Nome-grown brothers win new Alaska-based reality series competition

‘Race to Survive: Alaska’ featured 8 teams and 6 races across Ketchikan, Kodiak, and Cordova
‘Race to Survive: Alaska’ featured 8 teams and 6 races across Ketchikan, Kodiak, and Cordova
Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 6:41 PM AKDT
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NOME, Alaska (KTUU) - A team of brothers born and raised in Nome have won a national reality TV series competition called “Race to Survive: Alaska.”

The show, which aired on the USA Network, featured eight different two-person teams and six races that took place across Ketchikan, Kodiak, and Cordova.

Oliver and Wilson Hoogendorn proved to be the team to beat. The show’s season finale aired Monday, June 5 revealed the Hoogendorns as the winners of the sixth and final race.

“This guy named Tom Burkardt messaged me on Instagram, in my like message requests, and I opened it and he’s like talking about this survival show,” Wilson said. “We applied and then just made it so far in the process and we ended up making it into the top seven, so then we got to race.”

The brothers said a family friend had nominated them to be on the show, which is how the casting producer knew to reach out.

The competition required contestants to showcase their strength, endurance, and survival skills as they were presented with a series of challenges during each race that included building their own shelter and foraging for food.

The Hoogendorns admitted that the hardest part of filming was battling hunger as they struggled to find food sources.

“We weren’t too successful,” Oliver said about finding food. “There was some regret when we first started, mostly just like, because we were starving.”

The boys were able to overcome the struggle and go on to become the winners of the very first season for the show, but were sworn to secrecy until the final episode aired.

Over 100 people attended a watch party for the finale at the museum in Nome earlier this week. Once the episode revealed the brothers had won, the crowd erupted in cheers.

“If we wouldn’t have won but we still came back, had that large watch party and got to like tell stories and have everybody cheer us on — I think it still would have been worth it at that point,” Oliver said. “That was super cool.”

For beating out the competition in “Race to Survive: Alaska,” the Hoogendorn brothers won $500,000 dollars.