Sam Burgess has revealed why his troubled marriage was doomed from the start – describing a candid conversation he had with his mother. James Weir sums it up.
The Sam Burgess redemption tour continues on Tuesday’s episode of SAS Australia, with the disgraced former footy star dropping an explosive bomb over his broken marriage just seconds before a literal bomb explodes in what is some seriously elite symbolism for a free-to-air reality.
The producers of this series are constantly working overtime to tempt us with breathtaking moments – so desperate that they want to keep an eye on us. ‘Don’t care about a football star’s marital problems? Maybe we can interest you in a gripping first-hand story about Hollywood A-lister Sean Penn who is nearly captured and held hostage by armed Haitians. These producers are like those shady guys who stand on shady downtown street corners in old-fashioned movies, opening their trench coats to display rows and rows of fake Rolexes hoping to sell them to stupid tourists. “Still not interested? Maybe this footage of a stubborn ex Home and away star humiliation is more to your taste.” We’re taking all these cheap but satisfying moments tonight, please and thank you.
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As the five remaining celebs face a challenge in the back of a Land Rover, producers trick Olympian Jana Pittman into doing their dirty work by having her investigate Sam Burgess about the end of his marriage. He’s already talked about his personal issues in two separate interrogations on this show, but he’s reportedly getting paid $150,000 to be here, so producers need to squeeze as much juice as possible.
“How did you meet your ex?” Jana asks as the car bumps over rocks and ridges of sand.
“At a concert – and I never go to concerts,” he rolls his eyes.
a real Sliding doors moment, huh?
“We were just not meant for each other,” he continues before revealing that the relationship was doomed from the start. “I tried to force things. I wanted a family, I wanted children. I wanted the dream – the house, I got it, I had it all… I’m quirky, I want it, I’ve got it. I probably pushed on it and there were a few things I knew weren’t quite right… I thought I could change that, I could help that, I could fix that. I could not do it.
“I said to my mother, married for two years, I said, ‘Mom, damn it. Is this right?’ She said, ‘Sam, it will never make you happy’. I said, ‘I did it for two years. I have my children – what should I do?’ I didn’t know what to do.”
All these divorce talks are a real downer. Can someone turn on the radio? Thank God a bomb explodes on their car.
Tonight’s challenge requires all the celebrities to individually drive an old worn-out Jeep through enemy territory while trying to rescue a VIP hostage. They face obstacles, explosions and armed attackers. It’s a kind of life and death.
One of the soldiers shares a personal anecdote about a similar situation he experienced in Haiti – partly to illustrate the dangers, but mainly to give a name to a Hollywood icon.
“During a routine ride back home with my passenger Sean Penn, we drove to a safe location and a situation unfolded before us,” he offers nonchalantly.
“I saw people with guns, I saw roadblocks coming into position. Two gunmen come up to us – a truck tried to block the road, so we were completely stuck. I watched the situation build up, before I could issue a warning, I drove up to the people with the weapons – and used the vehicle as a weapon to take them out. Literally got between the truck and the wall in seconds. Any hesitation we would never have gotten through. We would have been trapped.”
As this season’s regular superstar, Dan Ewing can fully empathize with the anecdote in more ways than one. He takes the opportunity to compare war zones with the theatre.
“Pressure is such a big part of an actor’s life – you have to be really grounded and really strong to handle it,” he explains to us in an overly serious tone.
During the challenge, he draws on all of his acting training to really understand the role he’s playing. He jumps into character and improvises the dialogue.
“Stay nice and calm to me, okay?” he instructs the hostage he is rescuing. “I’m going to get you through this – I’m going to take you home.”
The scene is tense with an undercurrent of tension and emotion – the perfect example of an actor mastering his craft. It’s definitely one to include on the demo reel.
It dodges explosions, weaves through obstacles and zooms through a beam of bullets. The escape is almost complete. But with the finish line in sight, the enemy is getting closer. They appear with guns at a narrow exit. The correct response is to jostle it and run past it, but doubt creeps in. Suddenly Dan loses his character. A high-pitched squeak comes from the grinding brakes as the jeep skids to a stop. A car full of armed men appears in the rear-view mirror through a cloud of dust. Shoot bullets. Then the gear lever grabs and pulls it into reverse. Before he can even run backwards into the gunfire, the lead soldier stops the game. Everything is lost. Dan has failed.
Cue the apologies.
“I’d plow on, I’d plow on,” Dan tells the soldier, who now sees in retrospect what he should have done. “I had it in ‘reverse’ (but) my next port of call was to plow through here (the exit).”
The soldier doesn’t have it. “We don’t roll back in (bullets). That was the wrong decision.”
But Dan is kind of a glass half full. “I made the right decision too late,” he corrects, refusing to admit the mistake.
Back at the other celebs, who all passed the exercise and were showered with praise, Dan’s apologies continue.
“I had it in reverse, and my next port of call was (to go) right through the barrier. And I put him in ‘drive’, but he yelled stop,’ he explains frantically.
With a little more time to refine the excuse, he also offers this gem: “I got to the thing and saw the guy with the gun really close, so I backed up a bit to get some momentum to go.”
The soldiers hear this and give thoughtful and considered feedback. “You tw*t,” someone spits, before ordering the actor to interrogate to rub the flaw in his face.
Dan sticks to the weird new excuse. “I returned, intending to… get some momentum moving forward.”
The soldiers almost giggle. “What I heard was you were trying to get out of it because you’re ashamed that you were the only one going backwards,” the soldier mocks.
Dan persists. “No staff, I wasn’t ashamed-“
“STOP! F**KING STOP!” one of the officers interrupts him and screams so loud that the other celebs hear the growl through the concrete walls.
Dan tries to downplay the stern rebuke when he returns to the sleeping quarters — humming to himself as he enters the room, hoping to appear lighthearted. His teammates are concerned about what they have heard. They ask if he is okay. But accepting their sympathy would mean being honest about what really happened.
“I had a plan to go backwards and then go forward and then I was stopped. So I was just trying to explain that and I think he thought I was trying to provoke it. I probably didn’t explain myself properly,” he shrugs.
Yes. … Ah. Certainly. That must be it.
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