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Archive => RFF Archived Boards => The Castaways => Topic started by: puddin on January 16, 2006, 03:57:15 PM

Title: Melinda Hyder /Voted Out
Post by: puddin on January 16, 2006, 03:57:15 PM
Melinda Hyder was born and raised in Elizabethton, Tennessee. She has one sister, Regina, and is proud to point out that her parents, Richard and Carol, were high school sweethearts and have been married for 44 years. Hyder began singing in church at the age of four. She trained in ballet, tap, jazz and gymnastics for 12 years. She attended classes and taught at the Watt Dance Studio in Elizabethton. 
Hyder graduated with honors in music and math from Elizabethton High School. She then attended East Tennessee State University in Johnson City on a full vocal scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music. While in college, she performed with the music groups 10BucsWorth, Chorale and Women's Ensemble. 
After college, Hyder entertained at Six Flags over Georgia for two years. She then toured Europe while performing on a cruise ship. She also spent six years performing at Dollywood (often times with Dolly Parton). In addition, she has worked as a real estate agent, private vocal coach, dance instructor, pageant coach and model. 
Hyder describes herself as vivacious, competitive and compassionate. Her hobbies include creative home decorating, collecting Marilyn Monroe memorabilia, watching CBS soap operas and jogging. 
Currently single, Hyder resides in Sevierville, Tennessee, with her Pomeranian, Lexi. Her birth date is May 23, 1973. 
Colors  Blue, red, purple 
Scents Vanilla, sandalwood, cinnamon 
Flowers Daisy, stargazer lily 
Board Games Taboo, Twister 
Video Games Tetris, Frogger 
Sports to Play No favorite 
Sports Teams U Tennessee Volunteers   
Outdoor Activities Snow skiing, water skiing, hiking, swimming, fishing 
Movies Legally Blonde, Sweet Home Alabama 
Actors Sean Connery, Harrison Ford, Denzel Washington 
Actresses Reese Witherspoon, Meg Ryan, Marilyn Monroe 
Music All kinds 
Magazines In Style, Us Weekly, In Touch 
Books/Authors Sandra Brown, J.D. Ross, Catherine Coulter, Nicholas Sparks 
Cereals Smart Start 
Fruits Apple, pineapple, kiwi, strawberries 
Snack Foods Pringles, cookie dough, pretzels 
Cookies Chips Ahoy! 
Candy Bars Snickers 
Alcoholic Drinks Red wine 
Non-Alcoholic Cheerwine   
Title: Re: Melinda Hyder
Post by: puddin on January 16, 2006, 04:10:38 PM
Sevierville, Sevier County (WVLT) – Get ready to start cheering on another local woman in survivor.

32-year-old Melinda Hyder of Sevierville will be trying to survive the brutal conditions on Panama - Exile Island beginning February 2nd on CBS and Volunteer TV.

Melinda's a singer who's worked on cruise ships, at Six Flags, and most notably six years on the stage at Dollywood.  You may have seen her with Dolly Parton!

She talked a bit about the show this morning.

"I'm gonna get on somebody's nerves because everybody's gonna get on somebody's nerves at one point it's just gonna happen. So I'm just gonna try to do it as little as possible," says Melinda.

The last local contestant was of course, Tina Wesson, the Fountain City mother of two won the contest and picked up a million dollars

Survivor: Panama - Exile Island begins right here on Volunteer TV and CBS on February 2nd at 8:00 p.m.


Melinda's Bio


Melinda Hyder was born and raised in Elizabethton, Tennessee. She has one sister, Regina, and is proud to point out that her parents, Richard and Carol, were high school sweethearts and have been married for 44 years. Hyder began singing in church at the age of four. She trained in ballet, tap, jazz and gymnastics for 12 years. She attended classes and taught at the Watt Dance Studio in Elizabethton.

Hyder graduated with honors in music and math from Elizabethton High School. She then attended East Tennessee State University in Johnson City on a full vocal scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music. While in college, she performed with the music groups 10BucsWorth, Chorale and Women's Ensemble.

