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Local "Survivor9 Cast" Articles
« on: August 18, 2004, 03:51:49 PM »,1299,DRMN_15_3118562,00.html

Lakewood 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

Hobart 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.”

Maine 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:


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, 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

Kansasville singer tries to survive Vanuatu
Posted: Aug. 17, 2004
Inside TV & Radio

Tim Cuprisin

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 - - 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 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.

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


TV Notes: Mercer woman cast on 'Survivor'
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

 Monty Brinton/CBS
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.


Sergeant aims to survive


Staff Writer

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


“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

August 18, 2004

  On TV
"Survivor: Vanuatu - Islands of Fire" begins with a two-hour premiere at 7 p.m. Sept. 16 on CBS.

Rory Freeman

AGE: 35
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:, 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 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.

  On TV
"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 ( 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.

Travis "Bubba" Sampson, "token hilbilly" or "Survivor"
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." | (276) 645-2512

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Re: Local "Survivor9 Cast" Articles
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2004, 11:47:29 PM »
Sexes to battle
on 'Survivor'

The next 'Survivor' features 18 contestants, two more than usual, including a model and a drill sergeant. 
They have split up the men and women again on "Survivor."
And two more players have been added to the mix, according to the contestant list for "Survivor: Vanuatu - Islands of Fire."

The latest version of the adventure reality series was shot during the past couple of months in the Vanuatu group of 83 islands in the South Pacific.

This time around, producer Mark Burnett and his team have selected 18 players - up from the usual 16. The only other edition of "Survivor" to have 18 players was last season's "All-Stars," which was expanded to accommodate more past contestants.

As in previous editions, the contestants range in age, experience and physical ability.

"We really enjoyed these people," said host Jeff Probst. "They were really, really fun."

The list included a model, a drill sergeant and an amputee.

The series' ninth edition will begin airing Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. with a two-hour premiere. There will be 14 fresh episodes, rather than the usual 13.

One player is from the metro area - Mia Galeotalanza from Toms River, N.J. - and one is from upstate - Eliza Orlins of Syracuse.

For the uninitiated, "Survivor" follows a group of people who are dropped in a remote location and forced to fend for themselves. In the past, one person was voted off every three days, though the frequency of tribal councils changed this outing. The last person standing gets $1 million - but they've usually lost weight from not eating well and picked up some odd diseases along the way.

"The coral was a problem," Probst said. "If you get a little bit of a cut, it infects easily. ... Then flies get in there and lay eggs and it sort of blows up."

Usually, the producers mix up the game each time out. In Panama, for instance, they dumped the players off in what they were wearing at the time, leaving one woman to fend for herself in a cocktail dress.

This time, too, they weren't given any food.

"The thing we've sort of accepted," Probst said, "is we probably never will give them food again. We've seen they can make it on their own, if they're forced. They're given a machette,and a pot to boil water in. There's plenty of food on the island."

This time, contestants were also divided into tribes along gender lines. It's the same format Burnett used for the start of "Survivor: The Amazon," though the teams become co-ed during the course of the game.

The early division on Vanuatu is a homage to the location, where the men rule and the women follow, Probst said.

Changes in the format, concept and challenges have been a hallmark of "Survivor." That's also helped make it one of the strongest reality series. Last season, "Survivor: All Stars" averaged more than 21 million viewers, and "Survivor: Pearl Islands" averaged just over 20 million.

Originally published on August 18, 2004
article from~

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Re: Local "Survivor9 Cast" Articles
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2004, 11:49:33 PM »


 Finally! Lesbians on Survivor!
Sarah Warn, August 2004
In Survivor's ninth season, which debuts on September 16th, there will be not one but two lesbian/bisexual women competing for the popular reality show's top spot.

Ami Cusack and Dr. Scout Cloud Lee are just two of the 18 contestants on CBS' Survivor Vanuatu, which is set on Vanuatu, a South Pacific nation comprising 83 islands strung midway between Australia and Hawaii.

Survivor--whose former contestants now number over 100--has had openly gay male contestants in previous seasons, like Richard Hatch, who won the first Survivor in 2000, but never any openly gay female contestants. There was a lesbian contestant on the show's first season in 2000, Sonja Christopher, but her sexual orientation was not disclosed on TV or within Sonja's official bio, and only became public well after the fact.

This makes Ami and Scout the first openly gay women on the show--a noteworthy and long-overdue first.

