How will Bear Grylls decide who will Get Out Alive?
On the season finale of NBC's reality survival competition show (Monday, 9/8c), the adventure expert will put the final three teams through a rainforest challenge before declaring a winner. At this point in the game, the finalists have proven that they'll do whatever it takes — from trekking across a glacier to eating protein-rich maggots — to survive. Who deserves to walk (or limp) away with the $500,000 prize? TVGuide.com turned to Grylls himself for his assessment of the daring duos:
Fall TV: Scoop on 40 of your favorite returning shows
Fall TV: Cast shakeups!
It's fun to see the contestants dancing about winning toilet paper or shampoo at the feast pit. How much does survival living change how they appreciate the basic necessities?
Bear Grylls: It brings a very healthy awareness that the only real wealth we all have is relational, meaning the depth of our friendships. Hardship brings people close as we see our vulnerabilities, and what matters are the human things such as generosity, kindness, and kinship. Life isn't as raw as this in everyday life — as it is easier to run and hide. It is what I love about survival; it shows us the real person, warts and all, and that is always a privilege to be part of.
Can you give a little behind-the-scenes insight into how much the teams — while on the show and after being eliminated — were struggling with their health?
Grylls: The real struggle for everyone there was hunger and fatigue. They were living off the land and covering big distances with heavy weights, and that is very draining, especially when the terrain and weather plays ugly. On top of that was the pressure of having to perform and learn skills on the go. Mistakes become costly at this stage! In many ways, though, those still here at this [final] stage were getting stronger, not weaker, as their bodies acclimated to the hardships.
VIDEOS: Celebrity Watchlists
Does surviving a near-fatal accident like Jeff or Madeline did make contestants tougher competitors? How much is the mental component a part of the game?
Grylls: I think so, yes. It gives people an awareness that life is hard and that sometimes it hurts, and they have learned that the rewards always go to the dogged and determined. It is the heart of survival.
We hate to say it, but how many times can teams build bad shelters before they learn? It was so frustrating to watch!
Grylls: Welcome to my world! Although in their defense, making a good shelter takes practice and imagination, and when you are drained and cold and tired at the end of a day, it becomes harder still.
Who thought of having the contestants drink their own urine in the premiere? What were the circumstances the first time you drank your own urine in the wild, and how did you take to it?
Grylls: It was my idea, but partly [because] every bar I go into, people offer me urine to drink as a laugh. And I thought, "You know what? Everyone is expecting it, everyone seems to want it. Let's get it out of the way in Episode 1!" But it is a valuable survival tool that has often saved people's lives. As long as you are well hydrated beforehand, then it will help you. It might stink and taste gross but it could save your life. My first time was bad, and it has never gotten any easier! I mean, come on, drinking piss is never fun!
The finale of Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls airs Monday at 9/8c on NBC.