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Macomb Hosts The Survival Challenge

Tri States Public Radio
The four teams compete in the ladder challenge on Thursday morning. Contestants must assemble the ladder's jigsaw pieces, climb it, untie knots and then raise the flag

On the popular reality television show Survivor, contestants are sent to a remote location and put through a series of difficult physical and mental challenges. They fight to outwork and outsmart their opponents in order to earn the title of Survivor.        

There are 24 people from across the country trying to accomplish the same this weekend on a property located just outside of Macomb.

Jordan Szechowycz calls the Survival Challenge an amazing experience for fans of the television show, even though the two are not directly affiliated. She is a former contestant in the Survival Challenge, having participated in Maine during the event's debut year.

Szechowycz advanced to the "gross food challenge" where she had to drink a milkshake with worms in it.

"It actually didn’t taste that bad," said Szechowycz. "I just couldn’t drink it fast enough, so I was eliminated.”

The following year, Jordan’s husband, Ian, competed in the Survival Challenge and finished in the final four.

This year, the Szechowyczs are hosting the event on their property at 10899 E. 950th St. For those not familar, it's the turn-off just west of Macomb's Ball Fore complex.

Tri States Public Radio spoke with Szechowycz during the third competition on Thursday morning: the ladder challenge. It was pouring rain by the time the teams had finished, and the Green team was victorious.

Szechowycz said, throughout the four-day competition, there will be a wide variety of physical and mental competitions: running, swimming, and puzzles to name a few. Some of the challenger were brought in from Maine, the site of the first competition, while were built on-site for this year’s competition.

The ladder challenge, for instance, was one that was used in Maine.

“A lot of the challenges have components that we’ve built this year and added in or they’re challenges that we’ve never done before,” Szechowycz said.

Szechowycz has spent the last 10 months preparing for this year’s challenge and working with a production team to create new obstacles or to alter older ones to suit this year’s competition.

Credit Tri States Public Radio
Twenty-four contestants from across the country arrived in Macomb on Wednesday. They were divided into four teams and then spent their first night camping in the woods.

For anyone interested, the event is open to the public and the majority of the challenges are held near the designated viewing area.

“It’s basically like watching Survivor live. The only part that they don’t get to see is the camp life but everything else they get to experience and watch first hand,” Szechowycz said.

Spectators can bring their own lawn chairs or umbrellas and the competition goes on rain or shine. For those who would prefer to watch it online, you can watch live video on the Survival Challenge's Facebook Page.

Szechowycz told Tri States Public Radio that all contestants had at least one full day to participate with no elimination challenges scheduled for Thursday. That changes on Friday as there will be immunity challenges (just like the TV show), tribal council and contestant elimination.

The "Sole Survivor" will be crowned on Sunday.