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Helena (“Koh-Lanta”): “I should have been more humble and less arrogant”


INTERVIEW – From the first days of the adventure, several adventurers criticized the lack of humility and the directive character of the 27-year-old Belgian.



, it is never good to have too strong a character or to be a team leader.


, a 27-year-old Belgian physiotherapist and sports coach, combines the two.

From the first day of the "Sacred Fire", 24th edition of the TF1 adventure game, she attracted some wrath from other adventurers.

Months after filming in the Philippines, this ultra sportswoman looks back on this beginning of the adventure.


To discover

  • “Koh-Lanta, the sacred fire”: date, candidates, news… Everything you need to know


- What motivated you to participate in “Koh-Lanta”?



For years, I watch this show and I tell myself that it is really made for me because I do a lot of competitions.

But there, it was to make a competition not against the others but against myself.

It's a personal issue.

After all the competitions I've done, I said to myself:

“If I manage to do 'Koh-Lanta', I can die in peace”


This is the most important competition of my life.

For you, "Koh-Lanta" represents the pinnacle?

Yes already because, when you know that there are 40,000 people applying, succeeding in being selected is a huge part of the competition.

Then, participating, doing the tests, I who am in the competition, it seemed to me to be a very important issue.

That's what I missed on my track record.

Read alsoProfessional footballer, candidates for “Ninja Warrior” and “The Mud Day”, youtuber …: discover the 20 adventurers of “Koh-Lanta, the sacred fire”

Besides the competitive side, did strategy and survival also appeal to you?

The aspect “Will I be able to manage on my own” was important.

When I compete in Belgium, I have my brother next door, I have my coach who prepares me.

On a daily basis, I am always well accompanied, I am in a good environment, I sleep well, I eat well, I have everyone who is there for me, but would I be able to manage on my own? to go out ?

What am I worth?

It's personal revenge for everything I've done.

I wanted to depend only on me.

“Koh-Lanta” is really me alone.

Competition level, you were ready but how did you approach the survival side?

This is a part that was quite complicated for me.

I stressed a lot especially on sleep because I sleep a lot.

When I work a six-hour night, I'm in a bad mood, nothing's going right.

I knew the nights would be much shorter there.

But in the end, the body is a formidable machine.

When there is adrenaline behind and the challenge that the show represents, even sleeping three hours a night, we are always up.

I was also apprehensive about being away from my family but once there I missed them a lot but didn't think of them first.

I was very surprised to discover that my apprehensions had disappeared once there.

“On the boat and during the first 24 hours, Anne-Sophie is the person with whom I spoke the least”

Helena, candidate for "Koh-Lanta, the sacred fire" on TF1

Did you do any special training before leaving?

My physical and sporting preparation was spot on so I just did a bit of swimming, snorkeling because it's one of the things I know the least about.

I also had one or two sessions with a mental coach that I know just to understand some things a bit.

I wanted to work on the mind because the body is the mind AND the physical.

In terms of nutrition, before leaving for the Philippines, I was on vacation so I had fun, I didn't follow my usual diet at all, I was maybe one or two kilos heavier than this. be comfortable.

As soon as you arrived on the island, you went through an obstacle course at the end of which you narrowly finished in first place.

What happened ?

In Belgium, we call it the “remontada”!

We're still in the peloton and it's the last boost that makes the difference.

The end of the course was a lot in the arms and I think the others had gone flat out and were tired.

For me, arms are one of my strong points.

I didn't particularly exhaust myself from leaving like a bullet and it was in the end that it was useful.

The sports strategy helped me.

Read also "I like "Koh-Lanta" on Tuesday evening": Denis Brogniart defends the programming of his adventure game on TF1

At that time, what did you think of your competitors who were not unworthy?

I was very surprised at the level.

I told myself that it was a season with a lot of sporty women.

At the end of the course, I said to myself:

“OK, I won but I'm not going to hang around too much, there's something at stake”


What was your feeling when you learned that you would be team leader, a thankless role in “Koh-Lanta”?

When I found out that I was participating in the show, I don't know why I had a feeling telling me that I would be team leader.

At the time, being a team leader appealed to me.

But when I saw the first moments on the island, I discovered the bad side of the job.

Obviously, it was necessary to compose the team inevitably making people disappointed, it's not a super good role.

You are a chef but you shouldn't be too much of a chef, otherwise you're the chef who thinks he's the chef.

