Personal: Survivor, Season 5 | Analisa Joy Photography | San Diego, CA Photographer

What did I do this past weekend? I helped organize and host our fifth season of Survivor! Trent’s favorite show is Survivor and it his dream to be on it someday. In the meantime, every year try to make that dream come to life. For three days, we gather eighteen people, play over twenty games, sleep outside, and vote one another off until there are three people left. At the end, those who were voted off, vote for one winner. Those who participate do not receive electronics, pillows, blankets, showers, toothbrushes, makeup, and/or food unless they win it as a reward. When they arrive, they are able to wear the clothes on their back and they are given a Costco pack of crackers, peanut butter, and unlimited water… and that’s it. The challenges take place every hour and while some are fun, others are exhausting. Every Survivor is filled with fun, laughter, tears and drama. You wouldn’t believe how competitive these people get when throw them into a series of competitions. They all put in $15.00 to participate and the grand prize winner walks away with $250.00. Not bad for a weekend hanging out with your best friends! It takes months of planning, creating unique games that everyone can participate in, buying props, and hosting the actual weekend itself. I take pictures and film the weekend and then we put together a Survivor video. I couldn’t do it without all my helpers so thank you to everyone who came out to help judge/organize the games, to the Schindler’s for hosting Survivor at your AMAZING house, and to Carrie for cooking all the delicious reward meals! It is a lot of hard work, months of planning, and a weekend of exhaustion. However, it is worth it in the end when everyone tells you that this was their favorite memory of the summer!

The teams are divided by random draw. Meet the blue team.

Meet the yellow team.

Once the teams are chosen, the compete for their campsite. One campsite is always better than the other.

In this game, the team is blindfolded (besides their team captains) and everyone holds hands. A coin is flipped and if it lands on heads, the captain squeezes the hand of the person next to them. This starts a chain reaction. The last player in the chain to get their hand squeeze grabs a ball placed on the chair beside them. The first team to grab the ball wins a point. However, if the coin lands on tails and they captain squeezes the hand on accident and if the team grabs the ball, they lose a point. First to six points, win! The blue team won the first competition!  

The next game was a reward challenge. The prize was a home cooked dinner. Carne asada, homemade salsa, homemade guacamole, and a whole bunch of delicious treats. Food challenges are very important to keep the team fueled and energized! In this game, they had to pass a penne noodle down the line using only a spaghetti noodle in their mouth. If the noodle fell at any point, they had to start over. The first to ten noodles won dinner! Blue won this pasta pass challenge!
After dinner, the teams did a trivia challenge for their comfort items (blankets, pillows, sleeping bags, etc.) They were given a random trivia quiz and the first to complete their quiz wins. If they did not get 100% on their quiz, the other team scored a point. If neither team turned in their quiz, the team who answered the most questions correct within a minute, scored a point. The quizzes consisted of random facts, disney, sports, and math.
The yellow team won their comfort items!

The teams are woken up at sunrise. It’s hard to sleep when it’s so bright outside. Lucky for them, this Survivor had the warmest nights. It’s usually very cold and uncomfortable. We had a gorgeous view for our sunrise this year.

Checking in on the blue team. I love that Darrin is laying face down in the grass.

Yes, that is my husband in a penguin onesie. He says that it’s the best item to keep you warm at night.Checking in on the yellow team.

Challenges start at 8am and the first challenge is always for breakfast. In this trifecta tournament, teams played basketball, horseshoes, and mini golf.

Blue team won the basketball challenge.

The yellow team one the horseshoe challenge.

Because the teams were tied, we had a mini golf challenge.

Danielle scored multiple hole-in-ones and she helped the blue team gain another victory! This means that yellow had to go without dinner and breakfast.
It was an intense golf tourney. I loved watching everyones expressions from the sidelines.

Blue vs. yellow team, fighting it out!
The blue team won homemade cinnamon roles, bacon, eggs, and fruit!
After breakfast, the teams competed in another relay. This was for immunity. They had to stuff their face in a plate of whip cream and find a bouncy ball with their mouths. They had cheese balls buried in whip cream as distractions.
It was over a 100 degrees, so pool challenges were an instant favorite. In this game, players had to stand on top of a ball in the water. They had to push their opponent off their ball while remaining their balance. The first person to have their ball float to the surface lost. The first to seven points on the game!

When a team loses immunity, they have to go to tribal council where they vote someone off. Individually, they come and write down the name of the person they want to see out of the game. After all the votes are written, I read them out loud and the person with the most votes has to leave the game.

The blindfold challenge was amongst my favorites. The team is blindfolded besides their team captain who is the “caller.” The captain guides their team through an obstacle to retrieve six objects. Once their objects are retrieved, the captain helps them form a human pyramid. This game is hard because two people are yelling at the same time while  giving directions. Not to mention, you can’t see what you’re doing.I didn’t have my camera for every challenge because I was constantly running around, but luckily, I had my phone for some of the games. In this game, the players try to knock off their opponents can while balancing their own (very similar to the pool challenge). The first can to hit the ground loses.

We play multiple relays in Survivor. The teams choose people based on their skills and I love that everyone gets to be involved and highlighted in different areas. This game involved endurance, swimming, running, and puzzle skills.
In the Survivor quiz game, the players answer a series of questions based on who is left in the game. Some consist of, “who would you like to see in a costume for the next hour?” or “who would you like to see tied together for the next hour?” They answer twenty questions and then they all come together and write down what they think the majority answered for each question. The person who receives the most correct answers, wins. However, the consequence questions (costumes and tied together) were rewarded to those who received the most votes. This gave everyone a good laugh.

Eric had to wear a costume for an hour AND he was also voted to be tied up to Trent for an hour, haha!Out of eighteen people, only seven people make it to day three. I woke up with the stomach flu that morning and had to leave, but thankfully we had Riley who was able to takeover. She was a great host! Here is your final four.

In the final challenge, the players received a noodle and they had to hold it above water while treading water. If their noodle touched the water, they were out. This lasted 35 minutes.

Here is your final three. Those who are voted out, come back and assess how these three played the game. They can ask them questions such as, “why do you deserve to win this game over the others?” and then they vote on a winner. This year, everyone one in the final three received at least one vote!
However, it was Danielle who received the majority of votes and she was crowned the Survivor champion! She is the second girl to receive first place in five years!

Congrats Danielle, the ultimate Survivor! Thank you to everyone who played. Until next year!