SAS: Who Dares Wins finalists hit back at ‘woke’ allegations as show features all-female final for first time

SAS: Who Dares Wins finalists hit back at ‘woke’ allegations as show features all-female final for first time

SAS: Who Dares Wins is to close with an all-female final for the first time.

Viewers will see Paige Zima, Claire Aves, Cat Turnbull and Shylla Duhaney outlast the men in the military challenge to become the remaining four on Sunday.

SAS: Who Dares Wins is to close with an all-female final for the first time in its history
SAS: Who Dares Wins is to close with an all-female final for the first time in its historyCredit: Not known, clear with picture desk

They emerged as the only ones to make it through the interrogation round — then sang Spice Girls songs back at camp to celebrate their Girl Power.

Only one woman, Lou McCullough in 2019, had even completed the course before.

Paramedic Cat said: “It was very cool, unexpected. It was like, ‘Holy s**t, I’m still here.’

“And then you look left and right and it’s like ‘Wow, it’s all women’.”

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Wellness coach and bodybuilder Claire said: “It was surreal.

“I was looking around going, “Where’s the guys? Really?’. I was buzzing.

“We got back to camp and started singing Spice Girls songs.”

Student and former dancer Paige added: “To be able to look beside you and see it’s all women is a revolutionary feeling.

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“The lovely thing is it might encourage some women, younger ones particularly, to think, ‘I can do that and I can be badass’.

“I started out in ballet and now I’m doing this. Ballet to badass, I love that.”

The recruits on the Channel 4 show were put through a tough interrogation stage, which included being buried alive.

And that is where the male recruits faltered. Semi-pro footballer Shylla said: “You can’t underestimate women just because we look smaller or might be physically weaker.

“It comes down to mental resilience and whether you have the strength to keep pushing. We did.”

Cat added: “The guys, for whatever reason, couldn’t cope with being left in their own heads.

“They are bigger and stronger and maybe they’ve relied on that. In interrogation, it’s about the mental game.”

It was also a landmark for the new Directing Staff members, Chief Instructor Rudy Reyes and Remi Adeleke, who had joined existing instructors Jason Fox and Mark Billingham.

Claire said: “I think Rudy loved it. I could see in his face when he saw us four, it was a nice shock.

“I think Foxy was a bit like, ‘OK . . .’ I don’t think he liked it very much!”

  • Watch the final on Sunday at 9pm.

THE FINALISTS

Claire Aves, 36, London

After SAS Claire Aves Founded Women Warriors, a military fitness business, with fellow recruit Paige
After SAS Claire Aves Founded Women Warriors, a military fitness business, with fellow recruit PaigeCredit: Not known, clear with picture desk

Before SAS: Health and wellness coach.

After SAS: Founded Women Warriors, a military fitness business, with fellow SAS: Who Dares Wins recruit Paige.

She says: “I was quite small anyway but I lost four kilos in 11 days during the show. For me, that’s a lot. and I went down to 57 kilos.

“I lost so much muscle that it actually took me six months to get my bum back.”

Shylla Duhaney, 33, Slough, Berks

Shylla Duhaney had her confidence boosted after appearing on SAS
Shylla Duhaney had her confidence boosted after appearing on SASCredit: Not known, clear with picture desk

Before SAS: Postwoman and semi-pro footballer.

After SAS: Confidence boosted ready to fight racism.

She says: “Interrogation was insane. You do have to talk yourself out of quitting.

“When you’re in it, it’s so real. It’s just like you’re in panic mode. I got locked in a box with Sarah while they poured sand inside it.

“I was slightly panicking because I felt trapped and, like, I could drown in the sand.

“That’s my worst fear. I just remember crying.”

Paige Zima, 26, Durham

Before SAS Paige was a student, she has since achieved a degree in forensics and joined the police
Before SAS Paige was a student, she has since achieved a degree in forensics and joined the policeCredit: Not known, clear with picture desk

Before SAS: Student.

After SAS: Degree in forensics and joining the police. Founded Women Warriors with Claire.

She says: “I come from a council estate, grew up in a council house.

“I have always been told, ‘Once you’re there, you’ll remain there’.

“And now I’m proof you can change that.

“I have bagged a job in London in policing, to gain the qualifications I need, and then the goal is to work for the National Crime Agency, in intelligence.”

Cat Turnbull, 36, Fareham, Hants

Cat has returned to her job as a search and rescue winch paramedic for the Coastguard since SAS
Cat has returned to her job as a search and rescue winch paramedic for the Coastguard since SASCredit: Not known, clear with picture desk

Before SAS: Search and rescue winch paramedic for the Coastguard.

After SAS: Remained at work, one of three women who have that job.

She says: “I don’t even make 5ft, so I think I have been underestimated because of that.

“I’ve generally found in life that you don’t allow it to bother you.

“Just be who you are and do what you do.

“Quite quickly, people will respond to that.

“ If you respond to that negativity, then you are simply feeding into their thoughts.”

CHANNEL 4 is already looking for recruits to take part in the next series of SAS: Who Dares Wins.

But before then, the celebrity version will air later this year. AJ and Curtis Pritchard, Ferne Mccann, Maisie Smith plus others have already filmed their stint in the Jordanian jungle.

SOFT? WE DID IT THE HARD WAY

FORMER Chief Instructor Ant Middleton suggested the show had gone “soft” when he was booted from it last year.

And some might say the fact four women have reached the final proves the course has become too easy.

The SAS team:  Mark Billingham, Remi Adeleke, Rudy Reyes and Jason Fox
The SAS team: Mark Billingham, Remi Adeleke, Rudy Reyes and Jason FoxCredit: Channel 4/Pete Dadds

But the contenders raged at the idea.

Cat said: “I’ve got no time for that.

“Nothing in there was made any different between the males and the females.

“We were treated 100 per cent the same.

“I’d say if you really think that, then go and give it a go. See for yourself.

“Put your money where your mouth is.”

Claire added: “I’m not going to react to that s**t. We earned our place in the final, simple as that.”

Paige said: “I think it’s more of a reflection of their insecurities about not being able to do better than a woman, possibly.

“But it takes away from what we have achieved.”

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And Shylla said: “The DS made a point of treating everyone the same.

“Everyone was equal.”

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Andy Halls

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