For years now, History viewers have wondered if Alone contestants get paid anything for their time on the show. After all, these brave souls have to survive the wilderness for weeks on end, with little more than their wits to get them through.
“Survivalists are dropped off in undisclosed, remote locations and equipped with just ten survival tools, and enough camera gear to self-document their experiences,” History explains. “The survivalist who endures the longest, facing total isolation, punishing weather, and deadly predators, will win the $500,000 grand prize. No camera crews. No gimmicks. Alone is the ultimate test of human will.”
So those who don’t win the $500,000 have to get something for their efforts, right?
‘Alone’ contestants get a weekly stipend, one participant said.
Sam Larson, who came in second place in Season 1 before returning to win Season 5, revealed in a now-deleted Reddit comment that Alive contestants do indeed get a weekly stipend.
“We’re compensated for the time we spend working on the production, as well as any pre- and post-show work,” he wrote, according to an archived version of the Reddit thread. “The pay isn’t amazing, but it’s better than a lot of reality shows. I was always satisfied with my compensation.”
In another Reddit thread, one fan remembered contestants saying that the stipend is “$1,000–$2,000 per week,” while another fan said that they believed Alone contestants get more than contestants of reality shows since the survivalists on Alone have to do their own camera work.
A third fan wrote, “There’s no way that a union would allow camera operators to work for free. Since that’s what these contestants are as well, I can’t see how they don’t get paid as camera operators.”
A new batch of contestants will face severe winter conditions — and polar bears — in Season 9.
In a press release hyping up Season 9, which premieres on May 26, History says that for the first time, Alone contestants will be setting up camp on the northeast shores of Labrador, Canada, “a location known for being the hunting ground of the predatory polar bear.”
“Season 9 of Alone sets survivalists in a location with one of the harshest weather conditions yet,” the cable channel adds. “Enduring wet, snowy, merciless conditions, survivalists’ building ingenuity, mental willpower, and overall wilderness skills are put to the test as they must build their own shelters, forage their own food, and overcome numerous obstacles and dangerous predators in hopes of being the last person standing.”
History has also revealed the Season 9 cast. Fighting for that $500,000 prize are Jacques K. Turcotte, Teimojin Nicholas Tan, Adam Riley, Juan Pablo Quiñonez, Igor Andre Yvan Antoine Limansky, Jessica “Jessie” Krebs, Karie Lee Knoke, Benjamin James Hill, Tom Garstang, and Tim Burns.
Plus, two new digital spinoffs — under the working titles The Ride Back and Shelter from the Storm — will bring viewers closer to the Alone experience. The Ride Back will give fans “an extended look at the raw emotions each survivalist experienced during their journeys before deciding to tap out, from intimate camera conversations to unfiltered moments right before leaving the isolation, to heartfelt interviews and footage of their journey to home base where it all began.
Shelter from the Storm, meanwhile, offers “an enhanced look into contestant’s shelters, including the pros, cons, dos, and don’ts that ultimately spell success, or disaster, for the hopeful survivalists.”
Alone Season 9 premieres on Thursday, May 26, at 9 p.m. ET.