After college, Hyder entertained at Six Flags over Georgia for two years. She then toured Europe while performing on a cruise ship. She also spent six years performing at Dollywood (often times with Dolly Parton). In addition, she has worked as a real estate agent, private vocal coach, dance instructor, pageant coach and model.

Hyder describes herself as vivacious, competitive and compassionate. Her hobbies include creative home decorating, collecting Marilyn Monroe memorabilia, watching CBS soap operas and jogging.

Currently single, Hyder resides in Sevierville, Tennessee, with her Pomeranian, Lexi. Her birth date is May 23, 1973.


Melinda's Favorites:


 Blue, red, purple
 Vanilla, sandalwood, cinnamon
 Daisy, stargazer lily
Board Games
 Taboo, Twister
Video Games
 Tetris, Frogger
Sports to Play
 No favorite
Sports Teams
 U Tennessee Volunteers
Outdoor Activities
 Snow skiing, water skiing, hiking, swimming, fishing
TV Shows
 Legally Blonde, Sweet Home Alabama
 Sean Connery, Harrison Ford, Denzel Washington
 Reese Witherspoon, Meg Ryan, Marilyn Monroe
 All kinds
 In Style, Us Weekly, In Touch
 Sandra Brown, J.D. Ross, Catherine Coulter, Nicholas Sparks
 Smart Start
 Apple, pineapple, kiwi, strawberries
Snack Foods
 Pringles, cookie dough, pretzels
 Chips Ahoy!
Candy Bars
Alcoholic Drinks
 Red wine
Title: Re: Melinda Hyder
Post by: puddin on January 16, 2006, 04:12:02 PM
Elizabethton native featured in upcoming 'Survivor'
Tuesday, January 10, 2006



ELIZABETHTON - CBS should hope for many Nielsen families from the Elizabethton area over the next few months. The talk around the town Monday was all about Melinda Hyder, 32, a local woman who will be a contestant on the next edition of the popular reality show "Survivor."

"I am awfully proud of her, and I don't know where she got that courage," her mother, Carol Hyder, said after it was revealed on "The Early Show" on CBS Monday.

Carol Hyder said her daughter has always kept fit and has been dancing since she was a toddler.

She also jogs and works out, enjoys water skiing and snow skiing, and has her scuba diving license.

Chrisann Watts-Tull has been friends with Melinda Hyder since they were young girls. She remembers when Hyder first came to her mother's dance studio as a 3-year-old.

"She is incredibly energetic, Watts-Tull said. "I don't think I have ever known anyone else with her energy. She always stood out in the crowd.

Watts-Tull said she also remembers how tough Hyder can be.

"Our families went across country in Winnebagos. I remember she broke her arm in Las Vegas, and she never cried when they were setting it," Watts-Tull said.

Many teachers at Elizabethton High School remember Hyder well, especially since her mother taught honors algebra and pre-calculus at the school for 38 years.

Choral director Debbie Gouge said Hyder was a freshman when she first started teaching at the school.

"She really was a good student," Gouge said, adding that she sang in the choir all four years and was an All-State singer.

Hyder was also a cheerleader and played the French horn in the Betsy Band.

Gouge said music was Hyder's first love, and it paid off with a vocal scholarship to East Tennessee State University.

Gouge believes Hyder has the potential to do very well in the reality show.

"She has cunning skills, and I mean that in a good way," Gouge said. "She knew how to get things accomplished, and she knew how to get her way."

Hyder competed twice in the Miss Tennessee Pageant, finishing in the top 10 and winning the talent competition both times.

She competed as Miss Historic Jonesborough in 1995 and Miss Lexington in 1996.

She continues to perform. Hyder moved to Sevierville and performed at Dollywood for five or six years. While at Dollywood she performed in the '50s Show, Paradise Road, Backstage Pass. Her mother said her favorite show was Christmas in the Smokies.

This past year she left Dollywood to perform with the Showplace Dinner Theater in Sevierville.

When she is not performing, Hyder sells real estate with Sevierville Real Estate and Rentals.

"I hope everyone will be cheering for her. She is just a good East Tennessee girl," Carol Hyder said.

