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Thread: Pre-game interviews with contestants

  1. #1
    FORT Fogey MollyRose's Avatar
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    Jan 2003
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    Pre-game interviews with contestants

    I hope this hasn't already been posted somewhere that I didn't see. Anyway, I thought it was kind of interesting (though long):

    From the Dallas Morning News byMichael Mendoza:

    "Filming for the sixth edition of CBS' "reality" juggernaut Survivor began last November in the Amazon, and The Dallas Morning News was there. As the 16 contestants prepared for their adventure, we interviewed each of them about why they wanted to be on the show, their strategies for winning, and what they thought might get them voted off. Today CBS made its cast announcement, and here are their profiles and our predictions on how far they'll get."

    Ryan Aiken
    23, Ellicott City, Md., Model
    Initial impression: Cute and dumb and sensitive about it
    Distinctions: Was chunky as a teenager. Had never been out of the country before.
    Who are you? "I want to be the nice guy, the humble guy everybody likes, but I've never come across that way in my entire life."
    On Survivor's appeal: "It's a soap opera but we're not good actors."
    On the dangers: "It's a fine line between sitting at home, watching it on TV, eating pizza and drinking beer and being out here hot and hungry. I'm shell-shocked, and we haven't even started the game yet."
    Strategy: "I could sit here and say I'm going to try to get in with the girls and be cool with the guys, but it's hard. You could have a book, and you can throw it out the window as soon as you get here."
    Post-Survivor show-biz prospects: "It could help my career, but it could also hurt it. Imagine going in for an audition, and they say, 'Didn't you steal the beans?' You could be that guy."
    Our prediction: He'll be outwitted early.

    Alex Bell
    32, Los Angeles, Triathlon coach
    Initial impression: Levelheaded
    Distinctions: Sober for 11 years. Triathlete. Does a good Matthew McConaughey impression. Has a crush on Survivor I's Kelly Wiglesworth.
    Why he stopped drinking: "I woke up on somebody's couch, people all over the place. I just looked around and didn't want to do that anymore."
    On the Amazon: "It's the most beautiful place I've ever seen. I've wanted to come here since I was 5 years old."
    On the dangers: "I'm scared. I'll be the first to admit it. There are things out here that can kill me. But I have a strong survival instinct."
    Post-Survivor show-biz prospects: "Living in L.A., I've come in contact with a lot of people who've been on TV and I'm not sure I want to be one of them. I hope I don't get a big head. I hope I get to just still be me."
    Our prediction: He's a Lex van den Berghe type (Survivor: Africa) who'll make it at least to the final four.

    Deena Bennett
    35, Riverside, Calif., Assistant district attorney
    Initial impression: Dedicated
    Distinction: Has been in the Amazon before.
    On her job: "People have to listen to me talk. Could there by anything better?"
    Her motto: "If you hurt, abuse or kill a child, I'm your worst nightmare. Criminal prosecution is my game, protecting the innocent is my aim."
    Why she wanted to be on the show: "The driving force, obviously, is the million dollars, the one in 16 chance. You just don't get those odds."
    On Survivor's appeal: "I always want to do the extreme. Strip me down. Take me to my lowest level. Starve me. And force me to live with strangers and see how I get along."
    Strategy: "Not to piss people off in the beginning and show that I'm a team player."
    What could get her voted off: "There's going to be a time when I'm going to miss my kids and somebody's going to do something stupid, and I'm just going to go off."
    Post-Survivor show-biz prospects: "I'm going to fall back into the shadows and do my work."
    Our prediction: She won't be voted off right away, but she won't make it to the merger.

    Rob Cesternino

    24, Wantagh, N.Y., Computer projects coordinator
    Initial impression: Class clown
    Distinctions: Loves Bob Barker. Hates The Real World . Scored 1420 on his SATs.
    On Survivor's appeal: "As Americans we don't go to the Coliseum, but 20 million people a week see somebody get stabbed in the back."
    On the dangers: "I don't like bugs, I don't like snakes, and I don't like alligators. Now, I'm not going to bother them, and I would think they would have the same courtesy."
    Strategy: "I am very mean and I can inflict a lot of emotional pain. Colby [Donaldson] made one mistake in the Outback and he'll be labeled a loser-idiot for the rest of his life. But the cardinal sin of Survivor is laziness. The second biggest sin is being boring."
    Why was he picked? "I think they really needed to have a hunk, someone who's going to get the magazine covers and get the female viewers to watch, someone they thought looked like Joey on Friends. No, that's not me."
    Post-Survivor show-biz prospects: "Everyone wants to be famous, but this is probably not the right way to go about it. Richard Hatch is a fourth-tier celebrity."
    Our prediction: Though he's entertaining in an interview, he'll be annoying in the jungle and maybe the first to go.

