Competition shows will never get old, and that’s largely because production companies keep finding new things for people to compete over. The 2020 series, Win the Wilderness, was a great example of that. During the show, six British couples went through a series of challenges in hopes of winning a large homestead in Alaska. Instead of a traditional panel of judges, the contestants were tasked with impressing Duane Ose and his wife, Rena, who had owned the Alaskan homestead since the 1980s. Although the premise of the show may seem a little strange to say the least, it quickly became a hit in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Here are 10 things you didn’t know about Win the Wilderness.
1. The Series Was Supposed To Be Filmed In The Winter
When most people think of Alaska, snow-covered winters are the first thing that comes to mind. That being said, producers initially thought it would be a great idea to film the series during winter. However, the harsh winter conditions proved to be too challenging and it was decided that spring made for better filming conditions.
2. The Series Also Airs On The BBC
American viewers are familiar with Win the Wilderness as a Netflix series, but that isn’t the only platform it airs on. In the United Kingdom, the show airs on BBC Two and is titled Win the Wilderness: Alaska. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it became increasingly popular for shows to be shared between countries.
3. The Lodge Can Only Be Accessed By A Plane
In general, Alaska is a pretty remote place, but Ose Mountain brings the phrase ‘the middle of nowhere’ to an entirely new level. The property is located about 100 miles from any roads which means that it is only accessible by airplane. Of course, the property’s remote location only added to the intensity of the series.
4. The Season One Winners Didn’t Get The Happy Ending They Were Hoping For
The grand prize for Win the Wilderness was supposed to be Ose Mountain and the homestead that was built on it. After filming, winners Mark and Emily signed the deed to the property and were all set to take over. However, Duane Ose decided that he didn’t want to give the homestead up and attempted to deny Mark and Emily their rightful prize. It’s unclear whether the issue has been completely settled, but since Mark and Emily have signed the papers, they are legally the new owners of Ose Mountain.
5. Season One Contestants Were Cast Through A Message Board Post
If you’ve ever wondered how the contestants for Win the Wilderness were chosen, the answer is much less glamorous than you might have imagined. Apparently, the casting team put a posting on a British message board called Farming Forum to attract people who may be interested.
6. There Probably Won’t Be A Season Two
Since season one ended, there have been lots of viewers who have been hoping for a second season. At the moment, there hasn’t been an official announcement regarding a second season of the show, but it seems unlikely that it’ll come back. After all, they would have to find a new competition and a new prize which may be more trouble than it’s worth given the issues they had with the prize after season one.
7. Duane Ose Has A Bullet In His Head
Fans of Win the Wilderness have undoubtedly noticed that Duane Ose sports an eye patch over his left eye, but the reason behind it was never mentioned in the series. According to The Indie Projects, “Duane was shot at close range by his ex-wife in the eye, and the bullet is still in his head.”
8. Rena Ose Passed Away
Not long after the Win the Wilderness aired, Rena Ose passed away at 88-years-old after complications from a heart procedure. Per Rena’s wishes, she did not have any funeral services. Rena’s passing may have been what sparked Duane to want to keep Ose Mountain.
9. The Ose Homestead Doesn’t Have Electricity
In addition to being in the middle of nowhere, Ose Mountain is also completely off the grid. The Indie Projects reported, “power comes from solar and ‘truck batteries’, heat from wood and so forth. Drinking water is collected from snow in the winter or drips off the roof during the summer.”
10. All Of The Couples Had To Be Issued A United States Visa
There are lots of people who may have been curious as to why a show set in Alaska only cast contestants from England. The answer is actually pretty simple, Win the Wilderness was created by a British production company. As a result, all of the contestants had to be issued a Visa so that they could film in the United States.