"Survivor: Panama" premieres Thursday, Feb. 2, at 8 p.m. on CBS.
Title: Re: Melinda Hyder
Post by: puddin on January 16, 2006, 04:13:00 PM
Local woman drops in on new 'Survivor' quest
By: J.J. KINDRED, Staff Writer January 11, 2006
Sevierville resident Melinda Hyder, who performed at Dollywood for approximately six years, will be a contestant during the forthcoming 12th season of "Survivor" on CBS. 
This season's "Survivor: Panama" has the contestants trying to survive conditions on Panama's Exile Island. The first episode airs Feb. 2.

Hyder, 32, was born and raised in Elizabethon, graduating with honors from Elizabethton High School and with a degree in music from East Tennessee State University. Currently single, she lives in Sevierville with her Pomeranian, Lexi.

She could not be reached for comment. The show's rules do not allow contestants to be interviewed while the show is on the air, until they either win or get voted off.

Before working at Dollywood, where she often performed with Dolly Parton, she worked at Six Flags over Georgia in Atlanta for two years and toured Europe while performing on a cruise ship.

She has also worked in real estate, and as a dance and singing instructor and model.

According to the "Survivor" Web site at, Hyder describes herself as "vivacious, competitive and compassionate."

She was quoted during a recent CBS appearance saying, "I'm gonna get on somebody's nerves because everybody's gonna get on somebody's nerves at one point. It's just gonna happen. So I'm just gonna try to do it as little as possible."
Title: Re: Melinda Hyder
Post by: puddin on January 18, 2006, 01:52:18 PM

A New Survivor from Tri-Cities
News Channel 11 Staff Reports
Jan 17, 4:15 PM EST
In case you haven't heard -  another Tri-Cities native is about to debut on the newest edition of CBS reality show "Survivor."

She is Melinda Hyder, who grew up in Carter County, Tennessee and now works as a professional singer in Sevierville.

News Channel 11's Josh Smith listened in on a first-ever gab session with some of the nation's top entertainment reporters.
They're making their picks on who will take home the million dollar prize.

Jeff Probst discussing castaway Melinda Hyder  with a selected group of print journalists

Transcript by

Jeff Probst:  So we talked about Cirie, now at the other end of the spectrum, not in terms that she's not likeable, just in terms of a different person would be Melinda, coming into this game. 

Melinda (pervious interview):  My name is Melinda Hyder, I'm 32 years old.  I'm an entertainer and I live in Sevierville, Tennessee.

Dalton Ross (Entertainment Weekly):  I didn't really learn a lot about her with the game because I just wanted to spend all my time with her talking about Dollywood.   

Melinda:  <sings a line from "Stand By Your Man">

Dalton: I don't know, I guess some of you had more negative experiences, I don't know if negative is the word.  Thinking that she wouldn't so well. 

Paul Adler (TV Guide Channel):  We interviewed her sort of leaning against a cut down tree.  The first thing she did was sort of take something and wiped the tree top off and we were like, that's a problem.

Shawna Malcom (TV Guide):  I thought, she's not going to be able to do anything out there with those acrylic nails.

Jeff Probst:  Which makes her fun.  I'm interested in seeing Melinda because Melinda thinks coming into the game that she's absolutely ready for it and we're all agreeing that looking at her,  'you couldn't be less ready'.  But it'll be interesting to see what happens.  Those first three days tell so much.  If she rips off those nails and says, 'allright, I get it'.  Otherwise if she's trying to protect them, she'll be gone.  My concern about Melinda is that she keeps saying that she's here for the adventure.  I think she's here to be on TV.  She's a performer and that's what she does for a living.  And this is possibly exposure.

Dalton:  A little bigger than dinner theater.  Slightly bigger than her current gig.  So, yeah.

Mara Reinstein (US Weekly):  She's going to sing on the spot for anybody so I'm sure. 

Jeff:  So you guys don't really have much for Melinda?  She didn't give you much in her interviews. 

Paul:  I love being proven wrong by Survivor contestants after the interviews.  But I just don't know.  She was already trying to talk to the other contestants.  Smacking bugs on her hand just standing at a nice home where we were interviewing them.  I just don't know if she's got the teeth for it.

Shawna:  I think she could be one of those people who gets out there and is uncomfortable and just blows up, loses it.  She was talking about how people, her friends back home, kind of doubted that she could do this.  That she would go off on them.   And she's eager to prove you wrong but I think in the wrong environment.  She's just, she's not going to do well. 

