Why is Survivor casting for a Matt Elrod finale stand-in?

Survivor is casting a stand-in resembling Matt Elrod for three days around the show’s May 15 finale. Matt was just voted out of the game for the second time, and obviously his time on Redemption Island will be discussed during the live reunion, but why does the show need a stand-in for him and him alone for three days?

The gig is for an AFTRA member who will get paid $24 an hour for three days; the person needs to be between 160 and 195 pounds, white, and between 18 and 30, with “long blonde hair.”

While it wouldn’t be strange or suspicious for the show to use stand-ins to prepare lighting–they do that on location, using the Dream Team to light Tribal Council, and prepare the cameras at the start of every challenge–this is the only casting notice for a Survivor stand-in currently posted on Actors Access.

It’s also odd that it explicitly mentions the show and Matt’s name; it could have just described him physically. And if it’s just for lighting or blocking purposes, why do they need the stand-in for the entire weekend? Are they doing something special with Matt during the finale? Or is it just something innocuous, like he can’t be there until the live show?

Here’s the casting notice from Actors Access:

SURVIVOR FINALE (Stand-In)
Reality TV
AFTRA
Pay Rate: AFTRA $24/hr. (3 days)

Casting Director: Jennifer Feraday
Shoot/Call Date: 5/13, 5/14, 5/15
Location: NYC

Stand-In for Survivor: Redemption Island Finale:

[ MATTHEW ELROD STAND-IN ]
Male, Caucasian, 18-30, 5’10”-6′, 160-195lbs, long blonde hair.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.