Massachusetts Boasts Three Million-Dollar ‘Survivor’ Winners
Except for football or coverage of a breaking news story, my television rarely goes on. Well, unless, of course, it's Survivor season.
My guilty television pleasure continues to be Survivor on CBS.
Survivor premiered on May 30, 2000, and has aired two seasons per year, except during the pandemic. The program is now in its 43rd season, and I don't think I have missed an episode.
Some folks look at Survivor as a human train wreck; people from all walks of life plotting against each other to get ahead to win the cash prize at the end.
So what's your point? That's what makes it interesting.
Observing human relationships is entertaining if you are a people-watcher like me.
The program has evolved over the years. The focus has shifted from primitive living conditions and survival skills to strategies and puzzle-making skills, but the relationships continue to take center stage.
The first Survivor winner was a Rhode Islander named Richard Hatch. Hatch is an openly gay man from Newport who is also a nudist. Hatch was arrogant, and he offended everyone.
The key to winning Survivor is to "Outwit, Outplay, and Outlast," not necessarily to get along with everyone.
Three Massachusetts residents were Survivor million-dollar winners.
Ethan Zohn, a former professional soccer player from Lexington, Massachusetts, competed on Survivor three times, winning Season 3, Survivor: Africa.
Jeremy Collins, a firefighter from Foxboro, Massachusetts, won Survivor: Cambodia, the show's 31st season. Collins also competed three times, once with his wife, Val.
Perhaps the most noted Massachusetts Survivor winner is "Boston Rob" Mariano. Boston Rob, from Hyde Park and known for wearing his Boston Red Sox cap, appeared six times on Survivor, competing five times.
Mariano won the show's 22nd season, Survivor: Redemption Island, and married Amber Brkich, who defeated him to win Season 8.
Other New Englanders to win Survivor include Robert Crowley, a South Portland, Maine teacher who won Survivor: Gabon, the 17th season of Survivor, and Sandra Diaz-Twine, who, like Boston Rob, appeared six times, competing five times.
From Stamford, Connecticut, Diaz-Twine was the first two-time Survivor winner, scoring victories in Survivor: Pearl Islands and Survivor: Heroes and Villains.