Imagine going through the entire process of trying to be a part of a wilderness-survival-centric reality show. You mentally prepare, maybe you read up on the subject. At the very least, you burn some hours making a sizzle reel, and you work out a lot to appear the sexy TV star you were meant to be. After months in the wilderness, you emerge with the sole hope of newfound fame. You smell horrible, you look exhausted and your show has been totally canceled.
This was the reality for contestants on the Channel 4 television series Eden. The show first aired in July of 2016 and was intended to be a social experiment where 23 strangers lived in the wilderness and forged a community. The location was the Highlands of Scotland, isolated from both people and technology. The intended duration was a year-long season, but the result only had four of the episodes air, covering March, April and May. The cast remained uninformed that the show had not aired since August of that summer.
According to other sources, the show had started to spiral out of control for a variety of reasons. Numerous dropouts ensued, and according to Press and Journal the numbers were higher than anticipated. Specific figures of cast dropouts vary, but Variety puts it as high as thirteen versus Press and Journal’s 10.
“10 have left. Some of the participants were even seen in the dentist at Fort William needing treatment after eating chicken feed grit.“
Other standard reality show fare caused other dropouts, such as the ever-essential reality TV trope of sexual envy. Apparently their sacrifice had not been in vain, since as The Guardian reports that Channel 4 will "return Eden to screens later this year.”
So not only do you get industrial sand in your mouth from eating chickenfeed, but you also have to find out about Brexit and Trump’s election after filming an unaired TV show? Channel 4 needs to comp those therapy bills.