Remembering the 8 Michiganders Who Competed on ‘Survivor’
Reality shows are pretty much commonplace these days. Most, if not all of them, owe a huge debt of gratitude to the O.G. - CBS' Survivor.
In May of 2000, sixteen "castaways" were whisked off to Borneo to compete for a then-stunning grand prize of $1,000,000. Men and women of all ages and walks of life would test their mettle against nature's elements in unfamiliar and foreign surroundings. Mental and physical challenges and immunity idols would further help separate the wheat from the chaff. Contestants were then voted off one-by-one, until one remaining survivor was declared that season's winner.
What felt like a one-off special series turned into one of network television's most enduring shows. After Borneo, the show would go on to film seasons in a wide variety of exotic locations including Australia, Africa, Asia, the Amazon, and several Pacific islands. The show has been set on Fiji since Season 33.
At the time of its debut, Survivor was truly must-see TV, ranking either first or second in the Nielsen ratings during its first couple seasons. Season 12 was the first that the show failed to rank in the Top 10 network shows for the year. Still on CBS, the show has typically ranked somewhere in the 20s for the past decade, with an overall decline in viewership each season.
Over the years, more than 600 people have appeared as contestants on Survivor, several of them multiple times. But only eight contestants have been Michiganders.