One thing’s for sure: This won’t be a honeymoon.
Heidi and Spencer Pratt, the love-to-hate-’em couple whose wedding was featured on last night’s season finale of The Hills, are starting their new life together by being plopped in a Costa Rican jungle for NBC’s I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!
“I’m more excited than nervous,” Heidi tells PEOPLE on the phone from Costa Rica just hours before the excursion began. “I’m from Colorado. I’m used to camping and roughing it, so I’m excited to experience it with my husband, who’s the city slicker.”
Says Spencer: “The closest I’ve been to camping was one time at the Four Seasons in Maui–they put me in the garden-view suite, not the oceanfront like I would usually get.”
“I wish I was making a joke!” he adds.
Spencer and Heidi will compete not only against each other, but also against nine other celebrities–including Janice Dickenson, Lou Diamond Phillips, Stephen Baldwin, American Idol alum Sanjaya Malakar, and Patti Blagojevich, the wife of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojovich–to win money for charity. (Spencer’s playing for The Red Cross; Heidi for Food For The Poor.) And while they’ll face “comedic” challenges designed to test their survival skills, according to NBC, the jungle experience won’t be a joke.
In fact, Blagojevich fell into a river during the first two days of filming and “nearly drowned,” a source close to the production tells PEOPLE. Blagojevich, who along with the rest of the reality show’s cast begin filming on Saturday, was swept downstream in a fast-moving current during a challenge and may not have made it out of the water if she wasn’t rescued by her quick-thinking castmates, the source says.
And then there are all the other perils of the jungle to consider. “When the doctor came in yesterday and told me to make sure I boil my creek water for at least 30 minutes at a time, I looked at him and said, ‘Wow. I have no idea what I’m getting myself into,’” says Spencer. “He was like, ‘All of the snake bites you will get, we have six hours before you die–and the farthest hospital is only two hours away.’ Awesome!”
But the chance to get exposure for his and Heidi’s other careers convinced the publicity-loving duo to stick it out in the jungle. “If there weren’t cameras and it wasn’t on NBC, I would already have quit,” says Spencer. “But this is my chance to promote my music, and my wife’s music, so I would walk on coals and battle an alligator right now.”
Spencer will actually be debuting a new music video during tonight’s broadcast: A rap called (what else?), “I’m a Celebrity.”
And the pair each expects to win. When it comes to the competition, he says, “The other I would consider extras or stand-ins. I don’t know any of their names, really. I’m just going to live in the jungle with the camera crew and be crowned King of the Jungle!”
Heidi seems just as determined to come out victorious. “I want to prove to myself that I can eat kangaroo penis or whatever it is they’ll make me eat. I want to know for myself that I can do these challenges and that I’m as tough as anyone in the world,” she says. “I’m not afraid of anything. But the biggest competitor is going to be Spencer. He takes no prisoners. I’m worried he’ll push me over a cliff to get first place.”
Knowing there’s an audience out there that isn’t exactly pro-Speidi, she admits that could hurt either of their chances. “You never know,” she says. “But I think will definitely see a different side of us. More down-to-earth.”
“We’re so down to earth, we’re in the earth!” adds Spencer. –Mark Dagostino