Scout is a 59-year-old rancher, entrepreneur, singer/songwriter and cancer survivor from Stillwater, Oklahoma whose bio on the official Survivor site features a lengthy list of accomplishments:

Dr. Scout Cloud Lee's professional career spans more than 30 years, featuring stints as the CEO of her performance consulting company, a motivational speaker, entrepreneur, rancher, former university professor (University of Illinois and Oklahoma State University) and author of eleven books and more than 100 articles. She is also the founder of The Magical Child Foundation and a faculty member for the Institute for Management Studies.

She has also produced a few CD's of her music and was chosen to carry the Olympic torch in 2002. Scout is very up-front about her long-term lesbian relationship in the bio:

Lee is in a committed relationship with Annie, her best friend and playmate of twenty-six years. She owns eight horses, four dogs, two cows, and several cats, llamas and squirrels. She and Annie also have a second home in Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii. She loves to spend her time writing her own music, building indigenous lodges, camping and riding her horses. She is most proud of living her life on her terms and from shying "away from social prescriptions, overcoming many obstacles, and becoming a successful, affluent, land-bearing Bohemian in the international corporate arena."

Ami is a 31-year-old model/barista from Lakewood, Colorado whose official bio on the Survivor site is a little more general:

After graduating Golden High School, she attended Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in Denver. While attending RMCAD, she landed a job with Experimental and Applied Sciences as charitable director (one of six employees), working with children and women. In 1998, the company was sold and Cusack decided to travel for the next four years. Her travels led her to Australia, Thailand, Tahiti, Iceland, Japan and Africa. Upon returning to the US, she took a job at a coffee shop which she now considers "the greatest job in the world." She looks forward to being a mom and taking care of her family.

Ami has done some modeling, as well, and was included in a July 1996 Playboy Magazine article titled "The Girls of Venus Swimwear." Her sexual orientation is only referenced briefly in the bio, with the statement that "Cusack is currently dating Crissy, whom she's been with for three years."
On the surface, these women couldn't be more different from one another, and that's refreshing--with the notable exception of MTV's Real World and Road Rules franchises, reality shows rarely feature openly gay or bisexual women at all, and almost never two at the same time.

Scout is also one of the very few older lesbians we've seen on reality or scripted television.

But with 18 contestants, will either Scout or Ami survive long enough to stand out from the pack? We'll have to tune in on Thursday, September 16th at 8pm to find out.

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Re: Local "Survivor9 Cast" Articles
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2004, 08:04:41 PM »

Brady Finta of Survivor Vanuatu
Date Of Birth: December 17, 1970
Hometown: Huntington Beach, CA |
Occupation: FBI agent
Marital Status: Single
Brady Finta was born in San Diego. At the time, his father was in Vietnam on one of his two tours as a fighter pilot in the US Navy. With his father being in the US Navy, they relocated many times, including Camarillo, California; Virginia Beach, Virginia; Pax River, Maryland; San Diego, California; Farifax, Virginia; Charleston, South Carolina; and Memphis, Tennessee.

Finta attended 10 schools before high school and finished at James Island High School in Chas, South Carolina. He then attended the University of South Carolina, where he received a degree in Political Science and played on the rugby team. After spending the summer after graduation in Norway (his father was stationed there), Finta went to the Marine Corps Officer Candidate School as a result of having gone through college on a Marine ROTC scholarship.   
He became a second lieutenant, trained as an infantry officer for a year and was then assigned his first platoon in Hawaii. After three years (with one year of it deployed to Japan), he was transferred to Camp Pendleton, California. Approximately two years later, he resigned his commission and joined the FBI in 1998.

After graduating the FBI Academy, he was posted to the Los Angeles Division (Orange County) and assigned to the Asian Organized Crime section, where he has been ever since. Soon after completing his agent probation, he tried out and was selected to be a member of the FBI Los Angeles SWAT Team. He will soon be working counter terrorism. Finta's mother is currently pursuing a master's degree in theology at a Jesuit University in Ohio. His father retired from the Navy and lives and works in Spokane, Washington. His older brother, Jim, is a helicopter pilot for the Coast Guard in Seattle, Washington. His older sister, Lori, is a film editor in Memphis, Tennessee. His younger sister, Gina, is a dance instructor in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He also has a half sister, Katya. In addition, has eight nieces and nephews.

Finta's hobbies include surfing, home improvement and traveling. He has traveled the US and abroad, having served in Okinawa, Japan, among other places. He describes himself as enthusiastic, athletic and motivated. He enjoys playing rugby and watching football. His hero is a 20-year-old lance corporal who returned from Iraq missing an eye. To Finta, that kind of courage and self-sacrifice defines heroes.

