Squid Game: The Challenge is the latest reality television obsession, and whether audiences are for or against the unique approach to competitions, it's turning heads. Amid stories about players using lubricated condoms on their lips as chapstick and complaints about injuries, one might wonder what the hopefuls were paid to take part in all the challenges leading to the $4.56 million grand prize.That mystery was solved thanks to one of the former players, who laid out what contestants allegedly received for their participation.
Radhika Srinivasan is perhaps not a name anyone would immediately recognize streaming the series with a Netflix subscription, but some may remember her as Contestant 352, who was part of the groups who were eliminated during the battleship games. Srinivasan was asked on TikTok how much contestants were paid to participate, and left no mystery behind in saying it wasn't exactly a paying gig for anyone but the winner.
Zero. Zero GBP, zero USD. Zero rupees, zero won, zero pesos, zero euros, zero. Literally zero. It was all or nothing. And we were really in there acting like that for nothing. Because the stakes were so high, it was 4.56 million. But what I will tell you is production covered all of the transport. That literally is like all the international flights that come into London, transport for me as well. I don't live too far from London, but they organized a taxi, a train, and like literally anything you need for getting to the location and getting back home.
Those who participated in Squid Game: The Challenge technically didn't have to spend anything to play, according to Radhika Srinivasan, but weren't compensated for their TV time in any way other than travel arrangements. With that being said, some contestants may have warranted more money spent on their flights than locals.
Still, seemingly no money was offered to convince anyone to participate in the game, with solely the chance for the grand prize grabbing everyone's attention. Not altogether strange, considering how network game shows like Jeopardy! and Price Is Right handle things, but interesting nonetheless.
Once transportation was handled, participants were also given other essentials to take into the game. Radhika Srinivasan gave a rundown of some of the items that were in her bag and how she felt about the possibility of playing again after all that she endured on Squid Game: The Challenge:
We went in there with the clothes they gave us, a bum bag full of toiletries and essentials like a toothbrush, toothpaste, vaseline, and I brought my contact lenses that's literally all I needed. And we left with group trauma, I guess? I'm just joking. We left with so many crazy, extreme, abstract memories. I think that's the best way to put it but it was such a wild experience and I would not take it back for the world. And would I do it again for free? 100%.
It's good to hear a positive experience from someone who played Squid Game: The Challenge, all the more since I have the hot take that it's better than the scripted original. Sure, I'm jazzed for whatever information we learn about Squid Game Season 2, but there's nothing like watching a game as unpredictable as this, where guessing the winner is close to impossible.
It's an anxiety-inducing reality series, but much easier to watch, considering the participants aren't actually dying. Of course, we'll have to see whether or not it'll return for another season as the controversy attached to it piles up and various viewers give their opinions on it.
Personally, I'd rank it among the best shows to watch on Netflix, and hopefully the lack of player payments helps whatever budgetary factors might play into making a second season happen. Positive reactions from eliminated players can only help.
Watch Squid Game: The Challenge right now on Netflix, and be ready for the finale episode to show up on Wednesday, December 6th. I can't wait to see who ends up winning the stack of prize money and takes home one of the largest prizes reality television has to offer.