'Timber Tina' gets axed 1st on 'Survivor'
By RAY ROUTHIER
Blethen Maine Newspapers - 2.4.06
Reality TV producers love an ironic twist. So it's only fitting that on "Survivor" Thursday night the contestant known as Timber Tina was the first to get axed.
Tina Scheer, who owns Timber Tina's Great Maine Lumberjack Show in Trenton, was the first person voted off this season's installment of the hit CBS reality show.
You'd figure that a woman who can wield an axe and a chain saw with ease and dexterity might do well in a survival contest. But you'd also have to figure that a woman like that might scare the heck out of her competitors. And that's exactly what happened.
"They were scared to death of me," Scheer said Friday of the three female contestants who voted her off the show. "I'm not ashamed of what I do for a living, so I had to be honest about it. I didn't intend to go there and take charge and be the leader, but the others weren't doing anything." Scheer, 45, not only runs the Great Maine Lumberjack Show, she competes around the world in so-called timber sports events -- chopping wood, sawing, log rolling, etc.
Other contestants were afraid that Scheer would win many of the physical challenges, which give a player immunity from being voted off, and they didn't like her lumberjack's take-charge temperament and brutal honesty.
In the episode that aired Thursday, Scheer was seen finding food and water, building the shelter and fire, and telling her fellow contestants that they weren't pulling their weight.
Scheer, the third Mainer to appear on "Survivor," was the first of 16 contestants to be voted off. Scheer spent just three days in the survival show on an island off Panama last fall. The filming lasted 39 days, and episodes will air each week through May. The one person left at the end gets a $1 million prize. The show stranded 16 people in the remote location, then required them to find food, water and shelter while competing in a series of physical challenges and stunts.
The woman most adamant about getting rid of Scheer was Cirie Fields, 35, a nurse from South Carolina who said on camera during Thursday's episode that she wasn't in the best physical shape, and dreaded having to compete against a "lumberjack lady."
On camera, Fields could be seen trying to persuade the other women to vote with her against Scheer. She apparently didn't have to try too hard, as Scheer was promptly booted off.
"It wasn't tough for me," Scheer said Friday of her time in Panama. "But it wasn't fun, either. I had bug bites that lasted for a month, but I wasn't hungry or thirsty. Sleeping on bamboo was tough."
On Thursday's episode, Scheer could be seen standing on a beach alone, drawing the name of her deceased son, Charlie, in the sand and talking to the camera about his untimely death. Charlie was 16 when he was killed in a car crash in Wisconsin in June. She looked into the camera, with tears in her eyes, and asked that her words about Charlie not be shared with the other contestants. While she was on the beach, the other contestants chastised Scheer for her "odd" behavior.
Scheer lives in Wisconsin most of the year, and runs her lumberjack show in Maine during the summer.
Scheer never told the contestants about Charlie, and said Friday that she was a little surprised that segment appeared on TV.
"It kind of got to me when I saw they put that in," said Scheer. "But I did that in Charlie's honor, so I'm glad they showed it."
Scheer was in New York City Friday with CBS media representatives, and had a full day of interviews scheduled. She was planning to have a fun weekend in New York City with friends before heading to her Maine home near Bar Harbor. Her Great Maine Lumberjack Show will open for the season in June, with performances nightly.
Then, Scheer can get back to a place where her prowess with an axe isn't considered so scary.
HOW OTHER MAINERS HAVE FARED ON "SURVIVOR" Tina Scheer was the third person with a Maine connection to be on the CBS reality show "Survivor." Here's a little bit about the first two:
Zoe Zanidakis was Maine's first contestant on "Survivor." She appeared in 2002 on "Survivor Marquesas," filmed on Nuku Hiva,a South Pacific island. Zanidakis is a Monhegan Island lobster boat captain. She was the ninth person - out of 16 - voted off the island. Besides being a commercial fisherman, she now lists media personality, entertainer and motivational speaker on her resume.
Julie Berry, a Gorham native, was a contestant on "Survivor: Vanuatu - Islands of Fire," in 2004. She was the 14th - out of 18 contestants - to be voted off the island. Berry was a 23-year-old youth mentor. After the show ended, she began to date its host, Jeff Probst, and moved to California. She has been taking courses at California State University at Northridge to study counseling, with a concentration in marriage and relationships. http://www.survivorfever.net/s12_kennebec_journal_2_4.html