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Win The Wilderness Season 2 - Will It Ever Happen?

Back in 2020, BBC Two released one of the most original survival-wilderness reality shows on TV, "Win the Wilderness: Alaska." The series followed six British couples learning the tricks of survival in the unforgiving territory of central Alaska while in pursuit of the ultimate prize: a three-story home in the heart of the Alaskan mountains. The house, dubbed Ose Mountain, was hand built by its original owners, Duane and Rena Ose, and despite not having electricity or accessible roads, it was considered a dream stead for the contestants.

The six-episode series was a quick hit for the British network, showcasing life in the near-arctic conditions of North America. Each episode featured back-to-basics training and tasks for the couples hoping to make a new life in a foreign land. Meanwhile, the reality show featured unprecedented rules, with Duane and Rena Ose handpicking the winners of their coveted home. Unfortunately, despite the series finding international success, a second season of "Win the Wilderness" has yet to manifest. There are several reasons why the miniseries has not returned, and one of the main explanations may be the dramatic aftermath of the first season. Keep reading to discover what happened to Ose Mountain after the series ended, and if this wild show may still return.

Why isn't Win the Wilderness season 2 happening yet?

Unfortunately for fans of the miniseries, "Win the Wilderness" was limited to six episodes and has not returned since its debut run in 2020. There are multiple obstructions that have constrained BBC Two from arranging a follow-up to the series, including the pandemic and some behind-the-scenes drama that took place after the series ended. Still, the most significant hindrance remains the uniqueness of the prize offered in the first season.

Ose Mountain was not an average American home. Isolated in the deep forests of Alaska, Duane Ose claimed the land under U.S. law by way of the Homestead Act of 1862. The act stated that citizens could claim ownership of public land under certain conditions. Duane Ose was the last person to take advantage of the century-old law in 1985, and soon began the construction of his infamous house. When the Oses had aged out of being able to maintain their property, "Win the Wilderness" became their way of finding someone to take the proverbial reins.

The exceptional circumstances, alongside the one-of-a-kind prize, have undoubtedly limited BBC Two from coordinating a second season. However, the network may be avoiding similar complications that took place with Ose Mountain after the miniseries was filmed. Sadly, the emotional finale of "Win the Wilderness: Alaska" did not show the complete story, as the rare prize created quite a controversy.

What happened to Duane and Rena Ose?

As depicted in the final episode of "Win the Wilderness," Duane and Rena Ose were well-prepared to say goodbye to their isolated home of nearly three decades and settle into a new life in Redwood Falls, Minnesota. Reportedly, the couple was paid a healthy six-figure sum for their home, as well as their participation in the BBC Two series. Subsequently, life in Minnesota meant that the aging couple could be close to family and health care — necessary as both suffered from ongoing heart problems. Sadly, Rena Ose passed away shortly after the miniseries aired in 2020.

Surprisingly, Duane Ose was quick to move on. Not unlike how he met Rena through a magazine advertisement in the 1980s, Duane discovered new love through online dating sites. He met Ellie-Mae Blair, also known as Ellie White, a considerably younger woman with a history of marrying men her senior. According to the Ose family, the eccentric new wife quickly took control of Duane Ose's social media accounts and isolated the aging man from contact with his friends and family. The new couple then returned to Fairbanks, Alaska, demanding the return of his former Ose Mountain property. And after managing to find transport and squatting in the off-grid home for several days, the newlyweds had to be airlifted to safety after both sustaining injuries and facing worsening weather conditions.

What happened to the winners of season one?

The winners of "Win the Wilderness" Season 1 were the lamb farming couple from Warwickshire, Mark Warner and Emily Padfield. The couple overcame all of the challenges presented to them and were handpicked by Duane and Rena Ose to maintain the legacy they began on Ose Mountain. Reportedly, Mark and Emily remained in the Alaskan home for a month before returning to the UK. The couple had significant plans for their American home but were shocked when Duane Ose had a sudden change of tune about the property following Rena's passing.

