Belén Yudess ’25
Copy Editor Intern
“Drop your buffs” and gather your fellow Survivor fans; season three of Claremont Survivor is in the works!
Based on the show of the same name, a group of 18 students from across the 5Cs have been competing in various endurance and intellectual competitions since Sept. 24 in the hopes of winning immunity to avoid being voted out by the rest of their castmates.The goal of the game is to make it to the final three where the jury, composed of evicted players, will vote for the winner of the game.
Based on the Survivor reality television show’s popular 32nd season, Survivor Kaôh Rōng, competitors were split into three teams: brains, brawn, and beauty. Within the application process, potential cast members were asked to rank which characteristic they resonated with the most and were separated accordingly.
Team Brain consisted of Dalton Lazaroby HMC ’25, Brooke Benmar PZ ’25, Andrew Shelton PO ’27, Mazzy Rosenat PZ ’25, Adrianne Balik HMC ’27, and Phillip Belin PO ’26. Team Brawn included Bayley Baur PZ ’26, Fernando Padilla PZ ’27, Molly Booth ’25, Grace James PZ ’24, Shaun Kewalramani PO ’25, and Rylie Hack CMC ’27. Beauty was made up of Marley Thomson PZ ’27, Luca Davis PZ ’27, Olivia Shrager ’24, Eli Protas PO ’25, Kevin Chen CMC ’27, and Hannah Weaver ’24.
Bringing this strategic and complex game to Claremont began with Will Pakenas PZ ’24 in 2021 and has continued due to the passion of current club co-presidents, Amber Mogg PZ ’26 and Mimi Lopez ’26. “I’ve always loved Survivor, so this club was right up my alley,” Lopez, who was a competitor in last year’s season, said.
Lopez notes that this club is targeted towards other Survivor enthusiasts as well as those who are looking for a way to have a good time. “We do challenges and take a break from school a couple times a week, which is really nice,” she said.
Some of the competitions this season included a 5C scavenger hunt and trying to remove a T-shirt from a block of ice. As gameplay has progressed, the competitors have been narrowed down to six players: James, Booth, Protas, Padilla, Thomson, and Shrager.
Aside from the challenges, a large portion of Survivor revolves around game play, which is complicated by the use of hidden immunity idols, alliances, and blindsides.
“I think [this season] has been really vicious,” said Protas. “I just didn’t expect it to be this serious – there are layers of lying going on at all times. I was expecting maybe one layer max and it is significantly more than one; it’s a tiered cake.”
James further explained the difficulties of navigating this season due to the genuine friendships that have been formed. “Everyone here, we get along,” she said in reference to the final six competitors. “This game is a social experiment, and I think it’s fascinating how every single person who plays fits into the social dynamic of the experiment because everyone has a certain role and it makes the machine go.”
Booth noted how important forging relationships are to being successful in the game. “I think that has been really useful and plays into a lot of the reasons why some other people have not made it this far,” she said.
The inclusion of online interactions has also played a role in the observed gameplay. “This iteration of the game is really interesting as well because you can text whoever you want, whenever you want and then you don’t necessarily have to interact or show that you’re friends in person,” Booth said.
Although establishing trust in the game can be difficult, Shrager offered an alternative perspective about how Survivor has been beneficial in this capacity. “I think it’s also weirdly good for trust because you are texting with these random people being like, okay, we’re good with going for this person, and then you show up praying that they’re telling the truth.”
Season three of Claremont Survivor is an intricate web of shifting dynamics, fast-paced decision making, and oftentimes deception and uncertainty. Yet, the final six – consisting of three members of beauty and three members of brawn – agreed that this experience has added an extra layer of thrill to their semesters.
“It’s definitely been stress-inducing because my name has been written down multiple times during multiple weeks, but I’ve really enjoyed the scheming,” said Booth. “I feel like it itches a part of my brain that doesn’t get satisfied in real life, so it’s been a lot of fun. And genuinely the people in this room are some of the closest people in my life right now.”
If you are interested in being a part of Claremont Survivor next semester, whether as part of the cast or production team, follow @survivorclaremont on Instagram and fill out the application in their bio! You can also join them for their weekly screenings of Survivor on Wednesdays in The Honnold-Mudd Library!
Image Source: Belén Yudess ’25