Finta currently lives in Huntington Beach, California, with his fiancée, Broni.

Ami Cusack of Survivor Vanuatu
Date Of Birth: January 25, 1973
Hometown: Lakewood, CO
Occupation: Barista (coffee server) and model
Marital Status: Dating Exclusively
Ami Cusack was born to and raised in Golden, Colorado, by Richard, a top gun pilot and explosive engineer and Virginia, a substitute English teacher and homemaker. After graduating Golden High School, she attended Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in Denver. While attending RMCAD, she landed a job with Experimental and Applied Sciences as charitable director (one of six employees), working with children and women. In 1998, the company was sold and Cusack decided to travel for the next four years. Her travels led her to Australia, Thailand, Tahiti, Iceland, Japan and Africa.
Upon returning to the US, she took a job at a coffee shop which she now considers "the greatest job in the world." She looks forward to being a mom and taking care of her family.   
In 1996, she lost her 18-year-old younger brother, Kyle, to a drunk driver. Her mother now conducts motivation speaking to high school students about the consequences of drinking and driving.
Cusack is currently dating Crissy, whom she's been with for three years. 

Jonathan writes, "Heeeeeeere's Johnny!

Ami Cusack


Huh. I don’t see a whole lot of potential with this one. Don’t get me wrong, Ami seems like a nice enough lady, but I don’t think she has enough drive to see this through. She attended college, but no mention of a degree. She had some kind of job that had her working with women and kids, but when her business was sold she had enough money to travel for four years? I don’t know how that matches up. Now she works as a cashier/coffee pourer in a coffee house and claims it’s the best job in the world. Now, far be it for me to assume something about someone based on how much they love their job, and it is a good thing that she loves her job so much, but being a barista is not a long-term job. Ami’s 31 and she pours coffee for a living. I don’t know- I just see “slacker” written all over her. She could surprise me, but I’m pegging her for one of the first five boots.


Brady Finta


Good Lord. He’s a former Marine, an FBI Agent AND a member of the Los Angeles SWAT team. What CAN’T he do? He seems very athletic, though not so athletic that he’ll be booted for being a threat, he’s trained in jujitsu, he’s extremely well-traveled, he likes Survivor- I mean, hell, he looks like a damn shoo-in (although the same was said about Hunter Ellis)! Unless he decides to take a leader role and ends up bossing so many people around that he gets voted out for it, he’s going very, very far. I’m gonna say final four, just from this bio alone, and my early pick for a winner.


Brook Geraghty


Yeah, not digging this guy so much. His favorite magazine is Playboy, his favorite “actress” is Britney Spears (gag me), his favorite scent is “woman”... sounds remarkably like Daniel Lue and Ryan Aiken to me. He looks like one of the guys whose sole strategy is to come on in and schmooze the ladies, a fact that will be rendered null and void by the fact that there are, in fact, going to be no ladies on his team. He’ll probably help Lopevi push through some challenges, but on a tribe with lots of stronger men, he won’t be needed for long. He’ll be one of the last folks gone before the jury.


Chad Crittenden


A very wise woman by the name of Tian Kitchen once said, “She can’t run fast! I mean, it sucks, but you can’t make a three-legged dog run faster!” You can’t make a three-legged dog run faster. This is, without doubt, the best advice ever given in the entire history of the world. There is virtually no subject whatsoever that those nine words do not cover. And so they help me make a very awkward point that has to be made about Chad: that, no matter how badly he may want to, he just isn’t going to be able to compete in the physical events with the rest. “Ah-ha,” you may say, “but he completed a triathlon after his amputation!” Well, yes, he did, and I’m very impressed by that. But a triathlon is all about endurance, not speed. I have no doubt that his endurance is up there with the best of them, but when it comes down to it, unless he’s damn good at compensating, he’s not going to be able to run, climb, swim or hike like the rest of his team, and that is a shame because he seems like an all-around great guy. I would like nothing more than to see him in the final two with Scout, but I will be extremely surprised if he makes it past the first four votes.


