'Survivor' Contestant Seen Back in Town, Keeping Quiet
Chico Enterprise Record - 9.1.06
By Heather Hacking
Imagine being on one of the most exciting vacations of your life, then coming home and not being able to talk about it.
That's the case for Chico roller derby gal Flica Flame, whose real name is Jessica Smith. She came back to town recently after being on the reality TV show and contest "Survivor."
The terms of her contract with television network CBS state that she isn't allowed to tell anyone how it went in the Cook Islands off Australia until after the series has aired.
Smith, who was captain last season on the roller derby team the Voodoo Dolls in the NorCal Roller Girls league, showed up at practice at Chico's Cal Skate Sunday, said owner Mike Seko.
Understandably, her former roller derby teammates were excited to see her, but they will have to wait until she is voted off the show or wins before getting the full story.
Colleen Sullivan, who does publicity for "Survivor," said CBS plans a big media blitz on their station affiliates when the show is over.
In the meantime, Flica is required to "lie low," Sullivan said. She can go back to work and live her normal life. If someone sees her on the street and snaps her photograph, the show's producers can't stop that. But she's not allowed to do interviews with the media and is not supposed to tell people about the adventure.
Bridget Mickelson is on the roller derby league and said she heard Smith has been out and about around town, but has been wearing a wig over her dreadlocks and sunglasses so she won't be recognized. Mickelson said she was told Smith is currently attending the Burning Man festival outside of Reno.
Seko said he is uncertain whether Smith wants to return to roller derby when the season starts up this month. He said she told him she wants to work with kids and do face-painting.
When "Survivor" begins to air on CBS Sept. 14, Seko said the plan is to find a place for the roller derby girls to watch it, someplace where they can make an evening of it and buy dinner.
He said he can understand why the producers of the show chose Flica. He said his wife first met her when Smith worked at a fabric store.
"My wife immediately saw someone who was completely interesting," Seko said. In addition to roller derby, she performs using fire and walks on stilts.
Each of the roller derby gals have flair. Seko has said it's interesting to watch their alter egos come out on the skating rink, where they dress up in ***y costumes and zing around the rink aggressively.
"It's such an interesting group of people who participate. It seems like fertile ground for entertainment companies," he said.
It was CBS that called Cal Skate, specifically looking for a roller derby member for "Survivor."
Monday, Seko's wife got an e-mail from the producers of "Wife Swap" on ABC, which chronicles women who trade lives temporarily with someone very different than them. The producers were interested in finding a roller derby wife to be on the show, Seko said.
Chico's roller derby league was popular last season, drawing large crowds.
The publicity about Flica Flame hasn't hurt. Tryouts for the upcoming season occurred recently, and Seko said at least a dozen women didn't make the teams because they had run out of room.
He said he gets three or four e-mails a week from people who want to be on the list to try out in the future.
The producers of "Survivor" have received some flak in the media after announcing that the show's four tribes will start out divided by race — Asians, Hispanics, blacks and whites. The show's producers have defended the move, saying they came up with the idea after people criticized the show for not being racially diverse.
Last season, the show's tribes were divided among older men, younger men, older women and younger women. http://www.chicoer.com/newshome/ci_4271385