Among the disappointed,


did not appreciate being the last woman chosen.

Do you understand his reaction?

Yes, it's a bit of everyone's fear of being behind the line and not hearing their first name.

But on the boat, he's the person I spoke to the least, admittedly we didn't really have time.

And once on the island, for the first 24 hours, he's someone I haven't spoken to at all.

"Koh-Lanta, the sacred fire"

Go to slideshow (21)

Once on the camp, this role of team leader drew you some criticisms.

Did you feel them?

No way !

I was in my own little world, I didn't feel anything at all.

I know today that some people have spoken to me telling me that they would like to be in my team while behind, they did not particularly want to be with me.

I'm the big naive, I'm like that, I don't get what's going on behind my back.

It was very funny to see.

What I saw is not what I felt at the time.

Seeing the images, did you understand these criticisms?

Of course, now looking back, I understood their feelings.

Seeing myself, I said to myself:

"Yes, it's true all the same that I abused it"


Looking back, I should have been a little more gentle.

In swimming, it was, the course, it was, Denis asks me questions that put me forward, here, I won, I won.

But I understand that I should have been more humble and less arrogant.

Once the teams were composed, on your side, some of your teammates criticized your lack of involvement.

Again, do you understand these criticisms?

In the first episode, we hear that I direct but that I don't do much.

We don't see everything in the first episode where three days have passed but I had the impression that it was a request from the team to lead.

So me, I took the lead and I led a little.

Afterwards, when with Rudy, Martin and Esteban, we go to look for food and the others make the hut, it was unfair because even if we didn't find anything, we left with the aim of looking for something.

If we had made the hut, there would have been a result, but when we go to look for food, we are not sure to find anything so we have the impression that we have done nothing whereas we a still moved, we gave ourselves.

It's too easy to say:

Read also“Koh-Lanta”: Denis Brogniart enters the Grévin museum

At the beginning of February, TF1 brought you all together to watch the first episode.

How did the reunion go knowing the first criticisms you had to face?

Since the end of filming, we had time to talk so I knew it was going to be for me, I knew I was going to have criticism because I had been told so I was aware.

And in the end, we meet again months and months later, the water has flowed under the bridge, I'm not going to blame it because someone criticized me.

Is it true that TF1 contacted you in 2021 to participate in "Koh-Lanta" but that you preferred to do

"Ninja Warrior"


It is a bad interpretation.

I was never called to do “Koh-Lanta”.

With all the applications they receive, they don't even have to call people!

In fact, in 2021, a journalist asked me if I had thought of doing another show.

I replied that I had applied three years earlier to do “Koh-Lanta” but that I hadn't heard back.

I don't know how this reporter interpreted my words.

I refused to do “Koh-Lanta”?

This is not a show that refuses itself.

"To choose, I would be more willing to redo "Koh-Lanta" than "Ninja Warrior""

Helena, candidate for "Koh-Lanta, the sacred fire" on TF1

Why did you re-register at "Koh-Lanta" five years later?

I had moved to Martinique.

When I returned to Belgium, I started a business.

Before, I would not have had the opportunity to leave like that for several months for filming.

Once everything fell back into place, my brother knew it was my dream and he said,



What do you remember of "Ninja Warrior"?

It was very fun to do!

But in Belgium, we are not at all prepared for this kind of programs because there is no course room so I had not trained enough.

Helena in “Ninja Warrior” on TF1.

Laurent Vu / TF1.

At the time, you didn't have the same size at all as today...

For “Ninja Warrior”, I had done a hyper-intensive preparation but very much focused on bodybuilding.

My job is coaching and nutrition and I can be very thin, very fit like a marathon runner, or muscular like a body-builder.

For 'Ninja Warrior' it was clearly a mistake on my part because I shouldn't have been so muscular to do it.

We see in each season of "Ninja Warrior" former candidates of "Koh-Lanta".

Would you be ready to participate?

If they offer it to a few adventurers this season of “Koh-Lanta”, I think I would do it again but I wouldn't put any pressure on myself.

I would do it to see Denis again (laughs) but above all for fun.

To choose, I would be more ready to redo “Koh-Lanta” than “Ninja Warrior”.

What business did you set up with your brother?

We opened a medical and sports center.

We have two sports halls, a whole rehabilitation center.

We have around twenty people who work with us: sports doctors, surgeons, coaches... We really are a great team.

It is a business that turns and rolls.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-02-21

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