A Russian millionaire, in true dystopian fashion, has sponsored a reality TV show, where 30 participants, male and female will be dumped in the Siberian wilderness, armed with knives, and expected to survive for 9 months in an environment where the weather sometimes drops to 40 below, and bears roam wild. Producers also announced that “rape and murder” will be allowed on the show, though participants will be subject to arrest by the Russian federation once the show is over.
Yevgeny Pyatkovsky, the entrepreneur sponsoring this event, claims more than sixty people from all over the world are under serious consideration as contestants, including one American.
The show will be absolutely extreme, there will be no doctors or staff on hand to help contestants. If contestants feel like they are in a situation and want to be rescued, they can press a panic button and rescuers will get them, however, they will not be allowed back onto the show. It will be considered a forfeit.
Similar to the book and movie, Hunger Games, there will be a website where viewers can donate money or items to their favorite contestants, and have those items delivered in the next show.
Participants will receive some wilderness training by Russian professionals for the first week, and then they will be on their own.
The Siberian Times reports:
The online project screened 24/7 around the world will see 30 male and female contestants seek to stay alive in wilderness populated with bears and wolves.
Organisers boast ‘everything is allowed’ including ‘rape’ and ‘murder’, but would-be participants are nevertheless warned: ‘You must understand that the police will come and take you away. We are on the territory of Russia, and obey the laws of the Russian Federation.’
Contestants will be permitted knives, but no guns.
They will be given survival training from Russia’s elite former GRU Spetznaz operatives, but after that they will be on their own coping with temperatures ranging from 35C in high summer to minus 40C or lower in the depths of the Siberian winter.
The contest called ‘Game2: Winter’ is the brainchild of Novosibirsk entrepreneur Yevgeny Pyatkovsky, who said: ‘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 spelt out in a document to be signed by the participant before the start of the show.’
He said: ‘There have been no reality TV projects before that stay on air 24/7.
‘Probably all of you have watched the Lost TV series, but surviving in a tropical climate is quite different from trying to stay alive in the Siberian taiga – boreal forest – at minus 40 degrees Celsius.
‘There will be no filming crew: the whole area will be dotted with cameras and each participant will be carrying a portable camera with 7-hour life rechargeable battery.’
Contestants must be at least 18 and ‘mentally sane’, he said.
People from all corners of the world will be allowed to participate and he promises broadcasts simultaneously translated in English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese and Arabic. The aim is to include 15 men and 15 women.
Participants can pay 10 million roubles to take part, around $165,000, or face selection by viewers in an online voting session. He believes it will attract ‘rich and risky’ people craving a new and ultimate challenge.
Due to start on 1 July 2017, the contestants will first receive training – and those brave enough to take part can either survive alone or join together into teams.
He warned: ‘You should also keep in mind that this will be a real forest, with dangerous wildlife and harmful insects. Of course, there will be some safety precautions in place, but it would still take about half an hour to reach the area where the show will take place by helicopter.’
Those taking part will be urged to forage and store food before winter in order to survive the cold months. In winter, contestants will need to catch fish through ice holes to feed themselves.
Their target: to survive until 1 April – but it will be no joke. All participants will have to sign release of liability for injury and death waivers, he said.
Each contestant will be permitted no more than 100 kilograms of equipment. The only weapons they can take will be knives: no guns.
Each week participants may request some item from viewers who will be able to donate money for it via the project’s website. Purchased items will then be delivered to participants.
So far applicants include professional rescuers, people without special training, professional travellers, entrepreneurs, photographers, jewellers and psychologists.
Producer Nikolay Ginzburg said: ‘It sounds strange, but on this project it will be easier to survive not for a professional rescuer but for a simple person. It will be necessary to act intuitively, rather than following instructions.’
Pyatkovsky added: ‘There were some applications from Chinese extreme travellers. He admitted there could be ‘some difficulties’ for foreigners because of the ‘language barrier’.
‘We are thinking about the organisation work by translators with participants. Overall, the show promises to be international: five countries have already expressed the desire to broadcast it for their audiences.’
He stressed: ‘Participants will be taken to the taiga, and then they will have a choice. Ether to get out of there on their own, or to survive. The winner will get 100 million roubles’ – around $1.65 million. If there are more survivors, they will share the prize.’