Once South Africa’s first Bachelor has found “the one” on M-Net channel 101, the much-awaited new season of Survivor South Africa will roll into the channel’s popular Thursday night local productions slot at 19:00. Set in the beautiful Samoa, and spiced with all kinds of never-seen-before curveballs, twists and turns, Survivor SA: Island of Secrets will hit our screens on Thursday, 16 May.
While M-Net and production company Afrokaans remain tight-lipped about what exactly this mysterious Island of Secrets will reveal, we have lifted the lid a little on the castaways. This season, a diverse group of 21 strong-willed individuals who believe they know the ins and outs of the greatest game on earth will be facing the harsh elements of Mother Nature – and even harsher mind games of their tenacious opponents, who all want to be the Ultimate Survivor.
Soon, South Africa will get an unusual first glimpse of these contenders. Eight of the castaways from Survivor SA: Island of Secrets will feature on a variety of advertising billboards that will start appearing throughout the country on Wednesday, 17 April.
One of the faces South Africans will see on a billboard belongs to a beautiful blonde mother of two, Lee-Anne van Reenen, who interrupted her duties as reigning Mrs Cape Town 2018 to prove that her grit and resilience match her looks.
Lee-Anne is bent on tearing up those stereotypical beauty queen labels. She’s married to the bassist of the band Taxi Violence, holds an honours degree in Psychology, obtained five distinctions in matric, captained the KZN action netball team, counsels drug addicts and traumatised teens, and has survived several personal tragedies, including a cancer scare and double miscarriage. At first glance she may come across as sweet and kind-hearted – and she is – but there's a whole lot more to her. She has a spirit of steel. A mere month after the trauma of losing her twins, she completed the 947 cycle race.
As Lee-Anne pours her heart into NGOs making a difference in informal settlements like Zwellenemba in Worcester, she says she entered Survivor SA not only to win, "but also to step into the shoes of those who have absolutely nothing; no bed, no food, no warmth, no shelter”. While she revels in deconstructing stigmas and stereotypes, she will happily act them out to deceive the other castaways. “My strategy is to kill them with kindness,” she smiles.
Lani Lombard, M-Net’s Head of Publicity, said of the show: “We handpicked fascinating, multi-faceted personalities from a variety of professions and age groups who are not all they seem to be on the surface. It’s going to be a social experiment of note to observe how they manoeuvre through the conflicts that are bound to arise.”
The castaways on the billboards will be confirmed shortly, while the rest will be revealed closer to the first episode.
For the latest updates on Survivor SA: Island of Secrets, go to www.mnet.tv/survivorsa. You can also be part of the conversation on Twitter – especially if you spot some of the billboards – using #SurvivorSA.