Mason's own Angela Perkins is a contestant on this season of Survivor

13 times southwest Ohioans have competed on reality TV shows in recent years

When The Bundys performed on NBC’s “The Voice” earlier this week and advanced to the Knockout Rounds, the trio from southwest Ohio became the latest contestants with area connections to appear on big national reality shows.

READ MORE: What this southwest Ohio trio did to advance to the Knockout Rounds on NBC’s ‘The Voice’

West Chester native Eric Ellis got his chance to showcase his ability as a contestant on this year’s edition of “American Idol.”

Ellis went through the audition process for the show when he was 16, and now he came back this year after producers reached out to him to return for another try.

He is just the latest person with connections to the Butler County region to appear on national TV.

READ MORE: 5 things to know about the ‘American Idol’ prom king contestant from West Chester

Mason’s Angela Perkins is competing as one of 20 contestants for the $1 million grand prize in the CBS show “Survivor: Ghost Island,” which was shot last summer in Fiji.

Perkins, 43, a military veteran who currently runs her own construction management company, is one of several people from the region in the past 20 years who have made notable appearances on reality shows.

MORE: With a local woman on ‘Survivor,’ here’s how her fans celebrated

Hamilton resident Susan Vaughn, who was a candidate in November 2018 for the 51st Ohio House District seat, was a contestant along with her son Patrick on the seventh season of “The Amazing Race” in 2005.

They joined Nick, Megan, Alex and Tommy Linz of Anderson Township on the 2005 show.

The following year, Michelle Yi, a student at the University of Cincinnati, was part of the cast of “Survivor: Fiji.”

MORE: Hamilton resident, former reality show star to run for the Ohio House

Marisa Calihan, a Butler County native, is one of the 20 castaways set to compete in "SURVIVOR: SAMOA" when the 19th installment of the Emmy Award-winning reality series premieres at 8 p.m. Sept. 17 on the CBS Television Network.

In another local connection, Marisa Calihan participated in “Survivor: Samoa,” which aired in 2009. Calihan grew up on a farm in Reily Twp. outside of Oxford and ended up graduating from Purcell Marian High School.

Cindy Chiang Halvorsen, a 2004 graduate from the University of Cincinnati, took home the $1 million prize for winning “The Amazing Race” in the fall of 2011 with her then-fiancé Ernie Halvorsen.

MORE: 5 big Butler County projects that will benefit most from $24M in state funds

Eben Franckewitz from Milford High School competed at age 15 on “American Idol” in 2012 and ended up with a top 24 finish. Franckewitz has been singing professionally across the globe since his appearance on the show.

Eben Franckewitz, 15, from Loveland, OH.
Photo: Fox/

Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to exclusive deals and newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.