Thursday, December 12, 2013
By Ray Routhier firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Snow did just about everything one needs to do to survive in the wild -- he ate bugs, slept in puddles and got over his fear of snakes.
But he never became a good liar, which, as any viewer will tell you, is the true key to survival on the CBS show "Survivor."
The Maine native was seen being voted off the latest edition of the reality show on Wednesday night, ending his quest to beat out 19 other "Survivor" castaways for the show's $1 million prize.
Snow, who grew up in Cumberland, lasted 25 days on the beaches of the Caramoan Islands in the Philippines, longer than nine other players.
Wearing a bandana and a scraggly beard, Snow was seen in Wednesday's episode trying to sway other players to his side by preaching male solidarity.
"Wouldn't it be cool if the men could dominate this?" he said, while talking to other players beneath a waterfall.
But in the end, what did Snow in was that he was a fan of the show.
This season's edition of "Survivor" started out with "fans" competing against "favorites," people who had been on "Survivor" before.
The favorites, having been on the show before, knew the importance of lying, and to the right people, in trying to influence votes.
So by Wednesday's episode there were only four fans left, against seven favorites.
And while other players were seen on camera lying to each other and pretending to remain loyal to everyone, Snow didn't concoct stories about other players or act like he was allied with people he wasn't loyal to.
Near the beginning of the episode, the leaders of the fans and the favorites groups were seen trying to finagle enough votes to vote off the other group's leader. But when those efforts failed, players were seen talking about making a "safe" vote by voting off Snow.
They knew he didn't have enough votes on his side to protect him.
It didn't help Snow that he didn't do well in the various immunity challenges, where players could win the right to be safe during a vote.
The immunity challenge on Wednesday's episode involved players staying in the water for more than an hour as the tide rose and eventually submerged them.
Snow was seen struggling to keep his mouth and nose out of the water. He outlasted about half the competitors.
Snow, 44, is a graduate of Greely High School and the University of Maine now living in New York.
He tried out for the show several times before landing a spot on "Survivor: Caramoan," which was filmed on beaches of tropical islands in the Philippines last year.
The shows he appeared on began airing in February.
He wasn't available for comment Wednesday night, but Snow said in an interview earlier this year he enjoyed all aspects of his time on the show and the challenges it presented.
"The game, the challenges, sleeping on a beach, going out in the canoe, being afraid of seeing snakes -- all the time," wrote Snow, in an email approved by CBS publicists. "Rats jumping on me at night, that was freaky, but a part of the experience. It was everything I'd hoped. I was looking for a challenge and an adventure, boy did I find them."
In each episode of "Survivor," teams of castaways come together to compete in challenges, hoping to win immunity before the next tribal council so they won't be voted off and sent home.
Snow is an event planner who has lived in Atlanta, Chicago and New York, and comes to Maine often to visit his parents, brother and two sisters and their families.
As a native Mainer, he was hoping to follow in the footsteps of Bob Crowley, a high school physics teacher, now retired, from South Portland, who won the show's top prize in 2008.
Crowley was 57 at the time, and won by using a combination of typical Maine skills -- he remained fairly quiet, and he took his time to figure out problems instead of always rushing to act.
Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at: