Tonight on SAS Australia, after enduring two hellish weeks of intense physical and psychological training, four recruits set out on the final day on course, hoping to pass SAS selection.
Retired NRL star Darius Boyd, reality TV personality Locky Gilbert, NRLW player Millie Boyle and motorsports presenter Riana Crehan had eight hours to prove to the DS they were worthy of passing selection.
Chief Instructor Ant Middleton explained: “The special forces selection process was originally designed for nobody to pass. When I was on selection, 202 people started our course and eight of us passed. We’re here to see if you can meet a certain criteria. We want to know have you got what it takes to put yourself in the most uncomfortable of uncomfortable positions to pass this course. We’re looking for integrity, grit, determination, passion, emotional intelligence, the thinking soldier. A team of individuals that can function together, that can work together, that can trust each other. That’s why we belong in a unique club.”
The first stage of final selection saw recruits drop from a helicopter into open seas, fight cold ocean currents and use an unpowered vessel to hit dry land, cover their tracks then locate a hidden cache containing keys to an escape vehicle and navigate to the safety of a lighthouse. Once the task was complete, recruits were then faced with a sickening decision – choose a teammate to cull from the course.
Millie chose Riana, Darius chose Locky, Riana chose Locky and Locky chose Riana leaving it up to the DS to break the deadlock. The DS sent Locky home.
“I’m f***ing devastated,” said Locky. “That was hectic. I think [the best way] to fight through the disappointment of making it to the last day is just think about what I’ve done. It’s being able to fail and learn from that and f*** I’ve failed. So now I just need to learn from it and take all these lessons into life and just become a better person.”
In the final test, Darius, Millie and Riana had to repel down a 100-metre-high cliff face to retrieve a vital kit, before climbing back up to the DS in just 15 minutes. The terrifying task saw the final three holding on for dear life above the rocks and crashing ocean, pushed to the limits of their bravery. Through sheer determination, all three successfully completed the mission and awaited to hear who, if any, had passed selection.
Ant’s news that they had all passed selection was met with a group hug, handshakes and tears.
Riana said: “This really has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my whole life. Like physically, mentally, emotionally… everything. It’s definitely life changing.”
Darius said: “To be honest it’s just such an amazing experience. I didn’t think it was possible. It’s just an amazing feeling.”
Millie said: “I am just buzzing with emotion. It’s been the longest two weeks of my life but the best two weeks. It’s just amazing.”