Fans of the multi-national pay television network Discovery Channel, have certainly come across the popular reality adventure show “Dual Survival”, which follows a pair of survival experts who are trying to make it in predetermined survival scenarios, while simultaneously teaching the show’s fans about how to survive in extreme conditions. Finding water and food are two of the most important things when people find themselves stranded, however, building shelter and scouting one’s surroundings are nearly as important. “Dual Survival” teaches people exactly those things, and it was quite popular while it aired between 2010 and 2016, numbering 90 episodes in nine seasons. Some of the show’s stars included Cody Lundin, Matt Graham and Bill McConnell, and the spin-off from the series “Dual Survival Brazil” premiered in 2013 in Brazil, and aired for two seasons.
Although the show was quite popular and had a 7.5/10 score on the online movie database IMDb, it was revealed during the airing of its ninth season that the series was cancelled, and wouldn’t be coming back for another season. The producers failed to give clear reasons behind these actions, and it remained up to their fans to find out what had happened to the show.
- 1 Why was it cancelled?
- 2 Earlier problems with Joe Teti
- 3 Joe lied about his qualifications
- 4 Dave Canterbury had also lied in his résumé
- 5 Cody Lundin was also fired
- 6 Matt Graham and Cody Lundin weren’t on good terms
- 7 Cody Lundin has sued the Discovery Channel
- 8 Discovery Channel got the show’s name wrong on YouTube
- 9 Fake and scripted things in “Dual Survival”
- 10 The show steadily lost viewers, and its popularity nosedived
- 11 Interesting fact about the show’s narrator
- 12 Survival in reality shows and in real life
Why was it cancelled?
During the entirety of the show’s airing, the producers had numerous problems with their cast members, and it’s believed that they simply had enough after nine seasons, and chose to call it off. In fact, it had already been cancelled once before, after it aired its sixth season; although the season was to have more than 10 episodes, it ended up airing only four, because one of the two survival experts, Joseph ‘Joe’ Teti was fired.
Joe harmed a dog during the fourth episode of season six, and while the exact details of the event aren’t known, it’s certain that the dog was injured, and perhaps even died.
Joe has defended himself by claiming that he was trying to rescue a cat attacked by the dog, but this hasn’t been confirmed. He was then banned from the network’s offices.
The cancellation of the series lasted for only four months, as the producers found Grady Powell to take Joe’s place, and the seventh season aired on 13 January 2016.
Earlier problems with Joe Teti
Joe starred alongside Cody Lundin in the third and fourth seasons of “Dual Survival”, and although they appeared to be friends in the show, Cody has revealed that he was actually terrified of Joe. According to him, Joe had a short fuse and would often aim weaponry at him, while he occasionally showed him pictures of dead bodies, as a way to keep Cody in line; Joe had previously been in the Army, and was presented in the show as an ‘American Hero’. Cody has claimed that Joe also threatened to kill him twice: first time, he said that he would kill him with an ice axe and bury him on a mountain, and the second time, he claimed that he would impale him with a spear.
Joe lied about his qualifications
Joe was primarily invited to star in the show because of his military background; they were searching for a replacement for Dave Canterbury, a survival expert who starred in its two first seasons, and had also been in the Army, achieving the rank of Sergeant.
Although Joe was indeed in the Army, he falsely stated in his résumé that he had completed both Special Forces Sniper and Special Forces Combat courses. After he was fired from the show, the retired Army Sergeant-Major George Davenport gave an interview to the magazine “Army Times”, stating that Joe was an embarrassment to the Regiment, and that he was fired from Special Forces Association after more than 20 soldiers had accused him of sexual misconduct; he was also banned from rejoining.
Dave Canterbury had also lied in his résumé
Dave was to star in a couple of seasons of “Dual Survival”, and he and Cody Lundin seemed to make a good team, however, he was sacked after the show’s second season.
Its production team started checking their cast’s qualifications, and found out that Dave had lied about his extensive military training. While there are multiple items which he had made up, the most interesting is that he wrote how he was a sniper in the Army, which couldn’t had been further from the truth. Dave talked about his skills in a YouTube video, saying: ‘Did I embellish some of the things on my resume? I did. I didn’t do it to hurt anyone. I didn’t do it to make things difficult for anyone in my family. I actually did it to, number one, better my family.’
Cody Lundin was also fired
Cody Lundin, the star of the show’s first four seasons, was fired in June 2014. He had his own way of survival, and chose not to obey the producers when they told him to follow strict safety and health measures. Cody believed that the show should be as true as possible, and so spent the entire first two seasons walking around barefoot.
Paradoxically, the producers had asked him in 2014 to jump into freezing water, and to purposely get hypothermia, adding some drama and making the show more interesting.
He wasn’t expecting to be fired, as he later revealed in one of his tweets, and Cody went on to thank his fans, claiming that he would miss them the most.
