June 16, 2024

COLUMN: Uncommon reasons I couldn’t be on “Survivor”

If you’re anything like me, meeting “Survivor” host Jeff Probst would be a dream come true.

“Survivor” is now on its 44th season. It features a cast of survivors vying for the title of sole survivor by not being voted off by their tribe mates. While it used to be 39 days, the 41st season started a shorter game at only 26 days.

Fans of the show all know the legends like Boston Rob, Ozzy, Cochran and Parvati. We’ve seen the monumental moments like when Eric gave up the immunity necklace to Natalie, and when Wentworth pulled off one of the biggest hidden immunity idol plays in show history.

During quarantine, I binged 40 seasons of the show. Like many avid fans, I imagined what it would be like if I were on the show. What would be my strengths and weaknesses? How would I do things different than the players I watch?

While I think I would be a good liar (not a great characteristic, I know), there are a lot of things I would struggle with. There are the obvious things — the cold, the heat, the hunger, the loneliness.

Outside of those, I have a list of oddly specific reasons I would not do well on the show.

- For starters, I’m a gossip. It’s part of the reason I work in journalism. I get to share what I know with all of you! There’s no scenario where I would be able to keep a secret. If I had a hidden immunity idol, I’d be telling everyone. Not a very strategic move.

- I cannot be expected to go a month without caffeine. I can’t go until noon without caffeine. I don’t crash, I get a headache. And Lord knows if I have a headache, I will not be participating in any camp activities, challenges or whatnot. I am out of commission. I know sometimes later in the season they get coffee, but you won’t catch me drinking black coffee. I’m more of a cinnamon and brown sugar iced latte kind of girl.

- Sand. I absolutely cannot stand the feeling of sand being all up in my crevices. It’s in your armpits, between your toes, in your ears. I simply cannot. Yes, you can get in the water and rinse off, but then guess what you have to walk through to get back to the shelter? Sand! It’s a no from me.

- This one is going to make me sound really high maintenance (if you couldn’t already tell). I only drink ice-cold water. Room temperature water is just not for me. I can’t imagine being hot and thirsty and then drinking water that’s been baking in the sun.

- I’m very competitive. Like really competitive. But at my current fitness level, I’m not sure how much I could offer my team. I’ve got asthma and the knees and hips of a 60-year-old. I would definitely annoy my teammates to the point they would vote me off.

- Having to be on TV with hair that hasn’t been washed in weeks. I am pretty good at going without washing for several days to a week, but by the end, my hair is a rat’s nest. I’m afraid it would be so tangled after I’d have to cut it all off.

- I would feel bad killing fish or chickens. Listen, I’m not a vegetarian. I love a good salmon filet or barbecue wings, but I don’t want to see it happen. I don’t want to know what that chicken looked like before it became my boneless wings.

I think I’ve made it clear I might be high maintenance. I’d like to think I could push through some of those things, but honestly it keeps coming back to the sand. I really don’t like sand.

While I would love to be on the show just to meet Jeff Probst, I would not want him looking down on me when I inevitably quit from the cold or the sand. I’ll have to be content watching from home.

Cheyenne Roche


Originally from Wisconsin, Cheyenne has a journalism and political science degree from UW-Eau Claire and a passion for reading and learning. She lives in Creston with her husband and their two little dogs.