Hosting one of the biggest reality shows in the world coming to India for the first time has been an amazing journey for Samir Kochar. Survivor as a show has been successfully running in many countries across the world. It has completed 22 seasons in the US where the host for the series Jeff Probst has won 4 back to back EMMY's as best reality host.
Let's hear about this show straight from the Kochar's Mouth!
When Miditec approached me for host I was very kicked with the idea of being marooned on an island for 2 months. Being an outdoor person, living on a beachside, snorkeling, water sports rock climbing, scuba got me excited. Had no idea the kind of journey it would turn out to be. Truly a life changing 2 months they were, and 3 days away from seeing it all come together premiering on star plus on the 6th of Jan 2012 I am on cloud nine. Couldn't have asked for the year to start off in a better way.
400 TV experts have been setting up this show for the last 8 months. It was twice as hard because to get to the caramoan islands one has to catch a flight to Manila, and then catch a domestic flight to the city of Naga, travel by road for 2 hrs to a port, sit on a boat travel 4 hrs into the Pacific Ocean when you reach a Caramoan. Then Tavel another hour by road to get to the village of Gota which was our base. The Philippine government has actually constructed a resort with 200 wooden GABANAS for the crew to shoot this show. Took about 24 hours to get there and bad weather would not make the journey sometimes longer. We were at the mercy of nature.
In the 2 months I stayed there I didn't see a car, my mode of transport was a jet ski or a motorboat that took us from one island to the other. Was on a kayak every evening which was my work out routine and snorkeling made me fall in love with the world under water. Saw dolphins, stingrays, jellyfish, water snakes and a whole other world of marine life that blew my mind. There were days of serious hardship while I was on the island, we went through hurricanes with winds that would nearly throw you off; we caught a 7 foot python on the beach we stayed at. Value Valu certain kind of a sea snake which is amongst the top 10 poisonous snakes in the world lived in the waters we were at. Valu means 8 and if this snake were to bite a person would die in 8 minutes or 8 seconds. Luckily I survived all of that.
The contestants were divided into 2 tribes. 11 celebrities’ vs 11 commoners. Kept on 2 different islands who were given nothing but 2 pairs of clothes, a pair of shoes and they had to survive. I was the only person from the outside they would interact with, lack of food and tough living conditions were not easy for them to survive in. Living away from the comforts of their homes, families didn't make their life easier. They would sometimes cry in front of me, someday get super excited when they'd win rewards. Wasn’t easy at times for me to see them go through the arduous 45 day journey where survival meant winning challenges and also playing the cards right at every moment in order to last longer than the others. Some of them lost 15 to 20 kgs in 45 days. This was as real as it got.
Wasn't easy for me and the entire crew as well. Have climbed mountains to shoot for links, stood in the hot sun for sometimes 5 hours at a stretch while the contestants would compete in the challenges. When I came back my wife could not recognize me as I was burnt and tanned beyond repair. Had to stay indoors for a week to look normal. Remember there was a day when we were on a motorboat and there was a rogue wave, 7 footer that came and knocked us over. Luckily we managed to get back on and make it back safely. We lost a lot of equipment but that's just the way things were.
Would not change the experience for anything and now the only hope is that people in India and worldwide like what we've done and see the show for its true spirit of survival. 22 Indians 45 days 1 survivor. This is garner fructice presents Survivor India. Jo tikega it'd ass likhega!!!
On the movie front, I just finished shooting with Vikram Bhatt. Did a special appearance In Dangerous Ishq with karishma kapoor in Jodhpur. My first ever 3D experience. Release is lined up for next year.
Hosting the horse racing circuit for India. R1 on ten sports as well. Just finished hosting the 1000 Guinness and the Casino Royal Indian 2000 Guinness.
Will also host the Mumbai marathon this year.
2012 babyyyy!!!! Bring it on!