Erin McNaught reveals “brutal” reality of filming SAS Australia

The model reveals she's battled injuries, weight loss and mental trauma while filming the military inspired reality show.
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Roughing it on one of the world’s toughest reality TV shows is a long way from walking the catwalk, but it’s a challenge former Miss Australia Erin McNaught says she relished.

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“This show was tougher than I ever could’ve imagined – but that’s what I loved about it,” Erin said.

The 38-year-old mum-of-two is currently appearing on SAS Australia, which was filmed earlier this year, and – as she reveals here – she put her body on the line.

“I’m still recovering from my injuries,” she tells WHO.

“I passed out underwater, I got black eyes, tore muscles in my left shoulder and I lost something like 7kg,” she says.

“It was undoubtedly the hardest, most brutal and challenging thing I’ve ever done.”

WHO: Why did you decide to do something so hard?

Erin: I love that feeling of pushing myself physically and mentally. But this show almost broke me, too.

What were the breaking points for you?

I almost broke on the very first day. I had to fall backwards out of a helicopter and I landed face first horizontally. I blacked out underwater, lost sight in my left eye for a while and had two black eyes for five days. I felt like I almost died on day one! The physical side was tough but the mental side was hard, too. I existed in this heightened state of disbelief and terror all the way through it.

After suffering excruciating injuries, the mother-of-two says her two boys won’t be watching her on the show (Pictured with Ennio, three) (Credit: Erin McNaught/Instagram)

Will your kids watch you on the show?

My sons Evander, 5, and Ennio, 3, are a bit young, but my husband [English rapper and producer Example aka Elliot Gleave, 38] and I might record some episodes and show our eldest some bits. He already says “Mum is strong because she did SAS” though. 

How hard was it to leave your kids at home for the three weeks for filming?

It was so hard but as soon as I got to the set and handed my phone in, I was like, “I’m in the zone.” It would’ve been harder if I’d been able to FaceTime them.

As a former Miss Australia, Erin isn’t surprised if the other recruits thought she couldn’t hack it but admits she had “preconceived ideas” about them as well (Credit: Erin McNaught/Instagram)

As a model, do you think you had to prove that you could hack it?

Maybe a little bit, but I also had preconceived ideas about some of the other recruits too, especially the sports stars. 

How did you prepare?

I spoke to some guys who’d tried out for the real SAS and they said I’d need every bit of strength I had. So I bulked up by gaining something like 6kg. I don’t weigh myself but I reckon I definitely lost more during my time on the show, 7kg maybe?

Erin was glad to reunite with her rapper husband Example at the end of filming (Credit: Erin McNaught instagram)

Did you crave anything to eat?

I really missed sugar. All we had in our meagre rations was one mandarin per day. When I got home, I smashed about six Violet Crumbles. I dreamed about them.

Would you do something like this again?

As tough as it was, absolutely. I don’t want to get to 80 and feel like I haven’t tested myself. I’m really proud of what I achieved on this show.

SAS Australia airs on Mondays and Tuesdays at 7.30pm on Channel Seven

Is Erin tough enough to make it to the end? (Credit: Channel 7)

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