Malcolm Turnbull earned the title of Prime Minister after defeating defending champion and Blue Bloods team mate Tony Abbott on Australia’s hit reality TV program, Who Wants to be the Liberal Heir?
Turnbull emerged triumphant at the end of a marathon episode with an insurmountable following among his fellow contestants and on social media.
Turnbull expressed his delight and pride at winning the highly coveted title and will occupy the position until the beginning of the next series, the date of which is yet to be announced.
The former barrister scored a bonus victory when Julie Bishop, his ally throughout the latter part of the series, won second position and will fulfill the role of deputy. Bishop herself had challenged Abbott directly in a previous series but was at the time unable to unseat the incumbent.
Experts believe that Abbott lost popularity, and thus the series, during the segment known as The Canberra Games.
On one occasion, Abbott refused to participate in the “Man on Man” challenge as he failed to realise that it was actually a wrestling match. He was also accused of attempting to sabotage another team’s rowing boat in order to prevent it from reaching the finish line.
During the marathon episode, which had many Australians glued to their screens, host Eddie Maguire presented both contestants with the opportunity to phone a friend.
While Turnbull deliberated over which of his many friends would be of most service to him, Abbott engaged in the following conversation:
“Alan, Hi it’s Tony”
“Tony, yes you’re on the air, what do you make of all this…?”
“Alan, I need your help, I’m at the final stage and the competition’s really tough…”
“Ok Tony, yes, I’m glad you agree with me, thanks for calling. Now, Gary from Penshurst, what do you think…?”
Abbott earned the title of Prime Minister after securing the most audience votes in a previous series when he was pitted against the leader of the rival Reds Under the Bed team, Julia Gillard.
When the audience voted Gillard off the show, Abbott’s dominant personality and forthright manner filled the void and he soon rose to prominence.
A source from the set of Who Wants To Be the Liberal Heir? claims that Abbott was very emotional immediately after the decision. He later composed himself sufficiently to deliver a somewhat philosophical assessment of events and his plans for the future.
“I guess this is the nature of competition…” he stated “…and I have never turned away from competition. It has been a tough series full of highs and lows and I am looking forward to taking a break and being able to relax.
I’ve actually been in contact with a gentlemen I had dealings with during my time as Prime Minister. He has offered a very attractive package to take a cruise on a vessel called the PMShip. He says we’ll be cruising through the Asia Pacific region stopping at some beautiful islands on the way and I think it’s a great way for the wife and I to start the next phase of our lives, whatever that may be.”
Published in The Burdekin Herald, September 2015