Jeff:  Why do you think we would put her on the show?

Jarrett Wieselman (In Touch):  I think she's a very engaging personality. There is sort of like that car crash quality to her that you sort of don't love her but you want to watch her. You want to see what she's going to do especially if she's going to as much of a fish out of water as we all think she will be.

Dalton: I don't think she's unlikable.  I didn't dislike her.  I don't want to give that impression that I didn't like her.  Is she ready for the experience, that's the question.  She's a big personality and obviously that's why she's there, I think. 

Mara:  And she's very pretty.   

Shawna:  She looks like Tara Reid, actually.  Looking at her with shorter hair.

Mara:  Let's hope she's more entertaining than Tara Reid.
Title: Melinda on The Early Show
Post by: puddin on February 10, 2006, 10:44:45 AM
Melinda Hyder's Early Show Interview
Transcript by James Barber 2.10.06
HARRY: Last night on Survivor Panama: Exile Island, the four teams merged into two. Unfortunately for singer Melinda Hyder, things ended on a sour note.

HARRY: And Melinda Hyder is with us this morning. Good morning. How are you?

MELINDA: Good morning. I'm good, thank you. How are you?

HARRY: I'm OK. I was just disturbed watching the show last night, because I didn't feel like you guys were getting a fair shake in that tribe. That's just me; that's me personally.

MELINDA: Thank you. I completely agree.

HARRY: It's a little late.

(Melinda laughs)

HARRY: When you went to Tribal Council, you knew the deal was done, you knew there was no chance anybody was going to flip or...


HARRY: Did you have any shot whatsoever?

MELINDA: Not after Shane changed his mind and wanted to stay, and after they came to us and said, 'It's either you or Cirie.' That situation. Actually we knew before Tribal Council that it was going to be me.

HARRY: It seems so bizarre - here's Shane, this is this guy who has a 3-pack-a-day cigarette habit, he's completely high-strung, he says he's got ADHD, everything else, 'Get me off the island.' Why are they talking a guy who wants off the island to stay on the island? What's going on there?

MELINDA: Well, the only thing that I can think of is they had an alliance, and in their minds it would better to keep him because he's numbers. Out there numbers is a huge thing, and if you've got the numbers you're doing well. And so Courtney, Danielle, Aras and Shane, they had the numbers.

HARRY: Bizarre. Just bizarre.

MELINDA: I completely agree. When someone is begging to go home...

HARRY: Send 'em home. Adios.

MELINDA: Yeah. And you've got somebody else who's fighting to stay, I completely agree.

HARRY: Was your heart broken?

MELINDA: Yeah. I mean, in a lot of ways, because it was really hard out there, and the longer I stayed actually the harder it got, but the more I wanted to stay. I really wanted to stay.

HARRY: So you were really starting to get into it.

MELINDA: I wanted to stay. I wanted to fight it out. To have it be in that manner...I didn't have a chance. I didn't have a chance.

HARRY: What was it like for you to be sitting there with Cirie, and Aras comes into camp, he says, basically, "You or you are going home." To me that was just the epitome of arrogance.

MELINDA: It was really hard. At that point I said, "What do you want us to do? Rock-paper-scissors to decide?" And he was like, "Well, yeah, maybe." And I was like, "Hello! I worked my butt off to be here. I'm certainly not going to do rock-paper-scissors to decide if I'm going home or not."

HARRY: Yeah. Total, total, total raw deal. I don't know, maybe it's an age thing. Maybe I'm turning on these young people.

(Melinda laughs)

HARRY: We've got a Secret Scene. That's one of the things we do here. A Secret Scene that was not seen on the show last night, not seen anywhere else, we'll show it and get your reaction.



MELINDA (solo): My new tribemates, most of them are not somebody I would choose to hang out with in my normal life. (shot of Aras doing yoga exercises on the beach) Well, you've got Danielle, Courtney and Aras, who are young. You've got Bobby, who was on the younger tribe even though he's my age. And then you have Shane, who's older but doesn't really act like he's older. We are completely different people.

