TV

Celebrity Treasure Island's most controversial moments

We do a little digging (to use an awful treasure pun) and resurface some of the more eye opening moments from seasons past.

With Celebrity Treasure Island soon to make its return to our TV screens, what better time than now to trawl through the archives and revisit some of the show's most controversial moments.
Because let's face it - how many of you actually remember the show from when it last screened? Given the last season was in 2007, chances are a half of us barely do and the other half of us were too young.
This year TVNZ 2 are bringing the show back with the likes of former Bachelorette Lily McManus, TVNZ weatherman Matty McLean, former All Black Zac Guildford, boxer Shane Cameron and songstress Ladi 6 to name a few. And yesterday we saw the final two contestants revealed - Olympic gold medalists Eric Murray and Barbara Kendall.
But what about the moments that have been and gone? Can the show live up to past seasons? We do a little digging (to use an awful treasure pun) and resurface some of the more eye opening moments from previous instalments.
Before we do that, however, let's have a quick recap.
The cast of season one included best friends Nicky Watson and Sally Ridge (right). Image: Supplied
The first season of Celebrity Treasure Island aired in 2001, promising to pit 'household names' against each other to compete for $20,000 for charity. By the fifth season, that prize money had jumped to $50,000.
Nothing demonstrates the fickle nature of celebrity like a trip down memory lane - and a look back through the previous seasons' cast serves up a veritable who's who of NZ personalities - and sometimes a case of "I'm sorry, who?!"
There were big names like Stacey Morrison, Suzanne Paul, Jenny-May Clarkson, Michael Laws (if you consider politicians to be celebrities), Frank Bunce, Marc Ellis, Charlotte Dawson, and before she was wrangling John Campbell on the Breakfast desk every morning, then-celebrity dancer (and former girlfriend of Richie McCaw) Hayley Holt, who incidentally took out the last season in 2007.
But then there were the ones who disappeared from the public eye, or whose grip on 'celebrity' was tenuous to begin with; think Nicky Sunderland, Eva Evguenieva, Vadim Dale, Andy Dye, Natalie Franzmann, Vicki-Lee McIntyre and Scotty Rocker.
The men of season three, with Simon Barnett third from left rocking some very questionable frosted tips. Image: Supplied
Season one saw best friends Nicky Watson and Sally Ridge dropped into the unknown, pitted against each other in separate teams along with twelve other TV personalities and sportspeople. This would turn out to be the first of three appearances for Nicky (more on that later).
The cast had mixed feelings when it came to their biggest fears about surviving the experience. For Nicky, it was going to the toilet in the middle of the night and encountering "creepy crawlies."
For Sally, it was lack of food. And for former international cricketer Danny Morrison it was "lack of sleep." Not because he would be sleeping outside in the elements. Nope. It was because "you know what women are like, they talk all night."
But despite Danny's comments, season one didn't produce any of our most controversial moments. Our picks are below.

When Matthew Ridge hooked up with Rebecca Loos

The tabloids had a field day with this one. Images: Left, supplied, right, Getty.
Remember Rebecca Loos? She was David Beckham's personal assistant when he was playing for Real Madrid in the early 2000s. She rocketed to infamy in 2004 after being caught up in an alleged cheating scandal with the then-father of two.
In hyping the show, TVNZ referred to her as Rebecca "I slept with David Beckham" Loos. Little room for doubt there, then.
Rebecca was eliminated in episode five, but in a twist which blindsided the contestants, was brought back in episode seven. And evidently, she loved her time on the show.
"Being on Treasure Island is amazing", she said. "I feel like a cavewoman. We make fire and hunt crabs, which we cook and practically live off. Every morning I wash in the sea and at night I sleep on the beach under the stars. I feel like I have been reborn."
Matthew Ridge had returned to host the show after appearing as a contestant in seasons two and three. Proving Rebecca has a penchant for sporting types, sparks between the pair flew, and they ended up becoming a couple.
Soon after filming finished, Ridge and Loos made headlines for all the wrong reasons when they were caught getting overly amorous on an Air New Zealand flight from London to L.A.
Qudos to the Sydney Morning Herald for the headline 'Loos makes mile high attempt with former league star' and honourable mention to the Daily Telegraph for 'Footballer plays fast and Loos.'
Ridge's agent, Mick Watson, addressed the claims, saying "They're a couple, they were on a plane and something obviously happened. Matthew apologised to the crew and Rebecca went back to her bed. What's the big deal?"
But the damaging headlines didn't end there, because Ridge broke up with his then-girlfriend of two years, wine heiress Keita Nobilo, to be with Loos. Not the best look, given Keita was gravely ill at the time and waiting to find out test results for a brain tumour.
Ridge and Loos reportedly had plans to settle together in Auckland, but their relationship didn't last the distance. Sadly for Keita, her troubles didn't end with the break-up or the health scare, and she was arrested in 2007 on drugs charges.

