What it was like to be at Shipwrecked 2007

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For the untrained eye, Shipwreck 2019 resembles E4's attempt to re-create our obsession with Love Island. In reality, binge-watching Shipwreck: Battle Of The Islands it happened more than a decade ago, when hours were chased away every weekend as they saw that impossibly handsome, tanned participants were fighting to win the loyalty of new Castaways.

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Stevie Thomas, who appeared on the show in 2007, remembers this experience vividly and told Cosmopolitan UK in the weeks that he tried to build a hiding place, run the bottle and create drama for our viewing pleasure. And although it was a perfect easy hangover TV for everyone of a certain age at the end of the year 2000, he claims that that was absolutely not the case for the islanders.

People forget that we were 5 months on the island & # 39 ;: a deep dive in Shipwrecked 2007

Stevie, left, with his fellow Castaway
Stevie Thomas

"After completing an application form of 26 pages & # 39; s and going to a few Britain & # 39; s Got Talent style interviews, I was on a 40-hour trip to Aitutaki in the Cook Islands to do about it Shipwrecked, "Stevie tells Cosmopolitan UK When the fourth flight had landed, the participants were separated by sex – those who were identified as males were sharks, and those who identified themselves as females were tigers – and fell on their respective islands.

"On the first day of filming we could not light a fire and we could hardly open a can with food"

"On the first day of filming, we could not light a fire and we could barely open a can of food, we were fucking useless, the camera crew was laughing at me, I had the impression that it would be fake – that the camera & # 39; s would turn off and they would all give us a jacket with cheese and beans, but the crew made it clear: "There is no secret cafe, you've been shipwrecked." After a 45-minute session When hunting, the Castaways were left largely to their fate – an experience that seems to be different than the 2019 version. "It had to be the literal equivalent of shipwreck, there was no blue check at the end of the rainbow, no management deals, it was a chance that was more than a career move – it was escapism, we had to build our own cabins, our chopping your own wood, weaving the roof We did not have any watches, we did not know the time.

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People forget that we were 5 months on the island & # 39 ;: a deep dive in Shipwrecked 2007

Stevie Thomas

"We also did not have any go-professionals or any tech, there was a camera person who was on the island 24/7 and they were our only access to the outside world, and the rest of the crew would come and go every day and show us & # 39. We'd have weekly drops of food, pasta, tuna and basic rations, but it was all real, it was a reality show. "Another thing that was real was the time the 2007 Castaways spent on the island: Stevie had been shipwrecked for five months. In this period he celebrated his 21st birthday, spent Christmas with his fellow islanders and got a girlfriend. "I was on the island for 134 days in total, which seems unthinkable afterwards, I was closed for five months without contact with friends and family, we got to know the cameramen very well, and when they would have been there for a month and they would should leave, the reality of what we were doing would become a reality. "Shit, that guest leaves the island and maybe be back in a month – and I'll still be there! I'm here all the time "The new weekly arrivals were our only contact with the outside world and they brought the latest news stories with them. There was no social media, but halfway there was a new Castaway when: & # 39; There is something called Facebook and it is the new MySpace & # 39 ;. "

People forget that we were 5 months on the island & # 39 ;: a deep dive in Shipwrecked 2007

Stevie Thomas

Five months was one lot of free time for Stevie and his fellow places Joe, Stuart, Will and Paul to fill; not least when they had no building to do or new Castaway to impress. That left a lot of time for thinking, chatting and improvised group therapy sessions. "We had nothing to do all day," he continues. "We created a game called frisball, combining netball and frisby, so we played it in big teams, or we all wash together, or collect coconuts, or swim, we were pretty bored at the end – very unstimulated. You would just lie down and chat.We got to know each other so well – I knew the name of my mother's first friend.It was actually a bit like therapy, we were all sitting on the beach by candlelight staring at the shoreline, deep in each others psych . "

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People forget that we were 5 months on the island & # 39 ;: a deep dive in Shipwrecked 2007

Stevie Thomas

Stevie & # 39; s Shipwrecked experience saw him lose four stone ("I was emaciated by the time I came back"), feel eternally humid for 24 months and forge lifelong friendships in the middle of the South Pacific. Things, he says, you can & # 39; Ten years later. "The new series tried to reproduce the shipwreck life in the island that we had, and they can not, they have mats, a roof, a pre-made shelter, we slept on the muddy sand, we had to use bug spray to put our sleeping bags to stop with smelling dampness! We were constantly tired, constantly hungry – and the rain was dreadful, but it was also different from anything else I ever did, family, and we talk all the time. "The island is ingrained in me. It was truly a unique experience. One that you can not buy, one that you can not create. "
Stevie Thomas is a restaurant and co-founder of The Rum Kitchen. Follow him on Instagram at @stevie_stories.

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