I was wrong. I was 100 percent wrong about the finale of "Ultimate Survival Alaska." Dallas Seavey is unstoppable. First, he and teammates Eddie Ahyakak and Sean Burch win "Ultimate Survivor Alaska," and then he wins the Iditarod in an early-morning windstorm and doesn't even know he won. I completely underestimated the power of Seavey.
In the last episode of "Ultimate Survival Alaska," the Endurance Team won the final challenge by being the first ones up Mount Augustine. All the teams reached the volcano at the same time, so it really was anyone's win. But for the first time in the series, everyone seemed to be focused on Ahyakak and Marty Rainey. It was revealed that Ahyakak used to weigh over 300 pounds (!?), and Rainey (as we easily figured out) was old. It made me love Ahyakak, and they totally should have brought that up earlier in the season.
My only disappointment was that there wasn't a montage of those we've lost along the way, so I will create one now: Jimmy Gaydos, leader of the Woodsmen Team, in his denim overalls, starting a fire with a shotgun and a cotton ball; Rudy Reyes, member of the Military Team, in his tunic and scarf looking like the Wolverine. And there were the other Woodsmen: Tina Scheer, rowing a boat with an ax, screaming "Jimmy" with a thick Maine accent; and her teammate Yote Robertson, just being a handy dude from Dillingham.
Now that that's over, here's the spring reality TV preview. As the official network of the Iditarod, the Sportsman Channel will run their "Iditarod Unleashed" special March 25 to April 4. According to some higher-ups at the station, they'll be doing some profile pieces to cover the race. Also, "Amazing America with Sarah Palin" airs on April 3.
There's good news for HGTV fans -- a new series called "Living Alaska" starts this month. The show looks similar to "Buying Alaska" on the Destination America channel, but will feature couples that are moving from Outside to Alaska looking to buy homes. I don't watch that much HGTV, but I'd guess their production quality is a bit higher than Destination America.
Discovery Channel, typically a gold mine of Alaska shows, is instead airing "Amish Mafia," "Clash of the Ozarks," and the classic "Naked and Afraid" in primetime right now. I've never watched these shows, but I'm highly intrigued by "Amish Mafia." The godfather of Alaska reality TV shows, "Deadliest Catch," is rumored to be starting back up next month. There is no official date yet, but it is likely to be mid-April.
Animal Planet is airing "Wild West Alaska" at all hours of the day, every day of the week. In fact, one could watch 12 straight hours of "Wild West Alaska" on Friday, starting at 8 a.m. Why anyone would do that, I have no idea.
We've got three casting calls out there right now. The one for "Ultimate Survival Alaska's" third season is totally legit. The two others are on Craigslist, and one seems real while the other seems sketchy. The seemingly legit casting call is for a "prominent reality television production company" working with "a major network to find the next great host who can speak about the beautiful state of Alaska and the food that makes it special." Warning: they are only looking for men in their 30s and 40s, born in Alaska, who can speak about Alaska Native culture and foods (examples: stink heads, caribou stew and pickled muktuk). Maybe this is Ahyakak's next big break.
Now for the hilarious and sketchy one. "We are developing a new alien-based reality-style show, based in Alaska." You heard it here first, folks. "Are you a UFOlogist? Are you part of a team of alien investigators? Have you ever been abducted? Do you know someone that has? Have you ever witnessed a UFO sighting in Alaska?" If you have ever done any of those things, an unidentified group of people want you to send an email to a nondescript Gmail account so they can Skype with you. Proceed at your own risk.
• Emily Fehrenbacher lives in Anchorage, where she reviews Alaska reality TV. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.