"My Night As A Survivor" Producer Caitlin's night in the jungle for Survivor NZ

Publish Date
Friday, 20 April 2018, 3:25PM

When I was told that I had been chosen to go to Thailand to interview the contestants of Survivor Season 2 and spend a night in the bush like a survivor, I thought three things.

  1. But I’m allergic to mosquito bites.
  2. Are the contestants hot because I’d like a boyfriend.
  3. Yeah, I reckon I could be on survivor.

I came back to New Zealand covered in infected, weepy bites, boyfriendless (all the contestants ARE hot but they all seemed to be in relationships even though I tried my best to flirt with some of them during the interviews) and knowing for sure that there is no way in hell I could ever be a contestant on Survivor.

Foreign country no.✌🏻 for 2018 ✈️ #SurvivorNZ

A post shared by Caitlin Marett (@caitlinmarett) on

Here’s why.

After interviewing all 18 contestants in the what felt like 85-degree heat and going to the toilet with a funny tummy forgetting I had left my mic on, we head out on a boat to the island where we were going to spend the night.  

It was a beautiful sunset as we glided along the smooth lake and I was hanging out with my new friends after all the hard work had been done.

We arrived at a mound of jungle in the middle of nowhere and headed into the bush to find the best place to sleep.  I screamed and pointed out a snakeskin that was actually just a branch.

We were lucky to be given a tarpaulin to sleep on, mosquito nets to cover ourselves in and a machete which we used (very ruthlessly, sorry mum) to cut down branches and yuck stuff that was in the way.

We were also given a flint and a pot with some rice in it for dinner so that we could live like true survivors! But we didn’t know how to use the flint and couldn’t be f**ked cooking rice haha

Kelly (a journalist on the trip) and I had to go pop squats together because we were scared that snakes would sneak up our pants but just spent the whole time worrying that our pee was going to trickle over to each other. 

It was all fun and exciting until our boat left with our trip mum Kate from TVNZ and the sun started to go down.

We all know who comes out when the sun goes down… F**KING MOSQUITOS.  And spiders and tigers and ghosts. Luckily we had Avi, the winner of Survivor Season 1 to protect us. And I had George’s (a journalist from The Herald) banana socks on over the bottom of my pants so that there was never a patch of skin exposed.

We sat and gossiped about what we had learnt from our interviews with the contestants that day, our overall excitement for the new season and stopped whenever we heard weird noises and looked at Avi for reassurance.

I was dreading the time for us to go to sleep. If you know anything about me, it’s that sleeping is my favourite thing to do. I’m a real bitch when I don’t get enough sleep. I had that feeling of being a child at a sleep over and lying awake when everyone else is asleep and you just want to be asleep but you can’t so you just lie there over thinking everything. I just wanted this night to go as quickly as possible.

Surprisingly I went to sleep pretty quickly, using my sweaty clothes and shoes from the day before as a pillow and woke around 3am to my bum in Kelly’s face realising that I had been sleeping on a rock. After trying to quietly move around for what felt like hours, looking up at the stars between the trees wondering why the f**k I agreed to sleep on the ground in the jungle in Thailand, I must have managed to fall back asleep for an hour or so. We all sort of woke around 5/5.30am and waited for the sun to come up, complaining about the horrible sleep we had. Apart from Jack (Another journo) who would have definitely won our version of Survivor.

We knew that the boat was going to come early so sat down by the lake to wait. I honestly spent the whole night thinking I would never be able to do this, but when the sun came up and we looked out across the lake I thought, this isn’t too bad. I also knew that we were going straight back to the hotel for a buffet breakfast, a shower and delicious nap.

Princess behaviour aside, I was an amazing experience and goooood luck to the contestants. I take my hat off to you!

Survivor New Zealand screens 7.00pm, every Sunday on TVNZ 2.