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About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

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Why Would YOU Win Survivor?

Uploaded: Mar 30, 2019
Time for a quick reminder to all Food Partiers!, and those just stopping in to see what all the fun is about….

The last weeks on the blog call for a re-post of Food Party! decorum. Readers, while we strive for higher ideals and better solutions, this is not the Purity Party. I learned a long time ago that the sinners are more fun than the saints, and, if it ain’t fun, it don’t get done (Food Party! motto). While my dear mama might appreciate any catapult toward piety, the rest of us are dubious. There are no glorified souls among these words. Hell, we even write favorably about beef at times! So for your safety, watch out for falling dogma, and please keep hands and your perfection, inside at all times during the ride.

Alright then, what were we talking about?

Ah yes…why would you win Survivor?

So, I stopped by the Travel and Adventure Show last weekend. It’s one of those walk-by-a-bunch-of-tables kind of events. DON’T pick up the plastic tchotchkes though, cuz you know you don’t need them, and besides, you might get yelled at by Plastic Man during the comment section.

I really enjoyed the California section of the show, where many counties were showing off fun happenings in their area.

Pull out a map, put on a blindfold, and point – your assignment is to go visit a new area of California this summer. Better yet go early fall when the schoolies have gone back to learning. Go now! We have so many cute towns and areas you have never been to. Get inspired with indoor and outdoor travel ideas online. The counties are putting in such a nice effort to show you how to party the way you like, once you get there.

So it’s the end of the show. I’m walking out past the last few tables and I hear some gal yell out, “Hey, do you want to audition for Survivor?”

OK, confession time – I’ve been binge-watching old Survivor reruns lately, complaining all the while that I didn’t try out years ago when young and in fine feather. I wasn’t going to do anything about it mind you…. but I have been dreaming what it would’ve been like.

My first reaction to tabling gal was, “oh gosh, no, I couldn’t,” (translation: I’m too old) and kept walking, for about 15 feet, until I face planted into the Wall of Real Hypocrisy, stopping me instantly with two big foot thumps and a loud, “hey, wait a minute, why not?”

I went back.

After a bit of quick paperwork, it was up to the popup studio, wondering all the way who was the oldest player on Survivor, and specifically, the age of the oldest woman. A room of hipsters with bright, blue CBS baseball caps greeted me, so I asked them.


(what?…blank stares….who?…old people??).

Funny, even I knew the first answer, and I haven’t been a long-time fan. The oldest guy played with Hatch on the first show, the Sergeant or something…now…what was his name? The oldest woman I had to look up.*

Trivia tidbit: In only three shows has the oldest player of a season been the first person voted out.

I got in right away – it wasn’t busy. The Production Manager asked if I prepared an audition, and I’m like, uh, no. “OK, we’ll ask you some questions.” It was only about 1.5 minutes, but I've been thinking about his questions all week.

Now it’s my time to ask you…

1. What was the greatest adventure in your life?

2. Why would YOU win Survivor?

I two for #1'ed: : the 1988 Peace Walk, and a bicycle trip from Las Vegas to Boulder CO. Question 2 was harder. I didn't do so well. Relieved my first thought, “Huh? I’m not going to win Survivor,” stayed silent or they would have voted me off right there. I stumbled with some milk toast answer about good and evil, and how I wouldn’t play as liar and cheat like Russell did in Season 19, but rather with honor, that main Survivor conundrum. Yeech! (throw me a bone, I just watched the finale). I’ve come up with a better answer since then - like I’m a fun, bad aXX with maturity, a strategic, creative thinker, and experienced outdoor adventurer who will outwit, outlast and outplay. My inner Sagittarian went even deeper. We all play Survivor – every day. What do I bring to the table that makes me a winner of Survivor Ultimate; that game called life? What do you bring? I’d definitely play up the cook role – who wouldn’t want a private chef on Survivor? Ooooo - that’s a great show name….Chef wins the challenge! Chef finds the Immunity Idol!

I also started thinking what I’d study in prep, if I got picked. Among them:

1. Spear fishing (Tip learned: the inner branch of a palm frond makes a sharp spear).

2. The native edible plants found around camp, including sea veggies. I never see contestants harvesting plants, which is confusing because edible greens are found all over the wild.

3. How to make fire with flint.

When asking friends the two questions, #1 often included a surprising response describing activities done alone, rather than with others.

Now, if nothing came to mind for you on question #1, good news! You are still here and it’s not over yet. Today is a great day to fill that bucket with life’s greatest adventures, or to start planning one, and it doesn’t have to depend on how old you are, or how much money you have.

If you do, or already have done,

may be reason why,

at the end of it all,

you will smile and say,

I have won.

*Rudy Boesch is the oldest male to ever play in Borneo at age 72, and then again in Allstars at age 75.

*Sonja Christopher is the oldest female. She was 63 when she played in Borneo.

Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of another community,
on Apr 1, 2019 at 6:32 am

Thanks Abby, Yeah - we're here to have a good time at The Food Party! Negative Fest got it's air time, and we move on. This is an honest piece about a woman knocking over some of her fears and assumed limitations of getting older - it deserves to stand in that light.

Posted by JD, a resident of Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline,
on Apr 3, 2019 at 3:29 pm

I'm not a big fan of Survivor. I I were really cynical I would say it's just like Silicon Valley- A bunch of people trying to screw each other over for money :)

Probably more fun though.

Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: other,
on Apr 3, 2019 at 7:35 pm

interesting JD. I guess we all bring to it what we bring to it. I don't think about the tv or the money part - though that money does sound good now that you mention it! I'm in it for the adventure. The outdoor adventure. I love outdoor adventures.

Posted by Lauralies, a resident of another community,
on Apr 4, 2019 at 5:05 pm

Guess the age of the oldest winner?



Posted by Why I would win?, a resident of Rex Manor,
on Apr 7, 2019 at 12:33 am

Why I would win? is a registered user.

The answer to the question asked in the Survivor auditions, Why would you win Survivor?

The answer(at least for me) goes back to the first broadcast of the first episode when I knew who would win and told everyone the next day. I told my wife first, during the episode, she believed me, nobody else did.

The moment Rich Hatch climbed up on that tree branch and asked to have a conversation about how the group would make decisions. Hatch got my attention focused in that moment in the very way he spoke and his body language. What made me know he would win was what he did after other people made it clear they were not interested in discussing the issue.

For those who don't recall, Hatch backed off as if it was nothing and he was totally cool with letting things evolve naturally instead of thinking about the process ahead of time to avoid issues. Hatch also looked around to see how other people reacted in their facial expressions and body language. I don't know what he saw, the footage does not really show who he was looking at, but it was clear to me he was "reading the room" and storing that info away for future use.

The rest of the season I was always trying to think ahead of Hatch and he made very few clear mistakes and managed to wiggle out of them one way or another. Yes, Hatch was also very lucky when he needed to be, but mostly he ran the show from the start.

Hatch defined the show and how to play the game and only a handful of players since him made such a huge impact.

To be clear, I never said I liked Hatch as a person, just admired his skills in the first season.

Also to be clear, I would never play Survivor as a game myself, but if things got "real" that would be another matter and I would survive, because survival is a choice and an attitude as much as anything else. Of course, it's often better to be lucky than prepared, but it's best to be both.

Hatch knew that.

Hatch stated flat out in his audition tape that he would win.

Posted by JohnL, a resident of Cuesta Park,
on Apr 16, 2019 at 5:36 am

Congratulations) it was unexpected

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