This Ain’t No Vacation. This Is The Amazing Race Australia.
Coming Soon To 10.
It’s time to pack your bags and get ready to roam the globe. The Amazing Race Australia is coming soon to 10 and it’s the furthest thing from a relaxing vacation.
We call it amazing, but it’s also crazy, ludicrous, outrageous and adventurous. From painfully slow taxi rides to furious camels, our not-so-trusty tour guide, Beau Ryan, will lead 11 teams as they ping pong across the world in pursuit of the $250,000 cash prize.
In a race where every second and every step counts, you’ll need more than brains and brawn on your side. Some teams are even going as far as to call in a favour with the big fella upstairs.
Relationships will be tested, decisions will be second guessed and a meltdown or two will be had. So strap yourselves in and get ready for the race that has it all.
Australia…Meet Your Bachelorettes. Premieres Wednesday, 31 July At 7.30pm.
Ahead of this Wednesday night’s highly-anticipated premiere episode of The Bachelor Australia, we thought we would give you the 411 of the 28 beautiful, brainy and brave women putting their hearts on the line this season.
Ranging in age from 23 to 34 and hailing from all over the country and abroad, this year’s Bachelorettes are a diverse group of women with one thing in common: a passion to find “the one”.
Bachelor Matt Agnew opens the doors of the Bachelor mansion to welcome this select group of ladies on their romance journey of a lifetime. Through a series of cocktail parties and breathtakingly memorable dates, they will discover who has the chemistry, intelligence, sense of adventure and charm to be Matt’s perfect partner.
Meet the Bachelorettes who are vying for Matt’s heart:
New South Wales has delivered nine ladies in nurse Elly, fashion brand manager Emma, sports teacher Tash, personal trainer Rachael, civil engineer Sogand, model Vakoo, children’s entertainer Julia, fashion designer Monique and student Nikki.
Asked why she wanted to be a part of The Bachelor Australia, Elly said: “I wanted to take a bit of a chance. You never know where life is going to take you, so if you don’t take chances then you’re going to stay put and you won’t find out”.
Eight beauties hail from Victoria: chemical engineer Chelsie, copywriter Sophie, digital account manager Hannah, cook Mary, makeup artist Jessica, chartered accountant Danush, public servant Sam and nurse Tara.
On her plan to win over The Bachelor’s heart, Chelsie said: “I just want to go in and be myself. If that is not good enough, then I don’t think it’s meant to be”.
Property analyst Abbie, café manager Nichole, Pilates instructor Isabelle, cosmetic nurse Georgie, textiles designer Keely and China researcher Kristen bring the six enviable tans from sunny Queensland, and health coach Helena, executive PA Jessie and clerical officer Brianna represent Western Australia.
Hailing from the Top End is healthcare coordinator Renee and waving the flag for Adelaide is jewellery designer Cassandra.
Matt said: “It may be an unorthodox way to meet someone, but I think it’ll be a sensational experience and make for a cracking ‘how we met’ story!”
The Bachelor Australia promises another extraordinary season filled with drama, humour, adventure and romance that captivates Australian viewers, as the country follows Matt’s journey to find love.
On Wednesday night, Matt is introduced to 20 beautiful Bachelorettes, before we shake things up on Thursday night with eight unexpected arrivals.
Media Release: All-star Panellists Sign Up For The Masked Singer Australia
With a mystery this big, we knew we had to call in the big guns.
Global megastar Lindsay Lohan, music hit maker Dannii Minogue, pop culture guru Jackie O and Aussie funny man Dave Hughes have all ripped up their busy diaries in order to play the country’s biggest game of guess who, The Masked Singer Australia.
As 12 celebrities take the stage hidden beneath bizarre disguises (like The Prawn and The Unicorn) this musical crack unit of detectives will take a handful of clues and the sound of each celebrity’s voice to try and unearth just who is behind the mask.
Lindsay Lohan started her career at the age of three as a child model and has since gone on to prove herself a triple threat within the entertainment industry. This lady knows good talent when she sees it.
On joining The Masked Singer Australia panel, Lindsay said: “The show has already been a huge success and I can only imagine it will get bigger. Each week will be so exciting to watch who performs and try and guess who’s behind the masks. I feel honoured to sit on the panel and be a part of such an amazing show.”
Making her mark as a global pop sensation over three decades, in recent years Dannii Minogue has stepped out of the studio and onto television screens, cementing herself as one of the industry’s sharpest talent spotters.
On why she thinks The Masked Singer Australia will stand out from other talent competitions, Dannii said: “The Masked Singer is an incredible show that already has fans around the world. I love the music, drama of the costumes, the fun of guessing the performers, and most of all the tension when the performer is revealed.
It is the first singing show that is voted on performance alone, till the very end. There is so much secrecy about the performers, that I think this show will be a hot ticket – my friends are already trying to get an audience seat!”
One of the most powerful voices in Australian media, Jackie O has the entertainment world on speed dial, and she’s not afraid to call. Years at the top of her game has made her a hit maker, now Jackie O is ready to unearth Australia’s hidden talent.
On why she’s decided to take her place on the guessing panel, Jackie said: “I was really excited by the concept, it’s so unique and like nothing we’ve seen on Australian TV before. I love that everyone can play along at home trying to guess which celebrities are under the mask. I’m also excited for my daughter to see it, she will love it.”
While he may not have the sweetest singing voice, Dave Hughes will certainly bring the laughs to an already bonkers entertainment series. Despite not having the musical nous of his fellow panellists, Dave believes he has his finger on the pulse of those playing along at home.
On his place on such and outstanding panel, Dave said: “Never has the phrase ‘thorn between the roses’ been more apt. I will attempt to give the common man’s view while sitting amongst these goddesses.”
Hosted by compare extraordinaire, Osher Günsberg, TheMasked Singer Australia is produced by Warner Bros. Australia.
Our panellist’s astonishing list of over-achievements:
With years of experience in the entertainment industry, Lindsay began her career as a model and child star, making her mark in family hits such as The Parent Trap and Freaky Friday. Lindsay literally grew up in front of the camera, coming into her own in the lead role of Cady in cult teen comedy, Mean Girls.
