Leaked details of tomorrow’s SAS Australia premiere reveal one star’s cringe-worthy appearance. Prepare to wince. James Weir recaps.
Another day, another celebrity exposing themselves to ridicule and humiliation in an ill-advised attempt at boosting their profile.
It’s a terrific time of year. The sweet scent of jasmine’s in the air. That golden afternoon sunlight is hanging around just a little bit longer. And SAS Australia is about to hit screens again.
There’s nothing like watching a celebrity get waterboarded on national TV to really put a spring in your step.
JAMES WEIR RECAPS: Read all the recaps here
The extreme Channel 7 reality series — premiering Monday at 7.30pm — takes a group of celebrities (*cough*) and puts them through a hardcore military training course that aims to break them both physically and psychologically.
But it’s so much more than that. The true magic and nuance of SAS Australia can’t be articulated in one single sentence.
Like, it’s not just about celebrities getting waterboarded. They also get pushed out of helicopters.
Last year we saw an injured Roxy Jacenko quit only hours into the course after being pushed out of a helicopter and then punched in the face by former Iron Woman Candice Warner.
We watched with mouths agape as Candice was dragged into a concrete jail cell in the middle of the night, chained to a metal chair and mercilessly interrogated by trained military soldiers about her infamous toilet tryst scandal. And then the campsite’s communal toilet bucket exploded on her. (Sidebar: Toilets really became a running theme on the series. Symbolism, if you will — much like the green light in The Great Gatsby).
Because it was the first season of this show, none of the celebrities knew what they were in for. They had no idea that every embarrassing mistake and controversy from their past would be dragged out into the light on national television.
That’s why I was sceptical about this second season. After seeing how last year’s played out, I thought there’d be no way any celebrities would even consider appearing on this show. Producers would have to find some real ding-dongs to sign up.
Welp. They rose to the challenge. We welcome 18 familiar-ish faces on Monday.
There’s Brynne Edelsten. A former Miss World Australia. A Bra Boy.
After a sneak peek at the first episode, I can confirm it delivers. Real mile-a-minute kinda stuff.
Just moments into the premiere, we see Manu and Mark Philippoussis taking a dump. Ladies and gentlemen, free-to-air TV is not dead.
The big drawcard is disgraced footy star Sam Burgess — fresh from his messy divorce, several court appearances and drug driving charge. He’s interrogated by the soldiers on Monday’s episode. Fingers-crossed his ex-wife Phoebe goes rogue on Instagram Live and Goggleboxes his performance. She can let rip while applying her endorsement moisturisers.
But special mention needs to go to former Home And Away actor Dan Ewing. Within seconds of appearing on screen, it becomes clear he’s our SAS MVP. Why? Let’s just say he’s got a touch of the Firass Diranis.
Firass was a contestant last year and he — how do we say this without being dramatic? — completely killed his acting career. His bad behaviour led to backlash from the soldiers, fellow celebs and the nation. He took himself very seriously, was insanely unaware of how he came across on TV and made Australia cringe every time he opened his mouth to say woo-woo actorly things about his “craft”.
Exhibit A: “I wanna jump the chasm of self discovery. To see if I can … actualise. To see if I can become the person I’ve envisioned. I just wanna push myself to excavate.”
Apparently former Home And Away actor Dan Ewing didn’t see Firass’ car crash SAS performance because he goes and does the same thing with the introspective musings.
“There’s no acting on this course for me – this is Dan Ewing,” he talks about himself in the third person. “So, what does Dan Ewing do when he’s sleep-deprived? What will Dan do when he hasn’t eaten? When he’s freezing cold and getting screamed at? What does Dan Ewing do when his back’s against the wall?”
All very important questions. And he’s not finished.
“Dan Ewing at 35 is very different to Dan Ewing at 25. I wake up every day, I meditate, I journal, I exercise,” he informs us. “Obviously there’ll be traits that you’ll see in some movies — because people know me from my movies.”
Did you just wince while reading that? I winced while writing it. Someone fire up the meme machine.
He’s the gift that keeps on giving. Later on, before a challenge, he sits cross-legged on a mound with his eyes closed while meditating. A soldier promptly yells at him.
Then, while getting teargassed, he brags to a different soldier about a movie he was in.
They’ve never heard of it. Neither have we. A quick Google search reveals the film has a 47 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
SAS Australia on the other hand? 100 per cent. Five stars. Give it all the Logies.
SAS Australia premieres Monday on Seven at 7.30pm
Originally published as James Weir recaps SAS Australia: Dan Ewing’s wince-inducing appearance
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