Tim Robards on SAS Australia

Interview: SAS Australia’s Tim Robards dishes on the brutal BTS challenges that weren’t shown

"I shot him in the stomach and it was the camera guy"

It’s clear to the average viewer that the missions the recruits undertook on SAS Australia 2023 were demanding but Tim Robards has revealed that it was even more gruelling than what was shown on TV.

Robards was just one of the two recruits who made it through selection, alongside athlete Matthew Mitcham. During an interview with Chattr, the former The Bachelor lead divulged just how challenging his time on the show was.

“It was gruelling. It’s the bits between the challenges that you don’t see,” he said. “What you see you times that by 10 and that’s what it actually is.”

The 41-year-old used the final challenge as an example and explained that he thought he would be crying in elation when he found out he passed the selection, but that wasn’t the case.

Tim Robards on SAS Australia
SAS Australia. Nine.

“What happened in reality was, we went through that last day, but we never knew when the end was. Right before they brought us up and told us that we’d passed, we had to sit in this bloody rock crevice for an hour, and all the adrenaline from the past challenge had worn off,” he said.

“By that time we’re like, ‘Come on, we’re freezing cold. Is this the end?”

He added that prior to the final challenge, the remaining recruits were manipulated into positions that were designed to be uncomfortable.

“They [the DS] put us in a holding bay and we were put in stress positions for three hours. So every 20 minutes, they came in and changed our bodies into positions that were hard to maintain for a long time. We got to a point where our backs were throbbing, our muscles were aching. They left a lot of things like that out.”

The camera crew were involved in the missions too

The filming crew were required to keep up with the contestants and Robarbs pointed out that as a result, they unofficially took part in the recruitment process too.

He explained that the crew would run across rough and ragged terrain while filming without being able to see where they were going.

“The camera crew, they are fit,” he said. “They’re running on sand with rocks and s**t, some of them are falling over. It’s very dangerous. A lot of times, they’ve got to run and get in front of us so that they can film us from the front,” he said.

While Robards acknowledged that the crew was most likely “sleeping better” than the recruits, he reiterated just how strenuous filming was on them too.

“They all sign up for the challenge themselves!” He exclaimed. “It is such a challenge for them.”

Tim Robards accidentally shot a cameraman during a mission

The SAS Australia recruit said that there were strict rules in place to protect the crew, but recalled that it was hard for him to follow them when he was in the heat of a challenge.

“The rule is if someone’s you only shoot if someone’s pointing a gun at you,” he said reflecting on a mission where they used paintball guns.

SAS Australia. Seven.

“I turned the corner and saw a gunman so I went ‘boom, boom, boom’. Then I looked to the left in a split second and there was a guy pointing something at me and he’s got camo pants, so I go ‘boom’ again.”

Robards said that he mistook the filming person’s camera for a gun.

“I shot him in the stomach and it was the camera guy and he didn’t have any protective gear on! I shot him from about two metres away with a paintball gun – bang bang bang in the guts.”

Stream SAS Australia 2023 on 7Plus.

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