On Monday night SAS Australia awakened its participants with one of its dreaded “Beastings” – a surprise physical challenge in the dead of night.
DS staff Jason “Foxy” Fox said, “You want to see if someone can embrace pressure. The only way you can become a better person is by putting yourself under pressure.
“You should almost enjoy it.”
But for weeks now the show has arguably given actor Firass Dirani the ‘villain edit’ for off-hand comments he made about looking forward to punishing challenges, in freezing water or marathon runs.
Time and again he has been singled out by instructor Ant Middleton for casual remarks, which Dirani recently said in a radio interview were part of his coping measures. At near freezing temperatures who can blame him? While it’s reasonable to ask if an actor has a chip on his shoulder, it’s also worth asking whether the Brits see any room for Aussie humour? Clearly not…
But SAS Australia is a reality show, so it works to have someone as a villain, as opposed to limited screen time afforded to the likes of Molly Taylor, James Magnussen, Erin McNaught who are all quiet achievers amongst the cast. Last night the show even managed to get Shane Warne on air, thanks to a video call to son Jackson Warne. It’s TV after all.
The episode also targeted Dirani again, despite him assisting his teammates in another overnight challenge. Team mates even thought they were in Survivor trying to vote out their colleague (wrong show guys). Middleton thankfully managed to acknowledge some positives in him and rejected that idea.
SAS Australia has worked for Seven, albeit losing some ground in recent episodes. There are those who accused it of violence and bullying (Middleton’s lines at “blondie” women didn’t help), but it is filmed under strict conditions and participants knew what they were signing up for.
That includes getting the villain edit and giving promos and clickbait press plenty to write about to publicise the show.
Seven should probably give Dirani a pay rise for the content he’s given them.