    Jeanne Hebert
    41, North Attleboro, Mass., Dairy industry marketing director
    Initial impression: Loose and cocky
    Distinctions: Once jumped on stage with Alanis Morissette. Has traveled to Tahiti, Ireland, Italy and France. Married to her high-school sweetheart.
    Who are you? "I have a great family. I have great friends. I have an awesome job. I have an awesome house. I have everything I want, but it's my sense of adventure that makes Jeanne who she is."
    On Survivor's appeal: "It's ordinary people but it goes beyond ordinary life."
    Why she wanted to be on the show: "There are a lot of women who are 40 who would feel too guilty to do this. I'm leaving kids behind. But I think this will make me a better person. ... It's my turn."
    Strategy: "I know when I get home I'm going to get my pizza, I'm going to get my Jacuzzi, I'm going to get my kids kissing me. I think that can get me through it."
    On her luxury item, massage oil: "Hey, if I come back with a million and I have to massage a couple guys to get it, I think my husband can handle it."
    Post-Survivor show-biz prospects: "Why not? That's one of my philosophies in life. Why can't it be me?"
    Our prediction: Her enthusiasm and positive outlook will get her close to the final four if she doesn't act too confident.

    Dave Johnson
    23, Pasadena, Calif., Rocket scientist
    Initial impression: Smart, low-key
    Distinctions: Enjoys "frolf," a combination of Frisbee, golf and "alcoholic consumption." Trekked across the country by bicycle, taking only three showers in two months.
    Who are you? "You get this stereotypical rocket scientist big glasses, geeky, anti-social. I just think I have a lot more personality."
    On Survivor's appeal: "You get thrown out into virgin territory from your sofa."
    On the dangers: "If I see a 20-foot python, I'll run the other way. But if he's around my legs, I'll start screaming like a little girl."
    Strategy: "It's going to be hot. It's going to be dirty. It's going to stressful. You've got to accept that and fight through that and not crack."
    Post-Survivor show-biz prospects: "I have hardware on my table that's going to space. I'd never trade that."
    Our prediction: Final four.

    Janet Koth
    47, Manchester, Mo., Homemaker and part-time travel agent
    Initial impression: Chatterbox
    Distinctions: Holds ironing parties at her house. Adopted a Romanian orphan 10 years ago.
    Who are you? "I'm just a middle-aged, Middle-American, middle-income mom, and I'm having a midlife crisis gone terribly wrong. You see, I signed up for Survivor: Cancun. Apparently, there's been a mistake."
    On Survivor's appeal: "I just adored it from the moment I saw it. I'm an addict. I tape them. I rewatch them to see what I would have done differently. And then I tape the interviews the next morning."
    What would get her voted off: "I don't have an athletic bone in my body."
    Strategy: "When you're a mother, especially when you have teenagers, you can see a lie coming a mile away. I think that'll really help me. And it'll be hard to pull the plug on ol' Mom."
    Post-Survivor show-biz prospects: "I'm sure not going to count on that Playboy shoot. That would go over real well with the ladies at church."
    Our prediction: Her big mouth will get her voted out quickly, maybe even first.

    Butch Lockley
    50, Olney, Ill., Middle school principal
    Initial impression: Nervous, sincere
    Distinctions: Applied to be on the show three times. Played basketball in college. Makes his own beef jerky.
    Who'll run the school while he's gone? "The guidance counselor is a very capable person. I slept with her the last night I was home. She's my wife, I forgot to tell you."
    On getting cast: "This is up there with birth, marriage. This is up that high."
    On winning: "A million dollars? That'd be nice. But I could win $1.95 and be happy. We're in a position in America where we can dream. I dreamed about being on Survivor."
    Post-Survivor show-biz prospects: "I'm not going to go out and make $100,000 commercials. I'm going to go back and be a principal. ... I'm still going to be the same Butch Lockley."
    Our prediction: If he can find a group to lead, quietly, he could be there near the end.
    Daniel Lue
    27, Houston, Accounting consultant
    Initial impression: Eager
    Distinction: Worked at Arthur Andersen
    Who are you? "I wanted to be the first Asian guy on the show. In the media, we're bookworms, we can't drive straight, we own Laundromats. I wanted to show the truth. We can be bold and adventurous. We can be good looking and muscular."
    On the his former job: "I'm used to being surrounded by rats and snakes. The biggest difference is in the jungle the snakes are a lot less slimy."
    On the dangers: "When I signed up I didn't know about the alligators, I didn't know about the piranhas. I'm from the city. I'm surrounded by concrete and steel. The only time I experience nature is when I walk on my front lawn to get the newspaper."
    Post-Survivor show-biz prospects: "Being on Survivor is not automatically going to give me a role in a TV show or movie. Anybody who thinks that is lying to themselves. But I would like to do acting or hosting because TV is the best way to reach people. I might as well step up and be the hero."
    Our prediction: His physical strength will help him early on, but his lack of comfort in the wild will get him only as far as the merge.

