The Survivor finale aired tonight. There are kids born in the show’s first year now old enough to be sophomores in college. Why has it lasted this long?
In trying to answer that question you quickly realize it’s more than a TV show.
I went on my Facebook page and asked if there was anyone out there who had seen every episode of Survivor. The response was huge!
One of these fans is none other than Michael Buckner, who works right next to me. Our digital content manager. He started watching on day one.
“In 2000, when I was about 14," he said. And ever since that day, he has been captivated. “It shocked me as a kid, and here I am in my thirties still watching”
You’ve seen Michael talk movies on Getting Reel. Before he worked at THV11, he tried to get on Survivor.
“I’m fascinated by the strategy.”
Kent Garten of Benton has the same fascination and has seen every episode.
“Survivor is the ultimate test of a competition because it tests you physically, mentally and emotionally,” Kent said.
Kent is a former football player at Ole Miss, he also ran track in college. Now he trains to get on Survivor.
"I wanna compete. I love competing."
The running fits right in with his ever-evolving strategy to win Survivor:
"Guys, you see them [and] they’re all muscular. They’re targets right off the bat, so you wanna have a core strength not look real strong."
“Why wait for a TV show to call when you can strand yourself at home and get just as much adventure?”
We walked the trails toward Rattlesnake Ridge with Mitch Allen of the Nature Conservancy, Traci Berry of Northwoods Trails Raid the Rock and Brandon Smith adventure racer.
This was the site of last year’s legendary Arkansas adventure race: Raid the Rock.
Raid the Rock is an exhaustive weekend of nonstop action with hiking, biking, canoeing.
And Director Traci berry adds the most important element of all: navigating the entire course with a compass and topographical map. You can’t use GPS, and you can’t call a friend.
Throw in ropes and rappelling and other surprises, and it makes for a difficult challenge.
One year, in order for the teams to get the next set of coordinates to plot to finish the race, someone on the team had to eat a cricket.
You have a challenge that brings in adventurers from all over Arkansas and surrounding states, and it's not just physical— it's mental.
The Survival types, the adventurers, the runners, the bikers, the hikers, swimmers, rock climbers. Who are these people?
Dr. Rose Smith is a Clinical Psychologist specializing in trauma but very familiar with American sensation seekers.
"These people are people who are probably high in a personality trait called sensation seeking," Dr. Rose said.
Sensation seekers seem to love intense and extreme experiences. Extensive research has revealed something unique about sensationalists.
"People who are high sensation seekers actually find a bizarre sense of calm amidst the chaos. All of this brings us back to survival. Helps you understand what drives all these contestants. The sensation, but it may also be ancestral."
“Because they want to feel what our ancestors once did once did was to survive off the land and experience nature in its true form and that’s one of the things that makes Survivor great too.”
It’s more than a TV show, it's a showcase into the human mind.