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Miami contestant among Survivor 46's top 5 final castaways

"Survivor" finalist with South Florida ties talks with CBS News Miami
"Survivor" finalist with South Florida ties talks with CBS News Miami 04:01

MIAMI - Rocker Ben Katzman found himself thousands of miles away from his Miami home competing on Survivor 46, where he's among the top 5 final castaways doing his best to outwit, outplay and outlast.

"I think Miami is a very special brand of crazy. You've got all the tourists who never stop partying here," said the CBS Survivor castaway. 

"You've got a town that never goes to sleep. Miami is such a melting pot of different people from different cultures, different backgrounds. You'll always be entertained."

CBS News Miami asked him if he ever imagined that he'd make it to the finale.

"You know, it's funny. It's like, I got there. I want to play the game as Ben, you know, and I remember like day one or two people were like, I don't know how far he's gonna make it."

"And every day that went along, I was like, still a smile on my face, still laughing," he said, "I try to take life one day at a time anyway."

"So, I don't think I thought about making it as far as I did."

"I thought about, I'm here now. I got to make it to tomorrow. That's the objective."

Ben says competing on a show like Survivor is like none other. 

"Survivor is not like a show where you're in a house and being fed and it's not like a dating show or anything," he explained.

"You're not eating, you're competing, you're constantly being pushed to the edge and somehow you're still having these like moments of like humanity and moments of fun and you're finding this bigger picture that goes beyond the rat race."

The nights were hard for this energetic, positive rocker. He suffered panic attacks and night terrors.

"I think there's like a beauty in those kind of scenarios where like, yes, it does not rock to feel fear while going to sleep and having panic attacks, but it's cool to see that people can drop their gameplay for a slice of humanity," he said.

"You know, I think it's wonderful in this time where everybody struggles, especially with mental health. It's kind of be able to say let's reach out to each other," said Petrillo.

"Oh, yeah, totally. I never let the mental health element really get me down. I still woke up, I still went to the challenges, I still had a smile on my face, and I was still stoked to be there," he said.

"I hope nobody ever feels like they're reduced to just being a person with panic attacks. or night terrors. If there's anything I want people to see I. Me  I hope people see I'm here and  I'm making the best of it and I'm gonna keep on rockin'!"

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