Weatherman Matty McLean's future hangs in former league star Gary Freeman's hands tonight on Celebrity Treasure Island.

Will the Wiz see value in the skills of Survivor super-fan McLean? Or will he dash McLean's 20-year dream of winning the show?

"Gary Freeman is a man I never thought I'd have to put all my faith in," McLean told Spy. "He has the mercy card, and could use it to save me. I have to hope that he will. But it's a very scary and vulnerable position to be in."

McLean is the first contestant to be in two eliminations. He won the first, sending former All Black Zac Guildford home. The second sees him hoping for mercy after he lost to actress Jodie Rimmer.

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The 32-year-old has been desperate for his captains to see his worth when it comes to brain over brawn, first with Barbara Kendall and now with Freeman. Mclean says it is very rarely the strong guys who win — more the strategic thinkers. The elimination challenges so far have had little to do with strength.

And he took a shot at Kendall's failure to spot that.

"Barbs is a phenomenal woman, and an absolute powerhouse," McLean said. "But I really struggled to wrap my head around her logic. She had this idea that the most important thing to protect in the game was our physical strength. And she only saw that in Shane (Cameron) and Moses (Mackay).

"Now, this frustrates me for a few reasons. First, because although I'm clearly not as big or as brawny as Shane, I held my own in every single challenge that required athleticism. I swam fast, I ran fast, I rolled barrels and boxes as well as anyone else on my team, but I felt like she never acknowledged that."

McLean said he found it strange that Kendall was protecting strong men — he imagined that as a woman in high-performance sport, she'd battled people underestimating her all her career. Viewers will have to wait until tonight to see if the Wiz shows some progressive thinking in his captaincy.

"I want people to remember strength comes in so many forms," McLean said. "I went into this game thinking I had to prove myself to all these people, but actually I came away with this renewed sense of pride in my own ability. We can often be quite hard on ourselves as people, but you've got to remember to be proud of your own achievements sometimes."