December 10, 2023

Celebrity Treasure Island winner James Mustapic’s shock behind the scenes confession

James Mustapic won the treasure and won our hearts. Photo / TVNZ

Lovable comedian James Mustapic has just taken out the win for Celebrity Treasure Island: Te Waipounamu but the star admits while it was an emotional moment, he wasn’t even close to tears.

Speaking to The Hits: Breakfast with Jono & Ben after winning $100,000 for his chosen charity Gender Minorities Aotearoa last night, the star shares that right up until the very end, he always thought he was “going to lose”.

“I’m terrible at everything,” he laughs explaining that while it was emotional realising he had won, instead of basking in its glory he laughs as he reveals his true thoughts, “Get us off this bloody island.”

Filmed in February, the star has been faced with many “did you win?” questions since news of his casting first made headlines in September, and he managed to “lie” well enough to throw plenty of people off the scent, but there was one person he couldn’t help but mention it to.

Confessing he wasn’t going to tell his mum at first because he wanted it to be a “surprise”, he ultimately had to as she told him she wouldn’t be watching the show as she had other plans, “she was like, ‘I’m going to my choir group’,” he laughs.

And that wasn’t the only secret he dropped while appearing on the breakfast radio show. Mustapic also revealed that despite having a hearty few meals of beans and rice on the island, it wasn’t enough to sustain his pre show weight.

“I lost like 5kg maybe,” he said earning a gasp from the hosts before further explaining it was quite a shock as it occurred within 18 days of filming and came at a time when he “was already quite light”.

But it all turned out well for the star as he reveals as soon as they got off the island they went and had a couple of drinks and a feed, “we were on it”.

It comes after the star sat down with Reset revealing he wasn’t even sure he would make it through the first few days. Not because of hunger, sandflies, or his blatant dislike of the “disgusting” outdoors. Instead, the comedian worried his battle with anxiety might get the better of him.

“You know, I’ve had a few mental health issues in my day and I was genuinely really worried that I would come on and then get too sad, I would even have to leave.

“I thought maybe I’ll just get too sad or stressed. But you know what, I learned that I can sleep on a hessian sack and still be okay,” he admitted.

And okay he was competing against comedian Courtney Dawson and actress Turia Schmidt-Peke, Mustapic’s win was down to the wire – or rather, down to a childhood memory, Never Eat Soggy Weet-Bix.

In the final few minutes of the show, Mustapic was unsure how to unlock the rotary lock on the safe, but his lightbulb moment came in the form of the mnemonic and he unlocked the treasure.

“I don’t know what to say, I feel just overwhelmed. Every step of this competition has been like a ‘pinch me’ moment where I’ve been like, ‘Surely my luck’s going to run out and I’m going to be eliminated’, but here I am, baby,” he told the confession cam.

Earning hugs from his fellow finalists, they praised the star for his win noting how great it is the money is going towards a charity that will help so many people.

Signing off the episode, Mustapic said, “I know I’ve seemed stressed a lot, but just know, I was loving every second of it.”

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