‘It Was Really Tough For Me’: The Moment Jonathan LaPaglia Knew He Wouldn’t Make It To The All Stars Finale
While Jonathan LaPaglia will still be a very important presence at the Australian Survivor: All Stars finale, things will run a little bit differently than they have in the past.
As travel restrictions began to ramp up amid the global spread of coronavirus, the show’s host realised that flying from his home in Los Angeles to the reunion show in Sydney, which was filmed last week, just wasn’t a possibility.
Speaking to 10 daily over the phone from LA, JLP explained that it “all came down within a day or two” following California’s complete lockdown and Australia’s implementation of a mandatory two-week quarantine for new arrivals in the country.
“We just realised that it just wasn’t practical any more, not only from a safety point of view but just from a logistic point of view,” he said.
“With the 14 day quarantine, I couldn’t have done the show on the ground anyway, it just didn’t make sense anymore,” JLP added.
Even if Jonathan had managed to fly into the country before the mandatory quarantine, he would have risked being stuck in Australia, separated from his family in the States.
“It was a tough decision and, from a logical point of view, it was the right decision but from an emotional point of view, it was really tough for me because I really wanted to be there.
“It’s like coaching my team for the entire season and then not being there for the final,” he said, adding that he “had a few sleepless nights” after the decision was made.
Luckily, JLP’s concerns about not being present in person were allayed when he knew that enthusiastic Survivor nerd and host extraordinaire Osher Günsberg would be stepping in to help emcee the reunion.
“Fortunately, Osher agreed to do it and I’m so happy that he did because he’s great at that stuff,” Jonathan said.
“He’s so into it and I love that,” JLP said, applauding Osher’s long term investment in the game of Survivor but laughing that he might have to watch out for his apprentice.
“He’s really the perfect choice for it, he might be gunning for my job now I mean, he hosts everything else, right? Why not one more?” JLP laughed.
Survivor In The Time Of Corona: How It’s Going To Go Down
Jonathan will still be reading out the winner of Australian Survivor’s first All Stars season, but instead of being in the studio, he’ll be beaming in from the States.
“Basically, I have a video link from a satellite in Los Angeles,” he said. “These are strange times and unfortunately that’s gonna be a bit of a strange reunion, there’s no audience either because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“And we also have a bunch of players who couldn’t turn up because of it all so it’s a little strange,” he said.
It’s certainly going to be a reunion for the history books, because, although the format might be a little different, we’ve still got plenty of beefs, blindsides and broken promises to wade through after a wild season.
“It’s funky, there’s no doubt it’s a bit funky,” laughed JLP.
Importantly, the finale and reunion will be a welcomed distraction for those seeking a brief pause from watching breaking news about the latest coronavirus updates throughout the day.
“Especially in the last week or so when the whole world is going to hell in a hand basket and everyone is in lockdown, I think it’s been a beacon of light,” JLP told 10 daily, explaining the appeal of Survivor to fans at home.
“It’s escapism on some level and that’s what everyone is craving now -- you turn on the news, you listen to the radio, [look at your] social media feed, there’s so much about coronavirus and how it’s kinda unravelling.
“I’ve definitely had a lot of fans comment that they’re so happy for it and they’re not looking forward to it ending but I keep saying to them, hey, there’s Winners At War, that’s another great thing!” he said, referencing the current US season.