http://rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_3118562,00.htmlLakewood woman braves TV's 'Survivor'
By David Montero, Rocky Mountain News
August 18, 2004
Ami Cusack, a 31-year-old model from Lakewood, made the final cut among thousands of applicants and will appear on the CBS reality television show Survivor beginning next month, network officials said Tuesday.
The show, taped on one of the tiny islands that make up the Republic of Vanuatu in the South Pacific, is in its ninth incarnation and, well, that's about all CBS is willing to dish out.
Cusack's parents, who live in Golden, plan to watch her battle 17 others for the $1 million prize. They already know whether she won, but getting them to talk about it is akin to getting Bob Woodward to reveal the identity of Deep Throat.
"We don't want to jeopardize anything," Virginia Cusack said, citing a secrecy agreement with the network that ensures the money can only be collected if the terms aren't violated. It also prevents any revelations about the episodes prior to airing, which starts Sept. 16.
So nervous were the Cusacks they didn't even want to talk about when they would see their daughter next. The last time they saw her was at the beginning of June.
Richard Cusack said when they learned Ami was going to Vanuatu, they had to scramble to find an atlas to learn exactly where it was.
But he wasn't worried because his daughter is a seasoned traveler, having already hit Iceland, Africa, Tahiti and Thailand since leaving her job with Experimental and Applied Sciences in 1998 - the year after her brother, 18-year-old Kyle Cusack, was killed by a drunken driver.
Virginia Cusack said the two were "very close - like buds." She said Kyle would likely "get a kick" out of seeing his sister on Survivor
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~http://www.post-trib.com/cgi-bin/pto-story/news/z1/08-18-04_z1_news_07.htmlHobart native one of the Survivors
Aug. 18, 2004
By Kass Stone / Post-Tribune correspondent
Hobart’s Jenny Palyok and her family will be paying close attention to this season’s installment of the popular reality TV series “Survivor.”
Her oldest son, John Palyok, will be one of the new castaways plotting and manipulating their way to the coveted title of sole survivor on “Survivor: Vanuatu Fire Islands.”
John was born in Gary, but his family relocated to Hobart when he was very young. He attended Hobart High School, where he played on the varsity football, track and wrestling teams.
He was a member of Hobart’s 1989 state championship team. In 1990 he was a captain of the football team and was named all-state and all-conference for his performance on the field that season.
After graduating high school in 1991, John went to Valparaiso University, where he also played football.
He graduated from VU in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in sports management. In 1997 he received his master’s degree in business administration from Western Illinois University.
He relocated to Southern California in 1999, where he works in management for Home Depot.
“Oh, we’re just delighted for him,” said Jenny Palyok. “We’re very happy. He really stuck it out and made it his goal to make it on the show. He said, 'I will make it out of all of these people.’ He’s like that. He’s strong-willed.”
John spent several weeks on the South Pacific island of Vanuatu for the filming of the show earlier this summer. He is prohibited from speaking about his experiences on the island or the outcome of the show, even to his mother.
“I’m excited to watch the show so we can talk about it,” Jenny said. “We didn’t hear from him for weeks. I was worried, very much so. I was going online and looking into the island and looking into how prevalent malaria was and everything. Oh my gosh, everything a mother would think about.”
Now that the cast for the new “Survivor” series has been announced on Tuesday’s edition of CBS’s morning news show, Jenny hopes Northwest Indiana will rally behind its native son.
“I’m sure people will see it and see he lives in California and say its just another L.A. person. Everybody on there is from L.A.,” Jenny said. “He loves it out there. It’s where he lives, but we don’t feel he’s from L.A. He loves Hobart and Hobart will always be his home.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/news/local/040818survivor.shtmlMaine woman to compete on 'Survivor'
By SELENA RICKS, Portland Press Herald Writer
Copyright © 2004 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.
Julie Berry, 23, of Gorham is among 18 castaways on "Survivor: Vanuatu - Islands of Fire" premiering Sept 16.