(group tries to start a fire)

SHANE: Who's the (bleep) that said it could start to rain? Cause that's (bleeped) up.

MELINDA (solo): Their language is just horrible. It's lifestyle and attitudes in that type of a situation. It was an invasion, I think. A definite invasion. (laughs)]

HARRY: Invasion.

MELINDA: Well, see, because once our tribes merged, all of those people came back to the island that Cirie and I had already lived on. And if you'll remember the younger men and the younger women didn't have shelters, really, and so then they came on our island and we had this nice shelter - well, I mean nice for "Survivor"...

HARRY: Which brings me to mind to Tina.


HARRY: Here you have this outdoor woman...


HARRY: ...who knows how to make shelters, can make fires. I'm thinking, "What are you girls thinking knocking Tina off?" What was the theory behind that?

MELINDA: Well, part of it was because she was strong, and you do need to be aware of that, because later on in challenges, Lord she could definitely beat me, but also, it wasn't as if Tina did all the work. We all worked on the shelter, a lot of times when she was off searching the island, we needed to do (Harry motions to move on)...yeah, we needed to do a lot of that kind of stuff.

HARRY: Here's my question. I'm watching Shane with this overt, crazy kind of behavior, and I'm wondering if he's playing crazy like a fox, as opposed to actually being crazy. In as much as you can say, for the time you...

MELINDA: I personally think no, it wasn't an act, he was probably really crazy.

(Harry laughs)

HARRY: We know you're a singer. Do you sing in Dollywood?

MELINDA: I did sing in Dollywood. I don't anymore, but I did sing in Dollywood for about 6 years.

HARRY: So what's up now?

MELINDA: I'm going to be working at a brand new theater in Asheville, North Carolina called Carolina Country Theater.

HARRY: Wow, wow. So we can line up and buy our tickets now to see you.

MELINDA: Definitely. Definitely.

HARRY: Well, it's a pleasure to meet you.

MELINDA: No, it's wonderful to meet you.

HARRY: Thanks very very much. (shakes her hand)

MELINDA: No, thank you.

HARRY: Melinda Hyder.

thanks to SurviorFever
Title: “I Was Dealt a Bad Hand”
Post by: puddin on February 10, 2006, 09:21:30 PM
“I Was Dealt a Bad Hand”
by David Bloomberg -- 02/10/2006

Although we didn’t see it, Melinda had made an alliance on day one that helped ensure she would stick around. With the tribal shuffle, though, she found herself in a bad situation. What did she do to try to make things better and save herself? What was she unwilling to do? Read on as Melinda tells us all about it.

Melinda began on a tribe of older women but was quickly shuffled – like everybody else – and found herself on a tribe where she didn’t fit in nearly as well. What did she do to try to stay in the game, and what did she decide she would not do? She answers these questions and more:

RealityNewsOnline: Hello, Melinda, and thanks for taking the time to answer these questions for RealityNewsOnline readers. Coming into Survivor, what was your original strategy?

Melinda: My original strategy was to try and contribute as much as possible 24-7, make an alliance early that hopefully would last me the entire game.

RNO: In the first vote, why did you decide to vote out Tina, the hard worker, instead of Cirie?

Melinda: First of all, Cirie and myself made an alliance on day one. Then we were approached by Ruth-Marie to vote out Tina. Tina was an extremely hard worker but the rest of us contributed equally, which wasn’t portrayed on television. And many times when she would go away by herself, she would not inform us as to where she was going and back at camp, we were gathering firewood, getting water, making the shelter stronger. We weren’t just sitting around talking.

RNO: Do you think Tina could have changed your mind if she had played the social aspect of the game and tried to make alliances with you and Ruth-Marie?

Melinda: [Since] Cirie and I had an alliance from day one, perhaps if Tina had approached me and Cirie, it could have made a difference. However, Cirie and Tina didn’t really get along.

RNO: What was it like to first be in small tribes based on age and gender, and then, just a few days later, get completely reorganized?

Melinda: I was surprised that there were four tribes as I think everyone was. But as far as the arrangement of the tribes, I liked who I was with. I would much rather be with “older” people than I would “younger” people. When the tribes were reorganized, I just feel as if I was dealt a bad hand. I ended up on a tribe with four people from L.A., one from Boston, and my friend Cirie, those aren’t great odds.

