South African Jo Cranshaw is one of the eight global contestants still in line to win their own island in Samsung’s online, competition series, SOS Island: Survival of the Smartest, which combines live programming, online video streaming and social media.
The original 16 contestants were narrowed by half after this weeks’ training with survival expert Les Stroud. Now the final eight will progress to the next stage – surviving for two weeks on an actual, uninhabited island.

SOS Island producer Craig Borders says the series breaks new ground in the realm of entertainment and marketing.

“What makes SOS Island unique is that the contestants are telling their own stories utilising social media tools such as YouTube, Vine and Instagram. We are using the latest technology to create content fans not only want to watch but can also interact and engage with.”

For the past week, fans have been able to follow the 16 contestants from all over the world as they travelled to Puerto Rico. Today, these stories take on a new twist as the eight remaining contestants are relocated to “SOS Island” where they’ll draw on their survival training, social media skills and abilities to learn new technology to outsmart their opponents in a series of challenges.

With the help of Samsung’s Galaxy S4 zoom and Galaxy NX, contestants will compete in challenges that will require them to build shelters, locate basic necessities and navigate the island. Viewers back home have the opportunity to follow their journey online and vote for their favourite castaways.

Seven live episodes will be streamed from the remote island from 7 to 19 October, where viewers will be able to interact with the contestants live and in the moment on social media. The episodes will feature communal life and the personalities of the eight contestants.

Twelve taped, challenge episodes will be streamed beginning 22 October, after the contestants return to their homes. The competition continues as they will have to use their social media savvy to encourage fans to continue to vote through 30 November.

One winner will be announced on 9 December after the scores are tallied, and one person will win the private island prize package valued at $100 000.00.

The finalists are Rosy McMichael, Chris Thompson, Brittany Joyal and Karen Constant from the US; Jo Crawshaw from South Africa; Graham Hughes from the UK; Liron Maimon from Israel; and Mert Erdir from Turkey.

“Each of these contestants have demonstrated the ability to adapt to new environments and pick up new skills,” Les Stroud says. “Armed with the knowledge and training that I’ve provided them, I know they have what they need to complete the challenges and survive the island.”