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Gladiators (2008 Australian TV series)

Gladiators is an Australian television series which began airing on the Seven Network in 2008. It is a revival of the earlier series of the same name, and is based on the American and British versions of the show, which were also both revived in 2008.

The show is filmed at The Dome at the Sydney Showground, and is hosted by Tom Williams and Zoe Naylor. Respected NRL referee Bill Harrigan is one of the two referees for the show, the other is John Forsythe, who was a referee on the original series. Although not credited, the Sydney Altitude Cheerleaders were present in every episode, doing various routines throughout each episode whether an event was taking place or not.

The revival of Gladiators was first announced on September 9, 2007, and premiered on March 30 2008 at 6:30 pm. The Challengers in this series compete to win AUD $50,000 and a new Subaru Forester.


Each episode features four events chosen at random, followed by the final round, The Eliminator. The 2008 series has featured many events that were initially featured in the first incarnation of Gladiators.

Events currently played include Atlaspheres, Duel, Gauntlet, Hang Tough, Hit & Run, Powerball, Pyramid, Suspension Bridge, The Wall and Whiplash. Pendulum, Sumo Ball and Vertigo were introduced as events for the first time in 2008. The events Joust, Pursuit, Skytrak, Swingshot and Tilt from the original series have not been contested in the new series.

As before, The Eliminator is played at the end of every episode.

New events


The Challenger and Gladiator engage in a game of hide and seek on a ball 5 metres in diameter, which hangs from the roof of the arena. On the whistle, the ball begins to swing from side to side. The aim of the Challenger is to avoid the Gladiator, who must track the Challenger down and remove the Velcro flag from their back. Once this is done, the game is over. If the Challenger or Gladiator falls off, the remaining participant wins. Ten points are awarded to the Challenger if the Gladiator falls from the pendulum or if they do not fall off after a minute.

Sumo Ball

The Challenger and Gladiator stand on a platform with a giant 'sumo ball' suspended between them. They have thirty seconds to push their opponent off using the sumo ball, which they must hold onto using a loop for the entire time. Neither may touch the platform with their hands. Ten points are awarded for a Challenger win, five for a draw. Either player loses if they are forced off the platform yet still hold onto the ball.


The Challenger and Gladiator compete in a one-on-one race across five poles, each ten metres high. On the whistle they must climb the first one to the top. Once there they swing their pole and must use this method to transfer to each of the remaining poles. They must complete a left-to-right swing before transferring. They do this until the end where a silver ring awaits, the first to grab this wins the event.

The Eliminator

The obstacle course in the 2008 series is similar to that of the original series. It consists of padded hurdles of varying heights, a short rope climb, monkey bars, traversing across a quarter pipe, climbing up a longer rope ladder, going down a flying fox, walking across a balancing beam, running up a travelator which is going in the opposite direction, then after that, the first challenger to swing on a tarzan rope through a waterfall at the finish line is the winner of the episode.


If Harrigan sees a rule broken in any way (confirmed by video replay), he may give the offender a yellow card. A red card is given if the offender breaks a rule again during the episode, argues the ruling or walks away from the referee when he's talking to them. The red card means the offender is out for the rest of the episode.

So far there had been 2 red cards given out to Gladiators.

1. Thunder pushed a challenger inside the Atlasphere. He was given a yellow card by Harrigan, but ate the yellow card, and so he was given a red card.

2. Amazon let go of the sumo ball in the Sumo Ball game, and was given a yellow card by Harrigan, but during the post game interview, Amazon said "Bill would call a foul? As far as I'm concerned a foul's a bird! Bill has had it in for me since day 1!" Harrigan approched Amazon, but then Amazon walked away and celebrated like she had won. For walking away from Harrigan and for arguing with the referee, Amazon got a red card. The clip is on


Note: Challengers which are bolded advanced through to the next stage. Times listed next to the challengers' name is their runtime for the Eliminator. DNR indicates the challenger did not run the Eliminator due to the other challenger pulling out from injury.


  Damien Nicholls 0:55  
  Sam Brodie         Damien Nicholls    
  Simon Pavolo       Nick Hicks 1:01  
  Nathan Wood 1:05         Philip Breslin  
  Nick Hicks 1:04         Nick Hicks  
  Marcus Saltmarsh         Nathan Wood
  Phillip Breslin 0:57     Phillip Breslin  
  Shane Elisara           Nick Hicks
  Shaun Baxter           Paul Baird
  Joseph McKay 1:06       Joseph McKay  
  Lincoln Burns 1:08     Lincoln Burns  
  Nikolai Sawaszenko           Joseph McKay
  Simon Orton DNR         Paul Baird  
  James Stretch         Simon Orton
  Hayden Forder       Paul Baird  
  Paul Baird 0:56  

The eventual winner of the Grand Final was Paul Baird.


