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18 Mormons on Reality TV Who Stood for Their Standards


Survivor

16 Mormons on Reality TV Who Stood for Their StandardsIn a game she describes as “somewhat diabolical,” Latter-day Saint Dawn Meehan showed she has what it takes to survive. Meehan was one of 18 competitors on Survivor: South Pacific, which aired on CBS in 2011. “I knew that as a Latter-day Saint this would be difficult; it’s nearly impossible to win Survivor and live each day like we do as Christians and Latter-day Saints.”

Indeed, Meehan first tried to play the game with fairness and faith but was quickly voted off the island. “From the minute I was eliminated from Survivor: South Pacific, I had dreams of returning to the game,” she says. “Literal dreams!”

Those dreams would prove almost prophetic when Meehan was granted a second “once-in-a-lifetime chance” to come back for a 2012 season of the show, Survivor Caramoan: Fans vs. Favorites. This time, she vowed to play the game differently. She would play to win.

Though fans criticized her for the change in tactics, her shift in strategy worked. Meehan ended up taking second place overall, just like her Mormon predecessor, Neleh Dennis, who was on a 2002 season of the show.

Reflecting back, Meehan explains, “Being on Survivor and representing my family and my faith was a complicated, yet incredible, experience. I am far from perfect, but I hope people feel that I was able to represent some of the best traits we as Latter-day Saints exhibit.”

Dawn Meehan wears a swimsuit during her time on Survivor. Photo courtesy of Monty Brinton/CBS.
The full version of this article is available in the January/February issue of LDS Living magazine.