I'm A Celebrity stars expose brutal reality behind the show

EXCLUSIVE: The season nine cast reveal what surprised them most about jungle life.

A number of this year’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! cast members have spoken out about the brutal conditions of the reality show and revealed that there are several elements to jungle life that viewers would have no idea about.

Chatting with Yahoo Lifestyle following their eliminations, the campmates each spilled on what surprised them most about their experience and what they found to be the most difficult part.

I’m A Celebrity's Domenica Calarco and Nathan Henry.
I’m A Celebrity stars reveal what surprised them most about their time in the jungle. Photos: Channel 10

Nathan Henry

Geordie Shore star Nathan Henry, who was sent home during Thursday night’s semi-final, describes his I’m A Celebrity stint as “the hardest thing I've ever done in my whole entire life”.

“I honestly thought it was gonna be a walk in the park and boy was it anything but,” he adds.

“I really don't think the public understands how much we genuinely are starving. So bear in mind, I was in there for 28 days and I've lost 9kg. When I say we were hungry, that's how hungry I was. I can see my ribs, I’m that skinny. We were on 800 calories a day, so we were starving.”


Nathan went on to say that it’s important for viewers to understand just how much the contestants are struggling when they tune in to watch the show.

“I want people to realise that although the meals look great, we are genuinely starving,” he continues. “And I'm surprised I didn't kick off or fight anyone when I was in there because I'm a horrible person when I'm hangry. I left with my dignity somewhat intact, I think.”

I’m A Celebrity's Nathan Henry and Adam Cooney.
Nathan (left) describes his I’m A Celebrity experience as ‘the hardest thing I've ever done in my whole entire life’. Photo: Channel 10

Adam Cooney

Meanwhile, football legend Adam Cooney tells Yahoo Lifestyle that he believes one of the biggest misconceptions about the show is that the food trials are fake.

“Even my wife said to me, ‘Surely they didn't actually make you eat a zebra’s penis’, and yes, I can one hundred per cent confirm that it was a genuine zebra’s penis that I consumed,” he asserts.

“Some people think that the food is seasoned in some way, and it’s not. Everything that we eat in there is genuine. Liz [Ellis] had to eat eyes, I had to eat a pig’s snout, chicken intestines, lungs, tongue, a fish guts milkshake, all that sort of stuff.”

Adam says that while he had no issues with the trials, there were “many moments” he wanted to quit the show purely because of how tedious camp life was.

“It looks like we're having so much fun on the show and it looks like it's a dream, you’re sitting there and you're laughing with your friends and doing all these fun challenges and trials, but the reality is there's a lot of downtime and there's a lot of boredom,” he details. “You have to try and create things to do which can be difficult at times.

“When you get out and do a trial it's like going to an amusement park for the day, it was incredible. But it was more in those lonely periods and the days that we weren't filming officially, so the Fridays and Saturdays. It was pretty tough to get through those ones, but here we are on the outside now and I regret nothing.”

I’m A Celebrity's Adam Cooney.
Adam Cooney admits there were ‘many moments’ he wanted to quit the show. Photo: Channel 10

Domenica Calarco

Married At First Sight star Domenica Calarco admits that the most surprising part of her I’m A Celebrity experience was how much she enjoyed her “digital detox”.

“Just not having to be a slave to my phone and not knowing the time, we had no idea what time of day it was,” she explains. “At the start, it was a little bit off-putting and it kind of felt weird, but a week or so into it, it just felt like it was normal.”

As for jungle life, Dom says her time on the show was exactly what she had expected having watched the series in the past.

“What you see on TV is what you get,” she remarks. “It’s cold showers, you're around that fire constantly, the food is bare minimum, you’re tired, you're starving, your boots are so heavy and you're walking so much and your legs are tired and sore all the time.

“You really do get to see it all on TV. I don't think anything really shocked me, it was probably just more the culture shock of being away from everyone and not having that communication.”

I’m A Celebrity's Debra Lawrance.
Debra Lawrance says viewers are only seeing ‘an edited, entertaining version of everything’. Photo: Channel 10

Debra Lawrance

Logie award-winning actress and former Home and Away star Debra Lawrance agrees that having watched every season of I’m A Celebrity before going on the show, there wasn’t much that surprised her about the experience.

“I always suspected it was real but it really is real,” she shares. “There are baboons, there are monkeys, there are bush babies that make noise at night right above your bed, and the food is very carefully portioned out.

“When you’re watching the show you’re only seeing an edited, entertaining version of everything, but when you’re there you’re also living through the boring downtime. Fortunately, we were able to go up to the waterfall which was a bit of a walk over a very rocky dry creek bed, which was an adventure in itself, and the waterfall was exquisite.”

Debra shares that something viewers wouldn’t realise is how much of a “chore” it is for the campmates to get in and out of their damp boots every day.

“When you got out of bed in the middle of the night to have a wee you had to check the boots for critters, put the boots on, put a blanket around you, go up to the short drop, come back, check the fire, make sure it's got wood on it, get back into bed, unzip the boots, take them off and put them back,” she describes.

“All of that was very real to me. It wasn’t really surprising, but it made me realise what the people who had been in before had gone through.”

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