Nine’s The Summit, premiering Sunday the 14th of May, sees 14 strangers given one million dollars in cash, divided equally. To keep the money, they must get themselves and their backpack of cash to the summit of one of New Zealand’s highest peaks.
Teamwork will be essential as the contestants must stick together, so therefore they are only as fast as their slowest hiker. The game’s core is when contestants only have 14 days to get to the top, who will force the group to fall behind and how long do you keep them before you risk getting to the top in time?
Meet the contestants of The Summit below:
Alex: Former AFL Player
After playing for the Fremantle Dockers and Carlton Football Club, Alex admits he never saw himself as a natural footballer and had to work hard to get to the levels he played at. He says he had to work twice as hard as everyone else.
Alex is the father of two girls and his family is the major motivating factor to take on an adventure like The Summit. He says: “I really want to challenge myself but also set an example for my kids. It’s something they are going to see and I want to do it for them. I don’t want to be seventy and think I should’ve just done it.”
Annikki: Dance Teacher
Annikki is a dancer, teacher and all round artist, with her speciality being in a male dominated dance style known as, Krump. She says its confrontational nature will help her handle whatever the Summit throws at her.
“If anybody on the mountain tries to psych me out or test me they’re going to have to go hard because I’m used to that stuff. But I’ve never been on a mountain like this before. The highest peak I’ve probably been on would be a ride at Movie World, so that would be the only thing that might scare me.”
Brooke: Single Mum
With three kids and not much time to spare, Brooke is a psychology student who has spent most of her adult life being a mum, so she’s ready to take some time for herself. She says: “I’ve never had an opportunity to go on an adventure like this. This is my time and I’ll take every moment and do the best job I can.”
Admitting the highest mountain she has climbed is Mount Lofty in Adelaide, Brooke says she might not be the fittest one out there but her positive attitude will get her to the top.
“I’m not a quitter. I do not quit and anyone who knows me will say that. Sometimes I should learn to quit but it’s just not within me.”
Catherine ‘Kitty’: Outback Nurse
As the oldest competitor heading up the mountain, Kitty is used to putting herself way outside her comfort zone.
A registered nurse in a remote town in the Northern Territory, Kitty can handle the hard work. She says: “I work in a little town about eight hours from Darwin and it’s fabulous. I went there for six weeks and ended up staying and working with young mums and their newborn babies.”
As a mother to two girls herself, Kitty says her daughters are more nervous about her taking on this adventure than she is. “One of them is not sure she’s ready to see me on national TV and the other one just keeps sending me messages saying OMFG.”
Gemma: Online Health Coach
Gemma is a go-getter who won’t let fear get the better of her and is hoping to use her life skills to get to the top of The Summit. She says her stubbornness will help her to achieve her goals.
Gemma is a fitness coach who will use her coaching skills to help everyone work as a team. She says: “I want to help people, I want to work with people, but I also want to win. When I set myself a goal I really dig my heels in and don’t let anything stop me.
“I’ve tried to prepare as much as possible for this adventure as I’d rather be over-prepared than under-prepared. I’m very meticulous, probably to a point of annoyance, but I get it done.”
Indy: Marine Scientist
Indy spends her life on the ocean and says it’s her first love, so coming to a snowy mountaintop is a new adventure she’s willing to take on.
She says: “I’m calling this a hill because then it’s something I can achieve. By calling it a mountain I’m making it intimidating and scary. A hill is much easier for me to comprehend and if I’ve won the mental battle then I’ll be okay.”
Using her family as the inspiration to get to the top, Indy also knows The Summit will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. “I think I’ll be a different person coming out of this. I think I’ll be more informed about other people’s motives in life and how to take care of myself. There will be things I take out of this that I’ll probably carry with me for the rest of my life. But it’s also a game and I know people are here to win and so am I.”
Happy go lucky Isaac is a musician from Dubbo who loves his job, his community, and is always up for a laugh.
