and his family. “I’m usually very busy balancing business, family and church.”

How he prepared

Ace is the wildcard contestant – he got into the game by standing on a billboard for three days, competing against seven other hopefuls to win a spot on the show.

Packing essential

Only the bare necessities. “I’m ready to survive!”

His strategy

He reckons he’s the guy who’ll keep people guessing and he plans “to not be too obvious and to remain the good guy.”

What he thinks he’ll miss most

His family – and cheeseburgers.

Annalize Sainsbury (44), Caterer, Cape Town

Who she is

This mom of two was determined to live up to her motto: every day needs to be a great day. “I make the best of every situation.”

How she prepared

Annalize made sure she got her fill of her family – husband Paul (46) and daughters, Jemma (13) and Mia (11) – before leaving for the island. She says they sustain her.

Packing essential

Her gold bikini.

Her strategy

“To play a very social and strategic game and to try to get along with the various personalities.”

What she thinks she’ll miss most

“Shampoo and an ice-cold gin and tonic . . . and my family, of course.”

Chane Mynhardt (28), Administrative Clerk, Bloemfontein

Who she is

She’s a girly girl who likes to be pampered but that doesn’t mean she’s afraid to get down and dirty. “I am, after all, a boeremeisie at heart!”

How she prepared

Chane watched YouTube videos on how to open a coconut. “I also had my nails and eyelashes done!”

Packing essential

A pair of earrings. “I always wear earrings because I believe they’re my armour for the day.”

Her strategy

Playing “the helpless blonde” and aligning herself with physically strong competitors.

What she thinks she’ll miss most

Her husband, Christian, whom she’ll long for “more than most foods. Although it will be a close call.”

Jeanne Michel (35), Radio Producer, Cape Town

Who she is

Jeanne loves having a good time and making people laugh. “I’m not a fan of conflict, although I won’t shy away from it.” She describes herself as “the class clown” but worries her antics may rub people up the wrong way.

How she prepared

She taught herself to light a fire with flint, ate coconuts to get used to the taste, did puzzles online, and slept on the floor of her bedroom “to get used to having a horrible night’s sleep”.

Packing essential

Her white Converse sneakers.

Her strategy

Nothing specific. “It will develop as the game develops.”

What she thinks she’ll miss most

“Normal food and fizzy drinks!”

Marthunis Oosthuizen (29), Investment Adviser, Durban

Who he is

What you see is what you get with Marthinus. “You might be caught off guard at first, but I’ll grow on you. Viewers can expect me to be 100% real at all times.”

How he prepared

“I picked up some extra weight beforehand.” 

Packing essential

His Bible.

His strategy

“To be a strong player but to keep attention away from me.”

What he thinks he’ll miss most

Being busy – the empty hours between challenges will be hard going.

Murishca Martheze (34), Marketing Manager, Cape Town

Who she is

She’s a wife and a mom of two – but viewers will find out there’s a lot more to her than that, she says. “I’m a creative person who despises mediocrity and aspires to a bold life.”

How she prepared

She swam a lot and cut down on caffeine and sugar.

Packing essential

Her purple hoodie.

Her strategy

Murishca wants to align herself with “strong guys” and be brave – all while making true lifelong connections.

What she thinks she’ll miss most

Her sons, Noah and Christian.

Neil Voller (55), HR Executive, Edenvale

Who he is

Don’t be fooled by the fact he’s the oldest contestant. Name any major sporting event in South Africa and Neil has probably done it, from Comrades and the Duzi, to the Midmar Mile and Iron Man. He also loves bungee-jumping, hiking and mountain biking.

How he prepared

Neil was in the thick of his Iron Man training when he got into the show. “I adjusted my training for speed and power rather than endurance. And I watched many YouTube videos.”

Packing essential

“My beaded necklaces. They keep me grounded and also help with meditative moments when everything gets a bit crazy.”

His strategy

To underplay his strengths and abilities and let others take the lead. “I want to be seen as the older, unassuming player.”

What he thinks he’ll miss most

“My bed – and beer!”

Palesa Tau (28), Radio Host, Johannesburg

Who she is

She can be the friend you wish you had and the enemy you never want to have, Palesa says. “I’m a fierce competitior.”

How she prepared

“I tried to eat less – but I didn’t succeed too well on that one!”

Packing essential

“A supportive bikini top that will hold ‘the girls’ in place during challenges.”

Her strategy

“To make at least one strong ally, to convince others to vote with me and to win some challenges.”

