“Australian Survivor” contestant Simon Mee today tweeted – then hastily deleted – some insight about just how tough life can be for those playing the game.
Simon responded to a fan’s meme about the show with some behind-the-scenes goss, revealing that life on the beach in Samoa can get very “Lord of the Flies.”
One brief scene in a recent episode of the reality series saw fellow contestant Gerry angrily chastise Simon about where he’d placed the tribe’s firewood in the camp.
It was a surprising outburst from the usually mild-mannered rescue pilot, so far one of the game’s most softly spoken players.
As fans shared the moment online, Simon – forever on the bottom this season, but somehow still in the game as it enters its final stages – explained that the blow-up was a symptom of bigger issues, as players jostled to keep their spot in the game’s fragile hierarchy.
Simon said that “Survivor’s” rudimentary sleeping arrangements, in which players huddle together for warmth under a makeshift shelter (with – if they’re lucky – a tarp to keep the rain out), revealed “a lot about the pecking order of the tribe.”
“Gerry slept in the middle of the shelter with the blanket every night. But when he collected fire wood, he stacked down the end of the shelter,” he wrote.
“Which also happened to me by bed.”
In a follow-up tweet, also deleted, Simon revealed that he would have to move the firewood any time he wanted to make space for himself in his less protected area of the shelter.
Former player and “Survivor” megafan Matt Tarrant responded to the tweet, saying it was “legit true” that players should “never sleep on the edge of the bed at camp” if they wanted to stay in the players’ inner circle.
“Aww thanks Matt,” said Simon. “I remember how excited I was when I was able to fit under the tarp for the first time after Shaun left.”
Over the years, many “Survivor” contestants have spoken to news.com.au about the unique challenges they faced on the show: Intense hunger, an unexpected lack of warmth, no contact with loved ones.
But Simon’s candid (perhaps too candid, given they didn’t stay online very long) tweets shine a light on another hazard for “Survivor” players: Managing their place in the game’s pecking order, in a situation where even a patch of sand to sleep on is jealously guarded.
This season of “Australian Survivor” continues on Sunday night, after Monday’s tribal council ended with a surprise non-elimination.
Instead, Gerry and fellow player Nina were sent to “Survivor isolation,” where they will remain until they compete against each other for the chance to rejoin the game.