Russia may be dominating the political news, as liberals try to delegitimize Donald Trump’s presidency with specious claims of ties to the Kremlin. But the former Soviet Union may really take hold of the public’s imagination this coming summer.
A new Russian reality show due to start on July 17 – Game2 Winter – is likely the most brutal show of the genre yet to take place.
Creator Yevgeny Pyatkovsky, 35, seems to have taken his cues from the fictional Hunger Games series in which 24 children are thrown together in a designated territory and required to fight to the death until only one remains as the ultimate victor.
Game2 Winter takes place in Siberia where 30 adult contestants (men and women) must live for 9 months, taking on everything that frozen landscape offers, including sub-zero temperatures, wild – and very hungry -animals and perhaps worst of all, each other.
The show’s organizers have boasted that “everything is allowed”, including rape and murder. Contestants will be required to sign a waiver acknowledging that they could be subject to such attacks, according to The Independent.
Reportedly, each contestant will be given a knife, supplies, and survival training from Russia’s elite former GRU Spetznaz operatives to help them cope with temperatures ranging from 95F in summer to minus 40F or lower in the depths of the Siberian winter. Yikes, no thanks!
Two thousand cameras will be placed throughout the landscape and each participant will wear a body camera with a 7-hour rechargeable battery. They will have to forage for food, ice-fish, build shelters, live among bears and wolves – along with swarms of mosquitos – as well as fight off each other in a bid to win the $1.6 million prize. As in the Hunger Games, contestants can request essentials from viewers who can then donate money for the items.
The daring contestants – who must be over 18 and declared “mentally sane” – will be allowed minimal equipment to last them until April 1 2018, and are not permitted to take in guns.
There’ll also be a “panic button” connected via satellite. Whatever the extremities, pressing it once means exiting the show once and for all via a helicopter.
“The show will be absolutely extreme, there are no exceptions. There will be no doctors with the participants. If someone gets sick, wounded and realize that he/she cannot pass the test, the helicopter will take him/her away to the doctors. Then the participant will quit the game forever,” Pyatkovsky said.
But would-be participants are also warned that Russian criminal procedures will still apply and that police are free to arrest anyone who commits a crime on the show.
The rules state: “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.
According to The Sun, the contestants include “a glamorous swimming coach, a Russian actress, and a “professional blonde”. Whatever that means.
The swimming coach, Irina Agisheva from Nizhny Novgorod, said: “I want to do something so mad and unforgettable so that people later say ‘do you remember that girl.”
Those vying for a spot are not all Russian – Jonghyun Lee, a 22-year-old student who has served in the South Korean Air Force also wants to take his chances against the elements.
“I want to go through difficulties because it’ll make me better,” he said.
“The primitive instinct of fighting nature without any help is what excites me.”
The extreme Russian survival show will be translated into English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese and Arabic, and there has reportedly been interest from mainstream broadcasters in five countries to air it on television. It will be shown online 24/7.