Photo Survival Competition for Island Prize

By Frank Elaridi

Nov 20, 2013 5:00pm
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Competitors complete challenges using just their heads and cameras in a Samsung competition where the prize is an island. Samsung

Samsung is running a survival series where competitors from all over the world are stranded and must work out challenges using just their heads and Samsung cameras. The winner will receive $100,000 to be used to buy an island — or just go to an island.

“SOS Island: Survival of the Smartest,” which was shot on an island off the coast of Puerto Rico, combines the traditional reality competition style of a show like “Survivor” with new media components like online video streaming and social media.

“We specifically chose people who were good on social media. That doesn’t mean they just had high numbers, but somehow utilized social media in their life in some way,” said Tom Bannister, CEO of SXM, the company that produced the show. “In terms of creative control, we took the unprecedented step of giving the storytelling aspect to our contestants on their social media sites with no approval from our side.”

“It’s 60 percent challenge wins and 40 percent voters, there are more people voting than were challenges, so it’s anybody’s game,” said Brittany Joyal, a contestant from Los Angeles. ”
So social media plays a big part in this competition, because you need to reach out and get people to vote for you online in order to win.”

Contestants are dropped on an island with tools aside from Samsung GALAXY S4 zoom Smartphone cameras and GALAXY NX cameras, and are expected to compete in challenges like building proper shelters to sleep in and starting fires to keep warm.

“One of the challenges we had to do was actually a fire-making challenge and it was crazy,” Joyal said. “We built our fire by accident outside the pit so we were trying to throw it onto the fire pit that we had and tried not to kill the camera crew at the same time.”

The show is working with Island broker Chris Krolow, host of “Island Hunters” on HGTV, to provide the winnings. Although the prize is advertised as an island, it’s more specifically $100,000 toward an island experience. The winner could use the money to buy a cheaper island, or they could choose to use the money on several tropical vacations until the money runs out.

“I would probably rent out an island for a month and bring a bunch of my friends, because buying an island sounds like it would cost way more than $100,000,” said Karen Constant, a competitor from Boston. “Maybe not go on just one, but go on multiple islands. I’ll see what my options are depending on what happens. Hopefully I’ll be the winner.”

Samsung will announce the winner in Los Angeles on Dec. 10.

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