The weight loss effects of a stint on Australian Survivor are by this point well-documented, with many contestants emerging from their time on the show having lost upwards of 10kgs.
But recent evictee Janine Allis revealed to news.com.au this week that time on Survivor can have some other quite remarkable effects on the human body.
Remember, aside from a handful of opportunities to carb-load in reward challenges, Survivor acts as an extreme detox from all the luxuries of modern life: No cigarettes, alcohol, coffee, red meat, or processed foods for up to 50 days — in fact, little more than freshwater, rice and beans, and whatever fruit you can forage and fish you can catch.
“People in general seemed really healthy: Their skin was clear, their eyes were white. Sure, we were all very fatigued because we didn’t get enough calories … but for instance, the ex-athletes who’d had a lot of injuries, and a lot of inflammation around those injuries, that basically vanished,” Boost Juice founder Allis, 55, revealed to news.com.au.
“It’s because we were eating food that was pretty much natural, with no artificial flavours or preservatives. Take all of that out of our diet, and people were actually really healthy. I found it a really interesting social experiment.”
Luke and Janine on Survivor: “People seemed healthy.”Source:Channel 10
Still, the lack of calories was particularly brutal for an already slender contestant like Allis, who said she was the thinnest she’d ever been by the time she was voted out on day 44.
“I was BONE. I had no protection against the cold, so it was really tough. I had Pia Miranda as my snuggle buddy and water bottle — that’s all you have to keep you warm, there’s no blankets, there’s no pillow.
“But I was skinny. I couldn’t even sit on the ground; it was just bone on dirt.”
Survivor stars Luke and Baden mid-challenge.Source:Channel 10
There were other difficult physical effects for some contestants to battle — Pia Miranda recently revealed that her time on the show coincided with her first-ever bout of vitiligo, a long-term condition in which patches of skin lose their pigment. The auto-immune condition can be triggered by bouts of stress.
Miranda spoke up after some viewers contacted her to ask about the white patches that were appearing on her face as the season wore on. She revealed it had been “confronting” watching her skin undergo a “transformation” — all while filming a national TV show without a stitch of make-up on.
Pia had a surprise skin flare-up midway through competing.Source:Instagram
Miranda revealed she was made aware that the condition was occurring during filming but decided to “push through and not stress” until she came home because she wanted to focus on the task at hand.
“Since seeing a specialist I’ve been told that it’s a condition that needs lifelong management, but I’m having some amazing treatment and it’s working really well so I’m feeling very lucky,” she said.
“It’s not ideal that it happened in real time on TV, as it was pretty confronting knowing I was being filmed, but I think what initially felt like a negative can be a positive.”
Survivor even took a toll on those who were voted out relatively early — bikini model Sam Schoers lasted 16 days in the game, but later shared startling before-and-after photos revealing she’d lost a staggering 8kgs in that time:
Australian Survivor concludes with two final episodes 7:30pm next Monday and Tuesday on Ten.