Former Obama speechwriter to appear on Survivor: ‘I have no outdoor skills’

Former Obama speechwriter to appear on Survivor: ‘I have no outdoor skills’

Former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett is set to appear on the new series of survival game show Survivor.

Lovett, 41, spent three years from 2008 to 2011 writing speeches for former President Barack Obama, alongside director of speechwriting Jon Favreau and political strategist David Axelrod.

In 2016, Lovett and Favreau cofounded the political media company Crooked Media and launched the flagship podcast Pod Save America. Lovett is also known for hosting the podcast Lovett or Leave It.

In the new trailer for the 47th season of Survivor, Lovett can be seen lamenting his lack of survival skills.

“I have no outdoor skills,” he says to the camera. “What am I doing here? I went camping as a cub scout. I threw up and went home.”

Although Lovett was not identified in the trailer, Favreau posted the trailer on X and wrote: “What did I tell you? Eat Pray Lovett.”

Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett on ‘Survivor’ (CBS)
Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett on ‘Survivor’ (CBS)

Pod Save America has consistently made headlines since its launch. In 2021, Will Smith used the platform to open up about his political ambitions, saying he might consider running for office “at some point” in the future.

“I think for now I’ll let that office get cleaned up a little bit,” Smith said, adding: “and then I’ll consider that at some point down the line”.

Survivor is a long-running reality game show on CBS that sees contestants compete in grueling mental and physical challenges for the chance to win a $1m (£794,000) prize. Each week, they are progressively eliminated by way of popular vote, until one remains and is crowned the Sole Survivor.

Earlier this year, Survivor 46 host Jeff Probst opened up about the difficult decision to medically evacuate contestant Randen Montalvo from the game after he suffered an injury to his hand and wrist.

The 41-year-old Brooklyn, New York native had woken up with a numb hand and wrist, and after undergoing a medical evaluation by the on-site doctor, it was determined that he had suffered nerve damage to his arm.

“Because we never want to pull a player from the game unless we truly believe it is urgent, Dr Will allowed Randen to stay in the game for the time being,” Probst told Entertainment Weekly.

29-year-old salon owner Kenzie Veurink was crowned the sole survivor in Wednesday’s finale after receiving the most votes from the jury.