Lindsay continues to be a hugely successful international business woman, opening multiple Beach Clubs and most recently starring in her own MTV series Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club.
Dannii Minogue is truly one of Australia’s favourite entertainers with a career that has straddled music and television for nearly 40 years.
Singing and dancing her way into Aussie hearts as part of the young cast on Young Talent Time, Dannii has had her own global singing success twice over and cemented herself as a great nurturer of talent in her roles on Australia’s Got Talent,The X Factor UK and The X FactorAustralia.
Media powerhouse Jackie O started working Australian radio in 1993 and has since gone on to become one of the most powerful women in Australian media. As part of a Sydney radio duo with Kyle Sandilands, Jackie O brings the entertainment world to life daily, speaking with the world’s biggest stars often getting the scoop on pop culture’s biggest moments.
No stranger to television, Jackie O has been at the helm of some of the country’s biggest reality programs including a hosting role on Popstars, Australian Princess and the 2008 series of Big Brother Australia broadcast on Network 10.
One of Australia’s busiest entertainers, Dave Hughes keeps the plates of comedy, radio and television all spinning at the same time.
Part of the powerhouse drive radio duo, Hughesy and Kate, Dave keeps the country on their toes delivering his laconic humour with deadpan delivery each weekday. On TV, Dave calls on some of Australia’s funniest minds to help him solve the country’s biggest issues in Hughesy, We Have A Problem broadcast on Network 10.
UPDATED: The Survivor: Island of secrets castaways are…
Survivor: Island of secrets premieres on 16 May at 19:00 on M-Net DSTV Channel 101.
Cobus Hugo (27)
Cobus is fearful that he won’t find adequate stimulation on the island, saying that he gets bored easily. He has set out his stall to become a leader, which might not be the best gameplan out there. He will also face some stiff competition from some of the other alpha males in the group.
From: Greenpoint, Cape Town
What you need to know about him:
Cobus is a lively, happy-go-lucky and proudly gay young man who lives on the light side of life, but admits that there’s sometimes a bit of sarcasm behind his million-dollar smile. It always comes from a good place, though. This social butterfly channels his boundless energy into running marathons or working really hard to get what he wants. His biggest fear going onto Survivor SA is that he will be part of a boring tribe, but as his circle of friends know, Cobus will quickly be able to change the mood for the better in any group. Having a down day will indeed be a new experience for this loving and caring architect. And who would not want someone who can construct a proper shelter for his or her tribe?
Dante Rudolph de Villiers (31)
Dante is striving to be at one with the earth and his fellow man and his plan A is to be honest. His plan B though is to lie through his teeth. Like many of his fellow castaways this coffee shop owner from the West Coast fears hunger above all.
Surname: De Villiers
Occupation: Coffee shop owner
From: Dwarskersbos, Cape West Coast
What you need to know about him:
With his long flowing hair, muscled body and love for the ocean, Danté is Survivor SA’s dreamy Aquaman! His passion for the outdoors has taken this soft-spoken athletic loner to many places across the world. After living in Thailand and spending the last seven years in the South of Israel next to the Red Sea, Danté has returned to South Africa to run a coffee shop – in a small coastal town of course! Danté certainly doesn’t conform to the norm. “I do my own thing, on my own terms,” he says of himself. “There are too many followers in this world.” Case in point: Even though he sees himself as a “real surfer”, decent hygiene is very high on his priority list.
Felix Godlo (29)
One of the ‘cover stars’ of the season Felix encompasses the spirit of the rainbow nation which producers have sought to capitalize on. A proud Xhosa man, Felix earned a a scholarship to an Afrikaans high school, where he met the woman he was to marry. He says his preparation for Survivor has been largely mental.
Occupation: Sales consultant
From: Garstfontein, Pretoria
What you need to know about him:
Felix is another Survivor contestant known for going against the flow. Felix comes from a traditional Xhosa family, but attended an Afrikaans High School in Pretoria where he then got a rugby scholarship to Jeppe High School for Boys. Today, he is married to his Afrikaans high school sweetheart from Pretoria and in October 2018 they welcomed a baby boy. Felix is not only a good husband and father, but also a natural leader and talented sportsman who loves to make his dad, a military man, proud. While studying at the University of Technology in Pretoria, he played rugby for The Vikings and later he represented Old Selbournians in East London. Solid and in-control, Felix sees Survivor SA as the ultimate social experiment and is over the moon to be part of it.
Jacques Burger (27)
Pretoria boytjie Jacques comes into the contest full of confidence claiming his biggest fear is making it to the final tribal and not getting any votes. An Industrial engineer by trade his plan is to align himself with one other contestant who will help him go all the way.
Occupation: Industrial Engineeer
From: Queenswood, Pretoria
What you need to know about him:
Jacques is a Survivor super-fan. He has watched every single season – sometimes more than once – and even dedicated a podcast to Survivor SA: Philippines in 2018. This real brainiac, who is for obvious reasons always stereotyped as the nerd in a group, is adamant that he wants to be known as one of the greatest players in the history of the TV franchise. “I may look like I am on a hunger strike,” the scrawny married industrial engineer says, “but I can hold my own in challenges.” His nickname “Die Lem” was apparently earned during his early rugby-playing days. On paper, Jacques is a meticulous strategist whose social game is on point. But will he live up to his own expectations when Survivor doesn’t play out on paper?
Meryl Szolkiewicz (31)
The Pilates instructor from Centurion wanted to be prepared to survive on the island and says she taught herself how to make fire from bamboo by watching videos on Youtube. Meryl plans to use her charm and good looks to get her way in social settings.
Occupation: Pilates instructor
From: Irene, Pretoria
What you need to know about her:
A creative soul with a degree in musical theatre, this pilates instructor with big hair and even bigger ambition always wants to perform at her best and won’t let anything get her down. After starting a career as a musician, Meryl married quite young and had three beautiful boys within four years. For this yummy mommy, Survivor SA is an opportunity to rediscover her adventurous side. Raising three kids made her fierce and strong, compassionate and loyal, but in Survivor you may just see a little more of her flirtatious side. It is a game, after all!
