Father-daughter duo Lucky and Louie Larson
STILLMAN VALLEY—Like many other average American families on a Monday night, the father and daughter “Lucky” and Andrea “Louie” Larson of Stillman Valley unwound from their hectic day by watching primetime TV with their closest friends. Unlike anyone else, however, Lucky, 58, and Louie, 26, were participatns of the reality show, “Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls,” knowing the answer to a $500,000 secret that was about to be revealed by adventurer Grylls himself.
As former contestants on the very show they were watching, the pair had kept the outcome of the final show a secret for months from their closest friends and family members. Their lips were effectively sealed by an NBC lawsuit contract large enough to match the earnings of the average person in a lifetime. Relief was soon to come, as the final five minutes played out and Grylls chose his winning team.
“You all earned my respect the hard way,” said Grylls. “I’ve made my decision. The wild is always revealing. The lesson of all of these journeys is that fortune favors the brave. There is one team here that have given more than anyone else. They’ve shown in the darkness and have been a beacon of positivity and courage in adversity. The team that have earned the right to keep their knives and I believe if they stood beside me, that together we’d stand a fighting chance of getting out alive. That team is Lucky and Louie, he announced.
Following the big reveal at their basecamp in New Zealand, the Stillman Valley pair shared their thoughts on winning to the camera.
“Just two country bumpkins decided on a whim to try out for this thing,” laughed Louie. “We went from a town of 1,000 people to New Zealand. I still can’t believe that it’s real. We’re just the luckiest people in the world.”
Fresh back from a Chicagoland radio tour, the Larsons shared their reflections on their reality show conquest.
“It was awesome. We were not really expecting that. When we were at basecamp looking at the other two teams, we thought any one of us could have won at that point. We were fortunate that we found our rhythm with the last challenges. By that time, all of the teams had bonded with each other,” she said.
Her father and teammate for the eight-week long journey echoed his daughter.
“To come here to such an incredibly beautiful surrounding and see my baby just blossom into the most courageous person I know, has just been so fulfilling and heartwarming,” said Lucky.
Five months later in the safety of their Stillman Valley friend’s home with their family members, Lucky and Louie finally celebrated their win properly. They claimed they were both relieved to let go of the five-month long secret. Their family and friends shrieked and yelled in excitement for their beloved “Team Purple.”
“Keeping the secret was truly the ninth challenge,” reflected Lucky.
“So many close friends and family members badgered us. Grandma even tried to trick us into telling her,” laughed Louie.
After Bear announced their win, the Larsons took two plane trips the next day, where they spent many hours with the other two teams, as well as Grylls and the show production team.
Lucky said that during the flights home, they formed close bonds with Grylls by talking about each other’s family and lives at home. The Larsons also said that by speaking with Grylls, they gained a better perspective as to what he was thinking during their challenges. Through this, they gained even more admiration for the show host.
“By talking to him on the plane rides, he stopped being a show host and became a normal person to us,” said Louie.
“We became close with him,” said Lucky. “During one of the plane stops at the airport, he purchased a copy of his own book, signed it and gave it to us.”
Profile of a winner
Throughout the competition, the Larsons faced many challenges. Other teams took home more challenges and they experienced set backs anyone else on the show.
When Grylls chose Lucky and Louie as the winners, he granted them the win due to Lucky’s superior survival knowledge and their combined drive, but more importantly for their unwavering positive attitudes.
See WIN page 6
For the complete article see the 09-04-2013 issue.
Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 09-04-2013 paper.