“You should almost enjoy it”: Did SAS Australia contradict itself?

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.

18 Comments:

  1. Now that I’m back watching it, I’m really liking it. It’s amazing what these people are being asked to do and doing it.
    The SAS guys screaming at them is what they do. If anyone wanted to join I’m assuming the same thing would happen. In saying that I think these guys have a heart and they have shown to have a caring side when celebs have quit or struggled.

  2. Sounds like it benefits hugely from keeping to pretty much the UK structure (though I think we usually only get 4-6 episodes, so even at 8-10 episodes you’re getting twice as much).

    You would hope Seven listen to comments about people appreciating it airing just twice a week and episodes only being an hour long, but then this is Australian TV so fully expect it to be supersized running 90 minute episodes 4 nights a week for 3 months next time out.

  3. harrypotter1994

    I don’t agree with this. They’ve stated that running your mouth can get you into trouble on the battlefield and they want to shape the contestants ready for that.

    Even in the normal army you’re not supposed to speak out of turn.

    • harrypotter1994

      Yes there is yelling and berating but the DS’s also respect the contestants. When Jackson left they praised him for how much he had grown over the course of the series. They have also motivated people to keep on going in the interrogations.

  4. I’ve unexpectedly been completely drawn in by this show (watching the uncensored version on 7Plus) and I’ve gained a whole new respect for many of the cast, especially Merrick Watts, Sabrina Frederick and Erin McNaught who are all people who have never been on my radar before. Jackson Warne’s crippling insecurities really touched me and even Firass Dirani’s mouthy coping mechanisms have shown a raw humility. I was disappointed in the gang-up against Firass (especially in Shannon Ponton who I’ve always respected greatly) but considering how tough this course has been, it’s a wonder there haven’t been more stressful outbursts against each other.

  5. Why does every Channel 7 “reality” show need to have a villain? I haven’t watched any of the series but is it really necessary to create fake drama?

    • I don’t think every show does (they tried warm with Plate of Origin), but it isn’t only 7. Plenty of 9, 10 and international reality shows ask you to cheer the hero, hiss the villain. It depends on the premise.

  6. I’ve been loving SAS Australia! Firass is certainly the “villain” but it’s not even nasty? It’s more of an entertaining villain. Plus, how can some state that the show promotes violence & bullying, when the contestants knew what they were signing up for?

    • harrypotter1994

      If these people actually watched the full show they’d see that isn’t the case and seriously promoting violence? It is a show about war. How else can you portray it?

    • For me it’s the best new show i’ve seen in years on FTA. Partly why i’m enjoying it so much is the fact it’s only on 2 nights a week, with just an hour per episode. I lose interest when flogged the same show night after night. I’m not a fan of 7, but I have to say well done for keeping SAS to just 2 hours a week. I’ll definitely be back for more SAS in 2021.

    • Edited yes but scripted? That would take some effort to start giving people lines to say in such high pressure and gruelling situations. It’s easy to see that scripts are not needed for what’s going on, just letting it play out is enough for the cameras to catch. Imo the only scripting possibly going on is the guys running the camp having prepared lines in the interrogation. Aside from that it feels very raw and the celebrities that talk to the media have backed that idea.

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