Maine's newest TV celebrity and the second contestant from the state to be selected for the CBS hit show "Survivor," has always been "a bit of a tomboy," says her mother.
"She's the kind of kid you always get a phone call from and you say, 'You're doing what?' " said Judith Berry of Gorham, mother of 23-year-old Julie Berry. "She loves the outdoors and is very adventuresome. She's the girl that would jump off the cliff, climb the highest tree and give her mom a heart attack."
Julie Berry, a youth mentor who graduated from Gorham High School in 1999, was listed Tuesday as one of 18 contestants on "Survivor: Vanuatu - Islands of Fire."
According to the Web site for the show, Vanuatu, in the remote waters of the South Pacific, is "a land of volcanoes and rituals where sorcery and black magic are a part of tribal life and the spirits of the dead are believed to have power over the living."
The ninth edition of the reality series premiers at 8 p.m. on Sept. 16.
CBS officials said Tuesday that contestants are not allowed to speak with the media about the show until the episode in which they are voted off the island is aired. Each week, one contestant is voted out by other people in their "tribe" until one remains as the sole survivor.
CBS officials also say Berry's friends and family are not allowed to disclose any information on Berry's current whereabouts or anything she has done since she left for Vanuatu, including how she fared on the show.
Berry's mother, a lawyer who specializes in adoption, said she and her husband Les, an engineer with the firm BH2M, adopted Berry when she was 4. Berry was born in Lewiston and is an American Indian from the Maliseet tribe. Berry has an older brother, 27-year-old Chris, who now lives in North Carolina.
"We were a Boy Scouts family," said Judith Berry. "(Julie) liked Boy Scouts better than Girl Scouts. We did lots of camping trips when the kids were younger, and Julie's hair was always a mess."
In high school, Julie Berry played soccer and softball. She went to East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., where she got a degree in family and community development. Her junior year, she traveled to California through the National Student Exchange to attend school at California State University at Northridge.
In December, 2003, Berry was accepted into the Peace Corps and worked with youths at risk. Previously, she worked as a behavioral interventionist for children who are also adopted and facing social and emotional issues. She plans to pursue a master's in counseling, and was recently reunited with her biological sister.
Judith Berry said her daughter is "very outgoing, very popular and an excellent people person" - qualities that may help her compete with the other castaways as they build shelter, gather and hunt for food and compete in various challenges on the remote island.
At the end of the series, one contestant will be left to collect the $1 million prize.
In 2002, Monhegan Island native Zoe Zanidakis was the first Maine contestant on "Survivor." The commercial fisherman and charter boat captain was voted off the South Pacific Island of Nuku Hiva after nine of the 12 episodes.
Staff Writer Selena Ricks can be contacted at 791-6451 or at:firstname.lastname@example.org
`NYNUObN/UbTTUWUXUUUZTZU/UWU^U_UZUaUZUcTYWYWZV&urcm=y Local man to be on Survivor
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Commuters on Vanuatu most likely have never experienced the joys of an orange barrel.
Chris Daugherty could be the cultural bridge.
The highway construction worker from South Vienna will be one of 18 castaways on CBS’ “Survivor.”
The reality show’s ninth cast, which will try to outlast each other on the South Pacific island chain of Vanuatu beginning Sept. 16, was unveiled Tuesday on CBS’ “The Early Show.”
Daugherty, 33, currently builds roads for the Ohio Department of Transportation.
He was unavailable for comment.
In fact, it’s against network policy for a “Survivor” contestant to give interviews until either the tribe speaks or they win the million.
But according to his biography on cbs.com, Daugherty describes himself as “spontaneous, funny and creative.”
A Steelers, NASCAR and Southern rock fan, the West Jefferson native lives in the Clark County village with his fiancee, Lorie, and a pet lizard.
Each season of “Survivor” is taped in advance, so who knows if Daugherty, the first in Clark or Champaign counties to make it onto the granddaddy of reality shows, made it past the first night. But if, at the upcoming South Vienna Corn Festival, there’s suddenly free ears for everybody — take that as a hint of things to come.
