Let me get this out of the way first: yes, the show is still on the air. I mean, I assume that’s what you were wondering when you clicked on this column, right? But yeah, the show is still on. Every Wednesday for an hour, two seasons a year, Jeff Probst graces my screen with his ageless jaw and witty remarks, telling castaways that they “are going to have to dig deep” and asking if the reward of pizza buffet is “worth playing for,” as if the answer is anything but a resounding yes.
I’ve consumed more seasons of this social experiment they call a TV show than I can count, despite the years-long break I took between middle school and graduating from college (shout out to Hulu for having almost every episode). I’m a student of the game, studying the classic “big moves” and absolutely psychotic situations these contestants find themselves in. Fuck, I even took it so far as to not eat lunch at work yesterday just to see if I could make it a whole day with only a small meal for dinner. Okay, that last bit was only part true. I didn’t eat lunch at work yesterday, but it was because I forgot my lunch at home and made, like, triple the servings of dinner when I got home.
Whatever the case may be, I have waffled back and forth between auditioning for the show for years now. Well, with almost all signs pointing to the world ending in the next 20 years or whatever, I figure now’s the time to do it. 2020 is the year I pull the trigger on my Survivor audition tape.
Just to further my case to the producers and general public, let’s outline why I would crush it on the show.
I keep calm in stressful situations.
39 days on an island with basic tools, water, and maybe a bag of rice. 19 other people who you probably don’t have much in common with, all of whom are gunning for a million dollar prize. Imagine being in that situation, and then turning to the guy next to you and he’s chill as a cucumber. It me. That’s Day 1. I’d maintain that demeanor throughout the competition and before you know it, I’m throwing up a hang loose sign while Jeff hands me a million dollar check.
But I’m also incredibly paranoid.
The reason I’m so calm is because I do this thing where I bottle up all my emotions and ignore them. When you’re stuck with those thoughts and feelings, it puts you on edge, constantly wondering when the other shoe is going to drop. Will I eventually snap and throw the bag of rice into the fire? Too soon to tell. What matters is, my paranoia has forced me to become good at apologizing–you know, for fear that someone out there might be mad at me. In a game like Survivor, a good apology to the right person could earn you an extra few days.
I look great with a beard.
I mean, if you’re going to go 39 days without basic hygiene, you might as well look good.
I’m not afraid to do what it takes to win.
This is something I’ve actually talked to my girlfriend about. When the cameras are rolling the whole time, they’re going to catch up some nasty stuff. In a game where you have to outwit, outplay, and outlast your opponents, you have to do some things you might not be proud of. Before I even leave for the show, I would talk to my friends, family, and maybe even coworkers to say that whatever they see me do, was done in the context of the game. That should totally absolve me from screwing someone over, right? Right…?
I would be an amazing narrator.
I like to think I’m an observant person. I people-watch with the best of them and generally tell a good story. The producers are going to need to pick someone to explain to the audience what’s going on in the tribe during downtime or while everyone is scrambling, so who better to do it than the guy who bottles up his emotions and looks great with a beard?
All that stuff about studying the game I said earlier.
Right, that. Look, the show has been on for 40 seasons. That’s 40 variations of the same fucking show. The only constant here is change, whether that’s adding in a new element like “Edge of Extinction” or “Legacy Advantages,” or just the simple things like swapping tribes. You know where else change was the only constant? Every company I’ve ever worked at. So if I can make it through constant re-orgs and potential lay-offs without breaking a sweat, I can live off of coconuts and drama for a month and a half.