• Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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GUS contestant appraises the reality show


Chinedu Ubachukwu, one of the contestants in the 11th edition of Africa’s first and longest running reality TV show, Gulder Ultimate Search, has advised friends and family members to give a deep thought to competing on the programme. The University of Port Harcourt graduate of Petroleum and Gas Engineering asked future contestants to brace up for tough times as staying in the jungle could be very harsh and unpleasant.

He added that he would discourage loved ones from competing on the show as it literally stretches contestants to the limit. Chinedu, who belongs to the Orange team said: “To be sincere, if I should leave here, I will not advise a loved one to come here. But the loved one may think I do not want him to progress in life, and may be thinking that I have come, made it and I do not want him or her to make it. But here in the jungle, it is really tough.”

Ironically, Chinedu had dreamt of being in the jungle ever since he was young. Just before entering the Aguleri forest, he said: “Gulder Ultimate Search is the first reality show I grew up watching and I have always admired the participants and I have always imagined myself in the jungle. I am so happy and feel so fortunate to have made the last 14 contestants this year.”

Otto Canon, another contestant who only got in to Gulder Ultimate Search after four unsuccessful attempts admits that competing on the programme is very tough. He revealed: “There is so much difference between watching Gulder Ultimate Search on TV and experiencing it in reality. When you watch it on TV, you really cannot tell what the feelings are like.”

Speaking on his experience so far, Otto said: “I have come to appreciate food so much that the least piece of rice or ‘garri’ means so much to me right now. At home, I do not eat left over garri, but right now, I do not care. At home, I am very conscious of the water I drink. I will rinse the cup, because I am particular about the cup being clean. Right now, I am very comfortable drinking water from the stream. The jungle is a place that humbles you and kills your pride.”

Sharon Robinson who finally got in after failing twice, challenged anyone who thinks that Gulder Ultimate Search is easy, to fill in the form and try next year.

Life in the jungle has been a stark contrast to the luxuries of city life which the contestants are used to. The 14 contestants have had to depend on rain and stream water to quench their thirst, even after competing in grueling games. Their sleep has been cut short when it rains, because the palm fronds which serve as the roof of their huts sometimes fail to provide them the needed cover. 

The contestants have had to depend on palm kernels and ‘baby’ sugarcane which sprout from the grounds not too far from their jungle abode. 

IkennaEmedike, a medical doctor, and one of the contestants, incurred the wrath of the Council of Elders and was almost evicted for taking (stealing) cassava without authorisation. He attributed his act to hunger and wanting to survive in the jungle. He confessed: “When I was walking to the stream, I saw a heavily weeded farm looking like it had been abandoned for years. So I looked at it carefully and when I saw there was a cassava sprout, I felt it was abandoned. If it had been properly weeded, I would not have touched it. However, I admit stealing it, because it was not my farm. It was just about survival.”

Chidi Mokeme, the anchor man, came down heavily on him and reprimanded the contestant for his shameful act. Ikenna, alongside Otto Canon, his partner in the Indigo team, however appealed for forgiveness from the rest of the clan for the shameful act. Even though they were forgiven and asked never to act in that shameful manner, the team lost three points.

For the first time in the annals of Gulder Ultimate Search, contestants were paired into groups of two members each. They were asked to pick up circular objects from a calabash and the two that picked the same colour formed a clan. There were seven colours in all representing the colours of the rainbow. They were also instructed to wear colour-matching bandanas provided for them at all times.   

The Indigo Team comprised Otto Canon and Ikenna Emedike; while the Blue team was made up of Addoh Evi and Iroh Noella. The pair of Blessing Eriata and Loretta Erijakpor formed the Green team. Sandra Nwagbagiro and Chinedu Ubachukwu made up the Orange team. Samantha Appi and Sharon Robinson were the Red team; Emmanuel Afolabi and Joshua Nwagboso were to be identified as the Yellow team. Iwuoha Ikenna and Cosy Joe formed the purple team.

The teams would garner points from various tasks, with the winning team getting seven points while the losing team would be awarded one point.

After four games, Team Blue currently leads with an overall score of 22 points, followed by Indigo which has 19 points. Teams Purple, Orange and Yellow currently occupy the third, fourth and fifth positions with 17, 15 and 11 points respectively. The Red team is in sixth position with 10 points while the Green team is the lowest ranked with six points.

Gulder Ultimate Search 11 is currently aired everyday on African Magic World (DSTV), Real -Stars (Star Times), Minaj TV Obosi (Terrestrial), Ebony Life TV (DSTV), Galaxy TV (Lagos, Ibadan and Ondo), Hip TV (DSTV & GOTV), Nigezie (Star Times) and WapTV (Star Times) from 10pm to 11pm; and on the AIT Network (Terrestrial) from 10:30pm to 11:30pm.