Khanh Ong says he’ll be ‘ruthless’ on new season of Australian Survivor


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Image: Channel 10

Restaurateur and MasterChef favourite Khanh Ong is appearing on the new season of Survivor Australia.

The new season of Australian Survivor begins on Monday night (January 31), with each new castaway playing with – and against – a family member.

Khanh Ong will compete on the Channel 10 show alongside his sister, Amy Ong. Amy is a beautician from Melbourne.

The chef, who is gay, explained that he’s a big fan of Survivor. And he said he doesn’t think viewers are expecting him “to be so ruthless.”

“People may know me from MasterChef. I’ve lost MasterChef twice, it’s my turn to win now,” Khanh explained.

“I know Survivor really well. I’m obsessed with the show. I’ve watched every single season and I love it.

“I’m looking forward to the entire experience. I’m looking forward to the challenges, the votes, the blind sides, the game. Everything.

“I want to be remembered on Survivor as a game player.”

But Khanh said he drew the line at “blindsiding” his sister.

“If I need to get rid of her we will have a conversation about it,” he said.

“If I turn up to a challenge one day and my sister’s not there, I will break down. I will completely break down.”

The new season of Australian Survivor was filmed in Queensland, at Charters Towers outside Townsville, late last year.

Siblings, couples, in-laws, parents and children will go head-to-head competing for the $500,000 prize money.

Australian Survivor: Blood vs Water premieres on Monday, January 31, on Channel 10.

Khanh Ong known for two seasons of MasterChef

Chef Khanh Ong appeared on MasterChef Australia in its tenth season in 2018. He just fell short of winning, ultimately finishing third.

Outside of TV, the food guru also works at his Melbourne restaurant The George on Collins.

Then in 2020, Khanh returned to the competition for all-stars season MasterChef: Back To Win.

The 30-year-old was born in an Indonesian refugee camp, where he spent the first two years of his life. Khanh’s family migrated to Australia in the 1990s.

During his time on MasterChef, Khanh opened up about coming out and navigating being a gay man in his Vietnamese culture.

“If I’d watched a program like MasterChef when I was growing up and saw a person of colour of Asian descent or a gay man, I would’ve had an easier time,” he told the ABC after the show.

“I feel it’s really important that we have that representation on TV.

“Australia’s so multicultural and we need to reflect that on our screens.”

Viewers loved chef’s ‘You are loved’ shirts

Khanh Ong also won hearts for wearing t-shirts printed with the simple message “You are loved” in every episode of MasterChef in 2020.

“When I decided to come back on the show, I wanted to use it as a way to spread a little bit of positivity and love to the world,” he told Channel 10 at the time.

“It’s just a reminder that things get better. You are loved and there is love for you.”

Khanh Ong said when he was younger, he spent time at New South Wales LGBTIQ youth charity Minus 18’s social events and workshops.

“I had one gay friend then, who suggested I come to an event,” he explained. He did, and it was there that Khanh “met his people”.

During MasterChef, Khanh sold the shirts online and raised tens of thousands of dollars for Minus18.

The self-proclaimed “food-obsessed gay” also released his first cookbook, titled A Gay Guy’s Guide to Life, Love, Food, in 2020.

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