Survivor season 44 will premiere on CBS this Wednesday, March 1 at 8 pm ET. The new season will showcase 18 contestants from different backgrounds trying to survive in harsh wild conditions as castaways, to win the prize money of $1,000,000.
31-year-old Lauren Harpe, an elementary school teacher, is one of the contestants all set to battle it out in order to take home the winner's trophy in the latest season of the survival show. Residing in Mont Belvieu, Texas, Lauren separated from her husband before the show’s filming, and is now focusing on raising her two sons, CJ and Braxton.
Survivor contestant Lauren Harpe is on a self-growth journey
Originally from Port Arthur, Texas, Lauren grew up in a small country town and ate things that are not usually palatable, like raccoons and possums, but specifically asked the snowmakers not to give her any rats to eat. She considers her parents her biggest inspiration.
Lauren studied at the Lamar University’s Texas Academy of Leadership in the Humanities program in 2009, earning university credits despite being in high school. She returned to the university in 2012 and became a part of the Eta Sigma Gamma.
She graduated in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Health and was also a part of the President’s list. She has since worked at ET’s Daycare as a youth camp supervisor, the Beaumont Health Department as a health promotion intern, Port Arthur Independent School District as a substitute teacher, and Beaumont Independent School District as a teacher.
Lauren wanted to work on her “self-growth journey” while shooting for Survivor as she had recently gone through a divorce. She got pregnant at the age of 21 with her boyfriend, whom she had been dating for just six months, and dropped out of her final year of nursing education. She soon married her boyfriend.
Reflecting on this part of her journey, Lauren shared in an interview,
"My husband and I jumped from apartment to apartment, and most of the time didn’t have the funds to pay for our own rent or even buy groceries. We were irresponsible, living a facade, and broke."
She is currently not dating anyone and is focused on raising her two sons. On Survivor season 44, Lauren will join Tribe Ratu. In an interview with Parade, Lauren revealed that she used to watch the show as a child but then “life kind of took its course.” She calls herself a “new era” super fan and says that after her divorce, she had to learn to take care of herself and her boys on her own.
Speaking of her divorce, Harpe said,
"It was physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially taxing on my body. I’ve been through a lot mentally, and that’s going to prepare me for all of the challenges that are going to come my way in this game."
Lauren, who is looking forward to her journey on the show, wants to form “trustworthy and honest” alliance on Survivor.
About Survivor season 44
The new season of Survivor will feature 18 castaways, divided into three tribes called Soka, Ratu, and Tika. Contestants will have to spend 26 days in the wilderness as castaways to try to win rewards and gain immunity from elimination. Each week one contestant will be sent home, and the last standing player will win a $1,000,000 cash prize.
CBS' description of the season reads,
"Stranded in the beautiful islands of Fiji, 18 determined new castaways will be divided into 3 tribes of 6 and forced to form a new society as they adapt to their physical and social surroundings."
Survivor will air on CBS every Wednesday at 8 pm ET. Fans can stream the show on Paramount Plus and the CBS website.