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'Survivor' spin-off hits State Fair

Oct. 19, 2000

Group of 5 living in a car, winner gets Pontiac Aztek

By VENUS LAU

Contributor

Five strangers for five days are 'living' in a car at the State Fair of Texas this week with no driving, radio, or privacy. The last person still in the car on Friday will prove to be the true 'survivor' in the WBAP's Survive and Drive contest.

WBAP, one of the nation's largest radio stations based in Arlington, is sponsoring the contest with General Motors. At 6 a.m. Monday the five finalists of Survive and Drive --Edmond, Emily, Kevin, Kimberly and Randy -- entered the Pontiac Aztek at the WBAP booth at the State Fair of Texas. The winner will win the $27,000 vehicle and the losing contestants will receive consolation prizes ranging from $250 to $2,000.

By 9 a.m. Tuesday, the first contestant, Emily, was voted out of the car by majority vote of the contestants. This process of elimination was also used on Wednesday when Kevin was eliminated , and will be used again at 9 a.m. today.

Friday, WBAP listeners will cast their vote on the Internet, at www.WBAP.com, to decide who will be the winner in the final round with the two remaining contestants. The format of eliminating the contest is like the show Survivor.

Dana Swanson, a Des Moines, Iowa, junior, said that she does not understand all the excitement about the reality show Survivor. The show had a group of strangers stranded on an island and participate in immunity and award challenges with majority vote of contestants to eliminate one another off the island.

'It seems like everyone is jumping on the reality show band-wagon,' Swanson said. Other reality shows include Big Brother, MTV's Real World and Road Rules.

The contestants are given a 10-minute break every two hours to eat, use the restroom, smoke, or anything else they need to do.

They are allowed to bring one 'comfort item' with them inside the car, such as a pillow, blanket, or jacket. They were not allowed to bring anything that could be used to pass time, such as all electronic devices, books or magazines.

'I would bring a pillow, to be as comfortable as I possibly could,' said Rachel McClard, a Little Rock senior. McClard also said she would possibly participate in the contest if it were for a different car.

Lee Forrest, a Houston junior, said he would not participate in such a contest and thinks 'it would be more interesting if they used a motorcycle.'

'Do these people have nothing better to do?' Reagan Rea, a Coppell senior, asked. 'There is not enough money in the world for me to sit in a car for five days.'

Although most students seemed to be pessimistic about the contest, Alicia Tsai, a San Antonio senior, was more supportive.

'I think it would be an awesome experience to see if I could pull it off and test my ability to maintain relationships with people to stay in the car,' Tsai said.

Another optimistic, yet humorous view came from John Wolf, a Grand Rapids, Mich., junior.

'Yeah, I'd do it! It would be like a road trip, only in a parking lot. If I won, I'd be a superstar of Central Texas - course that's my dream,' said Wolf.

Michelle McConnell, the promotions coordinator for WBAP, is excited to see the competition of the contestants, and finished by saying, 'may the best survivor win.'