When Lana Coc-Kroft nearly died

Lana (centre, in blue) with the rest of the women's team from that season. Image: Supplied
It was massive news in 2004 when former Miss Universe New Zealand and Sale of the Century co-host Lana Coc-Kroft found herself in hospital in critical condition after a cut became infected during filming.
She was airlifted from Fiji straight to hospital in Auckland where she was diagnosed with a form of toxic shock syndrome. While Lana made a relatively speedy recovery, the fallout continued and the whole reality TV genre was brought under the spotlight.
Producer (and now Dame) Julie Christie was embroiled in controversy after apparently giving a misleading statement to the Holmes show, saying Lana fell ill after the show finished filming. This was soon discredited when the show went to air, showing Lana clearly seriously ill on set.
Lana and fellow contestant Charlotte Dawson said the production company could have done more to protect contestants' health, with Lana admitting "it was probably not handled well at the time."

When Simon Barnett killed Nemo

Simon, looking like a member of a 90s boy band. Image: Supplied
OK, clearly that heading is very tongue in cheek. But it was a big deal for Simon. Let us paint a picture for you. You're starving. The thought of eating another coconut is just doing your head in. You're sleep deprived. Sometimes, a man's just gotta get primal.
For all-round nice guy Simon Barnett though, killing another living thing doesn't come easy. Even if it is for survival.
The show wasn't anything like he anticipated. "I thought it would be - you know - like television. At the end of filming they'd turn off the cameras and the gourmet meals would be brought out. And the fridges would be rolled up the beach."
But alas, it wasn't to be. He had to actually kill something. "I went out and caught this fish, but I didn't want to kill it, I just felt really mean. So that was really hopeless," he explains.
The fish did die in the end, and it caused Barnett no shortage of guilt. "I felt really bad about it, I felt terrible. That night I was singing Nemo songs in my head."
RIP Nemo.

When Nicky Watson returned to the island to compete as a couple with her best friend’s ex-husband

Yes, we know that heading is a mouthful. But really, there's no other way to describe it. Thick as thieves in the first series in 2001, Nicky Watson and Sally Ridge were inseparable.
Sally had been married to ex-league player Matthew Ridge for 13 years. They had two children - Boston and Jaime. But 2001 heralded the end of their marriage. Sally continued to use her married name, and does to this day.
Back when the first season aired, Nicky had split from millionaire Eric Watson, but she too was still using her married name. Incidentally, Sally and Nicky had been introduced by their then-husbands, Matthew and Eric, when the men were both involved with the NZ Warriors.
Here's where it gets really murky. Fast-forward to 2004 and there was a new couple in town. Eric and Nicky had divorced the year prior. Still using her married name, however, she she was now seeing Matthew Ridge - ex husband of her best friend Sally.
If you thought Nicky and Matthew would be laying low and not flaunting their relationship in front of Sally, you'd be wrong, because they signed up to compete together in Celebrity Treasure Island - Season 3.
Ridgey was keen to share the love, declaring his new girlfriend as his one allowed luxury item on the island, announcing to the rest of his male teammates "I thought I would bring Nicky and we could all share her."
Fellow contestant Lana Coc-Kroft had an interesting take on their relationship. "If Nicky can handle Matthew Ridge, she can handle just about anyone. I know underneath his hardened exterior Matthew is a bit of a pussycat, but the tiger that tamed him was Nicky."
Nicky and Matthew ended up seeing each other for two years and if media reports at the time are anything to go by, it caused a rift in Sally and Nicky's friendship. But they patched things up down the track, and when Sally's marriage to Adam Parore ended in 2010, she even moved in with Nicky for a time.
"Nothing will ever, ever come between Nicky and me," Sally told Woman's Day. "No matter what happens. Even if I get grumpy at her, she gets grumpy at me or a man comes between us, it doesn't matter."
The besties pictured at the 2011 Rise Up Christchurch telethon. Image: Getty

Just for laughs: Celebrity Treasure Island's best quotes

OK, disclaimer here. The show aired so long ago that finding information (and decent footage) has proven difficult. But we've trawled the internet archives and have uncovered TVNZ's wrap of the best quotes from season 3. And it's clear there's on standout - the late, great Charlotte Dawson.
Take it away, celebs from season 3...
Brent Todd, on the women: "I can't believe we're giving into them, just because they've got bums and boobs."
Charlotte Dawson: "You look at the other team, and they're great big athletes. I mean where's their Charlotte Dawson? Where's the weedy, wimpy poof in their team? You know, it's just not fair."
Lana Coc-Kroft: "Josh is going to cry on national television, and that really upsets me because I think it's going to spoil his He-man image."
Charlotte Dawson (pointing to her chest): "If I jump, I'll get black eyes."
Charlotte Dawson, later on, when she failed in a water challenge. "I'm going to sue my plastic surgeon, I reckon that breast implants stop you from scuba diving. There should be a warning stamped on these breast implants."
Charlotte Dawson: "Putting my face in food is not a habit I have unless I'm really drunk."
Charlotte Dawson: "If I die Joe, will you look after my puppy dog? And Aja you can borrow my clothes."
Charlotte Dawson: "What did we talk about last night?"
Simon Barnett: "Your ex-boyfriends. That took about four hours then we went to bed."
Celebrity Treasure Island premieres on Sunday 18 August at 7:00PM on TVNZ 2.