Just a few days before CBS announced Julia Landauer ’14 as a cast member on the newest season of “Survivor,” another Stanford undergraduate, Adam Klein ’13, launched his own campaign in hopes of getting recruited to compete on the reality TV show.
These are just the latest Stanford connections to the island-set reality series. Back in 2006, Yul Kwon ’97 claimed the title of “Sole Survivor,” along with a $1 million cash prize, by winning the 13th season of the show. Entertainment Weekly named Kwon “one of the smartest players ever” when ranking past Survivor contestants.
Landauer, a professional racecar driver, will be competing on “Survivor: Caramoan,” the 26th edition of the show, which is set to air on Feb. 13 at 8:00 p.m. PST.
Last May, Landauer told The Daily that she was going to take some time off during spring quarter to “pursue a racing opportunity,” which she declined to disclose. Although Landauer is under contract with CBS not to speak with any media outlets, including The Daily, until closer to the show’s premiere, it is widely speculated that she took this time off to begin filming the show.
Landauer returned to the Farm fall quarter, and will participate in her next race on Feb. 9 at the Sonoma Raceway. From now until mid-June, her website states that she will be participating in eight races, all in California.
While Klein has not secured a spot on the show, he is hopeful that his zealous efforts to help get him recruited for the next season will grab the attention of Survivor’s recruiting staff.
Klein states that his inspiration for starting the campaign stems from a lifelong dream to be on the show. Since the age of nine, he has watched every episode of the series.
With the help of a Nick Salazar ’15 and Christina Walker ’13, Klein is in the process of creating a video for his application to the show, which is why some students may have seen him standing out in the Circle of Death while holding a sign that said, “Adam For Survivor.”
When considering the thousands of applications the show receives each year, Klein decided upon a non-traditional format for his campaign.
“I thought about how I can mobilize my friends, my family and the support systems I have around me in order to help Survivor find me,” he said. “That’s the goal, to show Survivor that I’m out there.”
On the day before his 22nd birthday, Klein created the “Help Get Adam On Survivor” Facebook webpage, posted it to his Timeline, and within the first 6 hours the link had over four hundred likes from strangers, friends and family.
“From there, everything really began to snowball,” he said.
Since its creation, the Facebook page has amassed widespread support from a variety of people, including Klein’s past teachers, his orthodontist and even President John Hennessy, who is featured in an endorsement video on the webpage.
When asked how he managed to gain the support of President Hennessy, Klein smiled and attributed it to dumb luck.
If Klein makes it on the show, he and Landauer will join the ranks of Yul Kwon ’97, a Stanford alumnus who won Survivor: Cook Islands in 2006.
After his victory, Kwon used his newfound media persona to conduct interviews on CNN and ABC in order to speak out against racial stereotypes and the absence of minorities on television. Today, Kwon is the host of the PBS program America Revealed.
Although Landauer was unable to comment, Klein has been vocal about his appreciation and is thankful for the support he’s received from people on the Farm.
“This may seem like an unlikely and silly pipe dream, but it’s my dream,” Klein said. “If it works, it’ll be thanks to them.”