Art & Entertainment

Contestant Ankur Khajuria Gives Insights On 'Squid Game: The Challenge', Says It Is Not 'Rigged'

Dr. Ankur Khajuria, in an interview, revealed details about 'Squid Game: The Challenge.' He talked about the living conditions and the difficulties they had to face while playing games.

Dr. Ankur Khajuria

Humans are known to be selfish, especially when it comes to money. When there is a fight for $4.56 million, betrayals are bound to happen. That's what is unfolding on 'Squid Game: The Challenge.' A surgeon by profession, the Indian-born UK-based 32-year-old Dr. Ankur Khajuria made it to the list of top 30 contestants on the show.

In a chat with the Hindustan Times, he said that he was a big fan of the show 'Squid Game' and was keen to know how he could challenge himself if he took part in this game of physical and mental endurance.

"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," says Ankur, popularly known as contestant No. 090 on the show.

He also revealed that he wasn't doing this for the money. "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 premiered on November 22, has ranked 1 in 76 countries, with viewers invested in the contestants, wanting to know who can make it till the very end. 

However, there were a few contestants who have been going around and announcing that the games were rigged, and how they had to face terrible conditions and were also harmed. Ankur presents the opposite. He 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."

There were many games that were inspired by the original series, including the Dalgona game and Tug-of-War. The challenges didn't end there; contestants also had their own set of difficulties that they had to face when living in the dormitory. "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 whether he was experiencing a Stockholm Syndrome, he replied "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 1000 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."

The finale, which is set to air on December 6 on Netflix, will see the three finalists Sam, Mai and Phil compete for one last time for the million-dollar cash prize.