Channel Ten’s hit show I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! returned for its much-anticipated third season on Sunday, but had viewers – and some contestants – guessing the “celebrities'” claim to fame.
US actor Tom Arnold is uncomfortable as he arrives in the jungle on the first episode.
“I’m embarrassed because I won’t know who they are,” he says of his fellow contestants.
That’s alright, Tom. Fortunately, the audience has the advantage of Google.
First to arrive is actor and singer Natalie Bassingthwaighte. “Nat Bass, you can call me,” she says as she’s greeted by a squad of dancers and non-alcohol drinks.
Nazeem Hussain – comedian – is next, and soon is mistaken for a soccer or football player by Arnold.
But Nazeem is quick to reveal his background.
“If Donald Trump can be president after being on reality TV, well you are looking at the first Muslim Prime Minister,” he jokes.
Former Miss Universe Australia and now a brand ambassador, Tegan Martin, is clear about her priorities.
“I hope I don’t get hungry because, at that time of the month, the contestants would rather meet a wild lion than Tegan,” she said.
Former Collingwood AFL player Dane Swan is finding it all rather surreal and likens himself to a “broken elephant” clunking around, when he talks about his broken bones and injuries.
Eventually, hosts Julia and the Doctor pop out to greet the first five and they’re told that this year there will be two camps (Australian Survivor-style, perhaps).
And there will be two different ways of getting there. The first five have to jump out of a plane.
Enter the next five and first out is “shock jock” Steve Price.
“I’ve been called a famous shock jock. I certainly don’t think I’m famous. And I don’t know what a shock jock is,” he says.
He’s joined by former Olympian Lisa Curry who guarantees she will vomit during the show.
They’re as confused as Arnold about the next contestant, Ash Pollard.
“I’m sure you will remember me from MKR where I dished up a vile meal and I went on Dancing with the Stars.”
They don’t remember her. And neither do the Australian public.
I'm not a celebrity, what am I doing here? #ImACelebrityAU
— ❤️Ellie❤️ (@EllieUnderane) January 29, 2017
Im sorry when did the most annoying chick in history from my kitchen rules become a celebrity? 😂😂 #ImACelebrityAU
— Tassah (@ttaassaahh) January 29, 2017
In next is Jay Laga’aia – the actor best known for hosting ABC’s Play School – and Casey Donovan, Australian Idol winner and now a part-time Uber driver.
Now that you’ve met all the contestants, the show can begin properly, where the two teams of five compete for pillows.
The challenge “in the deep end” involved nominated team key hunters (Nat Bass and Ash) fossicking among snakes, crawly things, insects and a goanna to get keys and unlock padlocks in the rapidly filling tanks where their teammates were being held. Nat Bass won.
They think they are moving into separate camps, but they are wrong. The losing team just had to go the long way round and didn’t get the best choice of beds – or a pillow.
They couldn’t get the fire started, but this time Ash had a brilliant idea. Use a tampon.
And she took over the cooking of the first meal from the measly supplies for the next 24 hours – small bags of beans, rice and oats.
Tom again: “My testicles are bigger than these bags and I’ve just had a cold shower.”
Naturally, tension has to arise so it is between Ash and teammate Steve, who fancies himself as a cook as well.
We watch a scrap over whether or not Ash should drain the beans through a tea towel, as Steve suggests.
Ultimately Ash wins and, wait for it, Steve admits he was wrong.
We leave them for the night as they settle down in the jungle.