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Friday, May 09, 2008

Survivor Philippines, updates

We Pinoys are always up for challenges — whether they are physical or mental — that would measure the agility, determination and cleverness each of us possesses. And indeed, we never give up easily. These characteristics surfaced when GMA 7 recently opened its door to thousands who are ready for more grueling tests of skills and intelligence in the first leg of auditions for Survivor Philippines held in this city where pomelo and exotic durian fruits abound.

Isog, Wais, Walay Gi-atrasan keep flashing on the GMA channel as it invites Davaoeños to take their chance in the Kapuso network’s latest reality show. Result: Over 2,000 Survivor wannabes trooped to SM City Davao as early as the mall’s opening for an opportunity to compete in the game of survival. The two-day event, which started Thursday morning of May 1, made the mall’s Event Center on its second level busier and livelier as Davaoeños of all shapes and sizes, gender, blood and religious affiliations but within the age bracket of 18 to 60 formed a long line, patiently and excitedly waiting for their turn to face the screening committee headed by program manager Neil Gumban.

“The turn-out of applicants is amazing but in this show what we are looking for are those with character, with unique personalities and at the same time physically and mentally fit,” Neil says during the first day of auditions.

The selection process was smooth and orderly with the applicants being interviewed by batches of 10. About a hundred qualified for the next set of interviews as of 4 p.m. of the first day. As applicants kept on coming, Neil hopes Davaoeños will be among the 16 people to stay in the yet undisclosed remote island for 39 days.

Survivor Philippines host Paolo Bediones’ appearance at the audition made hopefuls’ energy surge to the highest point as he convinced everyone to show all their guts and display that power within for the chance to be named the sole Survivor and win the P3-M cash prize.

“This (show) is true to its tagline of outwit, outplay and outsmart. There would be deceptions among the castaways and anyone can be voted out whether you’re the strongest or not. It’s a must to be good in strategies to survive until the last challenge,” Paolo reminds everyone about the essence of the game.

Although not new with reality shows, Paolo expresses his excitement as he relates his feelings about being chosen by GMA management to host the show.

“I was told a month and a half ago that the role (as host) was given to me but prior to that, many names were considered and I guess my experience on Extra Challenge served as an advantage. My credibility, I guess, has been developed through the years,” Paolo shares.

As soon as Castaway Productions, owner of the Survivor franchise, gave its nod to Paolo, he began preparations like physical training, swimming, survival methods and briefing and seminars on first aid. He believes everybody in the 80-member production crew must at all times be alert and ready as anything can happen in the island. Yet he and Neil assure medical teams will be on standby. Support from the government of the country where the island is located will also be sought.

“I’m not only going to be a host but also as part of the team responsible for making sure the challenges are in place, well-constructed with safety given utmost importance,” Paolo says.

He hints that the reality show won’t take place in the country even though we have vast islands here. He says the local franchise of Survivor has been following to the letter the rules of the reality show. One objective is to see how the contestants would survive in an unfamiliar territory without the comforts of home, cell phones, watches and ready food as they’ll be fending for themselves aside from tackling the challenges.

Was there an initial hesitation when the hosting job was offered to him as it would also keep Paolo away from his loved ones?

“Wow, I’ve been waiting for this for so long and I hope to come up with something new as this is my 10th year on GMA. I know this is a big responsibility but I will go for it to the best I can,” Paolo replies.

Paolo and the production team will be leaving for the island as soon as the 16 castaways are chosen from the nationwide auditions. The other Survivor Philippines auditions will be held in Iloilo today; Dagupan on May 16; Baguio, May 17 and 18; SM North Edsa, May 21 and 22; and SM Manila, May 23. [source of news]

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