Australia is getting its very own version of US reality TV series Alone and casting is now open.
SBS has secured the exclusive rights to commission a local iteration of the show in which survival experts are left in the wilderness completely alone with no camera crew and must survive the longest to win — the prize in the US series is half a million bucks.
Airing in 2023, this will be the fifth in the Alone franchise following US, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.
Each season has taken its participants to remote locations around the world including Patagonia, Mongolia and the literal Arctic, but this will one be set in the Australian bush.
It’s by far the most successful factual franchise on SBS On Demand and anyone who’s seen the show will know why it is practically impossible to switch off.
Alone Australia will see 10 contestants dropped in remote locations in a yet-to-be-announced part of Australia, each several kilometres apart, with a backpack of 10 survival items they can choose from an approved shortlist.
Contestants are also given a fuckload of camera equipment which they must have with them at all times in case something crazy happens like a bear attack. Yes, seriously.
Casting for the first season is now open so it’s time to start learning how to weave gillnets and build a Rock House™.
The Alone Australia casting call asks: “Do you have what it takes to protect yourself, feed yourself and stay alive in total isolation? Can you survive in the Australian wilderness alone?”
But Alone is so much more than survival. Yes we’ve see people build intricate and thoughtful homes out of logs, sticks and rocks, as well as hunt animals with their bare hands — but the show’s hook is the mental challenge the contestants face.
They must not only survive but thrive as long as possible — sometimes more than 100 days — or use their satellite phone to officially tap out and be extracted. But without communication none of them know how many other contestants are left.
We ultimately see people tapping out due to fear, isolation, injury and starvation, and the show gets more and more intense as the days go by.
It’s probably the realest reality show to exist, with contestants not only capturing terrifying encounters with predators and extreme weather conditions on camera, but documenting diary-like video entries as they wrestle with themselves to keep pushing and stay another day.
Alone can be a little bro-y, with a lot of ex-army dudes applying (though they’re often the first to tap out) but SBS has promised the series will feature “the most diverse cast of self-reliance experts yet”.
BRB, gotta practise my wood-chopping.