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Surviving Barstool

As Americans, it’s been a long time since we’ve all been able to gather around a screen and watch some quality backstabbing reality TV. 

Yes, there’s the never ending Bachelor/Bachelorette that girls watch every week like a religious cult. As well as programs like ‘Love is Blind’ and ‘The Circle,’ but those shows are not aired live and seem dramatically staged. That being said, we the people have been longing for a show that everyone can collectively agree to watch. Until now. 

This week, Barstool Sports aired their new series and Super Bowl promo “Surviving Barstool: Presented by New Amsterdam.” The show was broadcasted live every night and is available now on their Youtube. With only eight contestants, six days of filming and literal days to edit, they produced the best reality show this nation has seen in a long time.

The concept of the show was much like another one that I can’t seem to put my finger on. Much like that other show (unnamed for copyright reasons), the players were stranded on an island. Except, this island was an office in Manhattan instead of makeshift shelters in Madagascar. All playing for $10,000 cash. 

Typically, these types of shows are casted with a diverse group of individuals that have nothing in common. This was not the case for Surviving Barstool. These contestants actually shared a cripplingly strong commonality between one another. They were all employees of Barstool Sports. This game was played co-worker vs. co-worker. Something that has never been done before in game show history.

Let’s take a look at the contestants:

The producers threw this pool of personalities into their own place of work among their seven other co-workers and dangled 10k above their heads. Which undoubtedly, is many people’s worst nightmare. 

They weren’t just work buddies having an office slumber party. They played by (the other show)’s rules. There were challenges, idols, tribal council, they even went as far as taking their bags away as soon as they got there. (Shoutout Luggage Guy Trent.) On top of all that, they each had to wake up everyday and go about their everyday jobs. Jobs that already require them to be behind a camera. 

So a day in the life of each contestant looked something like this: 

Without giving away any spoilers, I will say this whole production put a toll on the contestants. You can see it on their face as the show progresses. The whole time they’re strategizing, creating alliances and getting stabbed in the back.

As a viewer, you forget that THEY ALL WORK TOGETHER. So for us it’s great quality entertainment, but they have to work amongst these people even after the final episode. As host KFC, Kevin Clancy, said on his after show NAVterShow “these are their lifelong partners.” Think about that, everyday you have to see the people who cheated you out of your 1 and 8 shot of $10,000. Brutal to say the least. 

Just to throw salt into the wound, KFC told the contestants at the finale that the show went so well, that they’ve decided to do another season. This time, for $100,000. Imagine? You went through all of that, and the host hits you with “Yeah, you could’ve been doing this for ten times the prize. You were just the guinea pigs to see if it’d work out.” I’d put money that none of them will ever put themselves through that again, even if it is for 100 g’s.  

Not to sound like a Shameless intro but….if you haven’t watched Surviving Barstool already, what the fuck are you waiting for? You will have to miss out on the live tweeting that made this show even more *chefs kiss* but that’s on you. All in all, this was quality entertainment that kept you glued to the screen. Thanks to everyone who was involved, this show filled the reality television void we all so dearly missed.

Written by Grace O'Malley

If Carrie Bradshaw drank a little bit too much and was originally from Boston...

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