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HOME > Survivor > Survivor: The Australian Outback

Mike Skupin Selection Confirmed By Company He Co-founded, Posts Extensive Biography"

By Reality TV World staff, 01/01/2001 

God help us, but I think we've found the thin, straight, clothed, and Christian version of Richard Hatch. The company computer software company that Mike Skupin co-founded, Rhinosoft Interactive, Inc., has confirmed his selection as a Survivor II contestant and posted an incredibly long executive biography about him, and frankly one of the least professional-reading executive biographies that I've ever seen on a corporate website.

The biography was written by his childhood friend and follow company co-founder, and comes across, at least to this reader, as fairly arrogant. It starts by detailing an admittedly tragic, tear-jerking final conversation between a 4 year old Mike and his terminally ill Dad, and then terms Mike "a warrior, and overcomer, a survivor of trying circumstances."

From there, the self-promotion just snowballs, proceeding to describe his elementary school years, his middle school years (junior high to other parts of the country), his high school years, and on, and on through the present day.

Among the nuggets are how he got expelled from high school at the end of junior year, attended a boarding school for the start of his senior year, then after getting kicked out of there, took off on a road trip to Florida, apparently leaving his parents to think him missing or dead. Oh, and it also claims that as the "starting tight end" he "lead the team to a winning season." OK, football commentary here: 1) a tight end leading a team to victory, sounds unlikely, a QB, RB, or WR, yes, but a TE - not impossible, but unlikely, 2) a winning season -- doesn't sound like that big a deal, it's not like they were led to a championship. Lastly, he seems to have been proclaimed a hero by the mayor of Kalamazoo for saving a woman's life in 1983 -- don't worry, his unofficial biography assures us that the "unbelievable" story will be chronicled on the corporate website "in the ensuing days." We can hardly wait.

The biographer apologizes for the length of the biography, but "but there has been some, ahem, interest in Mike lately so we hope this sampler whets your appetite" -- ohh, I think I hear the book treatments -- "102 Survival Secrets" -- being shopped around as I type this.

Of his professional career, we're told the Mike "He has never earned less than 6 figures in his life, and he has rarely held on to as much as 6 cents of it- he takes too much pleasure in spending it on loved ones, friends, even strangers." Ya, not too arrogant... and why do I find it hard to believe that a 22 year old copy salesman cleared $100,000 in the early 1980's? To prove the point though, we're treated to another Mike story: "“Swanny, that walk down Rush street to the restaurant cost me 80 bucks!” he whined last October during a night out on a business trip in Chicago. Mike was handing out $20s to any bum that asked him- one had the gall to ask for a second $20, and Mike gave it to him!!!" Guess that's just Mike "Daddy Warbucks" Skupin. If the guy really wanted to share his good fortune, he'd give the $20's to a shelter that would ensure the money was properly used, not to some bums that were probably going into the nearest liquor store before he was down the street.

We're also told that Mike was basically, The World's Best Copier Salesman -- training books were re-written to use 'The Skupin Method' and he closed 70% of calls versus the normal 10% rate of a normal good salesman.

Among the last tidbits that we're treated to is that of a 30 year old Mike founding his company by doing the childhood "blood brother" slicing of the fingers with his partner (oh, the inner child at heart!)

...and in the last apt comparison to Richard Hatch, we're told that as Rich was the master spear fisherman on the island, Mike is a hunter of exotic animals "with enough exotic heads of animals to send his taxidermist to early retirement." Oh yay, wonder if the producers will let him bag some fowl or lizards.

I'm not sure what the point of this biography was, and maybe I'm reading too much into it, or maybe his childhood friend is sooo excited about his friend being on Survivor just misrepresenting him, but frankly, after reading it, I'm hoping this guy is among the first voted off. ...whatever folks said about Rich, this guy sounds even worse -- a classic salesman type, a master manipulator, a showboat, a guy who totally doesn't seem to need the cash. The fact there there's not even a "Mike did a lot of stupid things as a kid but..." disclaimer is also less than encouraging.

But don't worry folks, because according to the site "there has been some serious interest in doing a book on Mike’s life since the Associated Press leaked his potential involvement on a certain #1 show." even if Mike gets voted off in Episode 2, it sounds like he'll be this series' Stacy Stillman -- someone who was barely on the island but still seemed to be everywhere.

Source: Rhinosoft Interactive, Inc.


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