Boise Man Wins $1 Million in Survivor Finale [VIDEO]
Idahoans have appeared on on American Ninja Warrior and The Apprentice through the years, but one of Boise's bravest just became a household name thanks to CBS's Survivor!
A few months ago, my fiance told me that his friend Kelly's husband was selected to go on the "Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers" season of Survivor. If you were watching this season you may be very familiar with Ben Driebergen!
I haven't watched enough Survivor to totally understand the twist that saved Ben from elimination. It had something to do with a surprise note, fire making challenge and his cast mates wanting to vote him off the island the entire season. Basically at some point during the finale, Ben went from having 0 chance of winning to at least a 50% chance. At the end of the chaos, the jury awarded the Boise native $1 Million! And we couldn't think of someone who deserves it more! He credits Kelly with helping him turn his life around after he got out of the service. The couple has two beautiful children and Ben now works at a grocery warehouse in Boise. The question is...will he spend the money on the family ranch and buy a new truck like he originally planned to do?
In case you didn't watch the season, Ben is a 2001 Capital High grad who went on to serve the country as a Marine. After returning home from Iraq, he felt himself floating from place to place...eventually ending up in Texas for a period of time. While in Texas he tasked himself with the extremely difficult task of hand delivering one of his friend's dog tags to his mother. The fellow Marine was killed while he and Driebergen were serving in Iraq and Driebergen felt that it was his duty to make sure the dog tags made it back to the family.
His original cast video is below!
The Next Idahoan to Appear on Reality TV
The Gem State's had a lot of contestants come through reality shows over the year. Salmon's Lance Pekus has been a fan favorite over the past few seasons of American Ninja Warrior. Competing topless and wearing a cowboy hat, he's earned the name "The Cowboy Ninja." This past season, Pekus was joined by fellow Idahoan Tammy McClure. If that name seems familiar, it's because she's one of the co-owners of Indian Creek Winery in Kuna!
Over on ABC, Bachelor Nation seems to love Idaho as well! Joshua Albers, an industrial welder from Kuna competed for Kaitlyn Bristowe's heart during Season 11. In 2008, Bachelor Matt Grant took the women on dates in Sun Valley.
And in 2018? Well, I'll just say I was SHOCKED when I watched the Countdown to Arie preview of the new season of The Bachelor! Why?! Because one of my former co-workers at Townsquare Media Boise is one of the women competing for Arie's heart. I can't wait to watch the season premiere on New Year's Day for one reason.
Krystal Nielsen was an absolute sweetheart when she worked on our promotions crew. She came to support all of the on-air personalities in our radio family at all of their big events because she genuinely cared. You wouldn't know that if you watched the preview show that paints her as the villain! She moved to San Diego a few years ago, so its possible that time may have changed her but I'd be really surprised if she was purposely vindictive to other women. Either way, the new season debuts New Year's Day at 7 p.m. on ABC!