There’s no doubt about the fact that Luke Toki has been and probably always will be one of the most loved contestants from Survivor Australia.
He truly knows how to outwit, outplay and outlast better than most and on top of that he was just a down-to-earth, loveable larrikin that basically all of Australia wanted to see win.
And so when it was announced that the upcoming season of the the ultimate game of survival would be an All Stars season, fans immediately thought that Luke would be part of it and were seriously shocked to find out that he isn’t.
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I'm Ok 😭 @survivorau hahaha For reals tho, what a emotional journey this time round was… I believed I could win and fell short again FML Well played to the remaining 3 castaways… You all deserve to be there… 💙 @baden.gilbert @_piamiranda @harry_the_ice_cream_guy This game is brutal… To all the fans, I'm sorry I couldn't get it done. Just know I appreciate all the love and keep #creepin 🌴 Thanks to @marytoki84 for looking after our three kids while I went back… You the ⭐ Much love 🤙 Long live the King 👑 #SurvivorAU #Thetribehasspoken
So why wasn’t the King of the Jungle put in the game this time around?
Well as it turns out, casting for this season had nothing to do with how popular a contestant was on pervious seasons.
Jonathan LaPaglia joined the Kyle and Jackie O Show when he revealed all casting decisions come from producers alone and not the audience.
“It’s not fan favourites, the producers make that decision,” Jonathan siad this morning about casting.
“I think ultimately it’s, you know, they look for the most competitive people over the last four years and they put them together.”
Of course, if you asked for our opinion we’d definitely say that Luke fits this bill perfectly. And Jonathan agreed.
He told us that producers did in fact want Toki to be part of the new season but he wasn’t available.
“You mentioned Luke earlier, he definitely fits into that category of All Star but he had family commitments which is totally understandable,” Jonathan revealed.
“I think if he was willing I think they would have loved to have him back. But you know, he’s a family man.”
Thankfully this season won’t be completely Luke-less though! He’s scored himself a role on a new digital show called ‘Taking Tribal’ which will see him and co-host James Mathieson chat about alliances, the drama and strategies going down at Tribal Council each week.
And even without Luke, Jonathan told us that this season of Survivor is going to be incredible.
“We’ve turned it up to eleven,” he said. “The challenges are brutal this season and like I said the competitors, the gloves come off from day one and they really go at each other. So it’s a pretty savage game.
“We have a couple of new twists that we haven’t done before and we haven’t seen on the US either so it’s going to be a fun season.”