Survivor is great and all, but we can't forget about the rest of the world's problems. When you get a moment, please visit the following organizations:

Amnesty International
Oxfam
Made Trade Fair
Control Arms
Make Poverty History

June 30, 2006 - Two New Interviews

Greetings everyone!

It's been an interesting few weeks since the last update. First of all, in case you missed it, I appeared on an edition of MTV Live wearing little more than a CBS Survivor buff and dedication. I was also interviewed on a Calgary radio station about the upcoming movie and status of the petition.

I talked with host Rob Breakenridge on The World Tonight (Calgary) about the popularity of CBS Survivor, and why we've never created a version of our own up North. We also discuss islands, and if I've ever thought of using guerilla tactics on Mark Burnett.

Also, thanks to Kelly (another huge Canadian CBS Survivor fan) she sent in a radio clip with Jeff Probst on Loveline. She called in to ask Jeff point blank why they haven't let Canadians on the show. His answers are surprising, and more than a little interesting. He also talks about the history of the show and why they favour very smart and very stupid contestants.

Well that's about it for now. I'm sleuthing my way through various avenues of CBS Survivor's history and attempting to uncover why Canada has never created our own version. Also, I've had plenty of encouragment emails on Let Me On Survivor: The Movie - but I need your audition tapes! So gather them up, tell your friends, and check out the movie page for where to send them.

Until next time --

Ian MacKenzie

June 12, 2006

Greetings everyone! It's been a little while since the last update, and many things have happened in the world of Survivor and reality-TV. First of all, it seems Canadians are slowly infiltrating the ranks of American game shows (and in some cases winning) such as JD Fortune last year in Rock Star, as well as the recent season of The Apprentice. Someone else pointed out the obvious fact that Canadians have competed on Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy for some time.

Of course the biggest news is Richard Hatch getting 4 years in prison for tax evasion. He asked the judge to believe he was simply a bungling record-keeper. (Somehow I think a guy who's cunning enough to win Survivor is sharp enough to keep his taxes in order). A lesser known story is Austin Carty being auctioned off on ebay for a sum of $102.50. Surely a date with an authentic Survivor is worth more?

Back in Canada, those of us itching to at least start up our own version of Survivor, are instead offered the sad incarnation known as Canada's Next Top Model. Can't CBS open their arms and allow their Northern brethren to apply? Some people believe CBS is bound by US law to disqualify Canadians from competing on the grounds of tax codes, non-disclosure agreements, or perhaps because we're perceived as generally "nicer." To that I say our amicable exteriors hide our bloodthirst for competition.

They're accepting applications at this very moment for an upcoming season. Why must they taunt us so? Why Mark? Why Jeff?

Until next time --

Ian MacKenzie

March 10, 2006

Well, it's been a while since the last update, and a lot has happened in the interm. I became a little frustrated with waiting around for CBS to open Survivor up to Canadians, so I went and found a tropical island on my own.

I spent 2 months backpacking around Southeast-Asia and have the experiences and the now-fading tan to show for it. (Note: the above photo was taken early in the trip, hence the pale skin...) Anyway, upon my return I noticed the Let Canadians on Survivor petition was still drawing signatures, and I realized the hope was still alive.

And now the current season is underway. Both final reports I sent to CBS have yet to be returned, which leads me to believe the idea is still under consideration. Either that, or the executives are rubbing their hands together in malicious satisfaction.

It'll happen eventually. Canadians will compete on Survivor and fans on both sides of the border will wonder why it didn't happen sooner.

Cheers,

Ian MacKenzie

December 19, 2005

Greetings All! I know I said I wouldn't do anymore updates after the November 1 deadline, but recent events demand it. As many of you know, I sent 3 copies of the Let Me On Survivor Final Report (including the petition) out into the world. Two copies went to CBS Studios in Los Angeles. One copy went to Canwest Global, the Canadian media conglomerate that carries the US version of Survivor up here.

Anyway, today in the mail I received back the copy I'd sent to Canwest. It appears the package was opened, but then promptly put back in the mail with "RETURN TO SENDER" added to the side. I suppose they weren't impressed with the final report and the attached 3500+ signatures of both Canandian and American fans who support this cause.

