In the first episode of Survivor NZ, Barbara “Barb” Raos appeared to have a target on her back.
At 53, she’s the oldest competitor on the show and the only grandparent, after she celebrated the birth of her first grandson in February. But the gutsy former personal assistant says she was shocked at how she was viewed, and quickly dismissed by her fellow contestants.
“I’ve just never been so quickly dismissed,” she tells the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly. “It’s hard because most people that meet me are usually quite impressed. So it was a good reality check. I never thought of myself as old until I was on the show. But all of a sudden, I realised other people thought I was old.”
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But Barb says she was out to prove them wrong and show them what she was capable of. She jokes that the entire reason she signed up for the show was as a direct result of a midlife crisis.
“I told my husband, ‘Either I have an affair or I go on Survivor.’ We chose Survivor,” she laughs.
Barbs is still going strong on the show, which screens Sundays at 7pm and Mondays at 7.30pm on TVNZ 2.
Read more from Barb in this week's New Zealand Woman's Weekly.