The new reality TV show sees contestants complete brutal challenges from the real SAS (Special Air Service) regiment selection process.
Monday night’s premiere episode saw 17 celebrities fall backwards out of a chopper into a freezing lake, check into their military-style bunker accommodation, and fight each other in the wilderness with just head padding and boxing gloves as protection.
A team of ex-special forces soldiers, also known as “staff”, take on the role of judges on the show.
As the staff explained the violent “street fight” challenge to the contestants, Schapelle started to cry.
“What are you crying for? [It’s] weakness that you’re showing. Get a grip of yourself. Why are you crying? Look at me. What’s wrong? Are you scared?” one of the ex-soldiers bellowed in her face.
“It’s very aggressive,” Schapelle said.
“In jail, I’ve had three or four physical fights. I don’t like violence. But sometimes, there’s no other way... to stop something from happening until you put your fists up.”
Earlier on Monday Schapelle defended her decision to step into the reality TV limelight during a round of awkward TV interviews.
After shutting down ‘Sunrise’ host Sam Armytag’s line of questioning on why she is seeking reality TV fame, the 43-year-old former beautician explained she signed up to the show “for herself.”
“It may sound rude or offensive, I don’t mean for it to come across this way. I went on the SAS Australia purely for myself,” she told Channel 7′s ‘The Morning Show’.
“Purely to challenge my mind. I’m not really interested in what the public have to say. I hope they enjoy it, yes of course, but it was purely for myself to go on this show.”
In 2014, Schapelle completed a 12-and-a-half-year prison sentence in Indonesia for smuggling marijuana, a case that strained ties with the Australian government.
Schapelle has always maintained her innocence, saying she was unaware she was carrying more than 4kg of marijuana in a boogie board bag when she arrived on the resort island in late 2004.
The case received huge media attention, with many Australians feeling Schapelle had been harshly treated under Indonesia’s strict drug laws, even though she could have faced the death penalty for trafficking.
‘SAS Australia’ features 17 celebrities taking on a series of strenuous physical and psychological tests from the real SAS selection process.
The cast includes ’The Bachelorette’s Ali Oetjen, glamour model Arabella Del Busso, ironwoman and cricket WAG Candice Warner, ‘Love Island’ star Eden Dally, former Miss Universe Australia Erin McNaught, actor Firas Dirani, Shane Warne’s son Jackson, swimmer James Magnussen, comedian Merrick Watts, cricketer Mitchell Johnson, rally car champion Molly Taylor, former ‘Bachelor’ and rugby union player Nick ‘Honeybadger’ Cummins, PR queen Roxy Jacenko, AFLW player Sabrina Frederick, ex ‘Biggest Loser’ trainer Shannon Ponton and swimming gold medallist Shayna Jack.
The ex-special forces soldiers are on hand to put the stars through their paces: chief instructor Ant Middleton and his DS (directing staff) Mark ‘Billy’ Billingham, Jason ‘Foxy’ Fox and Ollie Ollerton from the UK version of the series.
SAS Australia premieres on Monday October 19 at 7:30pm on Channel 7.
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