Ali Oetjen has described the brutal reality of being on SAS Australia, saying it wasn’t just the physical challenges that wore down the recruits.
The Bachelorette star, 34, told Daily Mail Australia it was actually the cold that broke many of the contestants on Seven’s military-style series, and she was no exception.
She pulled out of the show on Tuesday’s episode after being instructed to jump out of a helicopter into freezing water for a second time.
‘I never knew I could have a deep fear of the cold’: From freezing weather to ‘always being wet’ and ex-Special Forces soldiers ‘breaking us down’, Ali Oetjen has detailed the brutal reality she faced on SAS Australia. Pictured: Ali (centre), Molly Taylor (right) and Ant Middleton (left)
‘I jumped out of the helicopter backward before into the cold water… and I was just not wanting to get cold and wet again,’ Ali said. ‘It was the cold that got to me.
‘I never knew I could have a deep fear of the cold, but I did. I think it was just my limit, and now looking back on it I’m like, “Damn it, why didn’t I just jump out?”‘
She added that ‘always being wet and cold’ wore her down more than the physical and mental challenges.
‘The freezing weather was probably the hardest thing to endure, because the cold is just constant,’ she said.
‘It was the cold that got to me’: The ex-Bachelorette (pictured right during an SAS Australia challenge), 34, candidly revealed to Daily Mail Australia it was the cold that broke the camel’s back on the military-style series, which led her to quitting
‘I jumped out of the helicopter backward before into the cold water… and I was just not wanting to get cold and wet again,’ Ali (pictured with Shannon Ponton and Sabrina Frederick) told Daily Mail Australia
‘I never knew I could have a deep fear of the cold but I did and I think it was just my limit, and now looking back on it I’m like, ‘Damn it, why didn’t I just jump out!’,’ Ali (pictured) said
‘There were no hot showers, there were no warm beds and there was no heater that you could actually get warm from because the fires were trying to dry your clothes.
‘It was them [the DS, or directing staff] just breaking us down.’
To cope with the adverse conditions, Ali reminded herself every night and every morning why she was there: to prove her intestinal fortitude.
‘At night I used it to really try to relax myself’: To cope, Ali (pictured) said she practiced gratitude in her sleeping bag every night and morning, which helped her ‘to remember why [she] was there’
‘At night I used to really try to relax myself, because I just had adrenaline running through my body the whole time,’ she said.
‘And that’s why the injuries that we had, I didn’t feel them until I woke up because of the adrenaline.
‘Breathing and my focus from yoga definitely came in handy through all of that.’
‘I just had adrenaline running through my body the whole time, and that’s why the injuries that we had, I didn’t feel them until I woke up because of the adrenaline,’ Ali (left) said
Since quitting SAS Australia, several of Ali’s co-stars have applauded her efforts.
AFLW star Sabrina Frederick wrote on Instagram: ‘You are a warrior! So proud of you. A shame they didn’t show our late-night dances, mix nut sleepovers, early morning meditation and all the laughs in between.’
‘Can’t wait to go to the beach with you and not almost drown,’ she added.
Team spirit: Since bowing out of SAS Australia, contestants have applauded ‘goldilocks’ for her efforts on the show. In an Instagram Stories post, Australian rules footballer and co-star Sabrina Frederick said: ‘In all seriousness, you are a warrior! So proud of you’