    Shawna Mitchell
    23, Redwood City, Calif., Outdoor-equipment sales
    Initial impression: Enthusiastic, mature for her age
    Distinctions: Has identical twin sister. Lived in London and has traveled to Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania.
    Who are you? "I have an endearing side that most people like."
    On the show's appeal: "It's a social psychologist's wet dream, throwing 16 strangers into a fearful place."
    On the dangers: "A lot of people are going to pretend it doesn't bother them. It scares the crap out of me. There are so many little details to remember and if you forget one you're in trouble."
    Strategy: "Being myself. And I'm a hard worker. I love 'opportunistic exercise.' Some people would see it as building a shelter. I see it as a back and arm workout. Ideally my alliance is going to be with an older man who is complementary."
    Post- Survivor show-biz prospects: "I love the entertainment industry, but I'm not counting on it because I don't have a talent. The best I could do is a hair commercial because I could sit there and not do anything."
    Our prediction: With her sweetness and athleticism, she'll win it all.

    Jenna Morasca
    21, Pittsburgh, Pa., Swimsuit model
    Initial impression: Cute and strange
    Distinctions: Has competed in beauty pageants. Played volleyball and was a cheerleader in college. Animal lover.
    Who are you? "I tend to put a positive spin on things that are negative. If something's bad, just chill. It happened, let's find a way to get over it."
    Why was she cast: "I think I'm a good character. I have a really good personality, and maybe because I'm a swimsuit model. That doesn't hurt you. But you can be the cutest girl in the world with the biggest boobs but if you're not tough you're a liability."
    On the show's appeal: "It's always the behind-the-scenes stuff that's great what they say about the person when the person isn't there. It's going to be interesting to see what people say about me."
    Post-Survivor show-biz prospects: "If it helps me, that's great, but I already have a lot of connections. I'm not just someone from Survivor who's trying to play the role of a model. It would be wise to hire me. I know what I'm doing."
    Our prediction: There's something odd about her you can't put your finger on. Will her fellow contestants be creeped out, too?

    Roger Sexton
    56, Valencia, Calif., Construction company vice president
    Initial impression: Tough exterior
    Distinctions: Served in Vietnam, where his best friend was killed. Lost 16-year-old daughter to viral pneumonia in 1992.
    Who are you? "What you see is what you get. I'm a very intense individual, very competitive and at the same time very emotional. I hate to lose, and I'm here to win at whatever cost. I'm a wise old man and a deceptive one. But I'll play dirty in a nice way. The other contestants will not know that I'm playing dirty."
    On the show's appeal: "People get involved with the characters. They pick their favorites and they pick the ones they don't like."
    On the dangers: "When I found out we were going to be here, I hate to admit I got a little intimidated. The Amazon is not the most friendly place."
    On his chances: "If I get put with a kid who's a jerk, I'll just go off. ... There's never been a guy who's a leader, a true leader, who's won."
    Our prediction: He's the second most likely elder to be voted off first, after chatty Janet.

    Christy Smith
    24, Basalt, Colo., Children's adventure guide
    Initial impression: Shy yet confident and open
    Distinctions: Deaf since her premature birth, though she reads lips and can hear out of her left ear with an aid. Spent two months in Alaska with Outward Bound.
    Why she wanted to be cast: "I wanted to be on for deaf awareness, letting people know what's it like to be around a deaf person and to win the million dollars maybe. But more for the experience."
    On the dangers: "Oh, yeah, I'm totally scared the unknowns, the things out there that can get me. Or me not being aware of my surroundings and getting in a situation I don't want to be in, which is scary. But it happens in everyday life too."
    Strategy: "If I make me not understanding a big issue, then I'm going to be voted off. Basically, I'm going to have to nod my head a lot and pretend I know what's going on. They're not going to learn right off the bat how to communicate with me."
    Post-Survivor show-biz prospects: "Maybe as behind-the-scenes crew. I've noticed that they're so friendly. I was like, 'God, I would love to hang out with you guys.'"
    Our prediction: If she can adapt to her surroundings and follow what's going on, she'll make it to the final four and could win.

