While the contestants of Australian Survivor rough it through some of the toughest conditions on reality TV, host Jonathan LaPaglia, a.k.a JLP, has been there to guide the castaways through hard yakka challenges, chaotic blindsides and anarchic Tribal Councils for the past six seasons.

Following in his elder brother Anthony LaPaglia’s acting footsteps after a short-lived career as an emergency ward physician, Jonathan, 51, got his break into the entertainment industry when he joined the cast of television series New York Undercover in 1996 before moving onto much bigger global and local projects, such as The Sopranos, Castle, Ford VS Ferrari, The Slap, Love Child and Underbelly: Badness.

This year’s season of Australian Survivor was filmed in Australia for the very first time due to COVID-19 restrictions and was based out of Cloncurry, Queensland, close to 2000 kilometres northwest of Brisbane — but don’t be fooled, nobody is copping a home-court advantage, with Jonathan admitting that the 2021 ‘Brains VS Brawn’ competition is the “hardest season [he’s] worked on”.

“It was really hard,” he told WHO.  “The conditions were brutal. Some of the temperatures during the day were unfathomably hot and then it would get really cold at night.”

Regardless of the challenges down under posed for the Australian Survivor production, cast and crew alike, Jonathan’s love for the strategic game hasn’t waned.

“It’s a complicated game and it’s got so many twists and turns,” he said, noting the importance of a good social game over strength and agility.  “You never know how it’s going to play out – I find that fascinating!” 

You can catch Jonathan on Australian Survivor on Channel 10 and 10Play.

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