"We'd been talking to him throughout lockdown, planning to go to Ose Mountain with him to scatter Rena's ashes, but suddenly he was distant," Emily Padfield told The Times. The winning couple was even more shocked when Duane Ose began sending texts demanding the deed to his former home returned to him. "The texts certainly used words I've never seen Duane use," said Mark Warner, who suspects his old friend was not behind the demands. "You can almost imagine Ellie-Mae banging her fingers through the keyboard — some of her statements are so irrational." Warner reiterated in a Facebook post that Duane Ose was forever welcome on Ose Mountain; however, they would consider it "trespassing" if he were to be accompanied by his new wife.

What happened to Ose Mountain?

Properly depicted on "Win the Wilderness," Ose Mountain is no regular house. Off-the-grid and only reachable by air travel, the three-story home is as isolated as they come. The partly unfinished house is surrounded by threatening wildlife and notoriously dreadful winters. It was the intention of the previous owners that the series would find a couple willing to properly maintain and extend the legacy of Ose Mountain in the future. Sadly, the Alaskan homestead has remained mostly uninhabited since the show finished filming in 2019. Aside from his minor stay in 2020, Duane Ose has not returned to his former home and by all accounts relinquished his attempts at taking back the property from the Season 1 winners.

Meanwhile, Mark Warner and Emily Padfield, the rightful owners of Ose Mountain, have struggled to return to their prize home. Following the series, the couple were unable to travel to Alaska due to Covid restrictions. Subsequently, according to the pair's Instagram comments, there has been an issue with getting an appropriate Visa to stay at the home for a significant amount of time. Meanwhile, there have been unsubstantiated rumors on the Ose Mountain Facebook page that Mark and Emily have opted to return possession of the property to Duane Ose.

Could Ose Mountain be the prize of Season 2?

With Ose Mountain uninhabited and exposed to the harsh climate of the Alaskan mountains, some fans are understandably unhappy. The entire conclusion of the first season involved a British couple stepping up to maintain and grow the property that Duane and Rena Ose had built with their own hands. With the property being relatively ignored, it's disappointing for audiences who fell in love with the isolated dream home.

It would not be surprising if Mark Warner and Emily Padfield, the winners of the first season, decided to pass the baton that is Ose Mountain. The couple has faced nothing but difficulties with the property that continues to cost them financial and emotional stress. And a second season of "Win the Wilderness" with Mark and Emily choosing the winners could please audiences. However, it's likely that the BBC Two series would follow the same premise and similar contestants as the first season, meaning the problems with Visas and international travel would still be obstacles for potential new winners.

Meanwhile, the man who built Ose Mountain, Duane Ose, would likely be disappointed if the couple that he hand-selected to operate the property decided to give up the home. Given his past attempts at reclaiming the Alaskan land, he might disagree with the series giving it away to a new owner. All in all, it's unlikely that Ose Mountain would return in a follow-up season for "Win the Wilderness."

Where else could Season 2 take place?

Although most recognized as "Win the Wilderness," the full title of the miniseries is "Win the Wilderness: Alaska." The minor addition insinuates that the series had an open intention of expanding to other locations. It's reasonable to think that future seasons could feature new international destinations. The most obvious potential spots for a dream home prize would include Canada, Australia, or revisiting the United States. These English-speaking countries would make the transition much easier on the British network and contestants.

However, "Wilderness" is a broad definition, and featuring unique landscapes of foreign nations could interest both new and existing viewers. There are many secluded regions throughout Europe that would intrigue potential contestants — such areas would make the Visa issues of the first season's winners less of a concern. Alternatively, if the series wished to double down on isolated and near-unreachable areas, there is one of the most secluded homes in the world hidden on its own island in Iceland.

What was the experience like for Win the Wilderness contestants?