Reach Andrew McGinn email@example.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ http://www.jsonline.com/enter/tvradio/aug04/251841.aspKansasville singer tries to survive Vanuatu
Posted: Aug. 17, 2004
Inside TV & Radio
The next installment of CBS' "Survivor" features a Milwaukee-area contestant, Leann Slaby, who may be best known to fans of the local band 76 Juliet, where, until recently, she sang under her married name, Leann Needles.
The 35-year-old Slaby lives in Kansasville in Racine County. She'll be part of a team of nine women competing against nine men for the $1 million prize in the granddaddy of current "reality" shows.
A native of Wausau, Slaby is a D.C. Everest High School grad who went to the Twin Cities for a modeling career after finishing school. Then she moved on to Milwaukee, where she's done modeling and tried to develop an acting career.
In fact, she's currently appearing in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel television commercial.
Slaby has sung the national anthem at Admirals and Brewers games and sang with 76 Juliet until leaving the band, and her day job as a research assistant with a Milwaukee investment firm, back at the end of June.
Racine County court records show she and her husband are in the process of divorcing.
Her former band's Web site - 76-juliet.freeservers.com - reported her departure after a June appearance at the Milwaukee County Zoo.
"What is Leann doing now, you ask?" writes guitarist Tommy Riewe. "Last I heard she is backpacking around Europe filming a documentary about the origins of lederhosen (you know, those weird lookin' leather German overall thingys). Hmmm. Strange but not-so-true."
Definitely not so true since she was off in the wilds of Vanuatu, an island in the South Pacific, as one of 18 contestants in the ninth installment of CBS' "reality" game show, which debuts Sept. 16.
Slaby's biography at cbs.com notes that she donated one of her kidneys to her father, whose kidneys were failing because of diabetes. Six years later, his kidney is working fine.
OLYMPIC GREEN AND GOLD
A combined average audience of nearly 240,000 southeast Wisconsin homes were tuned to Channel 12 and ESPN for the Packers' first exhibition game Monday night, according to Nielsen Media Research overnight numbers.
The vast majority of area homes - nearly 200,000 - watched Channel 12's coverage of the Green Bay Packers' 21-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Meanwhile, the audience for the fourth night of the Athens Olympics averaged 143,000 during the game, from 7 to 10 p.m., on Channel 4. From 10 to 11 p.m., the average audience was about 154,000 area homes.
So other than on the field, the Packers won the night.
Call Tim Cuprisin at (414) 224-2397. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04231/363217.stmTV Notes: Mercer woman cast on 'Survivor'
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Dolly Neely tends sheep on family farm.
Shouldn't there be a moratorium on the number of "Survivor" contestants from a single geographic region? Just asking.
Following in the $1 million footsteps of past "Survivor" players (and winners) Jenna Morasca and Amber Brkich, the ninth edition of the CBS reality show will feature Dolly Neely of Mercer.
Neely, 25, was born in Clarion and currently lives on her family's 90-acre farm near Lake Latonka, where she's a shepherdess to 40 sheep.
According to CBS's Neely biography. she is a member of the National Rifle Association, likes to mountain bike, water ski and trap muskrats and beavers and says "The Seven Year Itch" is her favorite film. Neely, who looks a bit like Britney Spears circa "Oops, I Did It Again" in her publicity photo, claims Jesus Christ as her "ultimate hero."
"Survivor: Vanuatu -- Islands of Fire" was filmed last month in the South Pacific near Fiji. This edition, like "Survivor: Amazon," will feature separate tribes pitting men against women, the Yasur Tribe vs. the Lopevi Tribe. The show premieres Sept. 16.
(Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV editor)
Mandeville woman to appear on 'Survivor'
By The Associated Press
MANDEVILLE -- A Mandeville real estate agent will be one of 18 contestants in the upcoming season of the CBS reality series "Survivor," set this year in the South Pacific.
