Two Tauranga men relished the thought of battle it out on an exotic island with constant mind games and little food or water.

Welcome Bay's Mike Sparrow, a 27-year-old business analyst, and the Mount's Tom Paterson, a 26-year-old teacher, were chosen out of 8000 others to appear on Survivor NZ.

While most of the filming wrapped up late last year on a Nicaraguan island, the contestants were only revealed last week and have been sworn to secrecy about their experiences.

The outdoor lifestyle the Bay provides helped the men prepare for the challenges of Survivor.

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Mr Sparrow, who grew up in Tauranga, said he enjoyed the physical demands of the show.

"I've watched quite a few seasons and ever since the first I was like 'I have to do that'. I'm quite competitive."

Mr Sparrow did a lot of hiking and camping, both in New Zealand and overseas.

Before the show began filming, Mr Sparrow practised honing his skills and getting fit.

"I watched a lot of episodes and talked strategy with my brother, who is probably a bigger fan, and we went through scenarios.

"I would challenge my flatmates to random challenges, like seeing who could hold their hand in the air for longer. We stood there for hours.

I've watched quite a few seasons and ever since the first I was like 'I have to do that'. I'm quite competitive.

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It was a long application process, going through several stages and interviews after submitting a video.

Mr Sparrow said he would be holding a Survivor viewing party on Sunday when the show premiered.

"I'm a bit nervous how I'll be portrayed, it can be edited any way they want, but I guess we'll find out pretty quick after the first episode."

Tom Paterson, a teacher at Otumoetai Intermediate School, said the nitty gritty aspects of Survivor were what attracted him to apply.

"I was thinking 'who am I as a person at my wit's end? What kind of person do I turn into?' I wanted to find out," he said.

Yesterday morning Mr Paterson broke the news in assembly to the students.

The relationships on the show were awkward - the other contestants aren't your friends, they're your competitors.

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"I saw some kids jaws drop, but they were freaking out saying how cool it was."

He admitted he was no "Bear Grylls of Tauranga" but was physically strong and agile and believed he would be able to endure the show's challenges.

"I watched a lot of episodes and realised the harder challenges were the ones people had to say, balance for a long period of time. It's a mental challenge and I felt I was strong at that already."

He said while on the show he did not miss plumbing or a pillow as much as he missed "real relationships".

"The relationships on the show were awkward - the other contestants aren't your friends, they're your competitors, but sometimes you had to treat them as friends. It wasn't real; it was a synthetic environment."

The men would be split into tribes with the other contestants and spend up to 40 days in the jungle.

Each week they would compete in reward and immunity challenges, with weekly eliminations by vote at a trial council until there was only one survivor left to claim the $100,000 prize.

Survivor NZ begins on Sunday, May 7 and airs every Sunday at 7pm and every Monday at 7.30pm.