    Heidi Strobel
    24, Eldon, Mo., Physical education and health teacher
    Initial impression: Sweet, athletic
    Distinctions: Applied for The Amazing Race. Doesn't drink alcohol. Marathon runner.
    Who are you? "I'm very sweet and caring and loving and nurturing. But then I'm also a coach and an athlete. So I've got this whole other competitive side to me."
    On the dangers: "Oh, my gosh, the water environment is just hellacious. If you leave any food out, it attracts crocodiles, snakes and fish that go up orifices. Now, I'm even scared to take a bath."
    Strategy: "Go in like a lamb and come out like a wolf. If I was just myself, I would just constantly be goofy and nice. But I have a very game face."
    Post-Survivor show-biz prospects: "If they ever offered me anything where I would be able to make people laugh or really touch them, I would love to do it. Acting comes naturally to me. I'm really good at getting into people's emotions and their heads."
    Our prediction: If she lies low and works hard, she'll get past the merger.

    Matthew Von Ertfelda
    33, Washington D.C., Restaurant designer
    Initial impression: Renaissance man
    Distinctions: One of People magazine's Top 50 Bachelors of 2002. Attended culinary school in Paris. Speaks seven languages. Has traveled all over the world, from New Zealand to New Guinea.
    Who are you? "I typically opt to take the hard road because the rewards are sweeter."
    On the show's appeal: "It was made for me. I've already been to environments just as inhospitable, just as treacherous. But it's almost painful to watch if I'm not on it."
    On the dangers: "If you're smart the jungle can be a playground. But it's not a petting zoo."
    Strategy: "I'm going to try to come off initially as my real self: a genuine, hard-working individual with solid values. But I'm also going to be a jaguar: stealthy, sly, cunning. If someone stabs me in the back and draws first blood, when I think the time is right I'm going to leap out of the shadows and cole slaw my prey."
    Post-Survivor show-biz prospects: "I'm a screenwriter, and my dream is to have one of my screenplays made into a successful film. Who knows? Maybe I'll star in the movie. ... I won't just go back to my cube."
    Our prediction: With so many accomplishments, he has a high potential for getting on people's nerves, especially if he boasts. He'll be voted off either very early or very late.

    JoAnna Ward
    31, Orangeburg, S.C., Guidance counselor
    Initial impression: Religious
    Distinctions: Played college basketball and was one of the top five rebounders in the country. Has appeared in commercials and as a movie extra.
    Who are you? "I'm not trying to convert people or sell them a ticket, but I think God has gotten a lot of glory out of who I have become. ... He must see something he wants done here as well."
    On the dangers: "I have my black behind over here in the Amazon. What kind of foolishness is this? Even on the plane, I was thinking, 'Do these people understand we're going to a rainforest?' I approach it with reverence and respect. I'm over here in their environment."
    Strategy: "Praise God if I get voted off first, praise God if I win, because I'm a God pleaser, not a man pleaser. He's been there for me, not these 16 people, not this show."
    Post-Survivor show-biz prospects: "If that's what the Lord has in store for me, that's what I'll do. I know I'm going to be a billionaire. I'm a billionairess-in-training."
    Our prediction: She'll be voted off in a hurry.

  2. #2
    Great article, Molly. Thanks for posting it!

  3. #3
    Yoffy lifts a finger... fluff's Avatar
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    Sep 2002
    Thanks Molly.
    Very interesting read.
    "That's Numberwang!"

  4. #4
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    Sep 2002
    On the mat
    Excellent, Molly! And JoAnna officially scares me.

  5. #5
    Starbucks is your friend Bill's Avatar
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    Oct 2002
    So Heidi/Hiedi applied for TAR eh? I wonder who she had as a partner.
    "George Oscar Bluth II, aka GOB, featured magician in the best selling videotape, "Girls With Low Self Esteem" invites you to enter his world.
    -- Arrested Development, Season III

  6. #6
    Yoffy lifts a finger... fluff's Avatar
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    Sep 2002
    Me too John.
    "That's Numberwang!"

  7. #7
    Interesting insights, thanks for posting the article MollyRose.

  8. #8
    Great article thanks Molly

  9. #9
    your ad here jodaar's Avatar
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    Sep 2002
    This article predicts Shawna will win it all. I gots to be happy with that.

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