Former NorCal Roller Girl speculated to be on reality show
By HEATHER HACKING - Staff Writer
Flica Flame might light up television sets around the nation this month, if rumors are true.
The flame dancing, stilt dancing, roller derby queen from Chico has left her friends in a lurch.
The flamboyant "roller girl" is suspected to be among the contestants of the upcoming series of "Survivor," the reality game show that has America fixated on sarong-wearing men and women battling it out with wits and brawn to win a million dollars.
For those who don't know the show, ask a clerk at the grocery store about it, or knock on a neighbor's door and talk to the 9-year-old.
This show is among the top viewed reality shows raging the airwaves.
And how it may have snagged a Chicoan has to do with roller derby.
Chico is home to an up-and-coming roller derby league that has gained popularity at Cal Skate. Four teams of rough-and-tumble women who aren't afraid to get bruised, but won't be broken, compete against each other and bring in large crowds.
Some players have a large number of fans. Like any sport, it's fun to cheer on your favorites and boo your less favorites. Roller derby invites this type of audience participation.
Among those players was, up until recently, Flica Flame, 27.
Her real name is Jessica Smith. She was captain of the Voo Doo Dolls, the team that won the recent roller derby championship.
Each team takes on their persona with aplomb. The roller gals paint their faces like something out of "Braveheart" and wear tribal costumes of ripped-up cloth and ratted hair.
It's not the World Wrestling Federation, but it's the same vibe.
Flica Flame is not the favorite among the league members. Some said she plays too rough and too hard.
But she might have drawn the attention of the producers of the show "Survivor" who were specifically looking for a tough chick to make the team on a remote island.
Time will tell when the show debuts at 8 p.m. Sept. 14 on CBS.
Cal Skate owner Mike Seko said the show contacted him wanting a roller derby participant, and he thinks that bodes well for the popularity of the sport. He gave them a few names and heard through his network that a couple of the girls were auditioned, including Flica/Smith. He heard she and the other roller derby players had been interviewed.
Then he noticed that there were many hits on the league's Web site, www.norcalrollergirls.com
from a "spoiler" Web site that speculates on who might be on the show "Survivor."
Suddenly Smith's pictures and information about her started popping up more and more when he did an Internet search on "Flica Flame."
And then she disappeared, right about the time the show would have been taping in the Cook Islands off Australia.
Smith's personal Web site at MySpace.com shows she last logged in on June 20, a point that several of the Web sites speculating about her role on "Survivor" have noted. Among the several friends who have posted accolades, some have intimated good luck on her "ventures."
He's not surprised he doesn't know for certain. The show has very strict guidelines for not revealing the outcome of the competition. There's a lot at stake -- publicity, not to mention the million-dollar prize.
But if it's true, the gals from the local roller derby team will have fun watching Smith on "Survivor." Seko said he's looking for a local venue to hold parties to watch the show and cheer on Chico's contestant.
If it's true.