Does that mean the end is nigh? Not necessarily. I have yet to receive a response from the studio that counts - CBS. Only time will tell if they decide to mix up the game, and allow contestants on both sides of the border.

Happy Holidays!

Ian MacKenzie

November 1, 2005

The day has finally arrived. 11 months since I started the campaign and the moments have gone by much too quickly. As you can see, the Final Report can now be downloaded from my site. Very shortly I will be sending a copy into CBS to show them why a Canadian versus American matchup would be phenomenal.

I personally want to thank all the fans who signed the petition, and help spread the word about the website.

The road ahead isn't so clear. Will CBS in fact alter the rules to allow Canadians on Survivor? Or will Mark Burnett follow up on his desire to create an entirely Canadian version? Only time will tell. I wanted to mention I will no longer be actively involved in promoting the campaign. I figure I've done all I could to make this happen and it is now in the hands of others.

Make no mistake, the website and petition will stay online and continue to collect signatures. There's a good chance CBS will check it out from time to time as they ponder their decision. Perhaps someday soon we will hear Jeff Probst appeal to Canadians to send in their audition tapes. And I could say to myself: "Finally, they decided to let me on Survivor."

It's been fun.

Ian MacKenzie
November 1, 2005

October 24, 2005

It’s been 10 months since I launched this campaign to get CBS to alter the application rules of Survivor. It seems like only yesterday I sent the first email out to my friends, and it wasn’t long before signatures of support starting appearing on my petition. As I type this update, the petition now has almost 3200 signatures from like-minded fans who agree that a Canadian VS American matchup is exactly what the series needs.

If you haven’t visited the site in an while, you may have noticed the addition of several more Survivors to my Alumni Approval list: Alicia Calaway, Colby Donaldson, Rob & Amber Mariano, and Christa Hastie. Check out their comments on the Alumni page, and visit their websites if you’re wondering what they’ve been up to since the show. (Though Rob & Amber have certainly been no strangers to reality TV. Also, my parents mentioned they saw Colby as a ‘security guard’ in the recent film Red Eye. “He was very convincing,” said my dad).

Some of you may have also noticed the latest press release accouncing my plans to seek a meeting with CBS executives in Los Angeles. You may be wondering how that’s going. Well to be honest, my emails to various American talk-shows haven’t brought forth any takers (I was betting on Ellen for sure!)

As an alternate tactic, I had a friend pose as my secretary and call CBS studios to schedule an appointment. The receptionist on the first call had no idea what my friend was talking about, probably because I had given her the wrong number by accident. The second call yielded better results. She was able to get the contact info for the Survivor press agent, whom I promptly emailed about setting up a meeting to change the application rules. The agent replied, “Sorry, that policy is non-negotiable.”

+ Email your local radio stations and newspapers telling them about the website. If you like, include the link to my latest press release.

+ Email CBS Executives by using the CBS feedback form here. remember to be polite and rational, (no threats or foul language). Make sure you mention why you want this cross-border matchup, and why it would bring in fantastic ratings.

+ Email Viacom (corporate owners of CBS) asking them to tell their executives in charge of Survivor to meet up with me and hear the case for Canadians on Survivor. Here’s their address press@viacom.com

The next (and final) update will be on November 1, 2005, to let you know the Let Me On Survivor.com Final Report is complete and available for download off my website. Thanks again to everyone who has supported the campaign so far.

Until next time,
Ian

Oct 11, 2005

The campaign continues to heat up, in part due to a mention on the Survivor Strikes Back blog on the CBS website. (Thanks Scout!) Likewise, the petition is now over 2900 signatures! And I love the comments so keep'em coming.

Also, for those who want to help out a little more I've come up with the new feature: Send your photo to me with the printed message "Let Me On Survivor!" and I'll start posting them on a special page of my site. The pics can be as normal or hilarious as you want. Be creative...but remember, no nudity! (Unless you're doing a Richard Hatch impression).

Sept 30, 2005

Because of mounting interest in the campaign, I've decided to extend the petition deadline one month, until Nov 1, 2005

Check out the media updates section to read my recent stories in Metro and Dose, then listen to my latest radio interview with 96X in Edmonton. The petition now has over 2400 signatures with no sign of slowing down. Also, it's been reported that Mark Burnett is considering a Canadian version sometime soon. Not quite an American Vs Canadian matchup, but still promising.

