By Eric Elliott
Local backwoods lifer Greg Ovens has made his way back from Patagonia and will be airing on televisions screens this Thursday in the premier episode of season three of Alone.
Broadcast on the History Channel, Alone is a survivalist-like reality TV show where 10 contestants are shipped off to Patagonia, located in the southern end of South America, by themselves with one mission: staying alive. With no camera crews, no teams and no gimmicks, contestants are equipped with limited gear, their wilderness experience and cameras to self-document their journey as they fight the unforgiving terrain for survival. The light at the end of the tunnel for the survival of the fittest is a $500,000 cash prize.
Mr. Ovens, who lives in Canal Flats, said he first heard of the show from his daughter Jeannet who watched season one and suggested to him that he apply to become a part of the show. Living in the wild most of his life, Mr. Ovens said he thought the show would be right within his abilities.
Ive spent my whole life in the bush from starting fires, eating wild plants like, Im good at it, he said.
From there, his daughter did all the legwork to get everything in order, sending emails to the producers in New York and filling out a considerable amount of paperwork. With the process taking up the bulk of an entire year, Mr. Ovens was invited to New York as the last step in the selection process for a boot camp to determine applicants ability to live in the wilderness on their own.
Once I was at boot camp, I realized that there were people there that really werent qualified to be there, he said. He had to wait months to hear that he was chosen to be on the show. I wasnt really surprised after boot camp that they saw me, seeing the competition, but I was surprised with how many applicants there was, that we went as far as we were to actually make the show.
Mr. Ovens and the other contestants were shipped off to Patagonia in May this year to begin filming. While he was unable to reveal the results of the trip, he said he learned a lot travelling to a new environment for a brand new experience.
As far as that show goes, it was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be because the filming is very difficult because you cant spend the full time just surviving, you have to film it, right, he said. It was tougher than I thought in the sense that if you had a camera crew there, you could have just concentrated on surviving, but you have to do all the filming so its a lot tougher than people think.
Despite the difficulty, Mr. Ovens said the show was an experience he wont soon forget.
It was the greatest experience of my life, too, because I mean for someone from this area to get on the show could never happen again, he said.
The show will air on the History Channel at 7 p.m. MST on Thursday (December 8th) evening, and will continue each Thursday for 12 more episodes.