Reality television shows are among the most popular forms of entertainment on television.
Often, contestants subject themselves to all kinds of public humiliation, trials and discomfort all to win a prize. But one Nashville man said he is still waiting for his payoff more than year after he won his reality show contest hosted by rock legend Ted Nugent.
Sage Keffer is a young man with huge ambition. He is a country kid who grew up fishing and camping and always wanted to be a country music star.
So, he thought it was a perfect fit to compete on an outdoor survival show hosted by Nugent.
Keffer said his time with the CMT show Runnin' Wild…From Ted Nugent, in which contestants display survival skills, was a nightmare and in some ways totally unexpected.
"I knew it was going to be like survivor," Keffer said.
The contract Keffer signed before competing did not specify any prizes, but Keffer said the producers of the show said "don't worry about it."
"You work hard, and there is some amazing prizes that CMT is going to give you," Keffer said.
Keffer thought it was a little odd that the prizes weren't announced before the show, but then again this was Ted Nugent and previous winners each cleaned up.
"I did a little research and one of the previous seasons of a similar show with Ted Nugent was $25,000 and a new truck," Keffer said.
When Keffer arrived on location for the show, complete with a crew of 40 to 50 people, he said he had no doubt it was a big-time production.
Then, the competitions started. All of it was outdoors and all was extremely difficult on the body and the mind.
But the thought of big prizes always kept Keffer going.
"They would always say, 'there's a lot of money riding on this.' So, obviously they cared about it, because they were always telling us about these prizes," Keffer said.
When it was all over, Keffer was the big winner. All that remained was getting the prize, but even then there was only a promise.
"I said, 'what's the prize?' They said, 'well, CMT has not told us yet, but you're going to be blown away,'" Keffer said.
Then, about one year later, the show still had not aired, and Keffer's emails about the prize had gone unanswered, when one night he received a Facebook message from a fan who said they had just seen Keffer competing on CMT.
What his fans did not know was that all Keffer got for his victory was a set of bleached antlers.
"I didn't go down to Waco, TX, just to be tortured. If I want to get hypothermia, I could just go outside and run around naked," Keffer said.
According to the executive producer for CMT, no contestant prizing was ever promised on behalf of the network. Winning contestants were simply proclaimed "winners" by Ted Nugent himself.
Copyright WSMV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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