Is Survivor host Jonathan Lapaglia the ultimate suitor?
ONE OF THE MOST Compelling Reality TV Franchises, Survivor has gained lasting popularity, no doubt because of the parallels between island life and reality. It’s a game played out in the elements, and yet candidates’ challenges, conversations, and alliances might just as easily happen among colleagues in a CBD boardroom.
You could argue Survivor the format even wins Big brothers as a social experiment – survival, after all, is the most basic human instinct. But what is a survivor?
In an incredible 40 seasons in the United States, the format has seen competitors split into teams fighting for the title of “Sole Survivor” in a bid to answer that question. Often grouped together on the basis of socioeconomic status, age, and even, controversially, race, the trials and tribulations of competitors provide extraordinary insight into the nature of community, human interactions, and willpower. wired supremacy.
The current sixth season of the rebooted Australian series will once again adopt a theme, pitting “brawn” against “brain.” This is perhaps one of the most relevant contests for young Australian men, as it assesses traditional male stereotypes and fresher, more nuanced conceptions of masculinity.
Interestingly, returning host Jonathan LaPaglia seems to think that maybe neither brain nor muscle alone makes a survivor. On the contrary, LaPaglia believes the key to modern survival lies in staying socially adept.
“You are trying to make your way through this social world”, mirrors LaPaglia from the set of last season, in the harsh backcountry of Queensland. “You have to be socially aware and make sure you don’t step on people’s toes in order to progress. “
In the Survivor universe, LaPaglia would feature very close to the top, rivaled only by American host Jeff Probst and the Exotic Locations. Both hosts are as much admired as the top players themselves. If a season of Survivor is indeed life in miniature, so LaPaglia, given his half-decade at the helm, must have first-hand knowledge of the attributes common to winners.
LaPaglia is a bit of a hybrid Survivor Candidate: A former career as an emergency physician ticks the brains box, while our photoshoot provides clear proof of his formidable musculature. Yet, as anyone who has had the chance to meet him will attest, it is the self-identified “social” game that Lapaglia has truly mastered. His colleagues continually sing his praises, former contestants gush out, and further afield fans can’t get enough of him onscreen.
In person, he’s humble, friendly and vulnerable, showing equal empathy to all of the show’s contestants. (Conversely, Probst is known to play the favorites.) It’s no surprise that LaPaglia has climbed to the top without stepping on any of those toes he’s keenly aware of.
Lapaglia may have come up with a tip or two on how to play the Game of Life while watching the contestants battle it out in the elements. But that seems unlikely, as the guy exudes authenticity: he’s not a gaming player, but rather the real deal.
Again, it is exactly which game master would have you believe …