50 days is a hell of a long time to be playing Australian Survivor. Let alone just to be outside for the entire stretch, away from modern life’s various creature comforts and amenities. The lack of food, sleep depravation, physically demanding challenges, and emotional separation from loved ones back home is a phenomenally tough ask. And so, too, is the lack of any formal bathroom.
Time and time again, whenever a new season of Australian Survivor arrives, the burning question is asked by fans: Just how in the blue blazing hell do these people go the dang loo?
With no bathrooms in sight and nothing but untamed and deserted landscapes around them, the question of how these people drop a stinky deuce becomes morbidly fascinating.
The obvious option of just playing it where it lies is there. But because this is TV, and because it is fifty days worth of poo, and because there may be some environmental concerns regarding that, the assumption that production provides a clandestine off-camera loo for contestants to grunt one out in is an easy one to make.
But is that really the case? PEDESTRIAN.TV decided to investigate the only way we know how: By boldly diving in to the source.
We do know, from previous contestants, that chucking a whiz and plopping a turd wherever ye feel like it does become commonplace on Survivor. In a 2020 piece published on Men’s Health, US contestant Hannah Shapiro, who appeared on the Millennials vs Gen X season, explained that it became so ubiquitous amongst the cast that “we even got scolded by Survivor production: They had begun stepping in our poop while setting up interviews. We were supposed to designate a specific area for number two, but apparently our cast was going everywhere.”
But what of the Australian Survivor cast? Cast members have previously spoken to us on the dirty subject, revealing that ye olde ocean Aqua Bog was reasonably habitual. One story, that famously gets passed around cast members, involves Sam Webb from AU Season 1, and a rather unfortunate accident on a challenge platform.
“He climbed up the ladder, pulled his pants down, and did a poo on the course,” Survivor All Star Nick Iadanza told us in early 2020.
Host Jonathan LaPaglia has even shed some light on the issue, revealing in a 2016 News.com.au interview that, in Fiji, the cast had access to “a porta-potty near their camp.”
“But that’s it,” he said. “Nothing else. I don’t think [the porta-potty] is particularly great, let’s say that.”
But that’s Fiji. This year’s season, as we all know, is a little different.
With this year’s Australian Survivor: Brains v Brawn season filming in outback Queensland, are they being afforded the same sort of creature comforts?
When P.TV got the opportunity to visit the set, near the rural town of Cloncurry, the burning question had to be asked. And the answer was given to us first hand.
As contestants milled around while waiting for a challenge to be set up, P.TV observed several making the barest of efforts to conceal the answering of nature’s call while in nature’s home. We weren’t happy about having to see this in the IRL. It really was that prominent.
Later, a producer on the series confidentially tells us that there is, indeed, a porto-loo available to cast members this year. And, when asked about how female contestants cope if and when a period occurs during the game – as it would when you’re out there for 50 days – we are told that it is stocked with “the bare essentials.”
So therein lies your muddy, grot answer to a question as old as time.
Australian Survivor contestants do have a loo. But by and large they shit where they please.
And honestly? You cannot fault them for that one little bit.
Australian Survivor: Brains v Brawn premieres Sunday July 18 at 7:30pm on Ten.
The author of this article travelled to Cloncurry as a guest of Network Ten.