Tania Copeland (51)
Tania went into the competition with the mindset of forming a firm alliance of five before the merge, and then powering to the finish. She brushed up on her Survivor history in preparation. She has represented Western Province in chess so she should be adept at thinking several moves ahead.
Occupation: Immigration consultant
From: Somerset West, Cape Town
What you need to know about her:
The rules and restrictions of society were not made with Tania in mind. Or, actually, they were. It’s just that this strong and independent woman is not going to pay much attention to them. Tania is one of a kind, unlike anyone else who has played the game of Survivor. She may be slightly older than her competitors, but it won’t hold her back. This colourful 51-year-oldimmigration consultantis a self-proclaimed hedonist and an avid rock climber who loves all kinds of adventures in the outdoors. Tania, who has raised several kids, teaches English language to adults and knows that she’s always the heart and soul of a party – with or without her no-longer-guilty pleasure – a marijuana joint. In Survivor SA she wants to be part of what she calls Team Underdog – who shows the big dogs how it’s done. (Oh, by the way, her father was a bank robber).
“Ting-Ting” Ai-Ting Wong (25)
A GP from Durban, 25-year-old Ai-Ting hopes to deploy a Survivor staple further in the competition, lay low and hit them with a blindside. Her biggest fear coming into the competition is poor hygiene and sanitation on the Island. She prepared for the competition by fasting.
What you need to know about her:
Ask Ting-Ting to describe herself and she will tell you that she’s a doctor by profession, a healer and “empowerer” by wish and a poet and YouTuber by choice. She is indeed a memorable millennial with a love for strange and beautiful things and an interesting background. She grew up in a traditional Taiwanese household with South African influences, studied at the University of Stellenbosch and considers herself an “African Asian” who is now completing her medical internship and wants to specialise in reconstructive plastic surgery. Likeable and mischievous, but also practical and extremely wise, Ting-Ting brings an interesting dynamic – and plenty of soul and insight to every situation.
Lee-Anne van Renen (33)
Lee-Anne packed on an impressive 7kgs in muscle before shipping out to the Island of Secrets and will surely deploy her skills as a human behaviour analyst to get her further in the competition. She has also brushed up on her fire-making skills.
Surname: van Renen
Occupation: Life coach, Mrs Cape Town 2018
From: Durbanville, Cape Town
What you need to know about her:
Mother of two, Lee-Anne van Renen, interrupted her duties as reigning Mrs Cape Town 2018 to prove her resilience on Survivor SA and tear up stereotypical beauty queen labels. She’s married to the bassist of the band Taxi Violence, holds an honours degree in Psychology, obtained five distinctions in matric, captained the KZN action netball team, counsels drug addicts and traumatised teens, and has survived several personal tragedies, including a cancer scare and double miscarriage. Even though she may come across as sweet and kind-hearted – and she is – she has a spirit of steel. A mere month after the trauma of losing her twins, she completed the 947 cycle race. Lee-Anne pours her heart into NGOs to make a difference and says she entered Survivor SA not only to win, “but also to step into the shoes of those who have absolutely nothing; no bed, no food, no warmth, no shelter”.
Nicole Capper (33)
Former beauty queen Nicole, says that she prepared for the Island with a fine balance of training and rest. She hopes that being her authentic self will carry her to the final tribal council.
Occupation: Ex Mrs SA, Events company and luxury online magazine owner
From: Fourways, Johannesburg
What you need to know about her:
Nicole is a perfect example of confidence and grace. Her journey towards courage and living out of her comfort zone started three years ago, when her baby girl was diagnosed with a rare and life limiting genetic disease. That’s when this qualified pharmacist decided to come out of her shell, break through her insecurities and live with the philosophy that anything is possible. So, she entered Mrs South Africa 2017 – an won. Thereafter, Nicole set her goals higher and higher, embarking on all kinds of epic adventures to raise funds and awareness for social causes close to her heart. She even went to the summit of Kilimanjaro and is expanding her circle of influence with modelling, motivational speaking and being the ambassador for Rare Diseases SA. The divorced mother of two also founded Inside Out, an organisation that connects the youth with their heroes in sport and business.
Steffi Brink (27)
The former Miss Namibia intends to downplay her athleticism to avoid painting a target on her back. She even stopped training ahead of Survivor in order to cut back on her muscle mass. She certainly cuts a statuesque figure in the promo shots but how far she will get in the competition is something we will learn in the coming weeks.
Surname: Brink (née van Wyk)
Occupation: Fitness model
From: Glen Austin, Midrand
What you need to know about her:
Survivor SA’s own Lara Croft, Steffi is a fitness model, all-rounded athlete and entrepreneur who represented her country of birth Namibia at the 2015 Miss Universe pageant and participated in the Miss World Sport 2015. Steffi, who grew up on a farm, knows that you can only reach your full potential when you work hard and persevere through any kind of adversity. When you ask Steffi to describe herself, it’s clear as daylight that she’s not your typical beauty queen. “I am a jock and I am used to winning. I am tough and I will fight until the bitter end. Second place is just first place for the losers.” Steffi is married to heartthrob actor Clint Brink from Binnelanders andadmits that she usually gels better with guys than girls. She also lives by a strong moral compass and believes that the truth will always come to light.
Seipei Mashugane (40)
Seipei feels that life has already prepared her for the island and concedes that she has done no additional preparation. Dealing with drama is her biggest fear. The no-nonsense single mother is also a biker whose passion is teaching women about the freedom of riding a Harley-Davidson.
Occupation: Entrepreneur and Biker Queen
What you need to know about her:
Nobody wants to mess with entrepreneur and “Biker Queen”Sepei. The strong, no-nonsense single mother has built a life for herself and her two children through grit and determination, after deciding that she wants them to have access to the absolute best education. If she puts her mind to something, consider it done. And, as she admits herself, it’s always her way or the highway. When she is not the driving force behind one of several business ventures, she revs it up on her Harley Davidson motorcycle on road trips across the country. As mobility, independence and emancipation are extremely important to Sepei, she also teaches women that biking holds a key to freedom. This iron lady has won several road challenges on her smokin’ two-wheel chariot, but will she also lead the pack on the Survivor SA island?
