New Series “Rival Survival” Strands Senators on a Desert Island

The reality show attempts to force Democrats and Republicans to work together.
New Series “Rival Survival” Strands Senators on a Desert Island
Martin Heinrich (left) and Jeff Flake (right). Photographs via Wikimedia Commons.

Congress’s recent performance record has plenty of Americans wishing they could dump their elected representatives in a remote location and forget about them for a while. But maybe two out of 535 ain’t bad?

That’s the premise of a reality TV series premiering on the Discovery Channel next month. Called Rival Survival, the show follows Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona and New Mexico Democrat Martin Heinrich as they rough it for six days and nights in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean—part of Micronesia—“surrounded by shark-infested waters that mirror the seemingly treacherous terrain of the US Congress,” according to a press release from the network. Their job: to find food, water, and shelter, and presumably to learn some kumbaya way to work together despite their political differences in the process. 

Flake may have a bit of an unfair advantage: The politician reportedly spent a week in 2009 living in the Marshall Islands, eating “coconuts and a lot of crabs.” Both men also undertook the task at their own personal expense. 

Neither Flake nor Heinrich is up for reelection. Their island excursion has been condensed into a one-hour special that will air on the Discovery Channel on October 29. 

Which lawmaker would you like to strand on a desert island? Sound off in the comments. 

Don’t miss a new restaurant again: Subscribe to our weekly newsletters.


Questions or comments? You can reach us on Twitter, via e-mail, or by contacting the author directly: