Southington gym teacher vies for spot on “Survivor”

Southington gym teacher vies for spot on “Survivor”

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SOUTHINGTON — Leaping off a rope swing in his backyard, a local physical education teacher announced his bid to be on the next season of CBS-TV’s “Survivor.”

“I’m Eric Korp, from Southington, Connecticut, and I want to be the next survivor,” he shouted at the opening of his audition video. In the video he also jumps through fire, eats a grub and runs to the peak of Ragged Mountain.

“I’ve watched Survivor from season one. I know what it takes to win and I know I got what it takes to win,” he said.

Within days of being uploaded to Vimeo and YouTube, the video had been viewed over 8,000 times.

“All the support is so encouraging,” Korp said, speaking in the gymnasium of Kelley School, one of the two elementary schools he teaches at. “I hope I get on just for everyone else, so the community has something to bring them all together.”

Many of his students, past and present, have seen the video.

“The students have been going crazy about it,” he said. “They always mention how I ate that worm.”

Korp said the activities he does in class and at summer camp, along with his work as a for-hire entertainer, have prepared him to compete on the TV show.

On a show where each cast member has to contribute or get voted out, he believes his strengths are music and building shelters. He played the drums in the background of the video and climbs some of the structures he’s built in his backyard, including the rope swing.

At summer camp, he and the children build their own camp behind Kelley School. He he believes he can “build the sickest shelter Survivor has ever seen.”

“I think it would be so fun for my students to see me” on the show, he said. “It would be a cool lesson is pursuing a dream.”

If he isn’t selected this time, he will try again next year.

“It was fun just making the video,” he said. “I hope if nothing else, people at least crack up over it.”

Erin Nattrass, the principal of South End School, the other school Korp teaches at, said she was not surprised by video or the attention it has received in town.

“He just exudes that energy and (the students) just soak that up and they look up to him in a way that’s awesome to watch,” Nattrass said.

Neil Kelly, who shot the video through his company Imagine That Film, is also a longtime friend.

“He generally is an outgoing, impactful guy in the community,” Kelly said. “He brings that energy wherever he goes.

“If survivor wants to increase their national rating on the show, I think bringing Eric Korp on the show will do it,” he added. “I know he’s got the whole of Southington behind him.”

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