Australian Survivor chaos as 80 crew members were struck with Covid or food poisoning: ‘It was really tough’
The host of Australian Survivor, Jonathan LaPaglia, has revealed 80 crew members, including himself, were struck by either Covid or food poisoning while filming the latest season.
Despite not having to be the ones to fend for themselves in an isolated location like the castaways, the crew found themselves at the centre of a unique challenge when they started becoming sick.
The 10th season, which started airing later this month, saw the production move back to Samoa after the pandemic forced the past few two seasons to be filmed in Australia.
But despite making it over, disaster soon struck, with illness sweeping through the group of those working behind the scenes.
‘Once we lose people, I mean someone else needs to take up that job, and when you have at least 30 people go down, and then another 50 go down with food poisoning – it’s just tough, really tough,’ host Jonathan LaPaglia told the Daily Telegraph.
The long-time host of the Australian Survivor franchise, LaPaglia is also an actor who has appeared on NCIS and The Sopranos.
But since 2016 he’s also been jetting off to locations like Samoa and Fiji to film the adventure reality game show.
While LaPaglia dodged the stomach bug, he was hit with Covid, testing positive on the very last day of filming the Heroes V Villians series.
‘I heard a lot of anecdotal stories, you know, people saying it was nothing but a little cold and it was done and dusted,’ the former doctor added.
‘But it kicked my arse. It knocked me out for about six weeks.’
Speaking about just how stressful it became to try and keep the show going, he said they were able to replace crew, but it wasn’t easy.
‘We’re working with an Australian budget and (ours) is pretty healthy, but when you compare it to the US – it’s paltry,’ he said.
He added: ‘So we don’t have a lot of redundancy when it comes to crew.’
The upcoming season will feature every-day Australians, past contestants and several celebrities, including former AFL player Shaun Hampson, former Home and Away actress Sharni Vinson, Real Housewives of Melbourne star Anjali Rao and Olympic pole-vaulter Liz Parnov.
Survivor airs on Channel Ten in Australia.
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