We caught up with the All Stars Sole Survivor to see how he’s been faring in iso.
Model, presenter, reality TV star… David Genat never seems to sit still for long. First appearing on Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders in 2019, ‘The Golden God’ returned to our screens for Survivor All Stars last year where he added ‘Sole Survivor’ to his long list of titles after taking out the victory.
While 2020 was a universally tough year, it was full of highs for Genat who relocated back to his homeland of Australia following his All Stars win. Now, as life slowly returns to normal, we caught up with him to hear about his Survivor experience, what he’s been up to in iso and what’s in store for 2021.
Never miss a story. Sign up to Beat’s newsletter and you’ll be served fresh music, arts, food and culture stories three times a week.
Hey David. How are you? How have you been keeping yourself busy in isolation?
I’m great! Thanks for asking. This isn’t my first taste of iso [laughs]. I try to keep a strict routine during quarantine, so on day one I’ll exercise in the mornings, do some meditation, read and eat really clean, then on day two and for the rest of the quarantine period, I’ll wallow in self-doubt, eat junk food, wash it down with beers and play a lot of video games.
You had really only just finished filming Australian Survivor: All Stars before COVID-19 hit. What was it like transitioning from one extreme to another?
I guess technically I’ve played survivor three times, if you include COVID, but this season doesn’t seem to be ending at the 50 day mark. I can’t complain though. Australia has been the best place during the pandemic, and that $500k prize money certainly came in handy, especially at a time when things were shut down. I quite enjoy living extreme, you’re not hardcore unless you live hardcore.
While they’re obviously very different experiences, Survivor and COVID-19 are similar in that they’re very isolating. How would you say the two experiences compare?
The biggest similarity is the mental challenges. I used a lot of positive mental reinforcement when I was on the show and some days, when things were dark, the only thing that would keep you going is knowing a new day starts tomorrow and things will get better. And that’s something people can apply during the pandemic. It may look grim and things are really hard, but you will wake up tomorrow and it’s a new day and things are going to get better.
What was the biggest challenge/s of Survivor?
For someone who loves eating, no food is very tough, but it’s just mentally and physically exhausting the whole time. Maintaining these intense, intimate relationships you develop out there, knowing full well each person is trying to stab you in the back, is a complex juggling act. Playing the game and trying to make entertaining television for the fans is daunting!
Have you had a chance to celebrate your win yet?
I never really had a big party, for the obvious reasons, but every day we are healthy, financially secure and COVID-free has been a reason to celebrate. I’m getting to do what I love and Survivor opened those doors for me.
If you had the chance to do it over again, is there anything you’d do differently?
Not a single thing. Actually, Season 4, I would have played my idol [laughs], but even that mistake set me up to win All Stars.
You quite recently moved back to Australia, too. What made you decide to do that?
I had been in the States for 17 years! When the offer to play Survivor came in, it just opened my eyes to a potential future in Australia for me. Aus has always been home, I have family here.
How are you finding it so far?
I love it so much! I’ve been flying around for different projects – travel permitted – but spending a lot of time in Perth. And to be honest, Perth has been like a COVID-free Disneyland. We only had a short lockdown last week. So all good things.
What else have you been up to? What’s next for you?
I’ve been a busy boy actually, filming for Channel 9, but I’m most excited about my Boost Juice collaboration. I think [Boost Juice founder] Janine Allis has been harbouring a lot of guilt after getting me voted out on Season 4 of Survivor and bossing me around on Celebrity Apprentice, so she has appointed me as Ambassador for Boost’s Saucy BBQ range. Either that or she saw me drain a bottle of ketchup during a food reward on Survivor and must have thought I would be perfect for this new product.
Can you tell us a bit more about the Boost Juice Saucy BBQ range?
So there are three very unique and delicious new flavours. Smokey Mango BBQ, Balsamic Strawberry and Soy Sauced. Ive been pitching them on the idea of a Golden God-themed drink, but they haven’t seemed to go for that. Probably with good reason. I’ve tried them all because I like saucy new experiences, but my favourite is Soy Sauced, it’s like a new take on Salted Caramel and its absolutely delicious!
Find your nearest Boost Juice and learn more about their new Saucy BBQ range by visiting the Boost Juice website. What’s more, Uber Eats is currently offering buy one, get one free for all Saucy BBQ smoothie orders.