Victorian Institute of Sport

Reality check?

Monday, 06 August 2018

If you haven’t already make sure you’re watching ‘Survivor’ on Channel 10 from 7:30-9:00pm Monday – Thursday whilst having ‘The Block’ recorded on Channel 9 at the same time Monday – Sunday.


To get behind, support and have a laugh with former VIS scholarship holders Lydia Lassila (Survivor) and Bianca & Carla (The Block) who have all decided to be a part of the reality TV world.

So who are these people?

Bianca & Carla (The Block)

Bianca, 35
Ex-professional netballer, now in sports welfare

Carla, 35
Ex-professional netballer, now in sports management

From: Victoria

Experience level: These best friends work incredibly well as a team, both on and off the court. Last year they renovated Carla’s warehouse apartment together – and they’re chomping at the bit to get started at The Gatwick. Whatever you do, don’t underestimate this competitive duo.

Instagram: @BiancaAndCarla

These two stand head and shoulders above the competition – literally. Firm friends for over 15 years, Bianca and Carla first met when they made the Under-21 Australian netball team and they’ve been stuck like glue ever since. Though they mostly played against one another in netball – Bianca was a defender and Carla was a shooter – you’d be hard-pressed to find two individuals who work more cohesively as a team.

“We renovated my apartment together last year,” says Carla. “We did all the demo stuff and the builders did all the proper building stuff. We had one Friday night where we were hauling a whole heap of rubble down Chapel Street in wheelbarrows while Revs (Revolver nightclub) was kicking off.” Both Carla and Bianca admit they’ve felt a bit lost in retirement. “When you retire, you realise how different real life is,” Carla says. “It sounds crazy, but you have to learn what life is like when you’re not a professional athlete. It’s really been quite challenging.” Now they think they’ve found their new calling via The Gatwick. “The Block went off my radar for a bit,” Bianca explains. “But after I finished playing, as soon as Carla started getting into renovating, I said we should go on The Block, so let’s apply together.’”

The girls made it through to the final round of casting for The Block’s Elsternwick series but missed out. Not to be deterred, they put in another application this year, and voila! Now they can’t wait to get back into that competitive headspace. “We are certainly not in this to come last. Or even second,” Carla adds. Both single, they haven’t ruled out the potential for finding love on The Block. “A couple of hot eligible tradies would be nice,” Carla laughs.

-          Channel 9

Lydia Lassila (Survivor)

Age: 36 

Occupation: Olympic Freestyle Skier 

State: VIC 

Tribe: Champions 

Twitter: @LydiaLassila

A mum of two, a five-time Winter Olympic aerial skier, entrepreneur and now Australian Survivor castaway. There’s not much Lydia can’t handle. 

“I think Survivor is a once in a lifetime experience and definitely a challenge. Just because I’m classified as a Champion, doesn’t mean it’s going to be an easy ride for me. I’m looking for new challenges that will push me beyond my comfort zone and I think doing this will definitely be that!” 

A gold medallist who competed in 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympic Games, Lydia has been awarded for many accolades including the prestigious “The Don” award by the Sport Australia Hall of Fame. 

In 2006, Lydia’s knee collapsed on impact after she attempted to land a difficult jump, forcing her to withdraw. Just 16 months later, Lydia made her comeback at the World Cup competition winning silver in her first event. 

Lydia’s biggest sporting achievement came at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010 when she won gold in the aerials - Australia’s second gold medal for the games. At the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics Lydia became the first woman to complete the ground-breaking aerial manoeuvre: a quadruple twisting triple somersault.  

Her achievements and determination became the subject of a 2016 documentary called The Will to Fly, which was released to critical acclaim. 

While she’s feeling confident she’s got what it takes to win, Lydia doesn’t want to the bad guy saying, “I think I’m very similar to Lee from the first season. I don’t know if I’m as much of an asset as he was in challenges but our personalities and values are similar.” 

-          Channel 10


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