Fancy yourself a hardened operator? Is grit and gumption what you’re all about? It might be time to hit up the Channel 7 reality show – SAS Australia – as applications officially open to the everyday punter for its upcoming third season.
The debut season aired last year featuring 17 domestic celebrities braving the freezing conditions of the Snowy Mountains. At the conclusion, only three passed: Rugby Union’s Nick “Honey Badger” Cummins, AFL player Sabrina Fredrick, and media personality Merrick Watts. The other 14 famously cracked under pressure or succumbed to injuries.
SAS Australia season 2, currently underway, is seeing a similar series of physical and psychological tests with an even higher profile line-up comprised of Ironman Jett Kenny, cricket legend Michael Clarke, NRL star Sam Burgess. Olympic runner John Steffensen is also part of the eventful celebrity SAS second season, once again making this year’s location of Capertee Valley in NSW look like one very intimidating place to be.
Recruits sleep on tiny camp cots, with not much but an army blanket and one sleeping bag and sleeping mat – and that’s probably the only comfort they have all season.
We’re only a few episodes into season 2 and already a few of the recruits have called it quits, from socialite Brynne Edelsten to celebrity chef Manu Fieldfel.
Season 3? Well, it only gets more interesting. Rumoured to be joining the upcoming season is former Olympian Ian Thorpe, local kook Pete Evans, and ex NRL unit Willie Mason. There’s been a rumour Sonny Bill might be jumping in on the action. The salaries of all recruits should be notable, given Sam Burgess was paid a sweet $150,000 to star in season 2.
The most important detail to note is this challenge demands both mental and physical fortitude. As DS Mark Billingham stated in an interview last year, each aspect is as important as the other for recruits who are required to give themselves over to the real SAS experience.
“Get your mental state in order – if you can get comfortable with being uncomfortable, you’re three quarters of the way there,” says Billingham.
“You do have to have a good grounding of fitness in terms of being able to run and carry a bit of weight, but you don’t really have to be super fit.”
“As we state on the show, we’re not looking for the fittest, we’re looking for the person who gives 100% and who never gives up.”
SAS Australia applications require you to fulfil the following criteria:
- You must be over 18
- You must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
- You must be at least 158cm (5.1”) tall and weigh at least 50kg (8 stone)
- You must not be currently serving in the armed forces
- You will be required to submit a one minute video describing why you want to do SAS Australia and why you should be chosen for SAS selection
Applicants who make the shortlist will also need to pass an initial fitness test. Those successful should keep their calendars free for filming in late 2021.
Where Is SAS Australia Filmed?
SAS Australia was filmed in the Snowy Mountains for its first season but switched that up to the Capertee Valley in the second season, which is currently airing.
Ant Middleton, an elite ex-Special Forces soldier who runs the regular SAS experience along with Mark “Billy” Billingham, Jason “Foxy” Fox, and Ollie Ollerton, told Channel 7 that “this year’s location is more isolated,” citing its fit for the show due it being “so vast, so open, so mountainous, that recruits think to themselves ‘there’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.”
What’s Involved In SAS Australia?
If you’re up for the experience, don’t expect anything but pain and discomfort. All recruits enter the course with no personal items at all, after which they are given everything they need for the entire duration of the course, including clothing, footwear, and a backpack containing items like one toilet roll, a head torch, mess kit, mug, sanitising wipes, sunglasses, a notebook and pencil, a knife, water bottle, towel, sleeping mat, chest harness, helmet, whistle, watch, sleeping bag, compass, and two sets of clothes.
In some kind of odd Stanford Prison Experiment type dehumanisation process, recruits are also stripped of their given names and are only referred to by the number on their armband.
As you can imagine, a lot of other privileges are stripped away and it comes down to the bare essentials.
Sound like something you want to throw yourself at with full force?