A UK couple says their dream of winning a reality their own Alaskan lodge in a TV show competition for turned into a nightmare when the owner flipped the script on them and decided to keep the home.
Emily Padfield, 37, and Mark Warner, 53, competed against five other couples for a chance to win Ose Mountain, a homestead roughly 80 miles northwest of Mount McKinley, on the BBC show “Win the Wilderness” that aired in February, the Sunday Times reported.
Over the course of the four-week challenge, they chowed down bear-meat stew and plunged into freezing water, the outlet reported.
Their grit on the show paid off and they were chosen by its owners, Duane and Rena Ose, to take over the three-story home without running water.
But then Rena, 76, died in May after a heart operation and the next month, her 78-year-old widow began a new relationship, according to the couple.
“We’d been talking to him throughout lockdown, planning to go to Ose Mountain with him to scatter Rena’s ashes, but suddenly he was distant,” Padfield said.
Since then, he stopped answering their calls and decided he was keeping the house even though the couple is now the legal owners, the outlet reported.
On Facebook, Duane has announced that he’s “Re claiming [sic] my legacy, my home from faux foreigners who do not care for my wishes.”
He has also to have married his new flame, a woman named Ellie-Mae Blair, who the couple believes is behind the posts.
“The texts certainly used words I’ve never seen Duane use,” Warner told the Times. “You can almost imagine Ellie-Mae banging her fingers through the keyboard — some of her statements are so irrational.”
Duane didn’t respond to a request for comment, the newspaper reported.
And despite the turmoil, Padfield and Warner said they don’t regret agreeing to the reality competition.
“We’d do it all again, but this time not win it,” Warner said.
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