Survivor host Jeff Probst (right) presents Bledsoe with an individual immunity necklace after he outwitted, outplayed, and outlasted the other competitors during an immunity challenge; Bledsoe on Cagayan. (CBS/Monty Brinton)
Finals week

Spencer Bledsoe, ’14, brings his Survivor experience back to UChicago.

Castaway Spencer Bledsoe, ’14, talks about fighting to survive the game. (CBS/Michael Yarish)
This week, the final four players on CBS’s Survivor: Cagayan throw down in a two-hour season finale, and one “castaway” will remain standing atop a metaphorical mountain of cash—$1 million dollars to be exact. The 28th season, set on a northern Philippine island, began with three tribes: brains, brawn, and beauty. Economics student Spencer Bledsoe, ’14, who was part of the brains team and is now one of the final four remaining players, talks Cagayan strategy, UChicago style. 

Best campus spots to hide an immunity idol

  • Basement of Harper  
  • Fifth floor, Regenstein bookstacks  
  • Attic of Ida Noyes  
  • Roof of the Reynolds Club  
  • Buried on the Midway

Survivor skills that would benefit a College student

  • Procrastination: “Sitting around all day on an island teaches you how to do nothing.”  
  • Navigating eccentric personalities: “More than a few UChicagoans are fit for reality TV.”  
  • Game theory:Survivor is not only a social experiment but also a game theoretical experiment.”  
  • Tanning: “It may not be a ‘skill,’ but my Philippines tan made me look like less of a vampire come Chicago’s traditional cloud-filled winter.”  
  • Enduring extreme weather: “Chicago winter may be the one thing that makes me miss those 115-degree days in the Philippines.”  
  • Dealing with malnutrition:Survivor is like a perpetual finals week.”  
  • Unorthodox sleep: “Sleeping in the dirt or on bamboo makes a catnap in the Reg seem a breeze and a textbook seem a suitable pillow.”  
  • Maintaining a positive attitude: "It’s easy to complain when you’re having a tough week as a student. Survivor is a welcome reminder of just how lucky we all are to attend the University of Chicago, surrounded by the many modern conveniences we take for granted.”

Where on campus would the brains, brawn, and beauty tribes feel at home?

  • Brawn: “Ratner, Crown, and Stagg Field”  
  • Brains: “The Reg, the Harper reading room, and the Eckhart Library”  
  • Beauty: “That’s a tough one ...”