Hoping to use his likeability to get him further in the competition, Isaac knows these attributes can be used to his advantage. He says: “You’re going to need people to trust you and need people to get you to the top. You can’t do it by yourself, and I’m going to bring them in and then when I don’t need them, I’ll throw them away. Haha! That’s so mean!”
Jacqui: Former Olympic Aerial Skier
Jacqui, a five-time Olympian, five-time world number one in aerial skiing, says: “I spent twenty years skiing off a jump faster than a car and at the height of a three story building. Wacky Jacqui is a great name for me.”
With snow and ice a familiar background for Jacqui, it’s not the elements that will faze her but the living conditions. From sleeping with strangers to no bed, it’s her only concern.
As a personal chef, Jans has turned his attention to working for himself, and after years of working for various restaurants, cafes and food trucks, he now creates recipes for fitness apps and brands on social media.
Ambitious and ready for an adventure, Jans says his mum has been his inspiration to always fight harder. “Once I set my mind on something, that’s it. My mum always taught me that once you have a goal, you work out the steps to get to the end. If you make a mistake you’ll learn, so just get back up and keep moving.”
Josh: Graphic Designer
Born in London and Melbourne-based, Josh says friends would describe him as a little kooky, a little zany, but loyal with a fun nature.
With some climbing experience – he has ascended peaks like Mt Kilimanjaro – Josh is ready for the constant changes the mountain may bring.
“I love hiking, it really takes us away from all the things that prop us up in life. You know, when you’re thirsty, you go to a tap. If you’re uncomfortable, you sit on a couch, so in this environment that’s all gone. You feel alive because you have to adapt.”
Lulu “Bang Bang”: Boxer
A mum, a boxer and a pocket rocket, Lulu jokes that “My ring name is Bang Bang Lulu. I become a smiling assassin because I’m still smiling at you while punching you in the face.”
Lulu loves adrenaline adventures and is hoping her time on the mountain will be a great combination of her love of thrills and her ability to overcome challenges.
“This is going to be a challenge for me and I enjoy that. I want to do this for my kids so they can see me do this and overcome the hardships of the moment. I think it will be powerful for them to see and take into their own lives as well.”
Phillip: Donut Bakery Owner
Working hard is in his family’s blood, but so is taking risks and that’s what Phillip hopes will be his strength facing the mountain.
He says his fellow hikers might get the wrong first impression of him, thinking he’s quiet and shy. But after working in retail since he was fifteen he’ll soon win them over and gain their trust easily.
During COVID Phillip encouraged his parents to start experimenting in their bakery, and says the risk was worth it. “We started making some risqué donuts and overnight the business blew up. My greatest fear is losing everything because I grew up poor and my parents have worked so hard to get to this point, so I need to keep working and keep pushing. I didn’t know how to bake bread but I started a bakery, so I know how to adapt and expect the unexpected.”
Sam: Personal Trainer
Not one to let life pass him by, Sam is a strength and conditioning coach from Sydney who likes to push himself to the limit.
He’s jumped out of planes at least 15 times, he’s hiked through countries like Sri Lanka and South Africa, and he says he won’t leave anything behind.
“I’m going to get to the top of that mountain and know that I did the best I could possibly do. If you say I can’t do something or say other people are going to beat you to something, you best believe that I will be showing up all guns blazing to prove you wrong.”
Stephen: Sock Designer
Happy go lucky and funny, Stephen thinks he’ll be underestimated, and that will be his goal.
On meeting his fellow hikers, he says: “I think they’ll say ‘I hope this bloke has a lot of sunscreen!’ Beyond that, I think they’ll say he doesn’t stop talking. There will be songs, there will be stories, so they’ll know I’m there.”
A dad from Brisbane, Stephen jokes that his physical side is probably not his main asset. “Why have abs when you can have kebabs?” But he hopes to play an honourable role within the team.
The Summit premieres Sunday 14th May at 7:00 pm on Nine and 9Now.