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March 3, 2011 11:32 AM   Subscribe

Survivor-filter. How do contestants know how to spell each other's names?

Google failed me on this one. Do the survivors get a cast list prior to taping? It seems that some seasons, contestants have know idea how to spell each other's names, and other times, they get even deceptively simple names (like Erinn) or difficult names right.
posted by roomthreeseventeen to Media & Arts (19 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
They get these wrong enough that I've always assumed some of them asked (or people with weird names told, you're around for a long time doing nothing, you'd think Erinn would say at some point "oh yeah, my name's spelled with two n's, isn't that weird?) and some of them just got them really wrong. I don't think they get a list or anything.
posted by brainmouse at 11:38 AM on March 3, 2011


They don't know how to spell each other's names. I watched the most recent episode of Survivor where Russell was voted onto Survivor island and his name was spelled at least five ways, including "Russel" and "Ressell".

Yes, I'm embarrassed to be admitting that I watch Survivor
posted by arnicae at 11:39 AM on March 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm with arnicae. And I can't imagine a worse question to ask a fellow Survivor contestant than "How do you spell your name?"
posted by Work to Live at 11:57 AM on March 3, 2011 [9 favorites]


It's also possible that if someone shows up at the filming with something spelled wrong, they'll stop filming and have them re-write it with the correct name.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:59 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's also possible that if someone shows up at the filming with something spelled wrong, they'll stop filming and have them re-write it with the correct name.

Nope. As noted above, they spell names wrong on Survivor all the time.
posted by amro at 12:03 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: Nope. As noted above, they spell names wrong on Survivor all the time.

Right, which is why it's confusing when someone spells "Stephenie" right. I guess maybe they do sit around talking about how to spell their names, sometimes.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:05 PM on March 3, 2011


Work to Live has it in my book. You'd have to be social fool in that game to actively ask someone how to spell their name.

They have tons of time to discuss this thing. Imagine being stuck with a small group of strangers for weeks on end and you had absolutely no access to written materials, radio, tv, music or other modern conveniences. You'd discuss everything with everyone.

I'd also imagine that if you had a weird spelling of a name or a name that had multiple possible spellings, it be common to introduce yourself with the spelling.
posted by mmascolino at 12:14 PM on March 3, 2011


I'm with arnicae. And I can't imagine a worse question to ask a fellow Survivor contestant than "How do you spell your name?"

"Hey Joe, how do you spell your name?"

"R-i-c-k. Weird, huh?"
posted by davey_darling at 12:18 PM on March 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


Shit gets edited. For every week's 1-hour show, there was at least 167 hours (24 * 6 + 23) of tape per cameraman to use. And that's not counting the cameras that run automatically without someone to hold them.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:23 PM on March 3, 2011


I remember way back in the recap episode of the first or second season one of cast members talked about this. (I think it was the soccer player guy?) He said they weren't provided with a list and just had to guess. he also said that sometimes contestants would purposefully misspell names and change their handwriting in an effort to hide their identity when their votes were displayed. he did also mention the awkwardness that would follow if he would have decided to ask someone how to spell their name while walking to the tribal council.

Obviously things may have changed since then and a list may go out, or it's possible people discuss their crazy name spellings.
posted by dogwalker at 12:30 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd also imagine that if you had a weird spelling of a name or a name that had multiple possible spellings, it be common to introduce yourself with the spelling.

All three of my names have common spelling variants, and I do not commonly do this.

Though it's true that if I were on an island with a bunch of strangers for a long time, with no access to media, it might randomly come up at some point. Like I might say, "I like my name OK, but I really wish my parents had chosen a more conventional spelling." Or maybe I would have some object with me that had my name on it.
posted by Sara C. at 12:38 PM on March 3, 2011


I usually *do* end up spelling my name when I introduce myself. I suspect, though, that just spending a lot of time around each other with very little to do, they end up talking about lots of things. And maybe writing their names in the sand or whatever with sticks.
posted by mskyle at 12:41 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Depending on the person asking my name, and their reaction to my name being said out loud... I will often clarify it with its correct spelling to forestall any "issues" with misunderstandings...
posted by Debaser626 at 12:45 PM on March 3, 2011


Yup, people get them wrong all the time. For me it'd be a little salt in the wound--if you're going to vote someone off, can't you at least make the effort to spell their name correctly?

(If ever I'm on a reality show, I will ask everyone up front how to spell their names because I am a nice person.)
posted by wallaby at 1:04 PM on March 3, 2011


Response by poster: Thanks for all the answers so far.

Obviously, some people discuss how their names are spelled (Yau-Man) and others, not so much (Sherea).
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:35 PM on March 3, 2011


Asking someone how to spell their name would be so passive aggressive in that context! The right person could pull it off in an over the top way that would be hilarious... and then be the one voted off.
posted by palegirl at 2:44 PM on March 3, 2011


For every week's 1-hour show, there was at least 167 hours (24 * 6 + 23) of tape per cameraman to use.

In general this is correct but each episode corresponds to three days' time passing on location, not a week. The contestants that make it to the final have spent 39 days surviving.
posted by Rhomboid at 2:49 PM on March 3, 2011


I wonder if they are written on buffs or other personal items and some people internalize an unusual spelling, others just never notice.
posted by GaelFC at 4:30 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


There is a ton of crew-cast interaction that goes on off-camera. Someone simply tells them how it's spelled, and if it's filmed, that segment winds up on the cutting room floor.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:37 PM on March 3, 2011


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