Nathan Castle (25)
25-year-old graphic production studio director Nathan should get on well with fellow germaphobe Ai-Ling. Nathan is eager to get the authentic Survivor experience. His tattooed body certainly fits in with the Survivor aesthetic but there is more to this game than appearances.
Occupation: Media Producer
From: Milnerton, Cape Town
What you need to know about him:
Don’t be fooled by Nathan’s sculpted, tattooed body and flirty smile. He is a highly competitive young man who graduated with a law degree from the University of the Western Cape and he loves playing games that require mental and physical strength. This part-time personal trainer who recently became a partner at a Post Production Facility in Cape Town, is also a sharp strategic thinker and a pro at playing mind games. He also holds Western Province colours in chess! Even though this confident, sociable all-rounder is ready to use his looks to advance his game, he acknowledges that his competitiveness sometimes comes with a bit of a temper – and that can be a risky combination.
Rob Bentele (28)
His striking good looks made Rob an obvious choice for M-Nets promotional drive for the show. He intends to play the cerebral game and hopes to be the puppet master pulling the strings from behind the scenes. Rob won’t be leaning on his physicality despite his background in MMA.
Occupation: Events Videographer
From: Richards Bay
Robert Bentele is the drop-dead gorgeous exotic Trevor Noah lookalike on the show. His dad is Austrian and his mother is Zulu. And even though he grew up mainly in the Zulu culture, he embraces and celebrates his unique identity. He has been a bodybuilder and MMA fighter and has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, but for him “everything is about the energy”. He is into Zen, meditation, peace, balance and spiritual enlightenment. Before he outwits, outplays and outlasts, his game strategy is to out charm his teammates and rivals alike. “I’m a chameleon, I can be anything you want me to be,” Robert says. But is it possible to stay this cool and collected while others are aiming daggers at your back?
Paul Smulders (54)
As the oldest man, Estate agent Paul is wary of standing out from the crowd and wants to fly under the radar and make a big late push. He fears venomous creatures like snakes, scorpions and his fellow castaways.
Occupation: Real Estate Agent
From: Ruimsig, Johannesburg
Confident, smooth talker Paul may be a little older than the other guys in his tribe, but he is in good shape. As he says himself, “I am a 54-year-old with a body that is 35-years-old,”. Paul is also a motivated and positive real estate agent who has negotiated countless property transactions and is highly respected in his field. When Paul doesn’t clinch deals, he loves being “the entertainer”, playing pranks or churning out corny comments. This divorced father of two sons, is no pushover, though! Even though Paul wants to bring some fun to the island, he is ready to play hard, proving that he can measure up to the young guns.
Laetitia Le Roux (58)
The oldest women in the competition Laetitia is a nurse from Johannesburg who believes the biggest challenges she will face on the island will be keeping ‘her big mouth shut’. She prepared for the rigours of Survivor by reducing her daily caloric intake.
Surname: Le Roux
From: Randburg, Johannesburg
What you need to know about her:
At 58, Laetitia is the oldest castaway on Survivor South Africa, but even though she may seem like a typical Afrikaans granny she is much more than just the doting mother of five children and four grand children. Apart from being a unit manager in a subacute rehabilitation hospital, she has a remarkable CV. She boasts a Master’s Degree in Nursing Education, attended to high-profile patients in Tripoli, Libya and competed in several endurance events! To top it off, all three of her sons are SA water polo players. Laetitia calls a spade a spade and can’t stand what she calls lazy and stupid people as well as big mouths and know-it-alls who are just big bags of wind. This “Super Ouma” has been looking after others for all her life. She admits that Survivor SA is her opportunity to finally “do it for herself”.
Mike Venter (21)
The youngest castaway isn’t one who should be written off, 21-year-old Mike from Johannesburg is a law student and Survivor super fan. He fears hunger above all else but feels his knowledge of the show will give him a tactical edge.
Occupation: Radio Presenter
From: Parkrand, Boksburg
What you need to know about him:
Energetic, optimistic, exuberant and motormouth-millennial, Mike is the youngest of the Survivors in the South African show’s seventh season. While studying law, Mike started pursuing a career in radio, first honing his skills at varsity radio station Voice of Wits and now doing a stint on EastCoast Radio. If someone can change the world, it’s Mike! Being an intelligent only-child from a middle-class family, Mike excelled at a prestigious boys’ school where he was head prefect in Matric, but it’s also important for him to debate socio-political issues, challenge conventional ways of thinking and questions the status quo. “It’s time for the youth to stand up and claim their place in the sun – by winning Survivor,” he says. Only problem is he can’t sleep without taking a hot bath and gets “hangry” by 9:30 in the morning. But maybe he’s just joking – because it’s obvious that he can talk a good game and likes a smile on his face.
Rose-Lee Smith (33)
Finding clues is what 33-year-old crime scene forensic analyst, Rose-Lee does for a living. She feels that her investigative background will help her suss out the competition early on.
Occupation: Crime Scene Analyst
From: Paulshof, Johannesburg
What you need to know about her:
CSI meets Survivor SA in the guise of a mother-of-three, super-observant Rose-Lee. After completing her Honours Degree in Criminology, she joined the SAPS to use her analytic skills to ensure that those who break the law end up behind bars. Rose-Lee is a born-and-bred Durbanite who has been living in Johannesburg for the past couple of years. But no matter where she is, people have the tendency to open up to this down-to-earth good listener to tell her their deepest and darkest secrets – or just to get some advice. Rose-Lee admits that she’s quite a girly-girl. Behind the beautiful, down-to-earth surface, however, is one tough cookie, who is used to seeing blood, guts and guns. At the beginning of the year, Rose-Lee left her husband and kids to attend brutal police training and she’s recently lost 30kgs after focusing on pursuing a healthy lifestyle.
“Mamba” Mmabatlokoa Molefe (28)
An investment analyst from Cape Town, Mmabatlokoa says that she was nervous about physical challenges coming into the competition. She was also fearful that her social game-plan might backfire, leaving her isolated in a game that is as much about interactions as it is about challenges.
