Clarksville has another 'Survivor'
Ryan Shoulders will be one of 16 competing for $1M
By LAUREN HOWARD
Once again, CBS has found a possible Survivor in Clarksville.
Ryan Shoulders will be one of 16 people competing for $1 million on "Survivor: Pearl Islands." The 23-year-old Kroger produce clerk was stranded off the coast of Panama, gathering food and building makeshift shelters to prove he was the ultimate Survivor.
The show's seventh season will air each Wednesday at 7 p.m. on Channel 5.
Clarksville native Gretchen Cordy appeared on the original "Survivor" in 2000 -- making it to the show's seventh episode before being voted off.
Ryan Shoulders is prohibited from talking about the show, which has already been shot, until he is either voted off the island or wins. But CBS officials said this season's shows will be like no other because the castaways will be marooned with only the clothes on their backs -- no extra clothes and no luxury items.
But his mother, Debbie Shoulders, said her son has what it takes to win.
"He's creative, resourceful, with a knack for problem-solving and a picky eater," she said. Debbie Shoulders writes a children's book column on Wednesdays for The Leaf-Chronicle.
Kindness, she said, is his greatest tool in becoming the ultimate Survivor.
"The only person he's ever been mean to is his younger sister -- he's nice to the rest of the world," she said jokingly.
While Ryan's family was excited about his being chosen, "Ryan just kind-of sat there and smiled, but that's how he is -- reserved and observing. And every once in a while he makes a joke that just cracks everybody up," his mother said.
Writing, recording his own punk rock music and creating movies are among the Northeast High School graduate's favorite hobbies. Ryan spends much of his spare time designing Web pages, she said.
Ryan spent two years at Austin Peay State University studying communications and computer science. He doesn't have plans to return to school -- "he's ready to be out in the world," Mrs. Shoulders said.
According to his biographical information provided by CBS, Ryan, a three-time "Survivor" applicant, describes himself as having the endurance to succeed in any goal. His proudest achievement -- finally making it to the National Forensics Tournament during his senior year of high school.