Fans of shows like Man vs. Wild, Survivorman, and even the OG reality competition show Survivor were hooked to their TV screens in 2010 when the Discovery Channel launched a brand-new survival show, Dual Survival.
The aptly titled show aimed to take two very different nature enthusiasts and release them into the wild, allowing them to do what they do best: survive. Like the Odd Couple for outdoorsmen, each season paired a down to earth, nature loving wilderness expert with a military trained weapons expert.
The hosts would often butt heads in an attempt to show the other that their way of living was superior. The conflicting personalities meant that the hosts didn’t just have to survive the great outdoors, they also had to survive each other.
Dual Survival lasted for nine seasons and produced a total of 84 episodes throughout its six years on the air. During that time, plenty of juicy stories have been revealed.
From hosts falsifying their credentials to on-set animal abuse to viewers pointing out the obvious “unreal” nature of the reality show, there is as much dirt behind the scenes as there is on former host Cody Lundin’s bare feet.
Here are the 15 Secrets You Didn’t Know About Dual Survival.
15. Cody Lundin Claims Joe Teti Threatened To End His Life
After original host Dave Canterbury was fired, Discovery Channel replaced him with another military trained survival enthusiast, Joe Teti. Teti was boasted as an “All American Hero” and initially seemed to click extremely well with the show’s veteran host, Cody Lundin.
According to Lundin, things weren’t what they seemed when the cameras stopped rolling. The duo wasn’t as buddy-buddy as the producers would want you to believe. In fact, Lundin was terrified of Teti.
Teti had a short fuse and would constantly intimidate Lundin with various weaponry and photos of bodies to try and keep him in line.
According to TMZ, “Teti threatened to ‘bury’ him on a mountain while waving around an ice ax. During a shoot in Hawaii, Lundin says Teti threatened to impale him with a spear.”
14. Dave Canterbury Admitted To Lying About His Qualifications
Along with Cody Lundin, Dave Canterbury was one of the first hosts of Dual Survival. Lundin and Canterbury were the blueprints for the entire series. They were the first survivalist/military combo that laid the groundwork for the rest of the show. The duo would remain together for the first two seasons before Canterbury was fired.
The reason Canterbury was let go from the successful reality show? He was caught lying about his extensive military training.
On his résumé, Canterbury stated he was a sniper in the Army. This, among other claims, was proven to be false.
After his release, Canterbury admitted via YouTube, “Did I embellish some of the things on my resume? I did. I didn’t do it to hurt anyone. I didn’t do it to make things difficult for anyone in my family. I actually did it to, number one, better my family.”
13. Joe Teti Harmed A Dog On Set
Reports differ on this one. Nobody seems to be 100% sure if Joe Teti injured or ended a dog’s life while on the set of Dual Survival. Not that it matters, as harming a poor animal in any way is a deplorable act.
As TMZ reported, “Joe Teti, a former Green Beret, was shooting one of the final scenes when some stray cats ran across the set … apparently fleeing from a dog. We’re told the dog actually got one of the cats in its jaws, and that’s when Teti went after the canine.”
Obviously, this led to Teti’s release from the show. Following the incident, the network’s facilities were given memos that stated Teti was not to be allowed on the premises, banning him from Discovery Channel offices.
12. Discovery Channel Canceled The Show Once Before
After the extremely justified firing of Joe Teti, Discovery Channel pulled a plug on Dual Survival. The Show’s sixth season was abruptly condensed into a mere four episodes that aired from September to October of 2015.
After releasing Teti, the production also decided to cut ties with his co-host at the time, Matt Graham. They then pulled the plug on the entire show.
The cancelation would only last for a few months.
In January of 2016, Dual Survival would return for a seventh season. The new iteration of the reality show featured two brand new hosts in Bill McConnell and Grady Powell.
11. Fans Called Foul On Some Of The Shows Scenes
Like most reality shows with a strong following, fans of Dual Survival seemed to always be dead set on exposing the show’s cracks. They jumped at any attempted to call the show out for anything that seemed staged or fake.
Staunch viewers brought to light a particular episode where Matt Graham had a book of matches that seemed to always change color.
The eagle-eyed viewer pointed out that Graham was holding a book of matches with red tips. After he handed them to Joe Teti, the matches were green. Once they were back in Graham’s position, they were once again red.
10. Cody Lundin Was Fired Over Health And Safety Disagreements
For the first two and a half seasons of Dual Survival, Cody Lundin notoriously walked around barefoot no matter the condition and always seemed up for anything.
That wasn’t exactly the case as in 2014, though– the affable Lundin was fired over safety and health concerns. On specific instance involved producers asking Lundin to fall into freezing water to purposely get hypothermia.
Lundin was heartbroken when he was let go from the show that he had been a part of for four years.
In a letter on his blog, he wrote, “Although I’ll miss elements of the show, what I’ll miss the most are my fans and the opportunity to teach – on a global level – life-saving skills, indigenous culture, and values of integrity and respect toward our natural world.”
9. Matt Graham Claimed To Have Been Cody’s Teacher
When Cody Lundin was fired from Dual Survival, it wasn’t just the producers and co-host Joe Teti with whom he had ill will. The braid-wearing former star also had a bone to pick with his replacement, Matt Graham.
The hardcore survivalist community is small and tightknit.
This lead to many instances of Graham and Lundin not only running in the same circles but being friendly as well. Their friendship soured when Graham tried to muscle in on some of Lundin’s business.
