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Survivor

How Luke Toki went from Survivor star to Big Brother VIP finalist to Australia's favourite larrikin

Luke is a doting dad and loving husband.

By Erin Christie
Aussies fell in love with Luke Toki when he first appeared on our TV screens back in 2017 on Australian Survivor, and the lovable larrikin has since become even more endeared during his recent stint on Big Brother VIP.
The 'King of the Jungle', who has had two runs on Australian Survivor, has made it to the top three of BB VIP alongside Ellie Gonsalves and Josh Carroll. And given that he is loved country-wide for his down-to-earth nature and humble-looking life, it's not shocking that he's a favourite to win tonight's grand finale.
A married father of three, Luke's social media is filled to the brim with photos of his adorable children and his wife, Mary Toki.
Luke and Mary have been married for six years, and have three kids – Lennox, Nate and Madeline.
Aussies fell in love with Luke Toki when he first appeared on our TV screens back in 2017 on Australian Survivor. (Image: Ten)
Luke first appeared on the second season of Survivor, where he was a favourite character from the very first few episodes.
A member of the Asaga tribe, he refused to follow along with alliances, and instead spent his time either whispering in people's ears, or eavesdropping among the bushes, trying to make the game go his way.
He revealed early on that he was doing Survivor for his sons – now his two eldest children.
Lennox, who is 10, was revealed by Luke on the show to have autism spectrum disorder, and his second son, Nate, who is now almost eight, had exhibited similar traits at the time.
However, the pair are very sociable, and have been said by Mary to take after their dad.
The lovable larrikin is in the final three celebrities on Big Brother VIP. (Image: Instagram)
"There's that fine line where it's like, how cheeky are you going to be before it comes across as naughty?" she said to WHO in 2020.
"Right now, they're still on the good side. At least they have a good sense of humour!" she added.
Luke was unsuccessful in his first bid for sole survivor and came seventh on the show.
However, he struck up a close friendship with Jericho Malabonga, the eventual winner, and his other lasting friendships from that season of Survivor can be seen across his socials.
Luke returned for season four in 2019, where he competed in a Champions v Contenders season.
Again, Luke did it for his family.
A married father of three, Luke's social media is filled to the brim with photos of his adorable children and his wife, Mary Toki. (Image: Instagram)
By the 2019 season, Luke and Mary had had a third child, Madeline, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis shortly after birth.
Luke made it to the final four, but once he was voted out, fans created a GoFundMe page to secure Luke the funds he would have received had he won Survivor - $500,000.
Luke used this money to give his family security – he paid off their mortgage and continued to work his regular job as a mining technician.
The excess cash was donated by the Toki family. They gave money to Telethon, to a local lady who was suffering from cancer, $10,000 to Perth Children's Hospital, plus more.
Luke and Mary have been married for six years, and have three kids – Lennox, Nate and Madeline. (Image: Instagram)
Recently, the couple put out a call on social media for their followers to sign a petition that would hopefully bring a form of medication for cystic fibrosis to Australia.
Madeline also got a healthy prognosis, with Luke telling The West Australian that her doctors had been "surprised at how well she was going," at the very end of 2019.
Madeline is now two and a half and seems to be living life to the fullest.
"We are certain this one would be the one she could possibly have access to in the future to extend her life significantly," Mary wrote of the medication.
Lennox, who is 10, was revealed by Luke on the show to have autism spectrum disorder, and his second son, Nate, who is now almost eight, had exhibited similar traits at the time. (Image: Instagram)
This year, Luke walked on Talking Tribal, the recap series on 10Play that delves into each episode of Survivor. He seems to carry a lot of love for the show still.
He also recently attended the wedding of Harry Hills, who starred in season four alongside Luke, and again in season five.
He posted pictures from the wedding with his fellow Survivor alumni, including Nick Iadanza, Aaron Knight and David Genat.
On Big Brother VIP, Luke has remained not only a fan-favourite among the viewers, but a revered contender to the celebs. (Image: Seven)
And just when you thought Luke couldn't be any more loved by Australians, his popularity continued to skyrocket during his current stint on Big Brother VIP.
Despite being called out by NRL star and fellow housemate Matt Cooper for his "dishonest" tactics, Luke has remained not only a fan-favourite among the viewers, but a revered contender among the VIPs.
And no matter how tonight's Big Brother VIP finale turns out, there's clearly a special place for Luke in the hearts of his Survivor family, and the hearts of Aussies.
This article originally appeared on our sister site New Idea.

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