Juliana Herz is thankful to eat bacon again…and lots of it.
The swimsuit model, who made a big splash in 2016 as Surfing Magazine’s cover girl, spent last summer in Fiji — but this wasn’t for another glamorous photoshoot.
Instead, Herz was competing in the new FOX reality series, “Kicking & Screaming” where she had to survive the remote jungle for a chance to win $500,000. Herz, along with other contestants, were teamed up with expert survivalists and were forced to skip the glamping and instead, overcome extreme weather conditions, raging rivers, as well as feast on insects to out beat hunger:
I'm soooo excited to finally be able to share this with you guys!! As some of you may remember, last summer I disappeared from the map for a month and this is the reason why! This is probably the craziest experience I've ever lived and can't wait to see it on tv. Can you guys spot me? Hint: I'm in it 4 times😜 how far do you guys think I made it?? 😂 @kickingscreamingfox
Fox News: What made you want to get involved with a show like ‘Kicking & Screaming?’
Juliana Herz: The opportunity was brought up to my [modeling] agency and they thought it would have been a fun way to show off my personality a little bit more, and of course, to show that modeling isn’t just about looks. That models can do crazy things and not just want to stay in their little bubble. But I thought it would have been fun and it was!
Fox News: Many people are already skeptical of reality TV. How much of it was real?
Herz: That’s funny, I actually get asked all the time by my friends, ‘So did you go to a hotel after they stopped filming?’ Well for one, they never stopped filming. They literally filmed us 24/7. Even when we were sleeping, the cameras were on us. The only time they weren’t filming us was when we would have to go to the bathroom, which wasn’t a bathroom by the way. We were still in the jungle. It’s not like we had a toilet that you could flush. Everything was 100 percent real, honestly. I can’t really say that anything was made up because it wasn’t. We were always hungry, we were not sleeping on beds. Everything you’ll see on TV is what we did in reality.
Fox News: How was your relationship with the other contestants?
Herz: I got along with all of the girls really well, I would say. I mean…you’re in the jungle, there’s no food, you’re sleep deprived, you’re hungry — all of your emotions are heightened. Something that might seem so tiny in everyday life became so much bigger in this situation. And you’re living with these people 24/7, people you’ve never met in your life. From sun up to sun down, you’re with them. You’re sleeping next to them. It was tough for all of us to get used to that and to get used to the different personalities that were there. We’re all so different and come from various backgrounds. But, I think we tried our hardest to work well together. There wasn’t as much drama.
Fox New: Did any of your modeling experience helped you tackle a challenge like this one?
Herz: I don’t think modeling was really that helpful for me to survive in the jungle. But I do think my upbringing and where I’m from did. We had a lot of swimming challenges in the jungle. I’m from Costa Rica and my dad is a die-hard surfer, and we grew up going to the jungle because that’s where the best waves were. I’m used to going to the bathroom outside and I’m used to swimming long distances. And I wasn’t necessarily one of those girls who was screaming every time a bug flew at their face. I grew up with bugs my whole life. We had ants in our sugar in Costa Rica!
Fox News: It does seem like one of the challenges involves contestants eating bugs. What was that experience like for you?
Herz: I thought it was going to be fake. That the cameras would be turned off and we would get actual food on the side. But very quickly, we learned that wasn’t going to be true. Especially on the first day when I was starving and there was no food. My partner told me, ‘You know, bugs are a source of protein,’ and, look, I was becoming pretty open to trying those bugs… until it got a bit crazy. I love bacon…and we did not get any bacon. And unfortunately, none of the bugs tasted like bacon. Thankfully, we did have a clean source of water to drink, which was nice. I didn’t have to drink anything weird. But all I’ve been doing since I left Fiji is eat.
Fox News: Now that your experience is over, would you consider yourself to be a survivalist?
Herz: Oh God, no. Not even close! And the next time I go camping, I will go with a tent, at least a sleeping bag and a lot of food! For sure, a lot of food. My biggest issue the whole time there that I was always hungry and I was always cold.
"Kicking & Screaming" debuts March 9 on FOX.