Occupation: Investment Analyst
From: Plumstead, Cape Town
What you need to know about her:
Mmaba is a young, successful Zulu woman with an infectious laugh. This warm, friendly and sociable financial analyst, who actually may love people more than numbers, is also passionate about developing and uplifting her community. In her spare time, she runs an NGO that cultivates young leaders and also tutors Grade 8 mathematics in Gugulethu. Originally from KZN, Mmaba moved to Cape Town to study a B.Com in Accounting. She describes herself as a steady, easy-going individual who can also be persistent when there are goals to achieve. Not only did she learn how to ride a bike in her late 20s, she also worked hard to be able to afford a plot of land for her mother to build a house on. “I think people will underestimate me,” the bubbly go-getter says. “And that just suits me fine.”
Durão Luzo Mariano (28)
This hotel concierge from Durban took the opposite approach to that of Laetitia, he ate more in a bid to build up reserves of fat for the harsh conditions on the island. A self-styled charmer Durão is confident in his abilities in both the social and physical game.
Occupation: Hotel Guest Liaison
From: Newlands East, Durban
What you need to know about him:
Charming, confident and diplomatic Durāo from Durban holds a finance degree, but decided to go into the hospitality industry because he loves food, people and travel. Changing careers indeed took him all over the world, where he has learnt to adjust to many different environments. Durāo believes life is full of endless possibilities and if someone tells him that he doesn’t take life seriously enough, he will reply calmly that it’s his life and he chooses the best way to live it. Working in the hospitality industry, difficult customers happen to be his bread and butter, but on Survivor he plans to have his bread buttered on both sides! The one thing he won’t do, however, is use foul language. He claims to have never uttered a swear word in his life.
Geoffrey Cooke-Tonnesen (33)
Geoffrey comes into Survivor with a win at all costs mentality. He says he prepared for Samoa by running the Comrades marathon last year. His biggest fear is having to defecate outdoors. Hopefully any such experiences won’t be filmed.
Occupation: Home loans Consultant
From: Colenso, KZN
What you need to know about him:
Geoffrey is married with children and works as a home loans consultant. And that’s where normality ends in Geoffrey’s world. In his own words, he’s a quirky goofball who has the tendency to gossip like a school girl. To that he adds that he is a shameless manipulator who has been called a “he-bitch” more than once. Yet, this tenacious lover of whatever causes drama knows just what to say to butter people up and make them love him. Yes, he is sneaky and conniving and doesn’t really care what people think about him – as long as he does what is needed to win Survivor. Not so long ago risk-taker Geoffrey won a national body transformation challenge, losing 30kgs in just three months. Then he ran the Comrades marathon after training for only six months. Anything is possible when you’re Geoffrey from Colenso in KZN.
Rocco van Rooyen (26)
If his name sounds familiar to you, it could be because 26-year-old Rocco has competed at the IAAF World Championships, and Olympic Games for South Africa in javelin throw. So, no pressure on him in challenges at all. Rocco stands out as a big threat and will need to play the game smart.
Surname: Van Rooyen
Occupation: Pro Athlete
From: Stellenberg, Cape Town
What you need to know about him:
Sweet muscle-man Rocco is an accomplished, fiercely competitive Olympic athlete and javelinist who went to Rio in 2018 and has represented South Africa for more than six years. He may be soft-spoken, but he is a fighter of note. “I am someone who has never quit in the past and I will dominate in the Survivor challenges,” he says. Yes, Rocco wants to succeed at all costs and if trouble strikes, he is known to bounce back – as his recovery from three serious injuries has proved. Giving up is not an option as he knows that hard work, a positive attitude and teamwork are what it takes to succeed at anything in life. Also don’t underestimate his social skills. He is a good guy with good intentions and makes friends easily. So what could be his downfall in Survivor SA? Maybe creepy crawlies. “Goggas really freak me out!”
The MasterChef Australia Judges Auditions are known and loved for the tears, celebratory fist pumps, jumps for joy and huge group hugs, and this season did not fail to deliver as it returned with an emotionally charged two days of auditions.
As we all work out who we’re rooting for this season, our Top 24 have their sights set on being crowned Australia’s next MasterChef, a title that has seen previous alumni cook in the most esteemed kitchens in the world.
MasterChef Australia judges Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston and George Calombaris delighted in tasting the signature dishes from our fresh batch of remarkable home cooks from all over Australia.
From a “bloody delicious” crispy pork belly that appealed to Gary’s love for crackling, to a pumpkin agnolotti that couldn’t be faulted and a Sri Lankan crab curry that left George licking his fingers, this year’s Top 24 took the calibre of cooking to new heights for season 11.
This year’s Top 24 are a varied bunch that boast vast experience from all over the globe. From pharmacists, travel agents, human resources and marketing specialists, criminal statisticians, teachers, receptionists and stay-at-home mums and dads to theatre and restaurant managers, they all applied with one common ingredient – their love of food.
Some of the best chefs are waiting in the wings to challenge the Top 24 contestants, including Curtis Stone, Rick Stein, Clare Smyth, Yotam Ottolenghi, Maggie Beer and the return of domestic goddess Nigella Lawson.
MasterChef Australia remains Australia’s premier cooking competition. The ultimate winner stands to walk away with not only a life-changing experience and the title of Australia’s MasterChef 2019, but also $250,000 and a monthly column in Australia’s leading premium food magazine, Delicious.
We are thrilled to introduce the MasterChef Australia Class of 2019:
Abbey Rose, 28, Kitchen & Homewares Buyer, NSW.
With her creative background, Abbey says she’s very visual, capable of measuring half a cup by sight as opposed to using measuring devices. She loves to draw and plate intricate dishes and often has an idea of how a completed dish will look before she begins to cook. She believes her strength is seafood which rang true for the judges at auditions after tasting her crispy skin salmon fillet with prawn bisque.
Anushka Zargaryan, 49, Optical Dispenser, VIC.
