If you missed the beginning of the new season of the soap opera survival show, Dual Survival, you may be wondering why Cody Lundin wasn’t in the latest episode. That’s because Cody got fired. That’s right, people. Everyone’s favorite no-shoe-wearing, tree-hugging hippie is no longer on the show. I know, it’s devastating. And I’m thinking all the same things you are – Cody Lundin was the best and this is crazy news. How did this happen? Can the show survive without him? Below is a breakdown of the drama on set and my reaction to the new host of Dual Survival.
RIP Cody & Dave
First, we lost Dave Canterbury, who was found guilty of fabricating the truth on his original resume sent to the Discovery Channel. [Hear Dave admit the truth and share his reasoning behind the act in this public apology to his fans.] I was devastated over the loss of Dave because I truly enjoyed the chemistry and hostile banter between him and Cody. The two were constantly name-calling and bickering about how to do things the “right” way but they always worked collaboratively and as a team, complementing each other with their varying skills in nature.
In Season 3, Joe Teti, former U.S. military soldier and special-ops operative, replaced Dave on the show. Joe, a total Type-A personality, likes to do things his way and only his way, and he clashed immediately with Cody Lundin. At first, I enjoyed having the comic relief of the bickering sans Dave but Joe was harsher and more judgmental. He didn’t seem to value Cody’s talents or opinions and their arguments were fueled by anger and annoyance. The pair lacked the camaraderie that was so present between Cody and Dave.
Cody and Joe wrapped up Season 3 and began filming a new season late in 2013. Season 4 is focused on surviving in the most intense and dangerous situations in the world. Unfortunately for us, Cody only made it through the first three locations (Sri Lanka, Arabian Desert, and Norway) before he was “let go” from the Discovery Channel.
Cody’s firing came after a clash between the hosts while filming in Norway. Cody, who hasn’t worn shoes in 23 years, upset Joe by wearing wool socks in the deep snow. Joe felt like Cody was “jeopardizing their mission and Joe’s safety” and screamed at Cody during a meltdown over differing opinions about a shelter location. [Check out the “fight” here.] While it was evident that the hosts were clearly upset with one another and were slinging insults and shouting expletives, they seemed to come to terms by the conclusion of the episode. In fact, if I didn’t already know that this was “the fight” I would have never deemed it worthy of a firing. But alas, Cody was canned and Joe met his new partner in last night’s new episode entitled, “No Man Is An Island,” filmed on a remote island in Panama.
Meet Matt Graham
The new host of Dual Survival is named Matt Graham, formerly on Discovery’s Dude, You’re Screwed. Matt is a contemporary Stone Age expert and lives off the land in the wilds of Utah from the middle of winter to the middle of the summer every year. He is an expert in hunting and gathering, building fires using primitive methods and is trained in hunting with an atlatl and bow and in Judo, Tae Kwan Do, Wushu Kung fu, and Jeet Kune Do. He also proudly revealed that he makes his own clothing (very little clothing, I might add) and sandals from natural, organic materials.
What Works with Matt
- He’s a smokeshow (sorry, I’m not sorry for saying it).
– If the decision between Matt and Cody was based purely on looks, Matt would win over and over again. He’s gorgeous and I will certainly enjoy staring at him.
- He’s an expert at building fires.
– This is critical because Joe has already proven to want to do everything but build a fire and really enjoys to hunt and kill animals. Cody built every fire on the show and it was critical that the new host had the same skill set.
- He’s not afraid to disagree with Joe.
– First, he drank water directly from a stream, much to Joe’s dismay, and seemed to survive just fine. Then, he hunted a pig with an atlatl (like a boss) and scolded Joe for interfering and needlessly spearing the dying animal. He also referred to Joe as G.I. Joe. It was great.
- He doesn’t like to wear a lot of clothing and he rocks a beard.
– This supplements my earlier point that Matt is a smokeshow.
- He’s a brilliant hunter-gatherer.
– Matt already taught the audience a new method of cooking raw meat underground and an easy way to make tea in the jungle. Even Joe was super impressed with his nutrient-filled hot water.
What Didn’t Work with Matt
- He wears shoes.
– Sure, he makes his very thin sandals so they aren’t technically real shoes but still. As absurd and comical as it was to watch Cody tramp barefoot through swamps, snow, and deserts, I think he was the freakin’ man for making a choice and sticking by it for 23 years, no matter how much ridicule he received. He worked hard to do it and modified the way he walked to accommodate his choice (he walked toe-to-heel rather than heel-to-toe). Talk about dedication!
- The show feels like its Joe’s world and every other host is just living in it.
– The big showdown between Cody and Joe was more like Joe screaming at Cody for not doing things the way Joe preferred and Cody, the host with the most seniority, losing his job over it. How long will it take for Joe to decide Matt doesn’t fit and we see another host lose their job?
- He’s not Cody.
– When all is said and done, Cody Lundin was a brilliant survivalist and he taught me more about surviving in nature than any host on the show. I learned many different ways to build a fire and how to purify water, gauge the amount of sunlight left in a day, and gauge what direction is South based on foliage, all from the comfort of my couch.
Ultimately, if someone has to replace Cody Lundin, Matt Graham is the perfect choice. He brings a uniqueness to the screen that counters Joe in all the best ways. He’s positive and happy and he loves Earth and what he’s doing. He is also brilliant and his skill-set, while similar to Cody’s, is brand new to the show and brings a whole new perspective and feeling. Matt will teach the audience plenty, and hopefully he continues to put Joe in his place while doing so.
Be sure to tune into the Discovery Channel at 9pm on Wednesdays for brand new episodes of Dual Survival to see how things work out with Matt Graham and Joe Teti.
Fond Farewell to the Man, the Myth, and the Shoeless Legend