Graham attempted to get a product endorsement from a company by telling them that he had taught Lundin everything that he knows. Said company, which was unaware of Graham, reached out to Lundin. Lundin obviously refuted the statement and the professional survivalists have been at odds ever since.
8. Joe Teti May Have Lied About His Military Training
When Discovery Channel was looking for somebody to replace Dave Canterbury, they chose Joe Teti, another man with a military background.
They were all set to replicate the dynamic between Cody Lundin, the laid-back survivalist, and a tough, American serviceman.
One thing they unwillingly might have replicated was hiring another liar.
Like Canterbury before him, Teti did indeed serve in the military, he just also happened to lie on his résumé. Teti alleged to have completed Special Forces Combat and Special Forces Sniper courses.
He also supposedly participated in a government unit so secret that he was not allowed to name the organization, only that it was very, very secret.
Many veterans, including retired Army Sergeant Major George Davenport, found these claims to be phony and decided to fact check Teti. Davenport says to have checked with Special Forces schools and there are no records to support Teti’s assertions.
7. Discovery Channel Got The Name Wrong
It’s not a good sign for a brand-new show when the network can’t even get the title correct. That’s exactly what happened when a promo for Dual Survival made its way to YouTube.
Published by the official Discovery Channel YouTube account, the video is titled, “Dual Survivor Tonight at 10 PM e/p on the Discovery Channel.”
Not only that, but the description doubles down on the typo, going on to say, “Dual Survivor on the Discovery Channel, Friday at 10 PM e/p.” The video in question managed to have the correct voice over and graphics.
6. Edits Made It Seem Like The Pairs Hated Each Other
Since Dual Survival is a reality show at heart, editors and producer also amped up the drama between the on-camera duos. This was an easy way to heighten the tension of being trapped in the wilderness with one other person and minimal tools.
The season seven paring of Bill McConnell and Grady Powell seemed to get the worst of this. McConnell, the hippie survivalist, and Powell, the former United States Green Beret seemed to butt heads more often than any other pairing the show had ever seen.
McConnell was showed to be overly chatty and a literal “tree hugger” and Powell came off a little too tough as nails.
5. Cody Lundin Chemistry Tested With 21 People
While doing a list of Dual Survival fun facts on his Facebook page, Cody Lundin wrote that he, “Chemistry tested” with 21 people for the opposing role in the show for all seasons including several Navy SEALS, Marine Force Recon, Green Beret, Ranger, Marine Corps sniper, Air Force PJ’s, and foreign Special Forces soldiers.
One of the strangest things about the meticulous chemistry tests done by Discovery Channel is that there was still so much turnover throughout the show’s nine seasons.
They put a great deal of effort into getting the perfect pairs, but no duo lasted more than two and a half seasons.
4. Cody Lundin Is Suing Discovery Channel
Between claims of attempted of Joe Teti attempting to harm him and how he was mistreated while on set, this one comes as no real surprise. In addition to both of these claims, Lundin is suing the Discovery Channel because of the way the show was edited.
Lundin believes that the editors and producers behind the scenes made him seem like his survival skills were not up to snuff. He claims that this has cost him a great deal of work.
One particular scene involved Lundin losing his patience with co-host Joe Teti. The duo was trying to transport a spear, water, and matches from the higher to the lower ground while keeping them dry. Lundin seemed to snap and began throwing all of the materials into the water, looking not only like a crazy person, but like an amateur as well.
3. Stick Stickly Narrated The Show
Most kids who grew up in the ‘90s and watched a healthy dose of Nickelodeon have fond memories of Stick Stickly. The popsicle stick with a heart of gold was the ridiculously no-budget host of Nick in the Afternoon.
The man behind the stick is also the voice of Dual Survival, New York voice actor, Paul Christie.
It’s pretty hilarious that the same man voices both of these projects.
Stickly had sporadic resurgences as the host of The ‘90s Are All That. The programming block that aired on TeenNick ran between 2011 and 2015, meaning folks of all ages could hear Christie voice a talking stick on one network and change the channel to hear the same guy narrating how to cauterize a wound.
2. Its Ratings Took A Nosedive
By the time season seven of Dual Survival came around in 2016, the show had already been through four different hosts. Audiences had seen the departures of Dave Canterbury, Cody Lundin, Joseph Teti, and Matt Graham before Bill McConnell and Grady Powell were given hosting duties.
Fans were lukewarm on the pair, and it was reflected in the rated.
During the show’s third, fourth, and fifth seasons, episodes averaged around 1.5 million viewers. Once the seventh season began airing in January of 2016, the show struggled to reach a million fans per episode.
1. The Difference Between Survival And Survival Entertainment
Television shows are, first and foremost, means of entertainment. If they’re not entertaining, then they’re not doing their job. One way to ensure a show is working to the best of its abilities is to sometimes inject a healthy dose of drama.
Dual Survival added so many fabricated scenarios that the disclaimer at the beginning of the show had to chance.
A line was added early on that stated, “On some occasions, situations are presented to Dave and Cody so they can demonstrate survival techniques.” Lundin claims these changes were made to simplify the show for the same of entertainment, but actually stifled it.
In an interview with Master Woodsman, Cody said, “Producers that have no outdoor skills, and yet have complete control over what they think this profession is about are the ones doing the damage.”
Can you think of any other dark secrets about Dual Survival? Let us know in the comment section!
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