Growing up dining on Iranian, Russian and Armenian food, Anushka describes her own food style as a fusion of those cultures, and says she loves the technical challenge of cooking desserts, describing it as a creative outlet when working with sugar. Her Russian honey cake wowed the judges at auditions, landing her a spot (and a selfie with Matt Preston!) in the Top 24.
Ben Trobbiani, 24, Pharmacist, SA.
Confident in balancing and pinpointing flavours, Ben describes his food style as modern Australian. Inspired by Jock Zonfrillo for his way of preserving ancient dishes and bringing them to a modern kitchen, Ben says he also loves Jock’s passion for native ingredients. Also a fan of René Redzepi, Ben is in awe of the foraging movement and enjoys exploring modernist techniques.
Blake Werner, 23, Bar Manager, VIC.
Blake is confident in the restaurant game. His parents own a Spanish restaurant in bayside Melbourne and it’s where Blake now works as he manages the bar and works front of house. He was raised in Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula and grew up fishing in the summer and picking wild mushrooms in the winter around Red Hill.
Christina Laker, 29, Naturopathy Student, QLD.
A lover of desserts and sweet cooking, Christina says her cooking inspiration lies with fan favourite Maggie Beer. Working with seasonal produce and earthy flavours, Christina says she loves to use local ingredients, leaning towards bold, bright and colourful dishes with fresh and zesty herbs. Born on the Gold Coast, Christina grew up in Brisbane alongside a large combined family of 10 children.
Dee Williams, 37, Office Manager, VIC.
For many MasterChef contestants, cooking begins at home learning the basics. But for Dee Williams, attending boarding school in the Sri Lankan city of Kandy for 12 years meant everything was provided, and she rarely found herself in the kitchen making meals. But she relished going home on holidays, and it was there her mum encouraged her to read cookbooks, teaching her the basics of classic Sri Lankan and southern Indian dishes.
Derek Lau, 26, Financial Analyst, WA.
When Derek Lau set about making Katherine Sabbath’s acclaimed birthday cake from season 10, he knew he was in for a challenge. Despite the feat taking two days, he was thrilled with the outcome and admits following instructions in Pressure Tests could be his strength this season. With age he’s found himself developing a preference for sweets, however he was still able to blow the socks off the judges at auditions with his pork and prawn potstickers.
Huda Al Sultan, 34, Dietician, SA.
Passionate about inspiring young women, Huda is involved with local schools, teaching mindful eating to teenage girls. She wants to see people connect with food in a positive manner, creating awareness of the body’s connection with food. It’s a long way from Saudi Arabia, where Huda was born and raised. The move down under was an eye-opening experience for Huda in the kitchen. She enjoyed wandering the supermarket aisles and local farmers markets, experimenting with the different produce on offer.
Jess Hall, 28, Travel Agent, NSW.
As a child, Jess loved walking in the door from school and kick-starting dinner before her mum would arrive from work. It was time in the kitchen she relished, having learnt the basics watching cooking shows together. The pair would watch Nigella Lawson whip up dishes, and inspired by her culinary idol, Jess would take what she’d seen and in turn cook for her mum. Jess has set the bar high for herself after she left the judges licking their forks and knives with her caramelised scallops audition dish.
Joe Ahern, 22, Digital Production Assistant, WA.
Joe was sitting with friends watching Sashi Cheliah take out the grand finale last season when they encouraged him to stop dreaming and start applying. Lucky he took the risk, as Joe plated up a faultless pumpkin agnolotti dish that received an unanimous ‘yes’ from the judges. Joe admits while his mum is a great home cook, he’s mostly self-taught, learning through extensive reading, trial and error, TV programs and YouTube. A self-described methodical and precise cook, Joe hopes he may thrive in a feared Pressure Test, capable of following intricate recipes.
Kyle Lyons, 29, Brewery Sales Manager, WA.
Brewery sales manager Kyle knows nothing goes with a good beer like a good meal. Strong with balancing flavours and celebrating vegetables, it’s little wonder he cites the master of Middle Eastern cuisine Yotam Ottolenghi as his food hero. Describing his own food style as Asian inspired, Kyle says the Thai and Indonesian influences in Perth have shaped his cooking. Kyle enters the Top 24 as a judges favourite after amazing them with his audition dish that allowed vegetables to step up as the hero and left the judges singing his praises.
Larissa Takchi, 22, Restaurant Manager, NSW.
Born and raised in Sydney as part of a big Lebanese family, Larissa says weekends with her family have always revolved around food. With her dad one of nine children, Larissa and her three siblings spent their Sundays with all her cousins, enjoying big lunches and dinners. Her mum owns a restaurant north of the city, and it’s there Larissa works as a Restaurant Manager. With her mum a chef, there’s strong argument that Larissa has an ace in her pocket this competition. Affectionately known amongst her friends as Larry, she considers herself to be an all-rounder in the kitchen, with a flair for a wide range of cuisines.
Leah Milburn-Clark, 22, Theatre Manager, VIC.
After securing the last apron of the competition following a nail-biting cook during Judge’s Auditions, Leah certainly feels the pressure to prove herself worthy of the Top 24. But it’s a challenge the youngest in this season’s group is excited by, and as a graduate of the prestigious Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, she hopes to steal every scene on her way to glory at the MasterChef grand finale. With her strength in sweets, Leah cites Heston Blumenthal as her inspiration, passionate herself about intricate desserts and molecular cooking.
Mandy Hall, 51, Stay At Home Mum, SA.
In April last year, Mandy Hall took herself to Tennessee in the United States to participate in a two-week residency with fermentation expert Sandor Katz. The coveted spots were routinely taken by chefs around the world, but for Mandy the time spent camping off the grid, spending time with his family and learning directly from him was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and she relished every moment. Passionate about meeting market producers and learning where food originates, Mandy hopes this desire to understand the process can take her all the way.
Monica Mignone, 27, Primary School Teacher, VIC.
