These 6 US states have never had a Survivor castaway. Ever.

Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Out of 500+ contestants that have been on Survivor since the year 2000, only 44 US states have had representatives on the show.

Though we’re right in the thick of the Survivor offseason, we at Surviving Tribal are always thinking and preparing content for what’s coming up. Sometimes we even dig deep into the Disney vault drafts to see what old ideas we can resurrect for the modern day. When we do, it’s research time.

One thing we’ve been tinkering around with is a piece that looks at all the best Survivor players from each of the 50 United States. In our research, we have found that of the 556 individual players to compete on the show (including those in the upcoming David vs. Goliath, we can come up with examples for the best players in only 44 of the United States.

Two of the standout states that haven’t had Survivor representation include Alaska and Hawaii, both of which are not part of the Contiguous United States (being separated from the conjoined 48 on the mainland. The other four states are Wyoming, North Dakota, West Virginia and New Mexico.

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One of the biggest reasons I can imagine that players from these states haven’t been on Survivor has to do with a shallower casting pool. Regarding the US population (as of 2017), Wyoming has just over 579,000 citizens, Alaska has 739,000+, North Dakota has 755,000+, Hawaii has 1,427,000+, West Virginia has 1,815,000+, and New Mexico has just under 2.1 million.

If all of these states’ populations formed a new location, it would still not even crack the top 12 in terms of population. 7,405,968 people (most of which are too young, too old or not able to pass a physical) in a country of more than 325 million puts a bigger perspective on the reason why players from these states haven’t had a player on the show yet.

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For casting, it’s all about who’s best for television. It makes sense why Wyoming and the non-contiguous states don’t have players (especially for contest rules’ sake), but the fact North Dakota, West Virginia and New Mexico haven’t had people compelling enough to push past the Finals stage and onto the show is interesting, to say the least.

There have been specific casting interests throughout Survivor’s multitude of eras that have narrowed down the field. For example, if you look at when the show cast its most diverse groups for Cook Islands and Fiji, both groups have a majority of players from California, New York and Texas. They are recruit-heavy seasons for the purposes of that year of filming, most of which are close to casting directors’ reach.

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Who knows; perhaps one of these six states will be represented in Survivor: Island of Extinction, as we are aware of just who the returnees are.