After winning “Big Brother VIP” in 2021, Luke Toki said he was “retired” from the world of reality television. He’d already competed on “Australian Survivor” twice, and told New Idea that competing on reality competitions was quite “mentally exhausting”.
Luke said at the time: “I told my wife [Mary Toki] that I was thinking about retiring from reality TV, and she’s like, ‘Wait two or three years, you’ll get the bug back again!’”
As it turns out, Mary was right. Now, Luke is back on our screens once again, competing on “The Traitors” 2023. We caught up with the King of the Jungle to find out what he’s been up to since his “Big Brother VIP” win, and whether he’d ever be keen for an international version of “Survivor: All Stars”.
What Is Luke From “Australian Survivor” Doing Now?
Aside from being back on our screens competing as a Faithful on “The Traitors” 2023, Luke has had a major career change recently. Back when he was first introduced to us on “Australian Survivor”, Luke was a mining technician. In 2022, Luke got his real estate licence, and in April, was the ninth ranked rookie real estate agent in Western Australia.
Luke says the transition from mining into real estate has been “interesting”, to say the least.
“You meet some different people,” he says. “I’ve never had to deal with sales or, I guess a job that deals with lots of people.”
Luke goes on to explain that when he was in mining, he was “always dealing with machinery, not different people”.
“It’s an eye-opener laughs, it’s an eye opener!” he says of the change. “Yeah, but lucky I’ve had lots of practice with all these reality shows!”
Luke Gives an Update on How His Family Is Doing
Luke first charmed Australians across the nation back in 2017 when he first competed on “Australian Survivor”, but it was his 2019 appearance on “Australian Survivor: Champions Vs Contenders 2” that cemented his status as a fan favourite. At the time, Luke and Mary had just welcomed their daughter Madeline. Just four months old at the time of filming, Madeline had been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis as an infant. Luke and Mary’s older sons, Lennox and Nate, had both been diagnosed with autism.
The $500K prize money on Australian Survivor would have been life-changing for the Toki family, and when Luke was eliminated on Day 47 at the Final 4, fans were devastated. Quickly, they organised a GoFundMe for the family, and soon enough, they’d raised over $550K.
It was a gamechanger for the family, and when Luke competed on Big Brother VIP for charity in 2021, the $110,000 prize was donated to the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation for Cystic Fibrosis Clinical Research.
These days, Luke says “everyone’s good”.
“We’ve just been looking forward to summer at the moment,” he says. “Everyone’s been coming down with a few colds here and there, but look. Everyone’s happy, healthy, and to be honest, the kids are doing really well.”
He adds that they’re doing well in school, also.
“You know, I’d like to take some credit for that!” he laughs, “but I have to give most of it to Mary!”
Luke Would Come Back to “Survivor” Again
With the constant online chatter about an international edition of “Survivor: All Stars”, we had to know if the King of the Jungle would be keen to take on the best players in the world.
“I need to get that call!” he exclaims. “I’d definitely still put my hand up.
“I feel like I owe it to the people who have always supported me from day one, that if I got the call up and they wanted to see me out there, I’d do it,” he continues. “And yeah, all I know is that I’d come out victorious, and I’d beat every international star that they throw at me, and… that’s the confidence that I need!” he laughs.
When it comes to who Luke would want to compete alongside, Luke says David “The Golden God” Genat is the obvious choice, but there’s plenty of “talent across the board” to “put together an amazing Australian team”.
Some of the other “Australian Survivor” alum Luke would like to play along with include King George of Bankstown, aka George Mladenov, Hayley Leake, Harry Hills, Locky Gilbert, Shaun Hampson, and Brooke Jowett, to name a few.
As for who he’d like to go up against?
“I think anyone who is quite athletic when it comes to putting on a show,” he says. “I think any of the big boys from America who have shown to have good strategy, I guess.
“You could also run it back and have all the guys who played the game 20 years ago, but I’d probably prefer to run against the new bucks, you know?” he muses. “I think I’ve still got enough wind in my sails to give them a good run. I’m pushing 40!” he exclaims.
Luke Wants “Australian Survivor” to Stay Tough
As we chat about the possibility of an international “Survivor”, Luke wonders out loud where they’d hold the competition. Would it be “Australian Survivor”, or would it be “Survivor”?
“I’ve always said this, I like it when it’s hard,” Luke explains. “The harder, the better — I like when by the end of the show you can go ‘oh my God, that was gruelling’.”
Over the years, “Australian Survivor” has earned a reputation among fans for being one of the more physically demanding Survivor franchises. Luke doesn’t want that to change.
“I still get messages to this day from people going ‘damn, you Aussie guys out there are doing it TOUGH!’” he says. “I want it to stay like that, the harder the better, because in the end, we all sign up. We all sign the waiver saying ‘if you break an arm, break a leg…’
“I know they try to make it as safe as possible,” he continues, “but I actually genuinely like the toughness of it, and that’s the thing that will always keep bringing me back, because it puts people’s willpower at test, and heart.”
“The Traitors” airs at 7.30pm, Mondays and Tuesdays, only on 10 and 10 Play on Demand. Miss an episode? Catch up on 10 Play.
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