Behind the scenes with our Celebrity Treasure Island Hero – Josh Oakley

Josh Oakley of Celebrity Treasure Island - Big Buddy

We’d like to thank our amazing supporter Josh Oakley for throwing everything he had at Celebrity Treasure Island and fundraising for Big Buddy.

For those of you not familiar with CTI, one of this year’s celebrities was Dame Susan Devoy who was pitted against fans, including Susan’s son Josh, who was immediately recognised as a threat to win the game due to his physical strength, fitness, strategy and determination. That put a target on his back, and Josh was ruthlessly put up in elimination games until he eventually succumbed.

Each competitor raises money for their chosen charity by winning challenges. Josh won an amazing $5,000 for Big Buddy early in the show.

For fans of the show, one of New Zealand’s most popular, here are some exclusive behind-the-scenes insights from Josh:

Thanks Josh you were and are a champ. We can’t wait to see what’s next for you.

What was your hardest moment on Celebrity Treasure Island?

The hardest moment for me would have been the water raft challenge. It was an extremely physical challenge and even more brutal than it looked on TV. They only set the challenge up at the last minute due to the weather and other challenges unable to go ahead. I was pretty banged up after about 5-10 minutes out there wrestling.

Overall, the limited food rations were what I found the most difficult. If you don’t win team challenges, rice and beans are your only meal. We went about 4-5 days without winning a team face-off, hence why everyone was getting a little hangry at times.

What was the funniest/happiest moment?

The funniest moment would have to be announcing that Dame Susan Devoy was my mother during the first challenge. Some of the reactions from my team were priceless. They had absolutely no idea and I had kept it quiet for the 3 days leading up to starting the show.

Dunking Mum in the blind fuse ball was also a great moment. Knowing she was up there and if I could score she would be getting dunked. We had a great laugh about that.

Why did you choose Big Buddy as your charity?

A few people have talked to me about the work Big Buddy does and I thought it’s just such an awesome charity. I listened to a lot of the Between 2 Beers podcast after Mum was on the show. I was listening to an episode with Grant Fox, who was talking about the great work Big Buddy does and how he is involved. After reading a few stories on your website I thought it would be cool to play for Big Buddy and try to win some money for the program.

My dad has had such a huge impact on my life, all my opportunities and where I am today is because of him. Some boys are not as fortunate, which is why this charity resonated with me.

How did you deal with the dynamic of competing against your Mum – Dame Susan Devoy?

It was an awesome experience. She’s been retired now for 30 years and we have never had a chance to do something like this before. We are both extremely competitive and have a lot of passion for everything we do. We had each other’s back, but it was a bit of a weird feeling competing against each other on different teams. We knew that whatever happens out there when it’s all over we would be able to sit back and have a laugh about it with the family.

People think that she might have let me win challenges or visa versa, but it was never like that. Whenever we competed in challenges, it was all on! We were even prepared to go into the elimination arena to compete against each other. Something that a lot of people were looking forward to and pushing for.

It was just awesome to see her throw everything at the challenges and never back down. I guess no matter how long she’s been out of the game for, she’s still got it.

Would you do Celebrity Treasure Island again?

No doubt. I love a challenge and throwing my name in the hat to try new stuff. I feel like I could have made a decent run into the late stages of the game, but you need a bit of luck early on, which I didn’t get.

What’s coming up for you now?

I’m coming into the start of the squash season now. Lot’s of training here in Tauranga and I’ll try to get around and play a few tournaments. The nationals are on Queen’s Birthday, which is the big one on the calendar we work towards. Our team, which also includes my two brothers, will defend the Cousin Shield in Christchurch in June. As for Reality TV or Treasure Island redemption, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Sharing this article

Posted in

Get the latest news from Big Buddy