When Primary School teacher Monica Mignone speaks to her students about the importance of a balanced lunch, it’s a motto she lives by in her own kitchen. After watching the response an unbalanced lunchbox had on her student’s behaviour, Monica completed an online diploma in Nutrition at the end of 2016. The following year she started a garden kitchen at school, running nutrition lessons and teaching children about vegetables and the difference between ‘everyday’ and ‘sometimes’ foods. Monica hopes to have a space where she can hold cooking classes for families, hosting workshops and food demonstrations. She also dreams of selling Italian street food sweets alongside a hole-in-the-wall coffee and cake stand.
Nicole Scott, 24, HR Associate, QLD.
Growing up in Queensland, Nicole says she’s most confident in the kitchen breaking down seafood and working with protein but worries about technical dessert elements like gels and foams. She finds savoury cooking more instinctual and easier to correct, and says she adores
the rich and buttery nature of French cuisine. She has left the judges hanging for more after plating up a perfectly cooked rib eye steak at auditions.
Sandeep Pandit, 37, IT Project Manager, VIC.
Growing up a Kashmiri Pandit, Sandeep’s large family would sit down together on huge carpets, feasting and laughing around dishes which often included lamb, lentils and vegetables. Born in Kashmir in the early 1980s, Sandeep spent eight years there with his family before militancy forced them south, leaving all their possessions and migrating to Bangalore in 1990. It was here Sandeep’s passion for cooking grew. His family didn’t have a fridge so his Mum taught him how to cook dahl without having it stick to the hotplate and how to boil food to prevent it spoiling. Sandeep says he is most confident in the kitchen using spices, hopeful of eliciting a drop of sweat from George Calombaris’ head this season.
Simon Toohey, 32, Cocktail Barman, VIC.
While living and working in London as a bar manager several years ago, Simon reached the pinnacle, taking out the titles of Best Cocktail Menu and Best High Volume Cocktail Bar at the Tales of the Cocktail awards in New Orleans. With a Masters in Gastronomy from Queen Margaret University under his belt, Simon hopes to showcase his knowledge of food sovereignty and sustainability, alongside indigenous farming and medicinal spices.
Steph De Sousa, 45, HR Specialist, NSW.
For mother of four Steph, there is nothing like cooking beautiful, wholesome and flavoursome food for those she loves. And it’s this passion she hopes to turn into her food dream, creating a place just like “going to Mum’s for dinner” while also hosting cooking classes and demonstrations. Inspired by Maggie Beer, Rick Stein and Sri Lankan Peter Kuruvita, Steph also holds a special place for Stephanie Alexander, her own maiden name.
Tati Carlin, 49, Receptionist, VIC.
Raised by her paternal grandparents, she grew up very close to her grandmother who she describes as a great traditional cook who taught Tati the intricate mild and sweet curries traditional to Java and Indonesia. Admitting Asian curries and cooking with intuition will be her strength in the MasterChef kitchen, she says following recipes are harder, and worries about desserts and feared Pressure Tests.
Tessa Boersma, 27, Criminal Statistician, QLD.
Self-taught from the age of six, Tessa loved fudge, toffee and sweet treats, likening her tastes to carnival fete foods. But the sweet tooth was lost over the years and she now describes her food style as classic with a twist, enjoying showcasing a variety of savoury foods with bold, bright flavours. A big fan of Rick Stein, Maggie Beer and Gordon Ramsay, Tessa hopes to open a farm café when her MasterChef journey comes to an end, focussing on seasonal produce in the south-east Queensland hinterland.
Tim Bone, 33, Cooking & Garden Educator, VIC.
One of five kids, Tim started working as an integration aide at a Ballarat primary school in 2008, helping children with special needs. It’s a role he loves, and now runs after school programs for under privileged kids several nights a week, alongside a community garden and café at the school. Nicknamed T-Bone by his fellow contestants and enjoying a striking resemblance to Prince Harry, Tim admits he is a fan of big flavours and honest food, nothing flashy or fancy, and cites a great paella as his go-to dish.
Walleed Rasheed, 38, Marketing Analyst, VIC.
Walleed knows leaving behind twin five-year-old daughters Evy and Alexandria won’t be easy but bringing home the title of MasterChef 2019 might soften his absence. When his MasterChef journey ends, he dreams of opening a fusion dessert bar, celebrating both Middle Eastern and Western sweet treats. It’s a move he’s already on track with, selling homemade baklava with flavours including Nutella and Tim Tam at local markets. His strength in this area was validated during auditions after he earnt an apron for his baklava inspired pistachio ice cream cones.
Yossra Abouelfadl, 36, Pharmacist, NSW.
In 2003, when Yossra moved from Egypt to Sydney, she was thrilled by multicultural melting pot of her new home. Inspired by the new cuisine options on offer, she broadened her skills in the kitchen, learning as she wandered the local stalls and markets. Taking her inspiration from culinary idols Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver, Yossra would watch their shows and buy their cookbooks, trying new recipes in the kitchen at the end of her day working as a pharmacist.
Bursting onto screens from Sunday, April 28, Australia’s best LEGO builders will battle it out in LEGOMASTERS – the brand new blockbuster series that is unlike anything ever seen on Australian TV.
Eight pairs of passionate creators will be let loose on The Brick Pit, where 2.5 million gleaming LEGO bricks await, ready to build mind-blowing models and masterpieces that must be seen to be believed. And there’s not an instruction manual in sight. The competition will be fierce, and only the strongest and most creative team will survive.
In his element as host is Hamish Blake, alongside resident judge Ryan “Brickman” McNaught, the Southern Hemisphere’s only LEGO-certified professional. LEGO fans and families alike should prepare to witness truly incredible LEGO creations being brought to life, brick by tiny brick.
With imagination their sole limitation, over nine episodes – each with a unique challenge – these inspired geniuses will conceptualise and craft some of the most ambitious and impressive LEGO creations ever attempted.
The teams competing for the title of Australia’s first LEGO MASTERS are:
Jimmy & Maddy
With acting, writing and comedy skills up their sleeve, this vibrant married pair had a LEGO themed wedding. Jimmy even hid the engagement ring in a box of LEGO.
David & G
Workmates with mining and mechanical backgrounds, this pair have been hooked on LEGO their whole lives. Between them, they have around 150,000 LEGO bricks in their personal collections.
