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Australian Survivor 2019: Luke's Back To Blindside Everyone, Baby

Asked if he was intimidated to be on a tribe with former Olympians and CEOs, Luke Toki laughed. "The king of the jungle doesn't get intimidated! What are you talking about?!"

You know him, you love him, and yes, that was him you spotted in our first promo for 'Australian Survivor: Champions Vs Contenders'.

Returning as the People's Champion, Luke chatted to 10 Daily over the phone, telling us that it was "a bit of an exciting one, returning for a second time as a Champion!"

Noting that his tribe mates were "a lot of people who have been champions in their fields", Luke may not have been intimidated, but he did note that it was "a bit daunting" to be the returning contestant.

"Coming back, there were a lot of things in my mind, 'Am I gonna be eliminated first because I've played before? Am I gonna do well, am I not?'" he explained, adding, "I didn't know what to expect".

The idea that there would be a target on his back from day one was "of course" something that Luke was aware of.

"I think that when you do get the call to play the toughest game on earth, you do a bit of research to see what's going on, and most of that research would be lookin' at past, previous seasons, that's if you're not a 'Survivor' fan, I guess," he mused. "So I thought that a lot of people would've seen my season, and I felt like there would be a little bit of a target on myself."

Still, Luke assured us that the Luke we're going to see in the upcoming season is the same one we loved in season two, and we're not going to see him changing strategies for anyone.

"I really look at it as just enjoying the experience, first," he explained. "So going in there, meeting people and just seeing what became of it. I didn't wanna put too much pressure on myself, I wanted to just take the opportunity for what it was, which was to play the game, and play the game hard."

In fact, Luke told us that even if you have a set strategy going in, it will only take you so far, because everything "gets stripped bare anyway" once the game kicks in, leaving only "your raw personality and what you contribute".

"I suppose the idea was to not come in with a game plan, just to come in and be myself and hopefully blindside a few Champions -- and Contenders -- whatever!" he exclaimed, laughing. "I just wanna blindside everyone! That was the idea, was to not even have a plan, just to go in and suss it out."

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While sussing it all out, Luke found that he had forgotten just how hard the game of 'Survivor' actually is.

"I had a bit of time to forget how hard it was!" he said, adding: "There's no way to actually prepare yourself for it, unless you starve yourself and push your body to a limit physically" (he chose to eat pretty much anything and everything he wanted before going in, but that's a story for another day).

PHOTOGRAPH BY NIGEL WRIGHT.

Luckily, Luke did remember a whole bunch of his 'Survivor' skills from the first time 'round, and was able to bring that knowledge to the table -- or, the bonfire.

"I kind of came in with a bit more knowledge on how to crack a coconut, or how to start a fire, or how to build shelter -- just the survival aspect of it, I was a bit more experienced than I was the first time," he explained, adding that he tried to show that those skills were an advantage to the tribe, rather than a threat.

"I've been known to catch sharks, that's something hard to hide," he said. "I actually do like the survival side of 'Survivor', so I tried to offer that I'm a larger man and I can carry bigger sides of wood, or whatever. I was trying to put my hand up to help -- I'm not going to hide the fact that I can collect wood or start a fire or anything like that."

"The idea was just that I'd come in with myself and hope for the best," he finished.

Basically? Luke's still Luke, and we can't wait to see him again.

'Australian Survivor: Champions V Contenders' premieres Wednesday, 24 July at 7.30pm, only on 10 and WIN Network.

Feature image: 10