Matt Graham and Cody Lundin weren’t on good terms
Matt Graham starred alongside Cody in the show’s fourth season, and he starred alongside Joe Teti in the fifth and sixth season. Most of Cody’s fans believe that Matt was the only person from “Dual Survival” with whom he really got along, however, this isn’t really true.
The two didn’t get along for unknown reasons, and the final straw was when Matt wanted to endorse a popular product, and contacted the company claiming that he was Cody’s ‘teacher’, and that he had taught him everything he knows about survival.
The company’s officials weren’t familiar with Matt, and they thus contacted Cody to confirm this; he denied the things that Matt had said, and the two then stopped speaking to each other.
Cody Lundin has sued the Discovery Channel
When Cody stated that he was suing the show, most of his fans believed that it was because he had faced death threats from Joe Teti, and also because he was mistreated by most of the cast, however, Cody had other plans. He sued the producers because of the way in which they had edited “Dual Survival”, claiming that they had made him look less able than he was, and that they belittled his survival skills.
According to several sources, the producers had made Cody throw various materials into the ocean in an episode, after he had lost patience with Joe Teti; Cody was carrying drinkable water, matches and spear, the things which should had been kept dry and safe, and throwing them into the ocean made him look immature and amateur.
Discovery Channel got the show’s name wrong on YouTube
Right after the show had begun airing, the Discovery Channel uploaded a promo video onto their official YouTube channel, entitled “Dual Survivor Tonight at 10 PM e/p on the Discovery Channel.” It was actually a double mistake, because the show’s name was “Dual Survival”, and it was supposed to read ‘Friday’ instead of ‘Tonight’; at least the voice over had been done correctly.
Fake and scripted things in “Dual Survival”
Not a single reality show is 100 percent, as it’s necessary to add some drama and conflict to make it more interesting and appealing. This was also the case with “Dual Survival”, and many fans are dissatisfied with how various scenes were obviously fake. While most people know that there have to be scripted scenes in a show such as this, they’ve complained about the producers not doing their best to hide this.
A perfect example was when Matt Graham gave Joe Teti a book of matches which had red tips, but after Joe had taken them, the matches had green tips; Joe eventually returned them to Matt, and they once again changed their color to red. It has also been pointed out that some of the wild animals which these survival experts had caught, had previously been either injured or tied so that their escape would be impossible.
A lot of drama has been added by creating conflict between the pairs of survival exerts. Some of them were indeed not on good terms, but most of the others were, and even remained friends after the show had ended. The best example of this was the relation between the former US Green Beret Grady Powell and the hippie survivalist Bill McConnell – Grady was made to look as a strict and old-fashioned man, while Bill was full of love, hugging trees around him, and talking to trees and animals; because of their differences, Bill and Grady were made to behave as if they hated each other.
It also makes no sense that all the pairs were on bad terms, because Cody Lundin had ‘chemistry tested’ with more than 20 people before they were chosen to star in the show. He has stated that he had spoken with foreign Special Forces soldiers, a Marine Corps sniper, Rangers, and Navy SEALS. Cody did this throughout the entire nine seasons, but was apparently bad at the job because the most that two people had managed to make it together was two and a half seasons.
The show steadily lost viewers, and its popularity nosedived
The often changes in the show’s cast were apparently not liked by the audience; the moment they would get to know one person, get used to him and start to like him, he would be fired and replaced by someone new. In six seasons, four main cast members were fired, and after the final episode of the sixth season aired on 21 October 2015, the show lost about a third of its viewers.
During its fourth and fifth seasons, each episode had been watched in more than 1.5 million households, however, the seventh season didn’t even make it to one million. Bill McConnell starred in the seventh season and then quit, and this change in the cast again harmed the show.
Interesting fact about the show’s narrator
The show was narrated by the American voice actor from Manhattan, Paul Christie. While the younger generations couldn’t possibly recognize the name, those who watched a lot of cartoons while growing up in the ‘90s might know Paul as Stick Stickly. This Popsicle stick with attached eyes, nose and mouth had a heart of gold, and was one of the funniest hosts of the Nickelodeon show “Nick in the Afternoon”.
Survival in reality shows and in real life
Even though the producers of “Dual Survival” tried their best to show and teach people about surviving in the wilderness, the same situations in real life would differ. Before anything else, reality shows are made to be entertaining and to retain viewers’ attention, which is why many conversations and situations are scripted. At the very beginning of some of the first episodes of “Dual Survival”, a line read – ‘On some occasions, situations are presented to Dave and Cody so they can demonstrate survival techniques.’ Cody Lundin has spoken about these issues in an interview with the online magazine “Master Woodsman”, claiming that the producers had no outdoor survival skills, but were still the ones to decide how things would be done.