Reality TV

Is I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! Australia real or fake? We investigate

The jungle is full of secrets...
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Let’s be honest, we all wouldn’t mind living the seemingly plush life of a celebrity every once in a while.

From the very finest decor, to drool-worthy wardrobes, to plush cars at your finger tips, it seems there’s plenty to be enjoyed when you’re an A-lister. But that’s why shows like I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! are rather enjoyable to watch.

The show provides a sight for sore eyes as pampered celebs are thrown into a jungle where they have to fend for themselves, win challenges and sometimes lose a little bit of dignity as they vie for small comforts we often take for granted.

Going by past seasons’ tantrums, dramatic weight loss and tell-all interviews, it seems the show really does go all out in putting celebrities well and truly out of their comfort zone… well almost.

The show itself is indeed filmed in a rather remote location, with previous series (and the 2024 season) being filmed in none other than the Kruger National Park, South Africa – a long way from the bustling inner city hubs of Sydney and Melbourne where many of the contestants usually reside.

But when it comes to the set, it seems there might be some allowances – that’s if other seasons and international versions of the show are anything to go by.

Keep scrolling as we investigate the supposed realness of the TV show that has the world glued to their screens.

Is the camp real?

According to former contestants on the English version of I’m A Celebrity, the Murwillumbah NSW camp (where the Australian seasons were filmed in 2021 and 2022 and where the UK season is ALWAYS filmed) itself isn’t all it seems.

Women’s Own magazine revealed that some of the rocks where many of the British contestants are seen seated are actually made out of papier-mâché. Yep you read that right!

What’s more, the waterfall seen in a number of scenes is also claimed as being rather unnatural.

UK news website Heart reported that the waterfall was an artificial prop which was turned off for three hours a day in order to conserve water.

As for the South African location in the Kruger National Park, reporter Anthony Sharwood revealed in 2015 that the set was actually on a veldt.

A veldt is an African term describing a mostly grassy area with only a few trees, and it seems the show is filmed in a deep valley where things are slightly wetter with more bush.

Parts of the campsite might well be modified on the reality TV show. (Image: Network 10)

2023 castaway Woody revealed the terrifying reality of the jungle on his radio show Will and Woody. Yet to enter the show, Woody spilled on what he had been told by producers and show security before he was dropped in South Africa.

”I was under the impression that the jungle would be a fenced off area, and the animals that came in and out would be controlled.

”But the head of security, Steve, told me that outside of the campsite is actually surrounded by guys in camo. They are effectively standing there and they’re going to let people know if there is a lion or a water buffalo or anything going into the campsite and then they can effectively get the animal to go away.”

Woody then added that he has been told to always ”verbalise” if he sees a snake at the campground, esepcially spitting cobras who are known to frequent the area and will spit venom at your eyes if they feel threatened.

”You are in a wild environment and animals will walk through there,” Woody continued as his co host Will just shook his head in disbelief!

You can’t get any realer than that!

Do the contestants get extra food?

The aforementioned weight loss from a number of past contestants definitely suggests that celebs really are put to the test when it comes to earning their food – and the British version of the show has backed this up.

Speaking to UK publication, The Mirror, a medic for the show confirmed that some celebrities had been so malnourished that they suffered from dizziness.

Luckily, show producers don’t put them completely at risk, allowing medics to give them “electrolyte drinks and some glucose,” the medic revealed.

“If you could see how much rice and beans they get per person, per day, I think you’d be quite shocked. The little bit of rice is quite tiny and the little bit of beans is quite tiny.”

According to a stand in for season nine, the food in the camp is ”terrible” and comes in ”such small portions”.

”Rice, beans, and a brekkie of about a small fistful of bland, flavourless oats per person,” entertainment journalist Nick Bond said.

WATCH: I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here stars face their first Tucker Trial. Story continues…

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Does airtime make a difference?

Avid fans will agree that show fixing can occur, and the 2016 season in the UK was case in point.

Viewers claimed that Gogglebox star Scarlett Moffat was given an “unfair” amount of screen time by producers, which ultimate led her to win the show, according to The Mirror.

One fan addressed the rumours on social media saying: “As much as I love I’m A Celebrity, it’s getting really annoying that 90% of the airtime is filled with Scarlett, bit of favouritism going on?”

The husband of another contestant also took to Twitter to voice his concerns about the way Scarlett was portrayed on the show.

“I do like Scarlett but it’s almost like she’s been scripted,” he wrote in a Tweet. “She knows exactly what to say to get people on her side. Is it real?”

Looks like we’ll be keeping a very close eye on airtime of each contestant in this impending Australian season!

Can contestants sneak in their own possessions?

Funnily enough, it seems it’s very possible for contestants to sneak in their own little treats. What’s more, it doesn’t even seem that difficult!

During the 2018 Australian season of I’m A Celebrity, contestant Josh Gibson plain admitted that he had snuck in his own preferred vices.

“I snuck in lollies in my water bottle and the lining of my Akubra hat had coffee sachets,” he revealed to Now To Love.

It seems former contestant Josh managed to sneak his own treats into the jungle! (Image: Network 10)

And it seems there’s also some leeway when it comes to some other, rather unbecoming habits.

In 2016, it was revealed that some celebrities are allowed one particular luxury from time to time during filming – cigarettes.

Indeed, Ten confirmed that contestants have been allowed to smoke off-camera. This included known smoker Shane Warne during his I’m A Celebrity stint.

In an extract from his book No Spin, Warne admitted: “I could smoke but had to follow the process of being about a hundred yards from the camp with a security guard accompanying me.”

Furthermore, the blonde cricketer was also allowed to have his hair done, as it apparently required a treatment by Advanced Hair every three weeks.

“It was a simple enough strand-by-strand process to the crown of my head and took no more than 45 minutes.”

Do contestants get a say in what they wear?

Stars of season nine Dicko, Domenica and Debra in the standard I’m A Celeb uniform.

(IMAGE: Ten)

The standard uniform for celebs is bright red shorts, a shirt to match with your name on it, an akubra and a long sleeve khaki overshirt.

2024 contestant Candice Warner spoke to Mamamia! about their clothes on the show, saying: “You get one pair of shorts, one pair of pants, one t-shirt and one singlet, and each day you are getting absolutely filthy, but your clothes don’t [get washed].

“If you wash them, it takes about two or three days for your clothes to dry, because we don’t have a lot of sunlight coming into the camp. So it’s just being dirty and quite unhygienic for a lot of the time that can be a bit gross,” she admitted. 

Is the winner already decided?

Ajay starred on the 2019 season.

(IMAGE: Channel 10)

According to 2019 contestant (and ex Biggest Loser host) Ajay Rochester, the answer is yes!

Revealing supposed details from her contract at time of casting, Ajay revealed a clause in the small print that said that Network 10 had the final say in the order of elimination for the season.

If this is the case, then that would mean fans voting from home had no control over who stayed and who sashayed away from camp…..woah!

”In the contract, it says in very little tiny writing right at the end that Channel 10 can choose to elect a winner regardless of votes,” Ajay said in her expose TikTok.

”It also says Channel 10 can decide when the contestants are eliminated – with or without the voting,” she added.

I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here airs Sunday to Thursday, 7:30pm, on 10 and 10Play.

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