What she thinks she’ll miss most

Her son, 11-year-old Lwazi.

Seamus Holmes (25), Property Broker, Durban

Who he is

Seamus loves working hard and staying active. “I enjoy other people and aim to be positive.”

How he prepared

Getting fit and training himself to cope with less sleep.

Packing essential

“My game face!”

His strategy

To create chaos from the outset.

What he thinks he’ll miss most

“I’m not too sentimental so I don’t think I’ll miss anything really.”

Stacey-Lee Valentyn (27), Business Analyst, Cape Town

Who she is

Stacy-Lee describes herself as a “strong-hearted lioness, always on the hunt for new adventure.” She puts family first and finds beauty in everyone and everything.

How she prepared

“I attended church more regularly.”

Packing essential

Photos and letters from her loved ones.  

Her strategy

To be a provider in her tribe and to keep her tribe out of tribal council.

What she thinks she’ll miss most

Her loved ones.

Tom Swartz (41), Adventure Camp Manager, Port Elizabeth

Who he is

Tom says he has no airs and graces. “I am who I am:tough and sensitive.”

How he prepared

He focused on a healthier diet and did plenty of cardio.

Packing essential

His hat. “I don’t go anywhere without it.”

His strategy

Tom loves the outdoors and is determined to be a provider. “I was born for this. I was raised wild and I live wild.”

What he thinks he’ll miss most

Not being able to trust anyone. “You can’t afford to [trust anyone] in the game of Survivor."

Toni Tebbutt (38), Content Developer, Johannesburg

Who she is

She’s passionate and energetic, has strong social skills and a naughty sense of humour, she says. “I wear my heart on my sleeve, I say what I mean and feel – and I have no filter.”

How she prepared

“I live my life in constant preparedness for a zombie apocalypse. So I was pretty strong and energetic and ready for survival.” She also tried to put on some weight.

Packing essential

A sports bra.

Her strategy

Toni wants to be liked and to team up with strong players. “I don't want to be perceived as a strong player so I plan to downplay my capabilities.”

What she thinks she’ll miss most

Her husband, Michael. Her cats, Coco and Dobby as well as red meat and her pillow. 

Vusi G Mafulela (35), Logistical Manager, Johannesburg

Who he is

Vusi is a “no-nonsense person” who dislikes fake people and loves nature, fast cars, and high-end whiskey.

How he prepared

When he heard he’d been chosen, he swam a lot and ate all the food he knew he wouldn’t see for a while.

Packing essential

His K-Way thermal top.

His strategy

Vusi’s plans to give the “alpha males” enough rope with which to hang themselves and to be indispensable during the tribe stage. He reckons his “ability to listen, brute strength, speed and sharp mind” will also come in handy.

What he thinks he’ll miss most

His wife, Althea Celia (35), and son, Luke Vusi (2). 

Josie Eveleigh (28), Travel Writer, Somerset West 

Who she is

“I’m an adventure-loving, can-do twentysomething who likes living life outside her comfort zone.”

How she prepared

Josie did her own “pre-survivor survival” – and that’s all she’s saying for now.

Packing essential

“My hat.”

Her strategy

To stay under the radar. “I’m also a very tolerant person and in this competition, that’s everything!”

What she thinks she’ll miss most

“Chocolate!”

Pheko Phetoe (28), Mining Technician, Centurion

Who he is

Pheko describes himself as a fun guy who’s full of surprises. “The one thing to expect from me is never expect anything from me. I’m electrifying and most unpredictable.”

How he prepared

He trained hard beforehand and practiced making a fire without matches.

Packing essential

A South African flag.

His strategy

To be like a lion: stalk his prey while blending into his surrounds, have a pride, be powerful and stay at the top of the food chain.

What he thinks he’ll miss most

His family, food and peace – “in that order”.

Katinka Oosthuizen (19), Social Media Influencer, Mosselbay

Who she is

Katinka is an adventurous social media star, with over 40 000 followers on Instagram and 16 000 on YouTube. She describes herself as hardworking and loves making people laugh.

How she prepared

She went bungee jumping to push herself out of her comfort zone and watched videos on building a shelter on YouTube.

Packing essential

Her contact lenses.

Her strategy

“To be very low key – then come in with a boom when the time is right.”

What she thinks she’ll miss most

“Coffee!”

Survivor SA: Philippines starts Thursday 3 May on M-Net (DStv 101) at 19:00.

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