Sept 5, 2005

Under a month left now before I send in the petition on October 1, and interest continues to grow. The campaign was recently mentioned on AOL.com and another radio interview from an Ottawa radio station is due out soon. Total signatures have now topped 1800, quickly approaching the 2000 landmark. I plan on shooting one more short film to celebrate the actual sending in of the petition, so keep an eye out for that. (I promise it will be good!)

In the meantime please continue to pass along the word to whoever you think would be interested. And when the new season starts feel free to comment on Ian's Survivor Blog!

Aug 11, 2005

Greetings everyone! I recently noticed a large surge in the traffic visiting this site. To my delight, I discovered I was mentioned in Entertainment Weekly's "Pop-Watch" blog. I'm listed as the guy who is on a quest to "end the Americans-only rule for Survivor contestants, so that he can someday be stranded in a remote location and starve on national television." Combined with a few other sources that picked up the story, here's the latest media updates:

Hopefully this can kick-off some momentum as I approach the October deadline for sending in the petition. Thanks to everyone who has supported this campaign so far and please continue to spread the word! Also if you get a chance, check out my other website TravelBlogger.

July 14, 2005

BRAND NEW VIDEO!!

A little while ago we had ourselves a Survivor board game night at my apartment. Yes, that's right, there's a Survivor board game. I won it at my family Christmas party. Anyway it was a great opportunity to test out my strategy before the real thing...except I was the first voted out. This video is a few of the voting confessionals.

June 20, 2005

Greetings everyone! I hope you like the new look of the website. I decided after a period of relative inactivity that it was time to put the effort into making this happen. I've decided on a hard deadline for sending the petition into CBS, which will be October 1, 2005. I've chosen this date for two reasons:

(1) Survivor Guatemala will have started, and once again Survivor will be the topic of water-cooler conversation.
(2) By sending in the petition mid-way through the season, hopefully CBS will have time to consider getting Canadians on by the next casting call, which will be for Survivor 13.

Other updates around the site include a weekly commentary I'll be writing on each episode of the upcoming season. Ian's Survivor Blog can be accessed from the menu link above. Feel free to comment on my take of the episode. And if you can, please continue to spread the word about this website!

May 17, 2005

Survivor: Palau is officially over. I must say, I enjoyed this season much more than the last one. (No offense Chris). I was pretty surprised over Ian's decision to jump off the buoy and concede the immunity challenge to Tom, but I guess I understand why he felt he had to do it. Still, there's no way I would've jumped off the buoy after coming so far. The game is one thing. Real life is another.

After Jeff Probst announced the next location at the reunion show, I was waiting to hear those magic words "Hey Canada! And this time you're invited to apply as well!" but alas, those words never came. I've heard a few reasons why Mark Burnett has so far denied Canadians the opportunity, from "tax differences" to liability agreements. But I gotta tell you, it's time to shake things up. Time to mix up the game and open it to the US's lovable and progressive Northern neighbours. Step aside mounties and maple syrup -- it's time for Canada to show'em how it's done.

Cheers,
Ian

April 9, 2005

Hello Everyone!

Well, as you probably noticed, there hasn't been much to report since the last update. I've been really busy with school and trying to finish up this semester. Only two more exams to go! Meanwhile Survivor: Palau has unfolded week by week, and I gotta say, I'm enjoying this season much more than the last one. It is a bit painful watching the one tribe get whittled down to Stephanie...poor poor Bobby John.

Anyway, that is this season, and I'm more concerned about trying to get myself and other Canadians on a future season. I figure the best shot I have is trying to get the word out to as many people as possible. Jody was kind enough to pass along a link to Dr.Phil, who is having an upcoming show about reality tv addicts. Now I wouldn't necessarily classify myself as an addict...but appearing on Dr. Phil would be pretty funny. As for the rest of the summer, I intend to step up my campaign and keep the dream alive. After all...you never know.

Until next time,
Ian

Feb 25, 2005

Hello Everyone!

I hope you’ve all had an enjoyable winter, as spring is just around the corner. Myself, I have been busy with working on my undergrad degree, deejaying around Vancouver, and of course ... trying to get on Survivor. Fortunately, I have plenty of announcements to make regarding my Let Me On Survivor website, which some of you may have noticed already.