Chris Daugherty


Just for fun, the day the cast was announced, I tried to list all the castaways from memory. I got to seventeen and for the life of me could not think of the eighteenth one. So I went online and, sure enough- Chris Daugherty. He just did not make much of an impression on me at all. So I’m looking over his bio, trying to make heads or tails of him. Although he works in highway construction (he’s used to working for long periods in extreme conditions) I see no real “roughing it” aspect to his bio. I like the fact that he wants to be a teacher, as that shows a softer side, but he’s another one that attended college and yet never finished. I just don’t know. He seems like the kind that pushes his team through the challenges and then get targeted by the other tribe after the merge. I’m going to say that he’ll be right there in the middle- either one of the last people booted before the jury or one of the earliest jury members.


Dolly Neely


Sweet heavens to Betsy, is this girl for REAL? First of all, women over the age of six should not refer to themselves as “Dolly” unless it is used in an ironic sense or their given name. Reading further... good Lord. She’s a shepardess who belongs to the NRA, is a Bible-thumper and who gets all weepy at 50’s-era love songs. What a combination. She describes herself as both bossy and sensitive. Translation: she can dish it, but she can’t take it. Although she does enjoy hunting and fishing, she seems like a total creampuff, and I doubt she’s going to get along with pretty much anybody on Yasur. She reminds me of one of my favorite nursery rhymes, which my mother used to sing to me as a wee tot. It goes something like this: “Mary had a little lamb/ And then she shot it dead/ Now it goes to school with her/ Between two hunks of bread.” If she is not the first or second one voted off of her tribe, I will be completely and totally shocked.


Eliza Orlins


For a reason that I can’t entirely put my finger on, I like Eliza a lot. I don’t know why I think that she’ll do well in that she doesn’t seem to have any particular skills or attributes that will benefit her tribe, but she does seem to be sharp as a tack and I just have a feeling that she’s going to be around for the long haul. I just get the feeling from her that she’s the type of person who can make everybody comfortable and who knows how to play a situation right. Unless she turns out to be a psycho, I’m gonna say final eight.


John Kenney


BWAAAAAHAHAHAHAAAAAA! Okay, okay, I’m calm now. Snerk. Oh, man. He is a mechanical bull operator? A mechanical bull operator? I mean... if that was my job, I’d be totally embarrassed to put that down on my application. Oh, wait a minute, it gets better- he was most recently employed as a mechanical bull operator. How splendid. Oh, and he considers himself an ARTIST, too! Wow, this just keeps getting better. I’m sorry, y’all, but I cannot for one minute take this fool seriously. Unless Lea proves to be a total idjit, I’m pegging John K. as the first one out of Lopevi. He just doesn’t bring anything to the table.


John Palyok


Oh, man, I already do not like this guy at all. At. All. I can tell just by looking at him that he is the second coming of Brian Heidik. Hopefully there will be some people around who will see through him. Reading through his bio just makes me sicker and sicker: “Palyok was recently recognized by the California Bowman Hunters’ Club for harvesting one of the 20 largest deer ever recorded in the state.” I cannot tell you how much that sentence skeeves me out. It’s bad enough that he hunts defenseless animals, but to call it “harvesting”? I just cannot like somebody who refers to the killing of an animal as “harvesting” it. Unfortunately, I’m predicting that he’s going to be the one person who I hate and who sticks around forever and a day. He’ll probably end up the provider of the tribe and appears to have the strength and drive to win later immunity challenges. He’s final four, but I don’t like that he is.


Julie Berry


Okay, now this one, I like. Of all the younger women in the series, Julie seems to be the most down-to-earth and the one who has her head screwed on right. She’s in the Peace Corps (although she obviously deferred for a few months so she could do this), she counsels kids and wants to get a masters’ in counseling. She’s very family oriented, she loves the outdoors, she’s strong and competitive and very athletic and seems to be relatively normal... how in the hell did she make it onto this cast?! I mean, shades of Gina Crews, here. I’m going to say that this one makes it to the final six. She could prove me wrong and be the craziest crazy that ever crazied, but until then, I’m glad she’s here for a breath of normalcy.


Lea Masters


You’ve got to be kidding me, right? I mean, you’ve GOT to be kidding me. I’ve said all along that the one type of person who would never make it on an all-male tribe is somebody with a drill sergeant mentality and they actually CAST a drill sergeant? Well, he’s doomed. I don’t care how long he can hold it in, eventually he’s going to start bossing people around and they will vote him out ASAP. He will probably last longer than John K, Chad and maybe even Brook, but I can’t see there being any way he’ll make the jury.


