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Former Survivor contestant talks finale experience

CINCINNATI (Angenette Levy) -- Matt Bischoff had a great time when he was a contestant on Survivor last year.

For two months, he had to leave his wife,Tessa, and their two sons. He couldn't tell anyone but his wife where he was going.

"You have to keep it a secret. No one knew. My alibi was I was over in China visiting factories for my BMX bike company," Bischoff said.

Bischoff is well-known for his long hair and extra-long beard. He loves beards so much that he has a shrine to them in the entry way of his house. He's often recognized for his beard and his time on Survivor:  Caramoan.

"Even still today I go to Target, Kroger there's someone that will come up to me and say 'you're the guy from Survivor'. Everyone gets super-excited. It's been nothing but positive," Bischoff said.

Survivor is Bischoff's favorite show. He tried to get on the show in 2003 but never received a call from the show's producers. A couple of years ago he decided to try again.

"It was fall of 2011, I said to my wife:  I'm going downstairs, I'm making a video and I'm getting on Survivor this time because in my life I make things happen."

Matt made it on the show but he said filming the reality show was anything but glamorous. He was given a cantine of water and a bag. He had to stuff the bag with palm fronds to use it as a pillow to sleep at night. The cameras never stop rolling.

"It would be raining for 24 hours or 48 hours straight and you're freezing cold. You're saturated wet, you're starving, you're dying of thirst there's nowhere to go," Bischoff said. He added, "Every second of every day when I was out on Survivor I enjoyed it. I laughed, I had fun."

Matt watched the season 28 finale with his wife and two sons Wednesday night, he was very happy when Tony won.

Matt Bischoff and other former Survivor contestants will raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation on June 6, 7 and 8. To learn more about the events click here.

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