So in no particular order, I’m pleased to present:

LET ME ON SURVIVOR.COM – THE UPDATES

* Around the Vancouver area I was featured on The Fox radio station’s website, under the section “Geek of the Week.” I was also informed that they telephoned CBS and asked them why Canadians aren’t allowed on Survivor, though because I didn’t actually hear the broadcast, I’m not sure what the answer was.

* Two Vancouver newspapers featured my story. Here’s a blurb from The Westender: “Observer received an e-mail this week from plucky Vancouver resident Ian MacKenzie, a reader whose love of the CBS 'reality' series Survivor truly knows no bounds - unlike the program's producers and network, who know many.” The article in The Province was a little more prominent, and even included a full colour photograph of myself from my Fiji trip in 2001. An excerpt: “In an untamed corner of the place they call Burnaby Mountain, one man plots a strategy to overcome the impossible.”

* I was also lucky enough to be featured on the cover of my university student newspaper, The Peak. “Although Ian has prepared his audition tape and is collecting signatures for his personal goal to get on Survivor, it’s not just about him,” says the article. “It’s about bringing some spice back into the game.” And not only was I the feature article for that week, I was also on the cover!

* A few weeks ago I came up with the crazy idea that I would try to contact past Survivors and get them to endorse my website. Well, it turns out it was just crazy enough to work. Through the miracle of the internet (and the webpages of ex-Survivors) I’ve been able to contact 5 of them (Jerri Manthey, Ethan Zohn, Jenna Morasca, Mike Skupin, and Keith Famie), and all have whole-heartedly given their blessing. As Jerri says, “Put Ian on for God's sakes! I've never seen anyone go to the trouble of setting up a website BEFORE they get on the show!” Thanks to all the Survivors for helping me out!

* Last weekend I had the good fortune of attending The Outdoor Show at BC Place in downtown Vancouver. And who might be the special guest? Rupert Boneham! He gave an entertaining behind the scenes talk, and explained why he ended up wearing a skirt in Survivor Pearl Islands. He stuck around after the talk for autograph signing and pictures, which is how I was able to get a great photograph of both of us. (Now on the main page of my website).

* And if that’s not enough, my website also features two brand-new videos. The first is an outtakes compilation from my actual audition tape, (which is not on the site). The second is a short clip of my American roadtrip last summer, in which I play on the sand dunes of coastal Oregon. It really has nothing to do with Survivor, but gosh darn it, it’s a whole lot of fun to watch.

As I type this update, my petition has now reached 1191 signatures. I still can’t believe it myself. It has only just been over two months and the support I’ve received has been much appreciated. What does the future hold? Will Canadians ever be allowed to compete on Survivor? Will Richard Hatch say how he ever thought he’d get away with tax evasion? Will the Caramilk secret ever be revealed? Only time will tell….

So enjoy Survivor: Palau, and keep the dream of a Canadian Vs American Survivor alive. Thanks again for signing my petition!

Cheers,
Ian
www.letmeonsurvivor.com

Jan 3, 2005

Hello Everyone,

Hope you all had an enjoyable holiday season! It's not that time of year to reflect on our new year's resolutions, and our ambitions over the next 365 days. For myself, there's no better time to renew my resolve to get on an upcoming season of Survivor.

Already, my petition is approaching 400 signatures! I think that's pretty good considering the website has only been online for a few weeks. As well, I have been interviewed by a Winnipeg radio station and an online news magazine situated near Vancouver. Both interviews are available in my new and improved "Media Updates" section (http://www.letmeonsurvivor.com/updates.htm), which will feature any new developments as we get closer to achieving the goal of a Canadian/American Survivor matchup.

Since CBS is auditioning for the 11 season following Survivor: Palau, the earliest I'll be able to influence their decision to allow Canadians will be Survivor 12. This means we have until near the end of Survivor: Palau to present the petition and the reasons why they should have the Canadian/American matchup.

So thanks again for signing my petition. It would also help a lot if you could pass along the website link to everyone else you can think of, and even to radio stations and magazines. Gotta aim high, right? Maybe someday in the near future I'll be telling this story on Oprah.

Cheers,
Ian
www.letmeonsurvivor.com

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