Survivor star’s secret Megan Gale plan
With a seasoned AFL career behind him and a supermodel partner at home, Australian Survivor contestant Shaun Hampson knows he's something of an odd fit among the scrappy underdogs in this season's 'Contenders' tribe.
His Contenders tribemate Harry found himself in hot water in last night's episode when it was revealed that he'd invented a son in an effort to appear more likeable. Extreme behaviour, but Hampson admitted he had similar temptations regarding his own backstory when he entered the competition.
"I went into the game with (lying) being a real possibility for me. Going onto the Contenders tribe, I thought that if they heard, 'Hi I'm Shaun, I played 11.5 years of AFL,' they'd immediately be like 'Well you don't belong here'," Hampson told news.com.au.
His plan to conceal his true identity didn't last long, though - as the Contenders faced their opponents on day one, Hampson spied two familiar faces among the Champions: AFL players Simon Black and Abby Holmes.
"I knew they'd immediately recognise me, so I knew it'd all eventually come out. I decided I'd rather be honest from the start, so I let them know about my football background … and that I had a partner and a couple of kids."
Those kids are son River, five, and daughter Rosie, who turns two next month, whose mum - and Hampson's partner - is Australian-born supermodel Megan Gale.
It made for an awkward dilemma: How do you casually mention to your Contender teammates that your partner is one of the most beautiful women in the world?
"I didn't mention Megan … nobody asked 'Who's your partner, what does your partner do?' so I just sort of left it. I didn't want to walk in and go 'Hey guys, my partner's Megan Gale!' That felt strange," he said.
Word soon spread, though - and within a few days, several of his tribemates had taken him aside to privately ask about his very famous other half. By day five, the whole tribe knew.
"I was always going to be honest if asked, I just didn't want to make a big thing out of it. It just didn't feel right to me," he said.
Hampson could give his partner a run for her money in the modelling stakes after Survivor's finished airing. Lingering shots of the 6ft, 7in athlete in his speedos haven't gone unnoticed by the show's reliably thirsty fanbase:
The real winner of today is Shaun’s ass in those speedos. #SurvivorAU— Philth (@philip_charles) July 30, 2019
Shaun is SO HOT like Megan really DID THAt. #survivorau— Stephanie Marie (@stefinitely85) August 11, 2019
"(Gloriously bemulletted Contenders tribemate) John was always in speedos as well, so it became our little thing … it just made sense, we had them there and we didn't have to get our shorts wet. They're a lot easier to move around in during challenges as well - there are a lot of upsides to speedos," he chuckled.
"But I think Australians are pretty relaxed as a whole, and you can see that on Survivor with John getting around nude half the time. If you're comfortable in your own skin, why not."
Hampson's burgeoning friendship with fellow Contender Daisy Richardson has also been causing a stir among viewers. The pair quickly became close allies, their connection raising a few eyebrows among fans:
Daisy does know Shaun isn't single doesn't she?!?! #SurvivorAU— alana harrison (@alanabanana76) August 11, 2019
I wonder how Megan feels about Shaun’s closeness with Daisy #SurvivorAU— Phantom Destroyer (@phantomdestroy_) August 4, 2019
I know he’s really married to Megan Gale but I ship Daisy and Shaun #SurvivorAU— Alisha Aitken-Radburn (@aaitkenradburn) August 5, 2019
Cool your jets, people. Asked about their blossoming connection, Hampson made it clear that Daisy was deep in the friendzone.
"We just got along well - she's a bit of a bogan, like myself but even more so. She's like a lot of the country boys I've played football with through my career," he said.
"They've all got really good work ethics, they're quite honest and loyal - I saw these qualities in her, and I knew she was somebody I could trust going forward."
Australian Survivor airs 7:30pm Sundays to Tuesdays on Ten.