When Keith entered the hotel to play The Traitors Australia, his plan was to stay under the radar. Most importantly, he didn’t want his fellow contestants — Faithful or not — to know that he spent 20 years working as a police officer.
“I’m not telling anybody of my past as a cop because The Traitors would immediately look at me as a threat,” Keith said in a press statement before the series premiered. “They would think I’m able to uncover lies, which I can. I would rather be the retired corporate executive, the older guy, who has lived a life that’s a bit boring and sit in the middle.”
Over the course of his career, Keith was awarded two Police Valour Medals, the Australian Bravery Medal, Queensland Police Ethical Service Medal, National Medal and National Police Service Medal. But of course, real life and the game of The Traitors are very different beasts, and last night, Keith was banished by his fellow Faithfuls.
Over an email Q&A, Keith told us all about his time on The Traitors Australia, who he thinks will win, and what’s next for him.
Keith Wanted to Be the “Boring Retired Guy”
As a highly decorated former police officer, Keith says he was approached to sign up for The Traitors after the publication of his two true crime books, Gun to the Head, and Drugs, Guns and Lies. Of course, he had absolutely no intention of letting his peers know about his career.
“My strategy was to present myself as a boring retired guy who’d spent his career in the corporate world,” he said.
The aim of the game? To “survive being murdered until the time was right to make [his] move”.
“Having been a deep undercover operative makes me an excellent liar, and no one saw me as any threat,” he added.
Over the course of the game, Keith said that his strategy evolved somewhat, as he kept his eyes firmly on the prize at the end.
“I was happy to vote for those who I was comfortable weren’t Traitors because that reduced the competition,” he said.
One of the main reasons for this, he explained, was that “if Traitors were eliminated early others would be recruited which may make it harder to identify them”.
While Keith wanted to be perceived as a “boring retired guy”, he would have jumped at the chance to join the dark side.
“I would have loved to have been a Traitor,” he said, adding: “I am very confident I would have made it to the end.”
On Being Banished, and the Traitors
Going into the Banishment Ceremony, Keith said he could see the writing on the wall.
“I was pretty sure my time was up,” Keith said. “I knew Gloria and Hannah would not vote for me, but I could read the room and thought, ‘Here I go’.
By that stage of the game, Keith said he felt Sam was “absolutely” a Traitor, but Blake wasn’t on his radar at all.
“I was also highly suspicious of Liam, which was why I voted for him,” he said. “I had no idea about Blake, very likely because he was my mate.”
Watching the season back, Keith said that he “still can’t get over the fact that Blake played the part of a Faithful so well”.
“It’s great to watch him plot,” he added.
Real Life Vs The Traitors
With years of experience under his belt, there’s no question that Keith has plenty of investigative skills. Of course, The Traitors isn’t a real-life investigation, so we were interested to get Keith’s thoughts on which skills translated to the game, compared to which ones didn’t.
For the most part, Keith said that the skills didn’t really translate from life to the game.
“Normal investigative processes don’t apply in a game like this,” Keith said. “There is no hard evidence to pursue, and the bubble in which you are spending day to day has the effect of exaggerating emotions and responses by people.”
He continued: “It’s actually a game where using normal police techniques like asking questions and interviewing suspects would work against you. You’d be quick to be murdered.”
On the other hand, Keith felt that his years undercover did help him to move through the game.
“Staying under the radar, also known as being the grey man, is something I had done as an undercover operative when needed,” he explained, “and that helped me survive as long as I did.”
The Most Surprising Element of The Traitors Australia
While The Traitors is a game of lies and deception, the bonds that the contestants form are real. One of the most surprising elements of the game for Keith was “how quickly” he was able to connect and form friendships with the other players.
“I suffered from chronic PTSD for over 30 years and part of that disorder is not to make friends easily, as you distrust almost the whole world,” he explained. “This experience in making new and lasting friendships was the silver lining for me, because it’s shown me that my recovery is well on the way.”
Who Keith Thinks Will Win
“This is a tough one,” Keith said.
“I like Blake so much I would love him to win,” he began. “But I knew Camille was much more than she portrayed (just like me) and I think she may well take the lot.”
What’s Next for Keith
With his time on The Traitors Australia done and dusted, Keith is now looking to the future.
“I didn’t lie about having retired from the corporate world,” he said. “I am a corporate speaker and mental health advocate.”
He continued: “I enjoy speaking openly about my battle with PTSD and helping people understand that recovery and living a life of joy are absolutely possible. In fact, I have a gig this week.”
The Traitors Australia continues at 7.30pm tonight, September 4, only on 10 and 10 Play on Demand. Miss an episode? Catch up on 10 Play.
Want more The Traitors? Read all our content here, and check out the stories below: