There is no doubt that Bear Grylls is a ‘real’ man – for the last three episodes he has pulled out his John Thomas and either drunk his own urine, or pissed into his water bottle to use it like a hottie. In tonights episode, in deepest coldest Siberia he pissed on his hand to free a frozen knife blade.
It’s hard not to get excited by this man’s antics. And tonight was pretty epic. But – I can’t help thinking that we are actually applauding the wrong man. What about the poor bugger who is the cameraman. He is doing everything that the Bear is doing but hoisting a bloody great camera at the same time.
There have been all sorts of accusations that he retreats to a 5 star hotel each night, that his escapades aren’t ‘real’. For god’s sake, this is reality TV – it’s never going to be real if it has TV after it.
But let’s also acknowledge that he does do some crazy stuff. Tonight Bear leapt into an iced-over Siberian lake for a bit of a swim (see video). He peed on his hand (already stated). He tobogganed down a hill/mountain/cliff using a deer skin from a conveniently forgotten (read placed) deer carcass (so fresh it hadn’t had an opportunity to freeze). He had a 50% strike rate on catching squirrels (who crept up and planted that one then?)
The real kicker for me was right at the end when he was running for the train. From a distance the train had at least 13 carriages, and the locomotive was green with a big band of yellow along it’s length. When he got close the locomotive had turned blue (from the cold?) and it had dropped the big yellow band, and also dropped quite a few of it’s carriages – down to around six.
This is the power of TV and editing. It’s silly but it’s exciting at the same time.