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VANCOUVER, BC - If Ian MacKenzie is anything, he is persistent. The creator of the grassroots campaign to allow Canadians to participate in the reality-TV show ‘Survivor’ has decided to seek an interview with top executives at CBS studios in Los Angeles. “Originally, I planned to mail in the petition the old-fashioned way,” says Ian, who moved the previous October 1 deadline back one month to allow more fans to sign up. “But then I realized it could get lost, thrown in the trash, or just not seen by the right people. A lot of Canadian (and American) Survivor fans have put their faith in me to deliver. The best way I can do that is hand it to CBS myself.”

Nearly ten months into the campaign, Ian’s petition has collected almost 3000 signatures and witnessed over 18,000 visitors to his website www.letmeonsurvivor.com. This popularity is due to a number of developments since the new season of Survivor Guatemala began in September – including feature stories in two national Canadian newspapers Metro and Dose, a radio interview with 96X in Edmonton, and a mention on the official CBS Survivor blog Survivors Strike Back by former Vanuatu contestant Scout Lee. “The previous Survivor Alumni have been fantastic in supporting my campaign,” says Ian. To the list he recently added Alicia Calaway, million dollar winners Rob & Amber Mariano, and Colby Donaldson who had a few choice words for the CBS executives: “I bet Ian could Outwit, Outplay, and Outlast all of the other contestants, even you [Jeff] Probst!”

Ian recognizes the Survivor fans for continuing to spread the word, leaving often hilarious comments along with their signatures. Some express their support but have no desire to apply to the show themselves. Others wonder why they hadn’t thought to create a web campaign on their own. A percentage of the site’s visitors even believe the petition would pave the way for entrance onto other American gameshows like The Amazing Race. As one Canadian fan aptly remarked, “I, like most people on this site, are not only here for Ian but for themselves as well.” In this way the campaign to let Canadians on Survivor has become a metaphor for cross-border relations, no longer simply a television matchup but a battle for the prestige of both nations.

Mark Burnett has recently hinted he may attempt to create a Canadian version of the show, yet it remains clear the highest drama (and television ratings) would lie in a Canadian versus American edition. Ian hopes to convince the CBS executives of this as he attempts to arrange a meeting near the beginning of November. He figures the 20 hour drive from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Los Angeles is worth the effort. “If I could borrow a film crew to chronicle the event, even better,” says Ian. “So Oprah, Ellen, Dave, Jay, Conan, or Jon, if any of you are interested, drop me an email.”

The petition closes on November 1, 2005. The entire package (signatures and final write-up) will be available for download at that time.

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For more information, please contact:

Ian MacKenzie