Comedian, actor, writer and self-professed “all-round funny sort,” Chris Parker has won Celebrity Treasure Island, walking away with $107,500 for his chosen charity, RainbowYOUTH.
After weeks of physical, emotional, and mental endurance, armed with a repertoire of pirate phrases, the multi-talented 31-year-old outplayed 20 other Kiwi celebrities to take home the title.
Chris went head-to-head with Lance Savali and Edna Swart in a treasure hunt unlike any other. The three were pushed to their limits, all eager for their spade to be the first to hit the buried chest holding the $100,000.
“It was an honour to go up against Edna and Lance,” says Chris. “Any one of us could have won the entire thing. They are two very inspiring individuals, and I will never forget that last day we got to spend together on Celebrity Treasure Island.”
From Team Katipo to Repo and back to Katipo, through the trials and tribulations of the Awesome Foursome, giving way to the Dirtbag Alliance, Chris strategised and laughed his way to the final three, before ultimately taking out the final prize, all in the name of RainbowYOUTH.
“There were many years in my life where I began to sacrifice my happiness and authenticity to blend in, so to be able to win this competition in a way that felt authentic to me and for a charity whose work is to create spaces and resources and advocate for our LGBTQIA+ community so that everyone can live their lives proudly and authentically in our country is incredibly overwhelming.”
In addition to the $100,000 prize, Chris also won $7,500 for RainbowYOUTH from charity challenges through the series, taking his donation to a total of $107,500.
“I signed up for this show to achieve three goals,” says Chris. “First was to challenge myself, and second was to create some funny television, which I think was achieved as soon as I got to order Sir Buck Shelford around in a blindfold.
“Finally, and most importantly, to raise some money for RainbowYOUTH. To be able to hand over $107,500 to them, knowing how it will support them to keep making Aotearoa a safe and empowering place for our queer youth to grow up in, makes me so emotional.”
On top of the winning donation to RainbowYOUTH, a further $107,500 was won by Celebrity Treasure Island competitors this season for other deserving charities in Aotearoa.