According to her network biography, Lisa Keiffer, 44, was born in New Orleans and attended both LSU-- where she was a cheerleader for both the football and basketball teams -- and Loyola University. She and her husband, Thomas, have six children.
The episodes begin airing Sept. 16.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/living/9432177.htmSergeant aims to survive
By PAT BERMAN
Lea “Sarge” Masters of Columbia insists he can do whatever it takes to win.
But can the U.S. Army sergeant first class really change his stripes to win $1 million in the new season of “Survivor” that will debut Sept. 16?
Masters, an 18-year Army veteran who has been a drill instructor and trainer at Fort Jackson for four years, auditioned for the popular reality series last January wearing a flak jacket with a “Drill Sergeant Survivor” patch affixed to it. He peered out from under his wide-brimmed drill instructor’s hat, fixed his piercing blue eyes on the camera and said, “You’ve had the rest, now have the best.”
Masters’ audition tape and his physical presence — he’s about 6feet, 3 inches tall with a booming voice — suggest a fierce warrior, but his supervisor, Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Coveney, said Masters was “kind of laid back. He’s easy to get along with.”
Coveney, who has seen episodes of previous “Survivor” shows, said what might work against Masters was “his honesty. That might hurt more than help.” Deceit and trickery often play big roles in advancing competitors to the next rounds.
Masters, 40, has a variety of skills that should serve him well, Coveney said. He has a master’s degree in chemical engineering; is a master barber with the perfect “high-and-tight” haircut; is a trained emergency medical technician and is credentialed in scuba diving and advanced mountaineering/rappelling. He has traveled the world, including Korea, Germany and Greece, and served throughout the Middle East. On his audition tape, Masters refers to training soldiers now serving in Iraq.
Masters, who lives in Columbia with his wife, Lupe, and their 18-year-old son, Chris, signed an agreement not to discuss the show.
It was taped this summer on Vanuatu — a chain of islands in the South Pacific — with 18 “castaways” competing for the $1million prize.
Previous “Survivors” say Masters might have tough going. When asked about Masters on Tuesday’s “CBS Morning Show,” million-dollar winner Amber Brkich said, “You can’t be too bossy out there. Bossy ones get voted out quickly.”
Patricia Jackson, a Lugoff resident and one of South Carolina’s two previous “Survivor” contestants, agreed that those who stayed low on the radar screen were likely to last longer.
“You have to keep your lip zipped,” she said. The best advice Jackson could give Masters was to “form a real strong alliance the minute he hits the beach.”
The new “Survivor” will be the ninth, after a string of hits for CBS.
Reach Berman at (803) 771-8417 or email@example.com
ON THE AIR
“Survivor: Vanuatu — Islands of Fire” will debut at 8 p.m. Sept.16 on WLTX-19, cable ch.9.
Iowan's 'survival' skills stay secret
By ERIN CRAWFORD
REGISTER STAFF WRITER
August 18, 2004
"Survivor: Vanuatu - Islands of Fire" begins with a two-hour premiere at 7 p.m. Sept. 16 on CBS.
RESIDENCE: Des Moines
BIRTHDAY: Oct. 30, 1968
FAMILY: Wife, Simone; son, Zion, age 3; brothers Richard, James and Olabanji (OJ); sister Dahomey
CAREER: Section 8 housing case manager, Housing Services Department, city of Des Moines
CHURCH: Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church, Des Moines
SCHOOL: Washington High School, Kansas City, Kan.; Georgetown University of Foreign Services, Washington, D.C.
FAVORITE MUSIC: Reggae, Afro-Caribbean, hip-hop and gospel
FAVORITE MOVIES: "Blazing Saddles," "A Christmas Story"
Sources: CBS.com, Register research
Anyone hoping to size up Des Moines resident Rory Freeman's chances on "Survivor: Vanuatu - Islands of Fire" will just have to wait and watch how he plays the game.
The show's contestants are not allowed to talk about their time on the show, which begins Sept. 16, until they've been voted out on the broadcast - or won the game. So until the tribe has spoken on Freeman, there will be no inside word on his strategy, whether he joined an alliance or what the weirdest thing was that he had to eat on the island.
