"Making it to the top 30 was a boost."
Netflix’s Squid Game: The Challenge is taking over the online space.
The reality show features 456 contestants playing for $4.56 million.
Surgeon Dr Ankur Khajuria made it to the top 30 and he admitted that he is a fan of the South Korean show.
He explained: “I enjoyed the original series and just the games minus killing.
“But, I’m not really competitive and I like challenges and sports and I’m a surgeon as well.
“So I’m used to kind of being under pressure and you know, having to kind of deal with, you know, making difficult decisions, etc.
“This show was more about people and competitors, wanting to prove to themselves that they are mentally and physically tough and that anything that is thrown at them, we can combat it.
“I can say this is the toughest thing I’ve ever done in my life, you know, both mentally and physically to do it for that period and yet, nothing comes close to that.
“If you can survive this you honestly can combat anything.
Revealing that it was not about the money, Dr Khajuria – also known as No 090 – told Hindustan Times:
“My entire strategy was to win the games and challenges.
“Yes, there were people in the show who were loud and controversial, and trying to gain camera time. I was deep into the competition and wanted to win. Making it to the top 30 was a boost.
“We were out for eight hours, working in minus 4 degrees, people were giving up on their people, we just couldn’t take it. But in my head, I was like this is non-negotiable, I have to get through this.”
The show, which has ranked number one in 76 countries, has seen a few contestants claiming that Squid Game: The Challenge was rigged.
Dr Khajuria dismissed the claims and said:
“Many have been complaining for several reasons, but most of them were eliminated during the red light Green Light challenge and felt bitter that they didn’t make it through, but we knew this would be tough.
“This is Squid Game with a huge cash prize which won’t simply be handed over. It was the survival of the fittest.
“No one was forcing you to do anything, they could have quit.”
In addition to the main challenges, there were also dormitory challenges.
“I learnt to keep a low profile, be a friendly face and not get too familiar. I didn’t want real-time footage but to go for the final win.”
When asked if he is experiencing Stockholm Syndrome, Dr Khajuria said:
“Well, you can say that. I lost a lot of weight, nearly 8 kilos while I was there.”
“The food situation there was not pleasant, meals were basic and we were having less than 1,000 calories.
“It was like a prison, we had no contact with the outside world, and we were out for eight hours working in minus 4 degrees.
“All we had was our tracksuits, toothbrush and paste.
“We had no personal belongings. Though I have ticked a box on my bucket list, it was an incredible experience.
“I made friends for life and thought some backstabbed us too. I may do it again, but for now, I have already done this.”