‘Survivor’ Hopeful is ‘Too Nice’ for the Show
A Cincinnati man who walked more than 2,200 miles to Los Angeles to deliver his audition tape for the next season of CBS reality show "Survivor" was told by producers Tuesday that he was "too nice."
"I'm the guy that walked across America and had my dreams killed," said Greg Insco, 26. "The producer said I would get eaten alive, I said 'By who? Ronald McDonald?' If being too nice doesn't get you on a TV show, that's crooked isn't it? Should I just be a jerk?"
Insco made the long trek on foot in large part in honor of a friend, Megan Gore, who died in 2006 of a sudden brain aneurysm at the age of 19.
While heartbroken over what producers told him, Insco kept his spirit, saying he might do the walk again for a later season — in half the time.
"I'm working on a Plan B," he said. "I'm not just going to lay down and give up. I gave up everything in my life for this."
Insco said he wants to invite producers to Cincinnati and have them walk through the streets, where residents will return a greeting or wave.
"I've walked through miles here where even the homeless won't say hi back to me," he said. "I just saw 30 Bentleys drive by but people here have forgotten what reality is. People die and are poor and don't get everything they want."
Surviving has definitely proved a forte for Insco. He nearly walked across North America. He killed and ate one rattlesnake that attacked him in the Arizona desert. He drank one water bottle filled from a toilet to stave off dehydration in the southeastern California desert.
But being a survivor is not necessarily enough to get you on "Survivor," said the show's casting director, Lynne Spillman, during an interview last week.
"It's a social game. If it was who could survive, he's probably perfect," Spillman said.
Sex, confrontation and a sense of humor are key elements of cast members, according to Spillman.
The show gets about 20,000 applicants per season, she said. Crews are currently filming the 19th "Survivor" season in Samoa in advance of a fall airing.
The 20th season has been confirmed but a location not yet announced.
The life he is returning to, Insco said, is more reality than the producers will ever understand.
When the real estate agent returns to Cincinnati, he will be greeted by about $70,000 in credit card debt, foreclosed property and a repossessed car.
"It's bad enough that they just shot down my dreams," he said. "I tried to give everything in my life humanly possible to make this a reality."
Insco said he planned to stay the night in Beverly Hills and wasn't sure how he would get back to Cincinnati. Numerous followers have offered to purchase him a plane ticket but he would rather see the money go to the Megan Gore Scholarship Fund.
"I'll just keep smiling. I honored my friend Megan and no one could ever take this experience from me," he said. "I failed miserably but I gave it my all. People fail all the time but it's OK as long as you try to your hardest and I truly did."