Even his own wife doesn't know.
"He's said nothing at all," said Simone Freeman, a 36-year-old case manager for the Hiatt Middle School Success program. "It's killing me. He said, 'You'll have to watch it like me.' "
Being in the dark about Freeman's time on the show is nothing new to his friends and neighbors. Most of them were under the impression he was training for work while he was away taping the show for more than a month.
Simone said she's sure she'll be proud of him.
"I know he's very capable," Simone said. "He's not real athletic. Just a regular guy who enjoys camping and has traveled the world."
Though Rory and Simone are both "Survivor" fans, the idea to audition came from Simone's mother.
"It started as a joke," she said. "When we found out they were taking applications at Prairie Meadows, we encouraged him to go."
He went to the audition, but didn't try out. The lines were too long. Instead, he sent in his own tape.
Three weeks before the show began taping, Rory found out he'd made the cast.
He spent those three weeks chowing down as preparation for the slim rations "Survivor" contestants are often forced to endure. But he didn't train beyond that, unless you count walks with the family's two dogs.
The separation during the show's taping, which lasted longer than a month, was difficult for Simone and their 3-year-old son, Zion.
She said she understood for the first time what it must be like to be a single parent and called the experience "overwhelming."
Another Iowan on 'Survivor'?!
As if Iowa wasn't well represented enough by Rory Freeman, "Survivor: Vanuatu" also includes a woman who grew up here.
Twila Tanner, 41, was born in Osceola and lived there for 11 years, according to her bio at www.cbs.com
. She moved to Missouri, and currently works full time for the Missouri Department of Transportation doing highway repair. She also works part time as a custodian for Marshall Public Schools and on the weekends for Brown Construction of Gilliam, Miss., running heavy equipment.
Tanner enjoys riding motorcycles, horseback riding and mushroom hunting. She says her greatest accomplishment was being a single mom and raising her son, James, now 23. Her hero: Winterset native John Wayne.
"I tried to explain (Rory) was gone . . . it was hard," she said. "Every time my son saw an airplane, he'd say, 'Is that Daddy?' I tried to keep him busy."
If Rory is the last final survivor, Simone said it will be because of his powers of persuasion.
"He can change something up and change your mind, and you don't even know you've changed your mind," she said. "He can also be aggressive. It depends on the situation."
She also calls her husband an excellent listener, who's adept at dealing with people.
"Survivor: Vanuatu - Islands of Fire" begins with a two-hour premiere at 7 p.m. Sept. 16 on CBS.
The biography on CBS's "Survivor" Web site (www.cbs.com/primetime/survivor9/
) offers a further glimpse into Freeman's life in Des Moines, the city where he was born.
Freeman's career took an unusual route to his current post as a case manager in the Des Moines Housing Department. He studied at Georgetown University School of Foreign Services in African government and history, but he didn't finish his degree.
Instead, he moved to Nigeria for 18 months where he worked as a television reporter for the Nigerian Television Authority.
In Des Moines, he previously worked for Employee & Family Resources for seven years, as a counselor specializing in substance abuse, mental health evaluations and drug testing.
Judging by Freeman's hobbies, he should be equally adept at the strategy and physical endurance tests needed to win.
According to the CBS site, Freeman's more intellectual pursuits include reading, collecting Negro League Baseball memorabilia, traveling and a variety of music such as reggae, Afro-Caribbean, hip-hop and gospel. Couple that with rugged outdoor-ism such as his love of hiking, camping, traveling and golf, and it seems as if he may have a shot at the million-dollar pot on the popular reality TV show.
Freeman's competitors range in age from 21 to 59. They include a youth mentor, a model/barista, a highway construction worker, a sheep farmer and a mechanical bull operator.
As with the previous "Survivor: Amazon," the two tribes of "Survivor: Vanuatu" are divided into male and female contestants. (This time, there are 18 contestants instead of the usual 16.)