For audiences, "Win the Wilderness" looked like the opportunity of a lifetime. Aside from competing for a one-of-a-kind dream home prize, the contestants were given the chance to learn what life is like in extremely rural Alaska. The six couples from overseas camped out in bear territory as they were given tasks involving hunting, survival, and tracking. Unsurprisingly, there was much more going on behind the cameras as the British couples adapted to the climate and culture of the deep north. Meanwhile, some of the contestants had no idea what they were in for.

Fan favorite couple Bee and Theo were the youngest pair hoping to land themselves a secluded house in Alaska. The two were well-equipped for the secluded lifestyle presented to them, as they already lived off-grid, which they document on their social media channels as The Indie Projects. Following the release of "Win the Wilderness," the couple shared their experiences on their YouTube channel. According to the young pair, they had no clue what the purpose or prize of the series was until the day filming began, but were told it was not survival based. Sadly, Bee and Theo knew they were out of the running for winning Ose Mountain early on. The vegetarian pair discovered that they were not what Duane and Rena had in mind after discovering the traditional older couple did not believe in climate change. Adding insult to injury, the couple claims that they were only paid one British pound for their appearance on the show, costing them money in the end.

Who would be the contestants in Win the Wilderness Season 2?

"Win the Wilderness" featured unique couples from different walks of life and backgrounds, in varied stages of their relationships. Unsurprisingly, viewers had their own personal favorites and choices on who should have won. With that in mind, one of the biggest questions surrounding a potential second season involves who the next contestants might be.

The appeal of a reality show is that anybody could find themselves competing on TV. It's difficult to predict the next stars of "Win the Wilderness," but former contestants have since revealed how they discovered the opportunity and what the process was like getting on the BBC Two series.

Season 1 winner Emily Padfield detailed her experience of getting on "Win the Wilderness" in a blogpost that has since been deleted. She revealed that she found a post for an off-grid experience in Alaska on a forum for British farming in 2018. Meanwhile, YouTubers Theo and Bee stated that they found a similar post on an "alternative living" group page on Facebook. "It wasn't simple at all," said Theo on their YouTube channel about the process for getting on the series. "We had multiple Skype interviews with different producers. We had probably 20 phone calls." The couple then had to undergo mental and physical evaluations, but they say the most challenging part of the process was procuring their work Visas.

Would anyone from Win the Wilderness Season 1 return?

Those who were rooting for their favorite couples on "Win the Wilderness" should not get their hopes up that the contestants might return. The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity featured contestants ready for a significant adventure at a specific time in their lives. Many of the couples have moved on after their time on the series. Laura Plant and Jerome Mayaud have each found success in their respective careers. Jane and Pete Gough have settled into their retirement life in Devon UK. Meanwhile, Theo Gove-Humphries and Bee Roper have since found their own dream home in Portugal.

Surprisingly, the only contestants from Season 1 of "Win the Wilderness" that have said they would come back to the show are the former winners. Despite the drama that befell Mark Warner and Emily Padfield after the series ended, the ambitious couple holds no regrets. However, they do have one stipulation based on the negative experience of coming out on top. "We'd do it all again," said Warner to the Sunday Times (via NY Post), "but this time not win."

Why Win the Wilderness Season 2 may never happen

With its ability to appeal to fans of other reality television shows such as "The Amazing Race" and "Survivor," "Win the Wilderness: Alaska" found international success. BBC Two has undoubtedly explored the idea of bringing the series back, but has faced significant setbacks with the world going into pandemic lockdown just as the series was released. Now, with all the information regarding the challenges of making the show that has since come to light, it's doubtful that "Win the Wilderness" will return.

As mentioned above, the prize dream home is one of the biggest hurdles a second season would need to face. Aside from finding an available property equivalent to or better than Ose Mountain, the producers would want to assure that the sellers would not cause the same complications that Duane Ose did following the first season. That process could be even more challenging considering that Ose Mountain has been all but abandoned as the former winners have been unable to maintain the property as was expected. As more time passes, the chances of the beloved show returning become slimmer.