'Do female contestants have access to tampons?' The reality behind Australian Survivor.

Out of all reality shows, Survivor seems by far the most challenging.

You’re in the jungle for so long.

Everyone’s forming alliances. 

There’s no KFC.

Real crazy conditions.

So in the spirit of finding out just how these very brave contestants are really living, we contacted Channel 10 with some questions. And some of their responses were enlightening.

To start with – given these contestants are in Samoa, and in the sun for what looks like a vast majority of the day, what’s the deal with sun protection? Are they given sunscreen?

According to 10, yes, everyone is provided with sunscreen.

“They are supplied 50+ sunscreen that is purchased and shipped over from Australia. It’s distributed at every daytime activity – all day at camp and before/during/after challenges. It is reapplied often during the day. Contestants are also seated in shaded areas during breaks from filming.”

How about medical supplies? Bandaids and ointments don’t seem to fit the narrative of these men and women ‘roughing it’ in the wild.

But Mamamia were assured there’s “a 24-hour team of medical professionals who monitor and care for contestants and supply necessary treatment for injuries”.


Listen to the latest episode of Mamamia’s TV podcast, The Binge. Post continues after audio…

But my biggest concern about Survivor is (obviously) food. We asked whether there’s a minimum daily caloric intake of food the producers are required to provide.

“Survivors are given a daily intake of rice and beans, other than that they must forage for any other food they can find. Hunger plays a big part of their Survival and they will do anything for a bit of protein even cooking up sea slugs and hermit crabs.

“They are always monitored by medical professionals to ensure they are healthy and getting enough food.”

We were also told contestants have access to toilet facilities – so, no, they’re not required to make their own.

But for female participants in particular, we wanted to know about medications (i.e. the pill), and sanitary items. Are they provided? Are they able to take their daily contraceptive?

In both cases, the answer was yes.

Well, that’s considerate. Even if it is, you know, just providing people with basic levels of respect/dignity. Maybe going on Survivor wouldn’t be awful after all…

Oh, wait. That’s right.

The food.