If Freeman leaves the Lopevi tribe quickly, Iowans will have someone else to cheer for: Twila Tanner, a 41-year-old highway repair person from Marshall, Mo., originally hails from Osceola.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~http://www.bristolnews.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=TRI%2FMGArticle%2FTRI_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1031777372443&path=/news/localnews&s=Travis "Bubba" Sampson, "token hilbilly" or "Survivor"
BY JOE GERAGHTY
BRISTOL HERALD COURIER
Aug 18, 12:00 AM EDT
Travis Sampson, 33, from Blountville, TN, is one of the new 18 castaways competing on SURVIVOR: VANUATU Islands of Fire, premiering Thursday, Sept 16 8:00-9:00pm on the CBS Television Network.
Photo by Monty Brinton (CBS)
JOHNSON CITY – A third contestant from the Mountain Empire has been chosen to appear on the latest installment of the popular CBS television show "Survivor."
And one local expert on Appalachia said she is waiting to see whether Travis "Bubba" Sampson will be more than just a "token hillbilly."
Sampson, a Blountville native who now lives in Johnson City, will be one of 18 contestants on the eighth season of the series. The show premieres Sept. 16 and will play out on the South Pacific island of Vanuatu.
The show has had 130 contestants since its debut in March 2000, CBS spokeswoman Colleen Sullivan said.
Tom Buchanan of Rich Valley, Va., nearly won when he appeared on the show in 2001. His character was so popular that he was invited back in May to participate in an all-stars edition of the game, but he lost again.
Tanya Vance of Gray was booted in the second episode of the fall 2002 season.
Roberta Herrin, director of the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, said that Sampson’s selection is just another chance for the media to lampoon Appalachia and the South in general.
"Don’t you think it makes for a nice mix in a setting like that (Survivor) to have your token hillbilly?" asked Herrin.
Natives of the Southern mountains remain the only minority still stereotyped and mocked by Hollywood, she added.
But Sullivan said that’s not what CBS producers had in mind.
"He’s the farthest thing from a redneck," Sullivan said. "Maybe there’s something in certain areas ... but we don’t cast for geography."
Contestants on the show agree not to speak about the show until it’s over.
Friends say Sampson could turn those stereotypes to his advantage.
"I’m sure he’s going to say, ‘I’m just an old country boy, I don’t know this and I don’t know that,’ and he’ll charm them with that," said John Thomas, who coached Sampson in football at Sullivan Central High School. "But he’s a smart guy. I know he’s going to use that because I do it myself."
Buchanan said that approach worked for him.
"A lot of them snickered at me, but the ones that laughed at me, I was still on the show and they were going home," he said.
Buchanan said he believes his character resonated with viewers, which might be a reason the show cast another person from the region.
"I’m a cross between a redneck and a hillbilly, and plus, when you clean me up, I’m a little bit of a knowlegeable-type fellow," he said. "They’re always looking for different, unique types of characters."
Those who know Sampson see him as a smart but normal guy – even though he might fool some at first glance.
"I have seen Travis in bib overalls," said Eric Stool, director of the Johnson City Boys and Girls Club, where Sampson volunteers as a football coach. "But I have seen him in normal attire, too."
Stool said he and others expect to see Sampson play the game well, without cheating or using underhanded tactics.
Sampson, 33, graduated from Central in 1990 and then spent three years at Northeast State Technical Community College in Blountville.
He worked as a professional wrestler for several years, using the stage name Romeo Bliss. He now owns a farm and works in security at a local Wal-Mart.
He is married and has four sons, according to a biography provided by CBS.
The family previously appeared on an ABC Family Channel reality show called "My Life is a Sitcom." On that show, which aired Feb. 17, 2003, their farming background and country roots figured heavily, The Tennessean newspaper reported.
"I’m proud to be a third-generation farmer," Sampson told The Tennessean. "It’s more than a heritage, it’s a lifestyle and we’re still living it."firstname.lastname@example.org
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