In what has to be the most nail-biting finale of any Tropika Island of Treasure to date, Brendan Peyper and Lisanne Lazarus (#TeamRed) came out victorious in the final challenge, making them the winners of #TIOT8 and that coveted R1 million prize! In last night’s final episode of the series, #TeamRed fought hard to beat Nay Maps and Rudi Witkowsky (#TeamYellow) for the title of #TIOT8 champions.

Following a series of Slenda Twists throughout #TIOT8, 22-year-old Lazarus was chosen by 21-year-old Peyper to be his teammate on #TeamRed. It became evident by most celebs and contestants very early on in the season that #TeamRed would be a team to watch out for, with many teams noting them as their biggest threat to the R1 million. And they were right.

Lazarus and Peyper proved to be a force to be reckoned with, and no one is more thrilled with the outcome than Lazarus. “When I found out I was going to be on the show, I obviously wanted to win but I didn’t expect it – only because I didn’t know who my competition would be and I didn’t know at the time who I’d be paired up with. In all honesty, I was just excited to go to the Maldives. After being paired with Brendan and looking at the other teams’ weightings, I felt very confident because I knew Brendan and I would complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses very well,” says Lazarus.

Peyper is just as grateful for the team mate he found in Lazarus. “I truly had an incredible partner. We remained calm even though things sometimes went south, and we ensured that we kept the faith with God on our side – this was the most important aspect for us.”

Peyper notes that he never expected to win, but that he always had a vison with what he’d do with the money. “I told myself that if it’s God’s will for me to win I’d never waste the money, but invest where it is needed. When it came to challenges, I always went in feeling confident because from the start I told myself to just enjoy the amazing experience, and even though you didn’t win anything through the initial stages of the competition, it was about how you recover after you gave your best and still lost. It was important going into each challenge learning from your mistakes from past challenges”. And that approach certainly paid off for #TeamRed.

Miantha Padayachee, Marketing Manager for Tropika, notes that each season of Tropika Island of Treasure is more exciting and surprising than the last, and #TIOT8 was no different. “The celebrities and contestants who made up season 8 were an incredible group – so many different personalities, passions, physical strengths and personal ambitions. It was beautiful to see their personalities coming to the fore throughout the season, and more so, to see just how tight-knit a family they all became – even after returning from the island. I think viewers of #TIOT8 will agree that this season proved to be the most exciting with the amount of Slenda Twists that were thrown into the mix. No matter how physically prepared you may be; no matter great at equations you are; when a Slenda Twist is thrown into the mix – all rules and preconceived notions go out the window. #TeamRed fought hard throughout season 8 and are very deserving of that R1 million!” says Padayachee.

Lazarus, who is graduating with a Cum Laude and Deans Merit in Broadcast Journalism and is currently the Digital Producer for East Coast Radio’s breakfast show, will use the majority of her share of the prize money to invest in property – and treat herself to a shopping spree.

Peyper, who was recently revealed as the lead to portray Buddy in the brand-new musical, BUDDY – The Buddy Holly Story, will use his share of the prize money to purchase his first farm/property.

Tropika Island of Treasure season 8 was produced by Cardova Productions and was set in the Maldives. The Adaaran resorts and villas in the Maldives served as home for the celebs and contestants, and provided a spectacular setting for the 8th season of the hit show.

Katlego Maboe was the ever charismatic and entertaining host for #TIOT8. “Being the host of the smooothest show on TV has been an incredibly thrilling ride and one that came with the most unexpected Slenda Twists! Throughout the season, the phrase ‘team-work makes the dream work!’ proved true as the most unlikely teams turned out top performances to topple the leaders at the time. From the beginning it was anyone’s game, and right to the end – it really was anyone’s million to claim. I’m proud of my #TIOT8 team and the entertaining show we were able to produce and I truly hope South Africa enjoyed every moment,” Maboe notes.

The theme song for #TIOT8 was ‘Smoooth Fame’ –which is available for download from iTunes. The song, written by Katlego Maboe and producer Ross Finck, is all about becoming a star while going beyond challenges and taking necessary, yet calculated risks, to reach those goals – a message inspired by the TV show. The song has a strong tropical influence blended with subtle pop and hip-hop elements which made it the perfect theme song for this season.

The teams who competed in #TIOT8 (in order of elimination) were:
Team orange: Tumi Voster and Mark-Anthony Bingham
Team coral: Melinda Bam and Kelly Gunnell
Team blue: Sbahle Mpisane and Nondu Mabizela
Team green: Karabo Mogane and Lihle Ngubo
Team white: Khanya Mkangisa and Mpande Buthelezi
Team yellow: Nay Maps and Rudi Witkowsky
Team red: Brendan Peyper and Lisanne Lazarus

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