Want to Play Survival Challenge?
Check Out These 5 Application Tips

Applications are now open for Season 11 of Survival Challenge, which will take place this year from July 3-7! If you’re interested in participating in a 5-day competition that will test your physical, social, and strategic prowess in a fast-paced version of the CBS reality show, Survivor, don’t miss your chance – apply by midnight on January 31!

People off all different ages and backgrounds – from anywhere we might add – are encouraged to apply!

Click here to apply for Season 11 of Survival Challenge now!

Participants will not merely compete; they will immerse themselves in the raw elements of the game: navigating epic challenges, forging alliances, and surviving the unpredictable outdoors. We’re seeking competitors ready to seize this unparalleled opportunity and conquer the ultimate adventure of a lifetime!

Not long ago, Survival Challenge host Jon Vataha shared his thoughts on the casting process, complete with some tips and tricks. While we encourage you to watch the one-hour video – which you can do at the bottom of this article – we understand not everyone has the time. Even so, we wanted to share at least some of the valuable information as it might help in your application process.

With that said, be sure to remember these five tips throughout the process.

1.) Know What Survival Challenge is All About

While Survival Challenge is a game inspired by Survivor, it is not Survivor. You’re applying to the one and not the other, so be aware of that fact as you discuss why you want to be on Survival Challenge. That’s not to say you can’t talk Survivor as we’re definitely keen to learn if you’re familiar with the show, a super fan, etc., just try to strike a good balance. Do NOT send the same audition video you may have sent in for Survivor (trust us, we’ll know the difference).

Similarly, be sure your video is geared toward Survival Challenge and not some other live reality game.

“If you send me a Big Brother application, we’re just gonna wonder if you sent it to the wrong place or something,” Vataha shared. “How long does it take these days to pull out your phone and put together a two-minute video, especially when we’re emphasizing we’re not looking for highly-edited video. We just want to see you and we want to hear your story.”

2.) Don’t Be Too Gimmicky

It may seem counterintuitive, but don’t go overboard in your audition video. Gimmicks don’t work as well as you might think. All you need to do to impress us is be as authentic to your true self as possible.

“Don’t do stunts like stand out in the snow with no shirt on and things like that. It doesn’t impress Survivor and it doesn’t impress us,” Vataha explained. “Staging things, as soon as I start to see that happen I get this feeling in my stomach like you’re just trying to impress me as opposed to just telling me who you are. I need to see beyond the gimmick.”

Likewise, don’t talk about your job. You probably feel that your job has perfectly prepared you for Survival Challenge, but the problem is everyone feels the same way! You can certainly tell us about what you do, but don’t rely on that as the sole reason to be cast.

3.) It’s Not a One-Man Show

As the host, Vataha is the face of Survival Challenge, but he’s just one of several people involved in the casting processes. Usually, he and three others watch ALL the audition videos and come up with respective Top 10 lists.

“We’re all seeing different things and it really makes for a good conversation at the end of the process,” said Vataha.

That means if you catch the eye of even one casting agent, you may have someone pushing to get you on the show! For example, when two casting agents like someone and the other two don’t, it might go a little like:

“Two of you don’t have them in your top ten. Let me tell you what it is about them that I like, and then I would go to the two persons who were objecting and ask them the opposite question to see if they’re seeing something that I’m missing. Once we go back and forth on that person, I’d ask one of the other casting people basically to make a pitch just like a casting agent would for Survivor. Make a pitch for your person and we just keep going around and around, either come to a consensus, or if we can’t decide maybe schedule them an interview.”

Some qualities the casting team looks for include flair, authentic, and gameplay, just to name a few. If you’re excited about playing, both tell and show us!

4.) Don’t Worry About When You Apply

Audition videos are open throughout the month of January and it doesn’t really matter when you send it in so long as you do! You might think that waiting until the end of the month will make it so that your video is fresher in the mind of the casting team. While that may be true to some degree, they’ve come up with a process to fairly consider each video regardless if they’re submitted at either the beginning, middle, or end of the month.

“You don’t want to have a disadvantage for the folks who were ready to go on Day 1 and hit the submit button,” said Vataha. “What I don’t want to do is get caught in a stereotypical casting process, which would be very easy to do.”

No spots are officially determined until the application window is closed, so it really doesn’t matter when you send in. That said, you don’t want to wait too long and potentially miss the deadline.

5.) Final Words to Remember

When it comes to your audition video, and potential interview, Vataha summed it up nicely.

“You’ve got to have some game play ability, you’ve got to be able to demonstrate that, and you’ve got to show me that you can socialize … give me something to let me know that you understand what our game is about and you’re going to do something to get there.”

Tell us why you want to play Survival Challenge, why you’re excited, and what will you do to win.

In closing, remember these wise words from Vataha – “We are looking for an authentic cast to play an authentic replication of Survivor.”

Check out the full LRGs 101: Casting video below:


If you do apply, you won’t have to wait long as our casting team will let all applicants known via email whether or not they have been selected by approximately Feb. 28. What are you waiting for? Get your application in today!

-Chad Holloway 2024