Hit Television show “Survivor”: Is the risk of playing the game worth it?

Dylan Nagorski

This is an image of what an island of Survivor would look like. Survivor Cameraman (unknown).

Survivor first premiered on CBS on May 31st 2000. Castaways are sent to an exotic island usually in groups from 16 to 20 to compete in a series of hardships to win a grand prize that is usually around one million dollars. The castaways are usually split in half into groups that will entertain the audience. They have to work together to make a shelter and gather food. They will have to win challenges to get small prizes along the way that will help them survive. The tribes will compete with each other in physical and mental challenges and get prizes like food or blankets to help with their shelter. The losers have to go to tribal council where they all have to vote on someone that goes home. The hardships that you go through in the game of survivor are worth the memories you make while playing the game.

The game is not all about the money

Throughout the 41 seasons of Survivor, we have seen how much of an impact this game can have on people without winning the grand prize. “ My prize wasn’t even the million dollars , I fell in love with this game, that is my prize,” said Billy from Cook Islands (13th season). This is one way of how the game can be rewarding without the money . Billy was just trying to play the game and was struggling with the conditions but he was still able to get something positive out of it. He was already happy whether he was going home or not because he felt as if he made a bond that was more than the money. Sometimes bonds we have with people are better than something materialistic. 

The game is not only important to the contestants, but to the producers as well. “It is because the show has forged such a deep and emotional bond with us that we care so much, “ said American reality show host and executive producer of Survivor, Jeff Probst. This quote really shows the range of effect the  game has among all the people involved. It is about more than the money, even for the producers. This show has been able to positively affect so many people on a wide range so it makes it all worthwhile. “ Everyone{Other contestants} are holding a loaded revolver behind their back, you should never feel comfortable in this game because you never know what will happen at tribal,” Said Paravati, 4 time survivor contestant. This quote really shows how the game can be all about money. Although some contestants may be fans trying to have a good experience, some people are playing as hard as they can to get the money. You never know what is really going on so if you are gonna be in the game you have to give it your all.

The conditions of the game 

While competing with the people you are on the island with, you will have to worry about more than just your competitors. The weather is an important factor as well. “ It’s a testament to how hard this game really is…what it boils down to is that this game is really hard and nobodys immune to the elements… all in this together,” said contestant from season 26, Reynold. This quote really shows how the castaways know what they are getting themselves into. They realize that the weather is also a part of the game and the better materials they have for a shelter the better they can survive. They know that they have to go through these struggles if they wanna make it to the end of the game.

“The combination of human drama, social dynamics, strategic thinking, expert hosting, and absolutely insane production values makes it the gold standard in terms of televised entertainment, ” Said executive producer Jeff Probst. This quote really identifies all the certain things the survivors have to go through. It really shows why the show works and what the survivors are going through.

In general survivors know that they will have to experience harsh conditions outside. “Sure, it was tough at times, but it was a life-changing, incredible experience, ” said UWSP graduate and former contestant on survivor,  Andrea Boehlke. This quote really shows how the hardships of the game are a testament to yourself. Your body is being put through a lot and the struggle can really take a toll on you, but the game can give a new perspective on what is most important to you if you stay optimistic.

What is the game really about 

Survivor will have its fair share of ups and downs if you end up on the show. But it is about learning to keep moving forward. “I learned so much about myself and gained perspective on what matters most to me in life. I found that when I was stripped away from my loved ones, technology, food and shelter, I really had to dig deep and believe in myself,” said UWSP graduate and former contestant Andrea Boehlke. This quote shows how the risk was worth it. This game offers room for so much personal growth if you play it right. The former contestant was content with their experience even though they did not get to go home with the million dollars and also felt like she grew as a person. 

“I know lots of people are trying to get on the show.. But thousands of people have tried to get on the show so  I would be happy If i got the chance, maybe a little disappointed if I got voted off early but it would still be a good times,” said SPASH Senior Max Gulan. This quote shows how hard it is to get on the show. If you even get the chance to be onto the show you should be grateful.

“ You cannot waste time being frustrated because you don’t like a twist. It’s wasted and misplaced energy. You must continue to assess and adapt to everything that happens in the game, “ said Executive Producer Jeff Probst. This quote shows how you can not dwell on what happens in the game. You just have to remember that you are one of the thousands who got to play. This quote shows how you have to keep going forward within the game even with the good and bad and this goes for life as well. 

To conclude, the game survivor has many pros and cons. But the experience you have within the game is based on something completely different for most people. You have to find the good within the game, take away what you learned  and keep going forward into the next time you play or your next mission in life.