Thursday, September 13, 2007

Christian radio personality to appear on Survivor: China

People of faith have appeared on the show before, but the new season of Survivor should prove particularly interesting because a person in a ministry position will compete for the $1 million prize.

Leslie Nease, a Christian radio talk show host with WRCM-FM (New Life 91.9) in Charlotte, North Carolina, visited China this summer for a taping of the program. The season premiers on CBS, Thursday, Sept. 20, at 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific.

I've been a fan of the show since the second season, but have often wondered how a Christian might navigate the task of "Outwitting" other contestants.

Every alliance must break at some point...only one person can win. So the further the game progresses the more likely someone will have to either vote against a person they told they wouldn't, or align with an individual or group behind someone else's back.

Leslie, however, has a unique take on the game. She says you can either see Survivor as a game that encourages deception, or you can do as she does and see it as a game that is about loyalty and learning who you can trust. Hmmm. Never thought of it like that.

One reason I think Survivor makes for such fascinating television is everyone enters the game with a different idea of what ethical lines they won't cross. Some may go in determined to do whatever it takes to win. Others may feel that being dishonest with another player is completely out of the question.

You can also mix in three other key elements that complicate things and make the show a social experiment like few other:

1) Contestants most likely begin to care for each other and develop real friendships while spending every waking hour in a strange, uncomfortable, surreal experience, and

2) You're on national television and will be remembered forever for the decisions you make and the way you treat others while on location, and

3) It's really just a game.

Leslie says in the promotional video online that she feels being a Christian radio host will be helpful to her "on so many levels." I'm interested in seeing how that plays out.

If you visit the main Survivor Web site right here you can scroll down and there is a video in which you can meet Leslie (and the other contestants) and hear about how she views the game in light of her Christian values. It sounds like she definately has the right attitude going in.

Here's a behind the scenes video of what it takes to put the show together. Should be an interesting season.

It starts a week from tonight.


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