They came up with plans to prevent suicide and tackle climate change. Then on Day 4 of the reality TV challenge came a final twist.
The final challenges were designed to test the contestants’ mental strength. And who wants to be a contestant on Survivor and then go home?
Well, at least one person did. And she was not a Survivor veteran.
The 24-year-old was the final contender. A reality TV champion, she was competing at the forefront of the show’s current surge in popularity.
She was also the first contestant to lose the game. “The game does a complete 180 when I get eliminated,” she said.
The challenge that had been designed to test the contestants’ mental strength was called The Final Four. But on the final night, there was an even bigger twist that had no reason to be at all cruel.
The Final Four? They were actually the first four people left standing after the Challenge itself — the only four people who had survived it.
The first two to go, they say, were two more than expected. One was a former professional gymnast and body builder, the other a former college athlete. The other two were contestants in the first season of Survivor.
“We thought they’d make it through,” said Jeff Clark, a physical trainer who worked with both of the women.
Instead, they were the first two eliminated. They said their friends and family are not surprised.
“They’re very tough men,” said Laura McVicker, the former gymnast.
And it was an even tougher fate for the final competitor the reality TV show was designed to make.
A former college volleyball player and former pro basketball player, the 36-year-old was an American football player at the University of Tennessee, and was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League. After college, he played for five NFL seasons in the National Football League and spent time in the American Football League. But he turned down a contract with the Seahawks to move to Tennessee to play basketball.