This season, Cody Lundin, host of the Discovery Channel’s Dual Survival, will be paired with a new partner. At this point, there has been no official announcement as to who that new partner will be, but fans are anxious about having a new partnership guiding them through differing terrains this season. But, it is unlikely that they need to worry; Discovery Channel seems to have gotten the “television survival” formula worked out well with Dual Survival, and it’s likely that success will continue in the new season.
Television survival, as Lundin has written in the past, is, first and foremost, for ratings. Lundin writes on his website, “Now-a-days, to achieve ratings, almost anything goes.” Nature shows, he points out, have become increasingly focused on the host, not the nature. Given this fact, it’s likely that the new host of Dual Survival, while not Dave Canterbury, will have good chemistry with Lundin, as well; it will then, of course, be up to the viewing audience to decide if the pairing works.
Lundin, while fully accepted by the viewers as the “real deal,” has been candid about some of the “incredibly dumb things” he has been asked to do—and has not necessarily done—"by network executives such as purposely fall into cold water and get hypothermic in the name of ‘drama.’” And, many fans are aware of the “eat-a-rat” scene, described by Lundin on his website to give fans an idea about how some scenes on the show are staged:
Once the initial filming has been accomplished in the field, there is nothing that can’t be faked or tweaked to a producers liking in the edit bay back at the production company. No one is willing to risk an entire operating budget to film in Africa and not get what they came for, one way or another. Again, money is the name of the game. In my “eat a rat” video, a production company hired a film crew for specific reasons to film me. It was known beforehand that the intention of the shoot was for me to kill and eat a packrat. As the film crew was being paid and on site for only a day, I had to kill the rat the day before. I placed the long dead rat under the deadfall rock minutes before we shot the scene. It appears that the deadfall trap was tripped and killed the rat…which was the point. Again, almost anything can be done in the edit room with the right footage.
A Perfect Pairing
Much as the show itself is a formula and a money game, so are the hosts. Lundin, of course, is the barefoot, braided, self-styled “hippie” survivalist; the natural partner for him is someone like Canterbury—hardcore, straight-laced and reeking of having been formally trained in a military—or similar—environment. Canterbury was the perfect foil for Lundin. But, as they say, everyone can be replaced, and replace him they have. With who? That is the burning question at the moment.
In a press release, Lundin confirmed that Canterbury has not been a part of Dual Survival since September 2011. And, he expressed confidence in his new partner on the show, saying, “I am proud to work with my new Dual Survival partner as we take the show to even greater levels.” Some may see this as proof enough that the show will indeed be all that it once was and more; others will no doubt see Lundin’s words as press rhetoric, and turn a skeptical eye to the new Dual Survival pairing. Only time—and ratings—will tell who is right.
Stay tuned. And, if you would like to see the "eat-a-rat" scene, check out the video below.
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Image: Discovery Channel