Lafayette’s Shannon Elkins is the latest Hub City resident to appear on the popular, long-running CBS reality series “Survivor.” The 30-year-old business owner is the third man from Lafayette to appear on the series, this time in its latest iteration, “Survivor Nicaragua,” which premiered Wednesday, Sept. 15 and airs next on Wednesday, Sept. 22.
Elkins tells The Indepenent it was his friendship with “Survivor” alumnus Kenward “Boo” Bernis, with whom Elkins attended the “Survivor: Fiji” finale in New York last year, that landed him a slot on the program. He adds that the show’s producers have a theory about why so many Louisiana natives have appeared on the program. “They think it’s what’s in our water,” Elkins jokes. “I just think that people from the South, we’re good characters — we bring a lot to the table. We’re straight-forward, brash type of people, and they like those types of personalities on these shows. We usually make good characters.”
Elkins is one of 20 contestants on the program vying for a $1 million prize, which goes to the sole “survivor.” Contestants are divided into tribes — Elkins’ La Flor tribe is competing against Espada — and at the end of each episode one contestant is voted off the set, in this case the steamy, mosquito-infected Nicaraguan coast. The first cast member was ejected at the end of the Sept. 15 episode. The Sept. 22 episode is titled, “Fatigue Makes Cowards of Us All.”
“It’s a lot like Lafayette — it’s humid, it’s hot,” Elkins says of the Central American climate. “And the mosquitoes eat you alive — the mosquitoes, the bamboo ants.” And contrary to popular assumption, there is no air-conditioned trailer the contestants can take refuge in; they’re dropped off with only their clothes and literally have to survive. The film crew resides in tents beyond an out-of-bounds perimeter the contestants are forbidden to cross.
“There’s no A/C anywheres, there’s no food. It was so bad that there was no ripe fruit,” Elkins admits. “It makes you appreciate everything you have here in little, old Lafayette.”
“Survivor: Nicaragua” airs at 7 p.m. Central Time on KLFY TV10.