Henry & Cade
Two dads with a passion for LEGO. Henry’s creations are regularly shown at LEGO exhibitions. Cade helped build a life-size LEGO caravan made of 288,630 bricks, earning a Guinness World Record for his efforts.
Jordan & Miller
These uni student best mates have been into LEGO since the first day they could pick up a brick. The boys, who can’t believe that they’re in a LEGO building contest, enjoy “greebling” – where a LEGO piece is used in a non- traditional way to add detail.
Bilsy & Kale
Radio DJ Bilsy has a dedicated LEGO room at home, plus two built-in cupboards and half a garage full of LEGO. Kale makes a living out of LEGO, by selling photos of his creations. He also runs a LEGO fan site and has won numerous awards for his builds.
Marielle & Kaitlyn
These design gurus will add a carefully considered approach to their builds, not to mention cascades of colour. Kaitlyn harbours dreams of a design job with LEGO. Marielle finds building LEGO therapeutic, with the rainbow of colours bringing her joy.
Matt & Lyn
The oldest and youngest competitors in the game are a formidable grandmother and grandson combo who bring a lifetime love of LEGO to the table. Matt was introduced to LEGO by Lyn as reward for effort while toilet training, earning a set piece by piece.
Dinushi & Gayan
These best friends and neighbours run a Sri Lankan food truck purely to fund their love of LEGO. At home they have entire rooms dedicated to the humble brick. Together they own more than 500 LEGO sets.
Brimming with wonder, edge-of-your-seat suspense and awe-inspiring artistry, the competition will crown one team the LEGO MASTERS, holding the LEGO trophy aloft and earning the $100,000 prize money.
WELCOME TO A FASCINATING WORLD OF CREATIVITY AND IMAGINATION
LEGO MASTERS PREMIERES: SUNDAY, APRIL 28, AT 7.00PM ON NINE AND 9NOW
MasterChef Australia Season 11 is almost al dente! 10 has a new crop of home cooks ready to put their heart on the plate with their signature dish.
There are 24 coveted white aprons on offer to those that knock the socks off Australia’s favourite judges. Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris are poised and ready to relish in all the new flavour sensations due to hit their palates.
Among this year’s contenders determined to make their food dreams a reality is New South Wales’ travel agent Jess Hall, who has an all-or-nothing approach to the kitchen. This 28-year-old wears her heart on her sleeve, she has a vivacious spirit and she is pedantic in making sure everything is perfect for the judges. Will it be a resounding yes?
33-year-old Victorian cooking and garden educator Tim Bone may look like a prince, but can he serve up a dish fit for a king? Tim may have been told countless times of his uncanny resemblance to Prince Harry but he is still on the hunt for his crowning achievement in the kitchen.
This season’s lovable hipster is 29-year-old brewery sales manager Kyle Lyons, who knows the value of pairing a cold beer with a solid feed and dreams of owning his own microbrewery in his home state of Western Australia. Kyle’s signature dish is king oyster mushroom scallops, with one catch – there’s actually no scallops in his dish.
Victorian IT project manager Sandeep Pandit is plating up a traditional feast from his hometown, Kashmir. Sandeep’s parents created a life of opportunity for their son and now, at 37 years old, this is his chance to make them proud of him. As a lover of spice, Sandeep hopes to elicit a drop of sweat from Georgie Calombaris’ head with his signature dish.
From Couch Critic to Jungle Kween, Angie Kent has well and truly won hearts across the country, but now the question is, who will win hers?
After months of speculation, 10 is positively pumped to announce that Angie Kent is Australia’s next Bachelorette.
Sweet yet sassy, this 29-year-old Bachelorette is wide open to falling in love, but also isn’t afraid to tell Mr. Wrong to hit the road.
Known for being one half of the hilarious screen critic duo with Yvie Jones, Angie’s infectious smile, sharp wit and courageous attitude recently carried her far in the most recent series of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Across the series, Angie became a pillar of the jungle family, where she formed a very close bond with 2019’s King of the Jungle, Richard Reid and cemented herself as a firm fan favourite.
Now, after years of taking care of the other people (and the rescue dogs) in her life, it’s time for Angie to put matters of the heart first and take the leap into a bed of roses.
On becoming the Bachelorette, Angie said: “I’ve always been the girl who loves to make everyone laugh, but now I reckon it’s time to have someone to laugh with me, rather than at me. “I’m at a place now where I have loads of self-love, but I’m also open to all of life’s amazing possibilities. So, if 20 or so fellas want to join me, have a laugh and potentially be my perfect partner in life and love – I say – let’s give it a red hot go!”
Network 10 Executive Producer of The Bachelorette Australia, Hilary Innes, said: “Angie is the perfect Bachelorette. She’s genuine, funny, loveable and naturally gorgeous. I am so excited to see Angie’s love story unfold.” Hilary added. The fifth season of The Bachelorette Australia will follow Angie as she navigates a world full of handsome suitors, cheese platters and extravagant dates all in the name of finding Mr. Right. With a Bachelorette this loveable, the competition is going to be tough.
MasterChef Australia is a cooking competition like no other. It transforms lives, inspires the nation and impresses the world’s best chefs.
After searching the far corners of the country for the best amateur cooks, Australia’s iconic cooking series, MasterChef Australia, is primed to set television’s tastebuds on fire.
Everyone’s favourite judges Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris are poised with their knife and fork, ready to taste a new calibre of cooking and share their own talent and insights with our eager contestants.
We return with the best home cooks who will each plate up their signature dish in a bid to earn the prized MasterChef Australia apron, and gain them entry into the prestigious alumni of ten previous seasons.
Familiar faces and much-loved MasterChef Australia alumni Poh Ling Yeow, Billie McKay and Matt Sinclair, who have each gone on to achieve critical acclaim and culinary success, join this season in the official role as mentors for those contestants who dare to dream.
The 11th season of MasterChef Australia welcomes back domestic goddess Nigella Lawson, who returns to inspire and challenge in her own week.
Nigella is just the tip of the iceberg in a long list of international and local culinary legends joining the kitchen this season, ready to stir up our Top 24.