‘Real Hunger Games’ gears up for TV launch from bear-infested island in Siberia
Real-life adventurers to a ‘professional blonde’ queue to participate in the ultimate brutal television reality contest, where ‘rape and murder’ are not banned.
The show to be broadcast worldwide on the web starting in July will see 30 participants, 15 of them women, ditched on a large island in the Ob River, the seventh longest in the world, chasing a 100 million rouble ($1.7 million) prize on a nine month survival mission in winter temperatures as low as minus 50C.
Called Game2:Winter, the reality TV programme has quietly dropped a shocking rule that stated: ‘Everything is allowed. Fighting, alcohol, murder, rape, smoking, anything.’
When asked if he will intervene if there is ‘physical violence, rape, a murder’, organiser Yevgeny Pyatkovsky, 35, a Novosibirsk millionaire, told The Siberian Times: ‘No we won’t. I am pretty sure there will be fights, and more. We are not scared of negative reaction if that happens either.’
He insisted it would be made clear to the international participants ahead of the show ‘that punishment will follow according to the Russian Criminal Code’. In other words, any action would be for the police or other law enforcement agencies only, not the show’s organisers.
Pyatkovsky has stated previously: ‘We will refuse any claim of participants even if they were to be killed or raped. We will have nothing to do with this. This will be spelled out in a document to be signed by the participant before the start of the show.’
There would be no rules restricting sex between the participants, he said.
‘We will not intervene into relations between participants nor monitor their sexual life either, and our cameras will not be able to follow every move in every corner of the island.
‘They are free to form any couple or union, and there is no limits or rules regarding sex.
‘If a woman falls pregnant – and manages to carry the baby – that’s fine with us.
‘We will show the baby after the project is over.’
The survival race on the island will be filmed and broadcast 24 hours a day on an internet TV channel, Pyatkovsky said. The island of nine square kilometres is in Tomsk region, he announced.
‘It gets to minus 50C in winter, and it is infested with brown bears. This area of Siberia has always lots of bears, but recently numbers doubled because more animals migrated from the north of Krasnoyarsk region, pushed away by wildfires.’
He made clear that the conditions would be more testing than on any TV reality game show. At the start of the show, ‘brown bears will be at the end of their mating season. Days after they calm down a bit, the biting gnats will arrive’.
They will be allowed knives but no other weapons and he admitted that if a bear attacks a participant, there may be nothing the organisers can do.
‘There will be a ground team on duty, and one or two helicopters for emergency situations,’ he said. ‘Having said that, bears can run as fast as 60 kph, and our two thousand cameras on the island would not be able to cover every centimetre of the forests
‘This is the raw Siberian taiga: anything can happen, and we might not be on time to solve an emergency.
‘The participants will have knives only, no guns will be allowed. They won’t be allowed to bring anything with them.’
Survival will depend on growing food and storing it for winter, catching fish from a plenteous supply in the Ob, or killing game.
‘We will give one set of clothes to every participant and it must last till the end of the show. Right after the arrival our survivors will be given the task of building a house, shelter, or anything they decide to live in during autumn and winter.’
At the start, they will chose from a storage 100 kg worth of winter clothes, tools like a hand saw and axe, fishing rods, ropes, soaps, salt and sugar.
‘The set of clothes, food and instruments will not be replaced,’ Pyatkovsky said.’There will presenters whose role is to give initial tips about surviving in Siberia – for example, how to catch an otter, or how to behave when you meet a wild bear, and also to organise various competitions and quests.
‘One might be being woken early in the morning from a loud alarm.
‘A worried presenter’s voice will announce that a group of criminals broke out of a nearby jail and is already on the island.
‘The task will be to catch the criminals, and whoever does so gets a prize from a sponsor.’