BYU freshman Kyla White and her family received $10,000 for winning “Survivalists,” a four-day adventure competition show run by BYUtv.
Kyla said she and her family filmed the show at the end of March last year in Baja, Mexico. Their episode “Changing Dynamics” was aired on BYUtv on Feb. 26.
She said her family heard of the show when producers from BYUtv reached out to her mother, who is a family travel influencer on Instagram.
Her mother Krystal White created an Instagram page called @eastcoast.blondies, sharing destinations, travel tips and family fun, according to the account profile.
She said the auditioning process was “long, nerve-wracking and exciting.” Krystal said they went through two rounds of auditions and was sure they did not get selected. Two months after, she said they found out they were going to be on the show.
Kyla said she grew up in a huge camping family, so they were committed to winning the race in Mexico. They found it extremely difficult to take control of the race on the first day because their bodies were not accustomed to the dry heat and had to wear long sleeves and pants, she said. Additionally, there were thorny trees all around them.
“My sister has migraines issues. She had started having a migraine attack on the third day,” Kyla said.
It scares the family every time when she gets them because she would throw up and not be able to open her eyes, according to Kyla.
Kyla said that in addition to the difficult course, being pressed about family issues was also very challenging. She said she “lost her cool with the cameras” when she and her younger sister had an argument on the show.
She had been struggling to find solutions for relationship problems between her and her sister, and said, “My sister thought I wasn’t genuine whenever the cameras were around, so I told the cameras to leave … I think we have a much better relationship now and the show has actually helped our family come closer.”
Kyla said she aspires to be like her sister because her sister pushed through while having a migraine attack and made it to the final line before Kyla did.
Kyla said people in her family are very competitive, especially herself. “We ran with our packs up mountains and down mountains the entire last day and that’s the only reason we were able to win,” she said.
Kyla’s father Bryce White said the teenagers in the family had never done any outdoor activities that were on the “Survivalists” difficulty level. Since they were given just a map and a compass, he said it was easy to get lost in the desert and on the hiking trails, but he said he felt gratified by his children’s strong performance.
Both Bryce and Krystal said they are proud of their family for being brave enough to go on TV, and strong enough to keep going when things got tough. Additionally, Bryce and Kyla said they would do it again if given another chance.