RNO: Do you think you would have fit in better with the La Mina tribe, or do you feel the way the tribes were reshuffled put you at a disadvantage no matter what?

Melinda: I definitely think I would have fit in better with the La Mina tribe. My tribe was the crazy tribe and La Mina was the “Kumbaya” tribe.

RNO: After Shane decided to stay in the game, did you, Cirie, or Bobby try to convince one of the other three of his allies to turn against him?

Melinda: Yes. Cirie and I had Bobby’s vote but we needed a fourth person. We approached Aras before the immunity challenge. He told us that he didn’t want to think strategy yet and he just wanted to enjoy the game. We now know that he had already made an alliance and lied to us.

RNO: Or, for that matter, did you try to get Cirie voted out instead of you?

Melinda: The only way I could have stayed in the game would have been to advocate Cirie being voted out. However, she and I had made a promise to each other early on that we would stick together and never write each other’s name down.

RNO: Do you think there was anything else you could have done differently to stick around longer?

Melinda: Basically, as I [said], my only hope would have been trying to turn them on Cirie. When I went into the game, I was prepared to stab people in the back but not someone who I had become so close to, trusted, and made a promise to.

RNO: Could you tell Shane was on edge before the whole "vote me out" thing?

Melinda: Shane is very high-strung in general. He yells a lot, not really at or to someone but just in general. But at the time, I wasn’t sure if that was just his personality or if he was truly that on edge.

RNO: Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers about your time on Survivor?

Melinda: I am very glad I did it. It was an experience that I will never forget. The whole process made me realize that if there’s something out there that YOU want to do, just do it. Don’t let fear, insecurity, or what others think hold you back.

RNO: Thanks again, Melinda!
Title: Re: Melinda Hyder /Voted Out
Post by: puddin on February 10, 2006, 09:27:42 PM

Elizabethton native gets the boot on 'Survivor'
Friday, February 10, 2006

Kingsport Times News
NET News Service

Four tribes merged into two on Thursday's episode of "Survivor: Panama," with Elizabethton native Melinda Hyder being the last woman picked to join a tribe and, ultimately, the second contestant to be kicked off of the show.

Hyder went to the new Casaya tribe, which lost its initial challenge, forcing the tribe to do without fishing gear.

Once back at camp, Hyder and fellow tribe mate, Cirie, immediately felt like they didn't "belong" and apparently were right as four other members of the tribe formed an alliance to keep each other around until the end.

Trouble continued for the Casaya tribe as it lost the immunity challenge, leaving Hyder to face her second tribal council in as many episodes. While she made it through last week's tribal council, Hyder's grand finale came Thursday when her tribe voted for her to leave.

After fellow tribe mates told Melinda and Cirie they were going to be the first two to be voted out of the tribe, Hyder said she was "disappointed," "hurt" and "pissed" at the way her tribe was deciding who should go, noting that one tribe member had considered quitting while Hyder was fighting with all her might to stick around.

"I just found myself on the ‘Hey man, yo dude, what's up?' tribe and that's just not me," Hyder said in her farewell comments at the end of the show.

Despite her disappointment of being kicked off after only six days of competition, Hyder said she was looking forward to a shower, drinking water and eating again.

Hyder is a singer and real estate agent who now lives in Sevierville.

Title: Re: Melinda Hyder /Voted Out
Post by: puddin on February 11, 2006, 05:31:57 PM
"Survivor's" Melinda Hits a Sour Note, Gets the Boot at Tribal Council
Tampa Bay's 10 - 1.10.06

Transcript of Video Interview Below >>

It's no longer men against women or young against old on "Survivor." The tribes were reshuffled on the latest episode, without regard to sex or age.

On the first episode of "Survivor: Exile Island"
there were four tribes, divided along age and gender lines. Last night, the players were split into two tribes, La Mina and Casaya.

After Casaya lost the Immunity Challenge, it looked like Shane Powers was ready to quit
after going cold turkey on a 20-year smoking habit. But he decided to tough it out and convinced his tribe mates to vote off Melinda
Hyder, a singer from Tennessee.

