Category Archives: SOS Island

SOS Island | Day 2 | The Others

Our first night on the island. I felt sorry for the others as Mert and I had a couple of tarps to keep us warm (and dry!). I ended up staying up until 2am with Karen – this was her first night of camping, like ever! Brave girl!!

Breakfast:

Post-Breakfast:

We spent all day today doing challenges, so I couldn’t film much and there was no live show, but I did manage to squeeze a bit of video recording into my day.

Exploring:

This is for real:

By the end of the day, I was starving. Everyone was shattered and I think by 9pm everyone was fast asleep in our little shelters. If you can’t beat them…..

SOS Island | Day 1 | Not Penny’s Boat

SO THIS IS IT. SOS Island.

My last night in the air-conditioned hotel I went to bed early for the first time this week. This is my final video from ‘civilisation’:

We were stripped of everything but a change of clothes, a Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom and a Samsung NX Camera. Later in the day we arrived on the island, the location of which is a closely guarded secret. The good news is that it’s beautiful. The bad news is that we have NOTHING. Not even a knife, lighter or toothbrush between the 8 of us.

This was the scene seconds after we arrived on the island, waiting for the go-ahead to start the live broadcast:

And then we walked on ‘set’ for the first time:

Once the broadcast was over, the crew left the island SO FAST YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE.

It was like they had cakes in the oven or something.

Or maybe they just really wanted to get back to their air-conditioned homes and hotel rooms before the biting insects descended at dusk.

So first up, we built our shelters OUT OF NOTHING. Happily I had arranged beforehand to team up with Mert – you’ll see why that was a good move if you watch the above video. We found some short strings left by production, and Mert and I fixed the apex with out belts.

Then Liron, Mert and I got working on a FIRE! You know, scare some of the insects away!!

No lighter, no flint… crikey.

We tried with a fire-bow for AGES, but without a knife, we just couldn’t make it work.

Then Mert had an idea. Batteries.

I had a spare battery for my big light. I bit through a USB cable, striped the ends, wired it to the battery and made it spark over a cotton-and tissue tuft (the cotton came from one of Brittney’s tampons – this is survival baby, you do what you gotta do!).

And before we knew it, WE HAD FIRE!!!

Kudos to Liron and Mert for this, it really was a team effort.

Then I thought I’d bust my way into a coconut, just to see if I could.

A good start for #TeamGraham!

So now it’s UP TO YOU. Please head over to www.sos-island.com, register and VOTE FOR ME. I’m up against people with HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF FOLLOWERS – I need ALL the help I can get. Once registered, you can vote EVERY DAY – moreso if you complete the (fairly easy) online games. So please, click below and help your favourite ginger travelling monkey win a Monkey Island of his very own.

SOS Island Boot Camp Day 5: D-DAY

Of the 16 people to do boot camp, only 8 will make it to SOS Island itself. Today’s the day we find out who made the cut. Those who get through will go and live on an island for two weeks with nothing but the clothes on their backs and their Samsung Galaxy S4 zooms and Samsung NXs. Those who fail to make the cut fly home tomorrow.

After miserably failing to make the cut for the top 50 of the Jauntaroo “Chief World Explorer” gig earlier this week, I was understandably nervous.

I was in the top 100, I made this great little video and everything:

And, well, how do I put this delicately…? I’VE BEEN TO EVERY COUNTRY FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE!!!!!

But, nope, they didn’t want me. Damn you Jauntaroo, damn you all to hell.

So, yeah, anything could happen – possibly for all the wrong reasons.

The tension built throughout the day, and was not improved by today’s pre-shoot rehearsal which involved us all being “eliminated” and learning how to walk off the set graciously and without muttering swear words under our breaths.

And then, before I knew it, the show kicked off.

This is what happened immediately afterwards:

And this is my reaction to the news:

Right, that’s it. I’m off to have a drink with Les. See you Monday 🙂

SOS Island Boot Camp Day 4: FOOD

With shelter, water and fire done, today’s task was obviously going to be FOOD!!

