My whole world has been turned upside-down.
I feel used. I feel betrayed. I feel lost.
Bear Grylls of “Man vs. Wild” (Discovery Channel) fame was always my favorite survivalist. The other competing show on the Discovery Channel, called “Survivorman” and starring Les Stroud, never really appealed to me. I had heard from hard-core MVW fans (that’s “Man vs. Wild” for those of you who are slow with acronyms) that Stroud was a fake, that he often slept in hotels while filming, and received help from his camera crew.
If that doesn’t sound like a big deal, let me explain the premise of both shows for the newbs. “Survivorman” came first, airing for one season in 2004, originally in Canada. It continued in 2007 and 2008, and then ceased production. The premise of “Survivorman” is that Stroud is stranded in the wilderness and must survive for seven consecutive days using only basic supplies that one might have when caught off-guard in a survival situation. “Man vs. Wild” (also known by other names in the many countries it is aired in) originated in 2006 in England and continues production. The premise of “Man vs. Wild” is that Grylls is stranded in the wilderness and must survive long enough to make his way to civilization, regardless of how long it takes. Again, Grylls is only outfitted with basic supplies that one might have. The point of both shows is to illustrate how to survive in the wilderness using items one can find in the wilderness.
The stars of both shows claim to rough it out and live in the situation as though it were real, barring certain major circumstances. For instance, if a situation is deemed too dangerous by the show’s insurance company and producers, measures will be taken that may not be possible in a more realistic situation. Or, if real-life survival depended on killing an endangered species for food (or some other similar environmental issue), this obviously wouldn’t happen for the show. I’ve heard rumors of massive fakery on both sides, but since I heard first that Les Stroud was the fake and Bear Grylls was the legit guy, I became a fan of Grylls. Besides, he’s more attractive and has a British accent. What straight/bi girl or gay/bi guy doesn’t love an attractive British man?
Finally, after arguing with a friend about it, I decided to do a little research. Granted, my research entailed looking up information on Wikipedia (not always the most reliable source) but still. I was heartbroken to find more information lending credence to Grylls being a phony than I did information about Stroud being a fake.
Bear Grylls, how could you do this to me? How could you have a better show and lie about the premise? How could you reel me in with your wiles and charms and then drop me like a rock?
So the question remains: Have you seen the show? If so, who is your favorite? And what have YOU heard about which one is real and which one is fake?