by Dolapo Adelana
For nine months contestants will participate in a controversial Russian real-life Hunger Games-style TV show, according to Siberian Times.
The series, “Game 2: Winter” which has been approved is scheduled to begin in July 2017 and will be filmed on a remote Siberian island.
The show will have 30 contestants divided equally among the sexes, with the winner going home with the $1.6m cash prize.
According to the organisers, there will be no intervention to stop rape and murder.
Contestants will be armed with only knives as they wade off attacks from bears, wolves and endure vicious gnats on the Ob River.
They would be given only a single set of cold weather clothes in temperatures that will range between plus 35C in summer and minus 50C in winter.
The ‘anything goes’ show will be filmed on 2,000 fixed cameras and broadcast live 24/7 on the web in various languages including English.
Despite admitting it won’t intervene to stop murder and rape, organisers stressed participants will be liable to the full force of the Russian law for criminal offences.
After an earlier outcry, the Russian team behind the show removed a ‘rule’ which openly stated, “Everything is allowed. Fighting, alcohol, murder, rape, smoking, anything.”
Millionaire organiser Yevgeny Pyatkovsky, 35, when asked in a report if he will intervene if there is ‘physical violence, rape, a murder’, 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.”
But 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’.
He added, “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.”
He said there are no rules restricting sex between the participants.
“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.”
He said participants will have to fish, in winter through ice holes, to catch food to survive.
“It gets to minus 50C in winter, and it is infested with brown bears.
“This area of Siberia always has lots of bears, but recently numbers doubled because more animals migrated from the north of Krasnoyarsk region, pushed away by wildfires.”
The organisers say they will seek to evacuate contestants attacked by bears – but he warned they may not to act in time as bears can run at almost 40 mph.
“This is the raw Siberian taiga: anything can happen, and we might not be on time to solve an emergency,’ he said.
“The participants will have knives only, no guns will be allowed…..
“We will give one set of clothes to every participant and it must last till the end of the show.”
Experts will give a short training course in ‘how to behave when you meet a wild bear’, but the gamers will also face challenges such as their island being invaded by ‘escapees from a local prison’.
The show has shortlisted more than 300 applicants, and participants will be decided by internet voters.
Among the hopefuls are Natalya Korneva, 26, an actress from St Petersburg.
She said, “I travel whenever I have some spare time, during the last 5 years I covered more than 150,000 km (93,000 miles), most of them alone.
“I’ve been to the mighty Lena River in Siberia, to Magadan, to the Altai Mountains and the Far East of Russia.
“I’ve been dreaming about moving to Siberia for a long while, but first I want to feel how hospitable the taiga will be towards me. This is why I am taking part.”
Jonghyun Lee, 22, from South Korea said, “I have served in the South Korean Air Force, and currently I am a student.
“Right now I am in the middle of America, biking from Los-Angeles to the East Coast. Regardless of the prize, I love problems. I want to go through difficulties because it’ll make me better. The primitive instinct of fighting nature without any help is what excites me.”
Dmitry Russkikh, 31, a security service officer from Saratov said, “Extreme, sport and travelling while getting new impressions is what drives me. I grew up on the shores of great Russian Volga River, fishing with my father and grandfather. I spent a lot of time diving, mountain climbing, snowboarding and mountain biking.”
Yelena Grischenko, 21, a student from Kazakhstan added, “I love playing computer games, specially Perfect World and Wow. I read a lot, love Russian classics and fantasy.”
Another contestant, Irina Agisheva, 30, a swimming coach from Nizhny Novgorod said, “I want to do something so mad and unforgettable so that people later say ‘do you remember that girl…
“We only live once and we must make the best of our lives. I’m ready.”
Klara Yuchyugyaeva, 33, a real estate agent from Yakutsk in Siberia said, “I love sport since childhood, I was born in Yakutia and I am not afraid of difficulties. For me the taiga is something mysterious and amazing, so please help me discover it.”
And Oksana Shiganova, a 28 year old driver from Murmansk in the Russian Arctic is also taking part.
She said, “I am a professional blonde, a girl who loves dresses, manicure and shopping. I love myself and will definitely not make it through the show without help. But this is what will make it so interesting to follow me.”
Oleg Baturin, a 35 year old economist, said, “I live in Chelyabinsk, the capital city of the South Urals. Our city has always been known for its strong men – and to prove it I challenge myself and all other participants. I want to spend long time in the wild, try new places and go through new hardships.”
Matts David Goldberg, 36, a student from Sweden, “I want to take part to inspire people and to help them fight for their dreams. I also want to go through exactly what my grandfather endured when he worked all around the Siberian taiga after being captured during World War II. I am an adventurer, a teacher and a journalist.”
Mikhail Utrobun, 29, a sportsman from Khabarovsk, “This is my chance, finally I’ll become a millionaire.”