  Natasha Haines 1:19  
  Bryony Barker         Nicole Sawon    
  Georgie Leake 1:27     Natasha Haines 1:11  
  Janere Reid           Natasha Haines  
  Julie Casella           Georgie Leake  
  Nicole Sawon 1:21       Georgie Leake
  Rony Lebovics       Ashleigh Kelly  
  Ashleigh Kelly DNR         Natasha Haines
  Jacqueline Watson 1:26         Jacqueline Watson
  Emily Sharp         Kim Papp  
  Kim Papp 1:26     Jacqueline Watson  
  Louise Symonds           Jacqueline Watson
  Michelle Halemai           Michaela Williams  
  Michaela Williams 1:26       Kristine Banks-Smith
  Kristine Banks-Smith 1:28     Michaela Williams  
  Jessica Scott    

The eventual winner of the Grand Final was Natasha Haines.

Episode events

Episode 1 - March 30, 2008

Gauntlet, Duel, Pyramid, Pendulum

Episode 2 - April 6, 2008

Hit and Run, The Wall, Sumo Ball, Pyramid

Episode 3 - April 13, 2008

Hang Tough, Atlasphere, Suspension Bridge, Vertigo

Episode 4 - April 20, 2008

Pendulum, Gauntlet, Hang Tough, Powerball

Episode 5 - April 27, 2008

Duel, Vertigo, Pyramid, Hit and Run

Episode 6 - May 4, 2008

Gauntlet, Hit and Run, Sumo Ball, The Wall

Episode 7 - May 11, 2008

Gauntlet, Duel, Pendulum, Pyramid

Episode 8 - May 18, 2008

Suspension Bridge, Powerball, Hang Tough, Atlasphere

Episode 9 - May 25, 2008

Pendulum, Whiplash, Gauntlet, The Wall

Episode 10 - June 1, 2008

Atlasphere, Vertigo, Suspension Bridge, Pyramid

Episode 11 - June 8, 2008

Gauntlet, Hang Tough, Powerball, Sumo Ball

Episode 12 - June 15, 2008

Hit and Run, The Wall, Duel, Pyramid

Episode 13 - June 22, 2008

Vertigo, Suspension Bridge, Powerball, The Wall

Episode 14 - June 29, 2008

Pendulum, Gauntlet, Duel, Whiplash

Episode 15 - July 6, 2008

Gauntlet, Hang Tough, Sumo Ball, Pyramid




  • Amazon - Shari Onley
  • Angel - Tiffiny Hall
  • Bionica - Stephanie Lethborg
  • Destiny - Karen Harding
  • Nitro - Hayley Bateup
  • Olympia - Tatiana Grigorieva
  • Viper - Sarah Howett


In early 2007, an episode of the television series Where Are They Now featured some of the original Gladiators as special guests. The Seven Network used this segment as research towards reviving the show depending on viewer numbers for the episode as well as if the ratings fell after the end of the segment.

On September 9, 2007, it was officially announced by Seven that the show was being revived and will return for its fourth series in early 2008. Auditions for new gladiators took place via e-mail and closed on October 16, 2007 while auditions for challengers took place in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth from October 20 to November 4, 2007. Once the gladiators and challengers had been chosen, filming of all the episodes for season four took place from January 6 2008 to February 10 2008 at The Dome, Sydney Showground, New South Wales. Tickets went on sale for seats in the audience for $5 AUD each from Ticketmaster..

Speculation around who was going to host the new series was evident, with many reports in the media about celebrities which have either successfully or unsuccessfully auditioned. Seven Network presenter Tom Williams was reportedly the only male who was auditioned, and was picked up for the male co-host role immediately. For the female co-host role, the process was more intense, with many females auditioning, including swimmers Elka Graham and Brooke Hanson as well as actors Zoe Ventoura and Samantha Noble. On December 18, 2007, it was reported in the media that former McLeod's Daughters actor Zoe Naylor was being seriously considered as the female host, with an insider stating that "She looked amazing in the screen tests and there was a great vibe between her and Tom. She's fresh and fun." She ultimately ended up being chosen for the female co-host position.

With new Gladiators being chosen for the new series, it was reported on December 30, 2007 that former Australian rules footballer Anthony Koutoufides and Olympic Pole vaulter Tatiana Grigorieva were two of the new gladiators for the new series, but the Seven Network refused to confirm the selections, even though these reports ended up being true. Strongman Derek Boyer is the third celebrity to be picked up as a Gladiator, followed by former ironwoman Hayley Bateup being the fourth. The other ten Gladiators have a non-public background.


The following Table displays the Total Audience (5 City Metro) for each episode, as recorded by OZTAM and reported on MediaSpy

  • - Gladiators was not shown in Perth on 29 June due to live AFL Coverage.

Airdate Total Viewers Position in Nightly
Top Ten
Position in Timeslot
March 30 2008 1,847,000 #1 Winner
April 6 2008 1,571,000 #1 Winner
April 13 2008 1,427,000 #5 Winner
April 20 2008 1,560,000 #3 Winner
April 27 2008 1,366,000 #7 Second
May 4 2008 1,276,000 #6 Second
May 11 2008 1,298,000 #6 Winner
May 18 2008 1,379,000 #4 Winner
May 25 2008 1,262,000 #6 Second
June 1 2008 1,229,000 #8 Second
June 8 2008 1,035,000 #9 Second
June 15 2008 1,277,000 #10 Second
June 22 2008 1,264,000 #7 Second
June 29 2008 1,020,000* #11 Second
July 6 2008 1,258,000 #6 Second


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