Survivor 'tougher than anything in the army'

Gisborne dock worker happy to bow out the 'good guy'.

Gisborne dock worker happy to bow out the 'good guy'.

DEFEATED: Gisborne’s Tony Deane prepares to extinguish his torch after losing a Redemption Island challenge to stay on Survivor New Zealand. Tony described the experience as “pretty brutal” but said he would do it again in a heartbeat. Picture by Scott McAulay
FIGHTING FOR SURVIVAL: Gisborne’s Tony Deane during the Redemption Island challenge of Survivor New Zealand. Deane could not match it with the much younger Izzy Pearson on the obstacle course and was eliminated. He predicts that youth worker Avi Duckor-Jones will win the $100,000 first prize. “He’s the complete Survivor package.” Picture by Scott McAulay

AFTER viewers saw Gisborne’s “Mad Dog” Tony Deane’s fire extinguished from the television reality show Survivor NZ at the weekend, the Gisborne dock worker says he’s happy he bowed out as the “good guy”.

After being voted out of his Mogoton tribe in the first week of the show, Tony lost the do-or-die elimination challenge to fellow contestant Izzy Pearson, in his second week on Redemption Island.

Speaking to The Gisborne Herald yesterday, the 56-year old former soldier said his time in the Nicaraguan jungle had been “pretty brutal”.

“It’s tougher than anything I’ve done in the army. It’s very much a social, strategic game and it's physically tough as well from the perspective of having sleep deprivation, your lack of food, it’s hot and you’re living it really rough.

“Day by day your body is getting run down so it was tough on everybody.”

Despite that, and his loss to 30-year-old Izzy, Tony said he would do the whole thing again “in a heartbeat” given the chance.

“I’ll just take it on the chin,” he said. “I’m old school and a sportsman. That’s life. I was just grateful to be given the opportunity to get on the island.”

He admitted “biting his tongue” had been a challenge.

“I knew I was headstrong heading into it. My wife Karen warned me about it.

“You have to be able to keep a cool head when people say or do things that really annoy you, whereas I just tend to come out and say what I think, which isn’t really a good strategy.”

Although fellow contestants nicknamed him “mad dog Tony”, the response from Gisborne residents had been positive, he said.

“I’ve had a really positive reaction. Most people love the way I’m just straight up and growl at someone.”

His wife had also been pleased with the account he had given.

“She’s quite impressed that I have been portrayed as a good guy. She said that’s pretty much the real me.”

He expected fellow tribe member Avi would “more than likely” be the one to go on and win the winner-take-all $100,000 prize.

“He’s the complete Survivor package. He’s very calculating, very intelligent and he’s physically capable. He’s level-headed and capable as well.”

The C3 employee said he was glad to be back in Gisborne.

“It’s just nice being back in a totally relaxed lifestyle, with no pressure and nobody backstabbing you.”

AFTER viewers saw Gisborne’s “Mad Dog” Tony Deane’s fire extinguished from the television reality show Survivor NZ at the weekend, the Gisborne dock worker says he’s happy he bowed out as the “good guy”.

After being voted out of his Mogoton tribe in the first week of the show, Tony lost the do-or-die elimination challenge to fellow contestant Izzy Pearson, in his second week on Redemption Island.

Speaking to The Gisborne Herald yesterday, the 56-year old former soldier said his time in the Nicaraguan jungle had been “pretty brutal”.

“It’s tougher than anything I’ve done in the army. It’s very much a social, strategic game and it's physically tough as well from the perspective of having sleep deprivation, your lack of food, it’s hot and you’re living it really rough.

“Day by day your body is getting run down so it was tough on everybody.”

Despite that, and his loss to 30-year-old Izzy, Tony said he would do the whole thing again “in a heartbeat” given the chance.

“I’ll just take it on the chin,” he said. “I’m old school and a sportsman. That’s life. I was just grateful to be given the opportunity to get on the island.”

He admitted “biting his tongue” had been a challenge.

“I knew I was headstrong heading into it. My wife Karen warned me about it.

“You have to be able to keep a cool head when people say or do things that really annoy you, whereas I just tend to come out and say what I think, which isn’t really a good strategy.”

Although fellow contestants nicknamed him “mad dog Tony”, the response from Gisborne residents had been positive, he said.

“I’ve had a really positive reaction. Most people love the way I’m just straight up and growl at someone.”

His wife had also been pleased with the account he had given.

“She’s quite impressed that I have been portrayed as a good guy. She said that’s pretty much the real me.”

He expected fellow tribe member Avi would “more than likely” be the one to go on and win the winner-take-all $100,000 prize.

“He’s the complete Survivor package. He’s very calculating, very intelligent and he’s physically capable. He’s level-headed and capable as well.”

The C3 employee said he was glad to be back in Gisborne.

“It’s just nice being back in a totally relaxed lifestyle, with no pressure and nobody backstabbing you.”

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