From the beach to the boardroom: David Genat talks Celebrity Apprentice

Celebrity Apprentice

• Plus Genat runs through a list of other potential reality TV gigs

Celebrity Apprentice Australia will return to Australian screens on Sunday, May 23rd at 7.00pm on Channel Nine and 9Now.

Mediaweek spoke to contestant and Australian Survivor: All Stars winner David Genat about the difference between Survivor and Celebrity Apprentice and what his future holds on TV.

How the two shows were different

Genat said that there was a different feel to the two shows, with Celebrity Apprentice not having a stone wall of silence between the contestants and the crew.

“When you’re on Survivor you’re not allowed to talk to the cameramen or the producers, and you just feel like you’re existing. Then to come onto Celebrity Apprentice which is a huge production, there are just people everywhere.

“They built a massive sound stage for it because Marvel booked out all the other sound stages, so they just went absolutely nuts on this. It was like now I am able to talk to people and there are producers and it was like being on a movie set.”

Genat joked that one of the main differences in how he played the game is that he is wearing way more clothes this time, although admits he did try to take his shirt off as much as possible.

“I went from one show where the host is facilitating nefarious gameplay to where the host of Celebrity Apprentice, Alan Sugar is trying to stop that from happening, so made it much tougher for me.

“To me, the arena in Survivor was tribal council and that is where I am at my best, it’s theatre, the show is on and I am doing my thing. On Celebrity Apprentice it is really hard to manipulate it or even get a word in edgewise when the good Lord is coming down on you like a tonne of bricks.”

celebrity apprentice

Lorna Jane Clarkson, Lord Alan Sugar, and Janine Allis

Genat said he went into the game knowing what his reputation would be for gameplay, and he really wanted to bring that same style to Celebrity Apprentice.

“It was a game to me, and we are all here for charity and good reason, but I am not here on some redemption trip, I am here to play a game. I was like you know what, I was able to do this with Survivor and Survivor is the greatest game… let’s see what this game is about.”

Genat also admitted that he found himself looking for the odd immunity idol during the show.

“I was looking for them everywhere. I knew coming into this that they were going to play up on the whole Survivor thing and thought maybe they will throw me a bone.

“I was playing dirty deeds the whole time, so when you know you have got an idol in your back pocket it makes it a bit easier to be careless and do some crazy stuff, when you don’t have that protection idol it’s tricky!”

When asked though, which show he thinks suited him better he admitted that it was the game of Survivor.

“That is my heart right there. I love all the physical aspects of Survivor. With Celebrity Apprentice there were tasks but it’s not that physical. You’re doing stuff and getting in there, but there were so many mind games in Celebrity Apprentice. I just felt it was more balanced in Survivor.

“But that is what made Celebrity Apprentice so interesting to me is, the mind games you have to play against Lord Sugar as well as the cast.

“I never had to worry about that with Jonathon (host of Survivor) I know Johnathon is getting what he wants from me! But with Lord Sugar I don’t know… is this how you make a billion dollars? I know how to make $500,000 but not quite sure about a billion.”

Celebrity Apprentice

When asked what to expect from Celebrity Apprentice, Genat said to expect a lot of drama and a lot of cut throats.

“There is some great backstabbing and some very, very good drama and amazing moments. I think people will be surprised at how funny it is but also how heart-warming it is.”

One familiar face on the show was one of the advisors Janine Allis who was one of Genat’s foes on season four of Survivor and one of the architects of his blind side elimination.

“Janine came in and I was like fuck Janine is actually in the show, and it never crossed my mind that she would be there advising.

“It was actually really funny, and we have a good dynamic, personally she is just the best. She is such a lovely person.”

Janine Allis, David Genat, and Abbey Holmes

Genat said that one of the main draws for doing the show was that it was for charity, with himself playing for Garvan Institute.

“It was a great paycheck don’t get me wrong, but you need a little bit of something more there, and everyone had such a real personal cause and were trying to raise money for their charities. And that is what made it real for people, as much as we were trying to entertain, each person wanted to make as much money for their charity as possible.”

The Casting of Celebrity Apprentice

Genat said the show did a great job with its casting and that he got along best with cast members Michael ‘Wippa’ Wipfli, Ross Noble, and Scherri-Lee Biggs.

“I get along well with everyone I didn’t have any real beef with anyone, for me it comes down to the gameplay side of things and keeping the fans and viewers entertained.

“They are all actually really lovely people in their own right, but we are here to make TV not friends, so party time.”

Celebrity Apprentice Australia

Genat also said that the cast is full of great characters that don’t have to play great characters.

“A lot of people go, and they understand television. I think I play a great character, and Ross Noble understands television, and can play a character.

“But then you have people who haven’t done reality TV before and they are just good characters, it will be funny to see how they edit it all together.”

Is he done with Survivor?

While Genat said that he is taking a break from Survivor, he said that he still has plans for the future with the format.

“I will never be done with Survivor. I have a lot of stuff I want to do with acting and I want to host my own shows, but I have such a love for that game and the purity of the show that I will never be done with it.

“I think every time they ask me it will be hard to say no, but at the moment I need a bit of space from the game – especially the Australian version – then the American version we will line those guys up in a couple of years and show the Yanks how to do it.”

David Genat competing in season four of Survivor Australia

What other reality TV shows would he do?

During the interview, Mediaweek got some of Genat’s thoughts on other potential reality TV shows that he could compete on.

Holey Moley: If someone is like, do you want to play putt putt for 100 grand? That’s nothing to sneeze at.

Big Brother: I love the way the direction has gone with Big Brother with that format but c’mon; they get a bed, they get food. For me, I’m like ‘alright whatever, now it is like poor man’s Survivor’. But it still is good drama, they have good characters.

Dancing with the Stars: Did you see me dancing when I found that idol? I don’t think that is on the cards for me, I have two left feet.

MasterChef: I can cook a pretty mean steak. MasterChef would actually be really fun to do I reckon. The only thing is they take them out of their community for like eight months, I don’t think I could do that, 50 days and change sounds about right for me.

Ninja Warrior: I did contemplate it, but then I met Olivia Vivian and was like uh maybe this isn’t for me, she is legitimately a superhuman.

The Mole: That show was great, but I feel like I have made a name for myself, I might have to do something genuine like A Current Affair.

It’s a Knockout: That is what I want them to bring back from way back in the day.

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