Photography Henry WU | Featured in BELLO issue 166.

For our readers out there that have been keeping a close eye on this year’s “Survivor: Ghost Island” we bring you Michael Yerger! One who is not afraid to take risk and direction in life, Michael has become one of the youngest contestants on the hit TV franchise. With a professional background as a realtor, member of the Boy Scouts of America, focused martial artist, and now model, we know Michael is one threat to his fellow contestants. Regardless of the outcome of his performance on the CBS hit show, we know Michael is definitely one modern day survivor!

  1. Currently, you are the youngest member of the “Survivor: Ghost island” cast. Was there any specific strategy you came onto the show with? I knew going into the game that my age would come off as a disadvantage, so my strategy on the show was to conceal my real age and present myself as a 23 year old. I figured that my youth and lack of life experience would cause my tribe members to think I was naive and immature without first getting to know me. Adding those 5 years gives me some credibility and puts me on an even playing field with my fellow components. I am one of few 18 year olds to ever play the game and I want to be the youngest winner ever. The other young contestants who played suffered from stereotypes and status quo’s and that was not something I was willing to have impact my game. Fortunately, thus far in the game, everyone has believed my lie… so stay tune to see if I can keep it going!
  2. What was the biggest shock you had in filming the show. Was there something that you were completely not prepared for? Honestly, my biggest surprise while filming the show was how truly authentic the game is. I always kind of figured that there would be some behind-the-scenes Hollywood aspects to it, so I was dumbfounded to find out how real they make the game for the castaways. It made me so pleased to find out that the game I know and love is true to it roots. We really slept on the ground, we really ate close to nothing each day, and we really busted our asses in the challenges.
  3. Was “Survivor” a competition series you always wanted to be on? If so, why, and would there be any other reality show you would participate after? I grew up watching the show since I was 8 years old with my mom. It was one of our ways of bonding during teenage years when things can be difficult. I always told her that I want to play one day, but I never thought I’d be able to do it so soon! I love the adventure and challenge of it all, so for me to get to experience it 1st hand was an utter dream. I would probably play Survivor again and I could definitely see myself transition into other CBS shows such as Amazing Race or Big Brother. Maybe even MTV’s The Challenge. I would love to bring my A game to them as well!
  4. Although many may know you from the world of modeling you are also a real estate agent, Eagle Scout and hold a blackbelt in Taekwondo, Jiu Jitsu, and Hapkido. Tell us something that most people may not know about you. Something most people don’t know about me is that I graduated a year early from high school in Knoxville, Tennessee. I was worked full time for a medical military manufacturing company during that time to save up so I could move out to California. I packed my car up to the ceiling and drove out to LA the morning of my 18th birthday.
  5. You’ve attended the IceLink Bello Style Party held this past month which held a red carpet and celebrity guests in attendance. How has your life changed since joining one of the longest running reality show competition series? I did attend the IceLink Bello Style Party with some good friends of mine and we all had an absolute blast. It was a night to remember and I’m thankful that you all had us out to celebrate! Since the show first aired, I’ve been able to meet lots of incredible people and expand my sphere of influence in the process. Due to new opportunities, I also quit my full-time job at the investment firm I’ve been working for… which was an extremely hard decision. It was a dream job and I do hope to return in some capacity throughout my real estate investment endeavors.
  6. You’ve met Oprah. What did you talk about? The only word that comes to mind when thinking of Oprah is heavenly. I had heard the most amazing things about her prior to our time together. It’s always nice to find out that those things are indeed true. She was the most kindhearted woman i’ve ever met, with quite the place! Her property in Montecito, commonly referred to as “The Promised Land”, was like out of a fairy-tail. She told me about her new book, The Wisdom Of Sundays, and shared some of the meaning behind it.
  7. Any lasting words for the readers of Bello? I just want to thank everyone at Bello for welcoming me into their family and letting their readers to get to know a little bit more about me. I had the best time working with the team and i’m so thankful for the opportunity to be featured in this issue! Also a huge thank you to my superb agents at LA Models. Sergio, Jarrod, and Mary– thank you for your hard work, love, and support!

Photography Henry Wu @hello.henry

Styling Luke Funtecha @official_lukatonic

Grooming Grace Phillips

Talent Directing Abby Luz @coachabbyluz

Production Maison Privée @maisonpriveepr_la , @alekandsteph

About The Author

Aleksandar Tomovic
Editor in Chief

French photographer (of Serbian Origins) lives and works in Los Angeles. Known for his celebrity fashion editorials and recognized around the world for his european esthetics and american efficiency.

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