You can become a contender

Australian Survivor is one of the marquee shows on Network 10. Photo: Contributed

Stefan Bradley

Self-proclaimed Survivor superfan Hugh “Buck” Buchanan wants to help train with the community a battle-hardened Gippsland contestant for the Australian version of the reality television franchise.

“I want to see people from Gippsland get on Australian Survivor,” Mr Buchanan said.

Mr Buchanan is referring to the rebooted edition of Australian Survivor currently airing on Network 10, which began in 2016.

He notes that the very first Australian version on the Nine Network (2002) was won by the late Rob Dickson, who was from Traralgon. Mr Buchanan wants to see someone from Gippsland on the Network 10 version, which he says is a big step-up in quality.

“I’ve been watching the show for the last 20 years and we haven’t been represented on it. I’ve watched every season of the US version numerous times, I watch the Australian one, as well as the South African, New Zealand, every English-language version and even some of the non-English speaking versions,” Mr Buchanan said.

“I think I got a good idea of what works and what doesn’t – I see a lot of the contestants making the same mistakes over and over.

“I’ve applied for Survivor myself and got as far as the live interviews in Melbourne one time as part of the top 300, and I still apply every year.”

Mr Buchanan wants to start what he’s calling the ‘Australian Survivor Training Academy’.

“My idea is to get people together and start watching the show and discussing strategies, which is what a lot of fans already do, but the difference is we’re going to live it,” he said.

“We’re gonna have tribes, buffs, immunity idols, and we’ll vote people out in a mock tribunal.

“They won’t actually be required to leave the group though.

“To be clear, this is completely a fan thing, we will have no official association with the actual Australian Survivor.”

Mr Buchanan says he wants to replicate everything viewers see on the show.

“We’ll do challenges and work on fitness, we’ll learn how to build shelters and make fires, and we’ll even help with making an application to be on the show,” he said.

“We will go through every phase of the game so they are comfortable with it, so that when, not if, but when they get on the show, they have some experience behind them.”

Even nicknames are a big part of the show.

“All the big memorable players on Australian Survivor have nicknames, whether it’s Dirty Harry, the Godmother or King of the Jungle,” Mr Buchanan said.

“And we’ll also break down why they became fan favourites, so even if you don’t win, you can get back on the show.

“If we get at least one person from Gippsland on and they’re memorable, or even win it, that’s going to open the door for those from the training group who are on a higher level than most.

“But even if you just like watching the show rather than competing yourself, it will be a great way to interact with people and have fun.”

Mr Buchanan, who was born and raised in the United States, said that in many aspects he liked the Australian version of Survivor the most.

“The Australian version is more physical, and even Sandra (Diaz-Twine), who won the US version twice and was just voted off Australian Survivor, said it was harder than the US Survivor,” he said.

“The American version at the moment is aiming to be more dramatic, with big blindsides, so the Australian version is a better all-around game.”

Mr Buchanan says he’s looking to start the group in Sale.

“I live in Paradise Beach, but I’m looking to run this group in Sale as I go there for work all the time and there’s a bigger population, so if anyone’s interested they can get in contact with me and we can discuss setting something up,” he said.

“We need more Gippslanders on Survivor!”

To get involved, contact Buck Buchanan at