Melinda spoke to "Life Around the Bay" anchor Dave Wirth about her time in Panama

Transcript of Video Interview

Dave:  Melina, welcome, thanks for joining us.  I thought you got a raw deal last night.  How did you feel about being voted off?

Melinda:  Yeah, I think I got a raw deal, too.  I wasn't happy about it at all.

Dave:   What were the dynamics going on there at the end?

Melinda:  Well, really, after the tribes merged, that's where it all...the beginning of the end.  The other people on my merged tribe were so much different than Cirie and myself.  We had a really hard time meshing with them.  We tried.  We tried very hard to work many, many different angles.  But it was just very difficult.

Dave: You know where I thought you got a raw deal, too.  If you don't mind me saying so, you're only 32 years old and you get grouped in with the older women.  That's NOT RIGHT!

Melinda:  <laughs> Thanks!

Dave:  You're not an older woman for God's sake.

Melinda:  In all honesty, I would have rather been on the older women's tribe rather than the younger women's tribe.  Simply because I enjoyed the people who I was with on the older woman's tribe.  Now seeing that our camp was so much better than the younger women's tribe.  So I was actually glad but I was quick to point out that I was actually the youngest woman on the older women's tribe.

Dave:  You are correct.  What's the deal with Shane.  I thought for sure when he volunteered to be voted off and wanted to go home that he should have been the one to go.

Melinda:  Not only did he volunteer, he actually came to each one of us individually at least once, maybe twice and made us promise that we would vote for him.  This was all day and then about 10 minutes before Tribal Council, that's when he decided to change his mind.  If somebody wants to go home after everybody else has worked so hard to get there, send 'em home.

Dave:  It was just 10 minutes before Council?

Melinda:  Mmmm hmmm.  That's when he changed his mind.

Dave:  Wow.  How was it...I don't know how close you were with him or how you dealt with him Panama, but how is it being with someone who is a heavy smoker and is trying to quit and you're in a confined area.  What's it like being with someone like that?

Melinda:  I didn't know Shane and don't Shane out of the game. So I'm not sure how much of that is just his character and how much is of it was nicotine withdrawal.  I'm not really sure because he's kind of "out there" anyway.  So I'm not sure where the separation lies.  But it wasn't pleasant being out there with him, I can tell you that.

Dave:  You seemed to do okay on the challenges.  Were they really tough for you?  How did they work?

Melinda:  The challenges were fun, actually, I thought.  They were a little frustrating sometimes because it's so much easier to sit at home and be like, "why don't you do that."  It's so much more difficult once you're there.  But there wasn't' anything that I failed at as far as the challenges were concerned so I was very pleased about that.

Dave:  I noticed on your bio you're from Sevierville, Tennessee, isn't that at the foot of The Smokies?

Melinda:  It sure is.

Dave:  Wow, I've been there many times. It's a beautiful spot of the world, isn't it?

Melinda:  Yes, it's a very beautiful place.

Dave:  And you're a singer there, what type of work do you do?

Melinda:  Yes, I sing.  That's what I do.  I worked at Dollywood for about six years and then worked at a dinner theater.  I'm going to be working at a new theater in Ashville, North Carolina.

Dave:  Very good.  Melinda, I'm sorry you had to be voted off so early.

Melinda:  Me, too.

Dave: It was a pleasure talking to you. Good luck to you.

Melinda:  Thank you so much.  Have a great day.

