Viewer backlash over ‘sadistic’ stunt
I'm A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! viewers were shocked and appalled by a "cruel" challenge on last night's episode of the reality show.
Four of the celebrities, (Grant Denyer, Jack Vidgen, Travis Varcoe and Pettifleur Berenger), had to receive medical attention after taking part in a nine-minute challenge where they had to swim to the bottom of a tank filled with ice water and continuously pump a lever.
Singer Jack Vidgen broke down in tears after the stunt and told medics: "I'm in a lot of pain. I can't move my hands. I'm just really scared."
Denyer, who screamed to medics, "Get us out!" as soon as the challenge ended, told the Huffington Post that the challenge affected him for days.
"It actually hurt a lot to the point where medics were called for all four of us in the challenge. They were deeply concerned for our wellbeing because we're at the point where our organs were getting close to shutting down," he said.
"I paid for it for days after. We started doing this (different) random challenge that comes up and I just kept falling over and passing out onto my bed with not enough strength as a result of tonight's (ice water) challenge. I get whisked off to the medic for a second time."
Viewers said the challenge was "distressing" to watch and slammed the show for going "too far".
Some of the comments on the show's Facebook page included:
• Angela Pool: "I NEVER want to see anything like this ever again. I don't want entertainment to be at the cost of someone else's extreme pain. It was horrible, they were so obviously seriously distressed. I had to walk away, this was CRUEL. Shame on you."
• Jill Bof: "That was the most horrible thing to watch! You could see Grant's veins in his chest! Not good! Producers are you serious!"
• Taryn Smith: "I really didn't find that entertaining or funny or enjoyable it was more like watching four people being tortured slowly! Not a great challenge!"
• Kathryn Lees: "The show is crossing the line. It has become cruel and dangerous all in the name of entertainment. I am sure the charities wouldn't want blood money."
• Cindy Hosking: "Starting to be pretty sadistic this show, producers need a new job. That was just pure dangerous torture."
• Amanda Nalen: "That challenge was totally cruel. Usually I have a giggle at most challenges, but this was hard to watch, bad TV, made me feel quite uncomfortable."
• Judy Jay: "That wasn't a challenge, that was torture!!!"
He thought he was about to die on TV!!! Oh god this is awful #ImACelebrityAU— Chloe (@chloealex23) January 14, 2021
Wow. Watching a snake bite off Toni’s face and now seeing Jack, Trav, Grant & Pettifleur go into hypothermia. Who’s the sadist behind the camera? #ImACelebrityAU— Melina Tulifau (@melinatulifau) January 14, 2021
I understand the challenges are meant to be... well... challenging. But I don’t think this was okay. It was dangerous and concerning. Did they go too far? #ImACelebrityAU— Georgia Duncan (@_georgiarae) January 14, 2021
Not sure how that one snuck past the OH&S team. They all look seriously unwell after the ice bath challenge 🥶#ImACelebrityAU— Lu, Luey, Lulu (@LuLuLoves_) January 14, 2021
This isn't the first time I'm A Celeb producers have been accused of going "too far".
Viewers also slammed the show for allowing a challenge to continue after Toni Pearen was bitten on the face multiple times by snakes.
Pearen was in tears and bleeding from the face after the challenge and was attended to by medics.
In a statement to news.com.au, Pearen said: "I knew I was safe. I was attended to by a medic immediately. I knew the snakes were not venomous. I was definitely in shock but I was not in pain and I was proud of my courage and determination."
News.com.au readers commented about the scene, writing:
• "I love the show, but that was absolutely disgusting. As soon as the snake bit, it should have been removed."
• "Shame on Channel 10 for stooping so low and airing this ghastly spectacle."
• "How the hell does rubbish like this even get past the approval process?"
I'm a Celeb continues on Sunday night at 7.30pm on Channel 10
Originally published as Viewer backlash over 'sadistic' stunt