I shot this vid last night as a bit of a trailer:

And then I helped Alex, Tom, Robin and Veronica shoot this trailer for SOS Island in general:

This morning I decided to do an AMA (ask me anything) on Reddit and that went a little nuts: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1nnd7q/ive_been_to_every_country_in_the_world_now_im/

So with a zillion questions to respond to, I spent the whole day with my head down beavering away on my laptop. Around 11:30am I managed to shoot this:

Yep. No food today! Glad I had a big breakfast. This was the scene on the beach around 3pm:

And then half an hour later today’s show began:

I think we did really well. Afterwards, we got this nice little pep talk from Les (EXCLUSIVE FOOTAGE!):

And I shot this as a bit of a trailer for what’s going to happen tomorrow:

YES THEY’RE GOING TO ANNOUNCE WHICH 8 OF THE 16 ARE GOING TO SOS ISLAND ITSELF!!!

No use getting stressed! After shower and dinner, Jo and I decided to write a song together, which we performed with Natalie:

Before you say it, yes it’s nice to see me finally emerge from the closet ya funny fecker you!

And before bed, we teamed up with Alex, Tom, Robin, Veronica, Liron and Murad to film the obligatory SOS-Island Harlem Shake video:

Then I answered a bunch more questions on Reddit, and posted this at 2:30am. I think I better go to sleep. Big day tomorrow… if I don’t make it to the island I’m going to be proper gutted.

Go #TeamGraham!!!

SOS Island Boot Camp Day 3: FIRE

Sort of getting into the hang of things now, although everything is exhausting and hot and sweaty and hard. But, come on, this is survival-lite: we stay in an air-conditioned hotel every night… Just you wait till we get on that island… no air-con, biting insects, foraging for food… that’ll sort the men from the boys.

In the morning, we have to be ready to go at 8:45am, and once we get on set, the morning is spent doing technical things, like getting mic’d up:

 

And then we play our own stand-ins for the rehearsals:

 

And pray for NO RAIN!!!

 

Yes, we are in the HEIGHT of hurricane season here in the Caribbean, but no problems so far…! So then the show gets underway. 16 of us, all mic’d, all doing pretty physical tasks in a hot, sweaty, humid environment… all doing our level best not to swear.

 

I have to admit, I was massively impressed by Les’s ability to make a fire with a fire-bow in less than two minutes:

 

And then even more impressed by Tan’s fire-starting skillz that led our team to boily water victory:

  

And thanks to Liron for this amazing pic, taken on my Samsung NX.

Let's hear it for SURVIVAL!!!
SOS Island Team 3(dom) With Survivorman Les Stroud

So then it was back to the hotel. Only I decided to head out into the Puerto Rican jungle to prepare for tomorrow’s lesson in survival from Les Stroud. Which I’m pretty sure will involve stuff like this…

 

You should watch that last one. It’s funny.

SOS Island Boot Camp Day 2: WATER

So then. We built a decent shelter yesterday but Les thought it was too big. But then he’s probably never woken to find himself BAKED in a black tent at the Roskilde festival at 7.30am. Shelter from the rain? Yes, bring it! But warmth – oh come on, it’s the Caribbean. If Samsung hadn’t put me in a hotel I’d be sleeping on the beach every night. Like I did in Sri Lanka. And Thailand. And the US Virgin Islands. And Australia. And Dubai. And Ibiza. And… well, you get the picture.

Today’s a new day, and this is how it started…

 

And then I heard a rumour…

 

And then we got into position (parched!)…

 

And tried to forecast the weather:

 

Before the show started, which you can watch here (WARNING: It’s very Graham heavy… like my mic is turned WAY up!):

 

But we didn’t get a critique of our sill-making tomfoolery, since we ran out of time. Did Team Three(dom) do a good job? Who knows. Although I will dispense this bit of GREAT advice:

Before going on a week-long Survival Boot Camp with Les Stroud, watch all the episodes of Suvivorman.

 

4 8 15 16 23 42

Sun 29 Sep ’13:

Landed at San Juan International late on Saturday night – joined on the flight from JFK by Mert, one of the other SOS Island challengers. Mert’s a photographer from Turkey and I hope he is one of the 8 that make it to the island.

We were picked up from the airport in a minibus along with some of the other contestants and taken to Fajardo, a town one hour to the east of San Juan.

Sunday was spent getting to know the other contestants – Murad from Jordan, Veronica from Italy, Rosa from Texas, Brittany from LA, Robin from Sweden, Chris from LA, Kalyn from Canada, Liron from Israel, Tom from Perth, Alex from Moscow, Tan from Sydney, Natalie from Brighton, Jo from South Africa, Karen from Boston and the aforementioned Mert from Istanbul.

