‘Survivor’: A Contestant’s Criminal Activity Landed Him in Prison

The TV show Survivor is one of the most iconic shows of the past few decades. The show is one of the longest-running reality shows of all time and remains hugely popular with viewers all over the world.

Unlike many reality shows, it has received critical acclaim and has even won a number of awards over the years, including several Emmy Awards. These days, people still love Survivor and enjoy learning everything that they can about the show — and the scandals that have sprung from the famed reality series. 

When did ‘Survivor’ debut?

‘Survivor: Philippines’ cast | Monty Brinton/CBS Photo Archive/Contributor/Getty Images

The landscape of reality television changed forever when Survivor premiered on American screens in 2000. The show, which is based on a Swedish reality show with a similar premise, became popular right out of the gate.

The show’s format is simple enough but remarkably intriguing: It places a group of strangers in an isolated setting and tasks them with providing food and shelter for themselves. Each week, the contestants must fight for survival, as well as for the right to stay on the show without getting “eliminated.”

Survivor has spawned numerous spinoffs and auxiliary materials over the years and has been filmed in many exotic locations, from Borneo to the Pearl Islands.

These days, Survivor is still going strong, although filming for the upcoming seasons has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the show, just like the contestants featured in it, has proven to have remarkable staying power, and will likely be back in the very near future, once it is safe to resume filming. 

Michael Skupin survived a dangerous incident on ‘Survivor’

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It stands to reason that with the dangerous situations that contestants are faced with, that more than a few of them would have suffered some major incidents on the show.

Michael Skupin is one of the most notorious contestants, due to the fact that he sustained a serious injury during filming. During season 2 of Survivor, Skupin was taking care of a campfire when he accidentally burned himself.

Skupin hastily jumped into the water to try to soothe the burns, but his injuries proved to be so serious that he had to be medically evacuated. 

The incident proved to be one of the most deadly in the show’s history, although it was only the beginning of a slew of injuries and accidents that contestants would sustain over the years.

Skupin himself would end up returning to compete on a later season of Survivor — but it was his personal life, rather than his reality show career, that would take him out of the running for good.

What crime was ‘Survivor’ contestant Michael Skupin charged with?

According to CBS News, in February 2016 reports revealed that Michael Skupin had been arrested and charged with possession of child pornography and racketeering.

The reality show star maintained his innocence but ultimately was convicted of four counts of possession and was sentenced to a year in prison.

In addition to the four counts of possession, Skupin was charged with four years probation and was required to pay back thousands of dollars to the victims of his reported financial scam.