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Scott D. Pierce
Scott D. Pierce writes about television for the Salt Lake Tribune. Vice president of the Television Critics Associationn, he's covered TV in Utah since 1990.

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Utahn says being on “Survivor” is like going on a Mormon mission

The Utahn who's been on "Survivor" the most said there's a certain similarity between that experience and another that's familiar to lots of Utahns — going on an LDS mission.

Or, at least, coming home from an LDS mission.

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As Tyson Apostol embarks on his third season of the reality/competition series, there's no doubt he's in the "Survivor" club. If he wasn't, he wouldn't have been invited back. Twice.

"Even after the first time, I was a memorable character," he said. "You earn kind of a weird respect from others."

And he wasn't bragging. He absolutely was a contestant you remembered, whether you were rooting for him or not.

Beginning Wednesday at 7 p.m. on CBS/Ch.2, Apostol is back and he's accompanied by his girlfriend, Rachel Foulger, for "Survivor: Blood vs. Water,"

He said he doesn't say in touch with "a ton of former 'Survivor' contestants. But there are people that stay in touch with everyone."

"To compare it to something in Utah, it's really similar to serving an LDS mission," said Apostol, who served a Mormon mission in the Philippines. "You know, you get a bunch of guys who went on a mission together and they will talk about it non-stop 30 years down the road."

And when there are gatherings of former contestants — many attend the season finales — "It's exactly the same feeling," Apostol said.

"If you get 10 former 'Survivor' contestants in the same room, they will talk until your head will explode about the game. How and why they should have won their season. What their greatest rivals could have done differently to help them. Stuff like that. And it just goes on and on and on.

"It's very similar."



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