'Alone' Has a Bit of Production Magic but the Show Really Lives up to Its Name


Jul. 8 2021, Published 4:42 p.m. ET

If you've never worked or been on a film set, your first few days can certainly be a jarring experience. With scripted programs, you'll be surprised at just how many different takes and camera set-ups there are for a single scene. Reality TV shows, while "real," also feature a huge amount of production. But is that the case for Alone? Is the show staged at all?

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Is the show 'Alone' staged?

The survivalist genre in reality TV is uber-popular and there are tons of different series out there that either skirt around that "off-the-grid" lifestyle or go into it full bore. While a lot of shows, like Alaskan Bush People, have been outed as being almost entirely scripted, Alone really seems to lean into its premise.

That's because all of the contestants are very much alone. Is it on the level of Survivorman alone-ness? Well, like the OG survivalist program, Alone participants are recording all of their own footage. They submit hundreds of hours of camera time to production, who come to the wilderness sites and just to swap out batteries and media cards.

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According to Larry Roberts, who competed on the program and managed to come in second place during Season 2, the amount of intervention from production was minimal. "It varied, but they did check on us on a regular basis. We had a GPS tracker that we were required to carry. They would check in with us at least nightly, make sure that we were OK. They would send a very simple text that just said, ‘Nightly check-in.’ And we had a button with three presets, and we would just hit, ‘OK,’ and just send it," he told ODN.

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Larry's quote gives us a number of interesting insights like the fact that not only do participants provide all of their own footage, and hunt and gather their own food, but there also isn't any chance for manufactured storylines or plot points on the show.

Sure, this makes the job of editors a little more difficult than your typical fake-real reality series, but it also means that viewers get as authentic of a viewing experience as possible.

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As per The Cinemaholic, contestants aren't so removed from civilization that they would be in life-threatening danger should disaster or emergency strike. Players are also subjected to frequent medical check-ups that ramp up as the end of the competition nears.

Who are the winners of History Channel's 'Alone'?

The premise of the show is simple: Survive 100 days alone in the wilderness and receive $1 million. If you're the last contestant but don't make it to 100 days, you still get a whopping $500,000, which is not too shabby.

Below are the winners for the first seven seasons of Alone. Scroll at your own risk.

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The following contestants won the first seven seasons of Alone:

  1. Alan Kay: 56 days.
  2. David McIntyre: 66 days.
  3. Zachary Fowler: 87 days.
  4. Ted & Jim Baird: 75 days.
  5. Sam Larson: 60 days.
  6. Jordan Jonas: 77 days.
  7. Roland Welker: 100 days.
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Roland is the only contestant in the show's history who was able to win the $1 million prize and it was apparent to viewers from early on that the dude was an extremely capable contestant. His strict preparation/training regimen wasn't broken even by his own mother's death. He vowed to make her passing worth it by being the first person to accomplish the milestone.

You can catch new episodes of Alone on History channel on Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. EST. Do you think any of the new contestants will be able to replicate Roland's success?

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