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  • Writer's pictureJack Vita

How Michael Davidson survived double-murder of his parents, stayed alive on Peacock's 'The Traitors'


Earlier this year, Michael Davidson of Oneida, Kentucky, made his reality television debut, appearing on season one of Peacock's The Traitors. Michael visits the Jack Vita Show to discuss his time on The Traitors, along with his Survivor and Big Brother fandom, and share his incredible life story of overcoming terrible childhood trauma and going from an atheist to a born-again Christian.


Michael's parents were drug dealers, and when he was a small child, both of his parents were murdered in the middle of the night. Michael was raised by his grandmother, and due to her own health difficulties, Michael had to grow up quickly from a young age, so that he could help take care of her. Michael spent most of his childhood and early adult years feeling angry, and with good reason. He had been forced to overcome challenges at a young age that most Americans will never face. Unhappy, angry, and turned-off by the church caused by negative interactions with so-called "Christians", Michael was an atheist for much of his life. Then, in 2011, he visited a church with a friend, which led to an encounter with Jesus Christ that forever changed his life. Michael experienced a transformation of heart, as he went from an atheist to a born-again Christian. His newfound faith brought purpose, meaning, direction, peace and joy to his life.


From an early age, Michael was a big fan of reality television, particularly competition shows such as Survivor and Big Brother. His love for these shows was a temporary escape from his difficult circumstances. In fact, he even found inspiration from CBS icons Stephenie LaGrossa Kendrick, Cirie Fields and Rachel Reilly — all of whom he would compete with and against on The Traitors. Michael discusses his Survivor and Big Brother fandom. How did Michael start watching, and who were some of his favorite Survivor contestants? What were some of his favorite seasons? What did he think of Stephenie and Cirie when he watched them from afar as a viewer, and did his view of either of them change in any way when he met them on The Traitors? What was it like meeting them for the first time? Find out how Cirie inspired Michael to apply for reality television. Hear about his in-game relationship with Stephenie, Cirie and Rachel. Would he have ever turned on any of them? Where did Michael's loyalties in the castle lie?


After growing up watching reality television, what was it like for Michael to finally get a chance to compete on a show, now as a full-grown adult and father in his mid-30s? Michael shares his casting story, and discusses his time on The Traitors. Michael gives his take on how the game played out while he was still in contention, and after. Michael was banished from the castle in the fourth episode, making him the sixth person eliminated from the show. He also shares some fun stories that didn't make the air, one of which involves U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte. Michael answers questions about the show's production, such as, Did the contestants actually live in the castle?


After appearing on The Traitors, Michael competed on an episode of Let's Make a Deal in April.


The first hour of today's show focuses on Michael's reality TV fandom and firsthand experiences on The Traitors. Later on, Michael tells his incredible life and faith story (1:03:50 - END). Hear about how Jesus Christ changed Michael's life, and how he survived childhood trauma.


Fan of The Traitors? Catch our episode with Stephenie LaGrossa Kendrick, discussing her time on The Traitors, from earlier this year:


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For more sports and entertainment analysis, follow me on Twitter @JackVitaShow, and subscribe to the Jack Vita Show on iTunes or wherever podcasts are found.

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