Pop star, actress and all-around fashionista, Rita Ora, appeared on Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge on Sunday, and now it’s safe to say she can officially add “survivalist” to her list of talents.
Armed with throat spray (a singer’s tip), lip balm and an admitted lack of experience in the area of extreme survival, Ora met up with host Bear Grylls in Nevada’s Valley of Fire state park for a two-day adventure. But before they could get to the good stuff — like eating a scavenged pigeon — they had to reach the starting point by skydiving out of an airplane. And for Ora, it did not disappoint.
“That was unbelievable,” she said. “I mean, what a ride. Wow.”
After a safe landing, the pair set out to walk the inhospitable terrain, and Grylls taught Ora how to look for water in the desert, which of course led to them finding a soggy patch of mud, mopping up the wet stuff with an old sock and squeezing water into a bottle to drink later.
Grylls also showed Ora the ways of rock climbing, which she knew was “getting real” when she had put on a helmet and a rope harness.
“I can’t lie and say I’m not scared,” she said.
Sure enough, she made it up pretty well and received Grylls’ approval.
“Smashed it,” he said.
But going up a big rock usually means you have to come down at some point too, naturally. So Ora later tried her hand at rappelling, which she was “petrified” of doing. But she eventually talked herself into heading down and made it safely to the ground. And she was pumped.
“I did that myself,” Ora said. “I just repelled off the top of a mountain and I’m not… I just can’t believe it. I mean it is unreal.”
Grylls’ reaction: “Smashed it.”
Not only was she able to rappel, but Ora also managed to pick up a dead pigeon from the edge of a small cave in the process, as one does, and stashed it for a gourmet dinner later, Bear Grylls-style.
Turns out petroleum-based lip balm comes in handy for igniting a nice fire — good thing she brought that along — it was time for Ora to help Grylls cut open and slice meat off of the pigeon for an impromptu bbq. Ora was surprisingly game
“It was actually delicious. It tasted like chicken,” she said. “It did. It tasted just like dry chicken. Sandy, dry chicken.”
After dinner the pair found themselves a small cave for a good night’s rest, but not before Ora serenaded Grylls with an on-the-spot a cappella original. The beautifully sung song went a little something like this:
“See, Bear nearly took me out. He nearly ruined my life. But then I noticed that little rattlesnake, rattling away. Here we are, face to face. Never too far. Oh, won’t you save me today. Just here in our cave. Me and Bear.”
The next day included Ora spending time on her own and putting much of the skills she had just learned to the test, like finding water, climbing and rappelling. She was able to make it safely to the extraction point, where she took a quick moment to reflect for the camera.
“I am so grateful I had the opportunity to see and understand what it physically and mentally takes to survive,” Ora said. “And more than anything, I’ll take this back and know that I can conquer anything now.”
But at that point, one more death-defying maneuver still awaited her: dangling from a helicopter by rope. And once again she jumped right in — or up — with both feet and handled it like a true survivalist.
Running Wild with Bear Grylls airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on National Geographic.