reality tv

"It's biting me! It's biting me!" Last night, I'm A Celebrity crossed a line.

On Thursday night's episode of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!, Abbie Chatfield, Robert "Dipper" DiPierdomenico, and Adam Densten faced a confronting double elimination challenge.

During the challenge, the trio were required to stick their hands into a mystery box and guess how many creatures were inside.

While the mystery box was filled with mice and eels in previous challenges, Abbie, Dipper and Adam were faced with more than a dozen non-venomous snakes.

Watch a clip from Thursday night's episode of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! below. Post continues after video.


Video via Channel 10.

The challenge went smoothly for Dipper and Adam. But moments after Abbie put her hand in the box, panic set in.

"It's biting me! It's biting me! It's biting me!" she screamed.

As she broke down in tears, host Dr Chris Brown and a handler untangled the snake from Abbie's hand.

While Abbie bravely continued on with the challenge and made it into the grand finale, viewers have criticised the reality show for going "too far".

Image: Channel 10. 

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Image: Channel 10. 

"That's bullsh*t, what an awful thing to do to people," one viewer wrote.

"That snake biting Abbie was f**king TRAUMATIC," another said.

"This sh*t is unnecessary," another added.

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In recent weeks, the show has been criticised by viewers on multiple occasions for crossing the line.

In a previous challenge titled the 'Ice Ice Baby Trial', Grant Denyer, Jack Vidgen, Pettifleur Berenger and Travis Varcoe were tasked with entering a tank filled with ice cold water in order to pump a lever at the bottom of the tank.

For nine long minutes, the celebrities struggled with the freezing temperatures.

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After coming out of the water, the celebrities could barely speak as they were wrapped in towels and space blankets by medics in an effort to prevent hypothermia.

"There's just a lot of pain," Vidgen told hosts Julia Morris and Dr Chris Brown at the time. "I can't move my hands."

Afterwards, the celebrities were moved to a nearby medical tent to warm up.

"I'm just really scared," Vidgen told the medic.

"Physically, it was getting to the point where I was going to pass out."

Image: Channel 10. 

Image: Channel 10. 

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Speaking to The Huffington Post, television presenter Grant Denyer shared that the challenge affected him for days afterwards.

"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 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 [the ice water] challenge. I got whisked off to the medic for a second time."

On social media, some viewers described the challenge as "dangerous" and "concerning".

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The reality show was also criticised when contestant Toni Pearen was bitten by a snake multiple times on her face in a previous challenge.

Afterwards, Pearen was seen bleeding from the snake bites as she told the hosts: "You have to get me home to my kids."

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In a statement provided to news.com.au, Pearen said that she knew she was safe during the challenge.

"At no time was I prepared to say the words 'I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here.' 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," she said.

However, viewers criticised the show for not pausing the challenge immediately after Pearen was bitten by the snake.

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Since Big Brother first hit Australian screens in 2001, reality TV has become a staple in Australian homes on a nightly basis. 

From fiery and even violent arguments on Married At First Sight to the gruelling challenges on SAS Australia, it's a format known for its shock value – and I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! is no different.

Over the years, we've seen celebrities partake in horrifying eating challenges, jump out of helicopters, and even be electrocuted.

But when it reaches the point that the contestants fear their organs are shutting down and contestants are being bitten by snakes for our own entertainment, a line has undoubtedly been crossed.

As one viewer put it: "Entertainment shouldn't be at the cost of someone else's extreme pain and distress."

The live grand finale of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! airs on Sunday night at 7.30pm on Channel 10.

This post was originally published on January 15, 2021, and updated with new information on January 29, 2021.

Feature Image: Channel 10.


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