source and thanks as always to survivorfever ~
Title: Melinda's TV Guide interview
Post by: puddin on February 16, 2006, 12:08:06 AM
"Master Plan" Sinks Survivor's Melinda
by Allison Corneau
Melinda Hyder, Survivor: Panama
After CBS' Survivor: Panama — Exile Island (Thursdays at 8 pm/ET) condensed four tribes to two last week in an old-fashioned schoolyard pick, Tennessee native Melinda Hyder was the second player to be sent packing, allowing Bruce to take her place on the Casaya tribe. chatted with Hyder about Shane's "master plan," her idea of a perfect reality-show pairing, and, despite her ability to start a fire from scratch, why she'll never allow a real fireplace in her home. That schoolyard pick would have given me terrible flashbacks of being chosen last for grade-school dodgeball!
Melinda Hyder: It honestly didn't bother me that I was picked last. I was happy to be on Cirie's tribe because Cirie and I had made an alliance from Day 1. It was only after my tribe started talking and I could tell the way they were that I knew Cirie and I were in trouble. Is there anyone from the La Mina tribe you wish you could have teamed up with?
Melinda: Actually, I just wish I had ended up on La Mina. [Laughs] It was either the "Kumbaya" tribe or the "crazy" tribe! Speaking of twists, it must have been quite something when Jeff Probst revealed the specifics of Exile Island. What were the feelings at camp after you found out that Bruce was the only person who'd have immunity at tribal council?
Melinda: It's definitely a situation where you have your pros and cons. Who wants to stay on Exile Island by themselves for three days? Bruce may get immunity, but he's also going to be out of the loop for three days. What do you think of his chances, having taken your place on Casaya?
Melinda: With that tribe? Good luck! I would have rather been on Exile [lsland] by myself than be with them. Once the two teams were assembled, did strategy meetings take place?
Melinda: The moment Cirie and I got back to the island, we approached Bobby to try to form an alliance with him and Aras. Bobby was all for it, but Aras basically said he didn't want to form any alliances yet — which we later found out was a lie, because he had already formed an alliance with Shane, Courtney and Danielle. Aras said he wanted to play the game with integrity, which I appreciate, but don't tell me that and then lie to me. In the first episode, you said that you thought Cirie was the weaker link. What changed your mind?
Melinda: In a lot of those questions, I was asked "Who do you think is the strongest person on your tribe?" and "Who do you think is the weakest?" I obviously wasn't going to say that either Ruth Marie or Tina [Scheer] were weak, and I'm not going to say I'm weak. Cirie was the only person left, but the way it was edited made it seem like I was singling her out. Did any other editing surprise you?
Melinda: Not really. It was surprising how much you don't see, but that's understandable because there are so many hours of footage [to be condensed].The only thing I wish they had shown more of was all of us working at our first camp. They kind of portrayed it as if Tina did all the work. She did do a lot, but we were all working, 24/7. It was easy to see how both you and Cirie felt like outcasts, especially once Shane voiced his "master plan" to eliminate the two of you, one by one.
Melinda: Shane is someone who quit smoking on the first day of Survivor, cold turkey. How intelligent is that? He said that he missed his son, that he missed his cigarettes.... He told us that he made enough money and was like "Why am I even here?" He said those things all day long and made us promise that we would vote for him, and then he changed his mind 10 minutes before tribal [council]. Was he the one who whined a lot on your tribe?
Melinda: Courtney was equally whiney. Was she the one who said "like" too many times?
Melinda: Yes! Cirie and I [eavesdropped on her] and counted them for three minutes: I stopped at 30. We had to walk away because we were going to start laughing. What kept you occupied when you weren't setting up camp?
Melinda: Collecting wood for the fire is epic. I never realized how much wood it takes to keep a fire going 24/7. I never want a real fireplace in my house. It has to be gas. What made you try out for Survivor?
Melinda: I liked the whole competition aspect of it — that it wasn't a subjective competition. A lot of competitions and auditions I do are subjective, [based on] somebody's opinion. With Survivor, whoever crosses the finish line first wins. My friends were like, "You can't do Survivor. What are you talking about?!" But that just made me more determined. As a singer, if you had to audition for American Idol, what would you sing for Simon?
Melinda: I don't know if I would sing for Simon, even if I had the chance, because he always has something negative to say. I'm sure I would pick a jazz-Broadway tune. I understand you've performed with Dolly Parton in the past?
Melinda: I [performed] at Dollywood for about six years, and there were times when she'd come in and do shows with us. She's very cool. Having tried Survivor, has the reality-television bug bitten you at all?
Melinda: [Without missing a beat] No. [Laughs] But I think Cirie and I should do The Amazing Race — talk about hilarious! Who would be the driver and who would give directions?
Melinda: I'm definitely the directions girl. Cirie's even said she's direction-challenged. I mean, she didn't even find the water! I can't even tell you how funny it would be.