Samsung SOS Island Boot Camp with Les Stroud
Let the games commence!!

Later, we were given our equipment – a brand new Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom and a Samsung NX camera each and we were given a tutorial by Todd, Samsung’s representative here.

In the evening we were treated to a meal together. Most of us then got an eaAnd rly night, ready for tomorrow: the first day of SOS Island Boot Camp with Les Stroud…

 

CBS This Morning

With consummate (freakish?) professionalism, I awoke 30 seconds before my alarm went off at 6.30am. After a quick shower and change of clothes, I made my blood sacrifices to Bacchus, jumped in the waiting limo and sped off towards the CBS Broadcast Centre. I was met at the door and taken up to the newsfloor. Now this is more like it! A nice big studio for me to run about. The warehouse-y interiors looked a bit like my old office in Liverpool. I was a bit disappointed to discover that the brickwork wasn’t real, but this is television, folks! IT’S ALL MADE OF MAGIC.

Nicole joined me in the Green Room, as did Gayle King (Oprah’s bessie mate) and fellow guest Chris Jones, a journo for Esquire Magazine who was here to talk about a piece he had just published detailing the events on Air Force One in the immediate aftermath of the Kennedy assassination.

I asked Chris what he thought of conspiracy theorists – he told me that he had purposefully not talked about the assassination itself in his article as he couldn’t cope with the tsunami of emails from every whackjob in the country that would no doubt ensue.

Chris actually recognised me from my One Second | Every Nation video, which is both cool and remarkable – three cheers for YouTube!!

Graham Hughes, Gayle King and Chris Jones on CBS This Morning

The interview went really well! You can watch it here:

I was chuffed with meeting Charlie Rose – veteran anchor-man and star of this week’s (penultimate) episode of Breaking Bad.

After the interview I said my farewells to Charlie, Gayle and Nicole before heading off to Esquire Magazine HQ for an impromptu Q&A with Chris, which with any luck will be on the Esquire website sometime soon.

So! I’ve done what I came for. I headed back to Oscar’s and we grabbed lunch together. I was being picked up at 4:30pm to be taken to the airport, but first I wanted to see the UN building – or, more specifically, the flags outside. (I’m a bit of a flag aficionado.)

But I forgot that it’s the week of the UN general assembly, so getting anywhere near the UN building was nigh-on impossible. Does the US have to pay for all this security? Or does Nauru chip in? We should be told!

A huge, inflexible and monolithic structure, yesterday.
A huge, inflexible and monolithic structure, yesterday.

So I headed back to Oscar’s, tail between my legs, to pick up my trusty backpack (this trip marked the swansong of my trusty Lowe Alpine Pax 25) and was whisked away in a CBS limousine to JFK. Before I knew it, I was hurtling through the air on my way back to dear old Blighty.

It's cloudy, it must be home.
It’s cloudy, it must be home.

Samsung SOS Island | Help make me a winner!!!

So that’s New York out of the way, time to get ready for the next thing: SAMSUNG’S SOS ISLAND!! So here’s the deal: 16 contestants are flown out to Fajardo in Puerto Rico for five days of survival ‘Boot Camp’ with TV’s “Survivorman” Les Stroud.

Only 8 of us will make the cut to go to SOS Island itself, a mystery island off the coast of Puerto Rico where will be sleeping rough and foraging for food for two weeks.

At the end of the two weeks, a winner will be announced… a winner who will then go for an island adventure worth $100,000. If I win, I’ll be hiring a private island off the coast of Belize, setting up a solar-powered sat-link and pulling a real-life Robinson Crusoe for a year.

IF YOU’D LIKE TO SEE THAT HAPPEN I’ve got to impress Les with my survival skills! But also I need YOUR help!!!

There will be a LIVE WORLDWIDE BROADCAST from our training camp every day this week at 7.30pm GMT – that’s 3.30pm in New York, 8.30pm in London and 5.30am in Sydney (don’t worry Oz, you can watch it later). You can watch it by clicking below.

Samsung SOS Island
Click Here for ADVENTURE!!!

Also, I need you to follow me on Twitter: @EveryCountry, on YouTube at youtube.com/thatgingerscouser and on Instagram at instagram.com/grahamdavidhughes.

It kicks off on MONDAY 30 SEPTEMBER. Be there.