Leann Slaby


I would say something right now, except that I am totally lost in her eyes, so the only words I can get out resemble, “Flagashlabaglabaglogabloog.” I managed to scroll down past her picture and be freed from the spell of her eyes. Reading through her biography and favorites, just about everything screams “awesome” at me. She has exceptionally good taste for a reality-TV contestant; indeed, many of her favorites match up with or are very similar to my own (although that doesn’t mean jack to anybody but me.) She is one of only two women (along with Dolly the cornflake) who enjoy fishing- something that will help her and her tribe out enormously. She looks athletic, she seems like the type that would get along with everybody and she could well end up the provider for her tribe. I see nothing whatsoever in her bio that does not point to her being in the final four. Unless she’s a total raving bitch, she’s got clear sailing. But I can’t imagine somebody who’d donate a kidney to her father would be a bad guy.


Lisa Keiffer


Good grief, give me a freaking break. “She considers herself a true Cajun, thanks to the influence of her mother, who grew up on the Louisiana bayou.” Okay, number one: if you have to tell somebody that you are something? You aren’t. Second, I have heard her speaking on the Early Show and this woman is NOT a Cajun. Believe me. I’ve worked with many, many Cajuns in my time and they were all wonderful, fun people. But. They ALL had The Accent. Lisa does not have The Accent. She does not even have a trace of The Accent. Reading further... eh. Homecoming Court, Mardi Gras Queen, community theatre- if you’re 44 years old and you list your pageant days and acting experience above your children in a biography of accomplishments, I don’t think you’ve got your priorities in order. I don’t know, guys. I just get a really flighty trophy wife vibe from this one. I just can’t see a rich New Orleans realtor fitting in with the other “older” women of Yasur- both Scout and Twila are way too earthy for this one to fit in and the younger girls aren’t going to be too accepting. She’s just the odd one out on her tribe, with probably the only one she’d bond with being Dolly on the whole Bible-thumping thing. I don’t think it’s a stretch at all for her to be the very first boot.


Mia Galeotalanza


First of all, I have to say that I love her name. It’s just not every day you meet a Mia Galeotalanza. I like that she’s an animal lover and she does seem to be smart, but I’m not seeing a whole lot in her bio that implies that she makes the distance. She “enjoys grilling people to death” and describes herself as “far too inquisitive.” Yeah, that’s really a good thing to be around the campfire when everybody’s trying to get some sleep. I don’t know. It’s just a vibe I get from her, like she’s going to rub the wrong people the wrong way. I’m predicting she’ll be out in the first six votes. Like I said, I don’t think she’s got the flat-out guts it takes to stay the distance.


Rory Freeman


He works in Section 8 housing handling cases? My God, he’s probably either ready to go postal or he has the patience of a saint. I really, really like Rory, just from his bio. It seems like he’s dedicated his entire life to helping people less fortunate than himself and he’s paid a pittance for his efforts and he gets little to no respect at his job. Now THAT is somebody who is dedicated to his work. I think that his patience and his general quiet, unthreatening demeanor will serve him well on a tribe that appears to be made entirely of men with machismo leaking out of their very pores. If Rory doesn’t make the top eight, I will be very surprised, indeed, but I don’t think he’ll win- he’s just too nice to.


Scout Cloud Lee


Wow. Now this is one impressive lady. I actually have heard of Scout before this show- my sociology professor taught under her at Oklahoma State University and she frequently referenced Scout’s teachings; apparently, Scout is the stuff of legends of OSU. As to her chances in the game, I think we have another Kim Johnson on our hands, but one that’s a lot nicer and sharper as far as the game goes. As a teacher and a motivational speaker, she knows how to work a situation to her advantage, although given how she knows how to work the land, I can’t see this being much of a problem. I can easily see her bonding with Twila, Ami, Leann, Julie and maybe even Dolly and Eliza. She’s tough enough to make the merge and strong enough to hang in the background until it’s time for an immunity run. Dang, I think going into it, I want Scout to win more than anyone. I’m pegging a top four finish for her without a question and I hope and pray that she could pull off a win.


Travis Sampson


I worked retail long enough to know that “loss prevention” is a way of making “security guard” sound like a more attractive job. Travis works as a security guard for Wal-Mart. If there is a redneckier job in these United States, I don’t know what it is. (As a totally awesome sidebar, Microsoft Word actually recognizes “redneckier” as a word. I am not even kidding.) So let me get this straight: Travis is a failed wrestler, a wannabe policeman, a member of the NRA and his nickname is “Bubba”? I want to smack him upside the head already. Unfortunately for everybody, I can totally see him following the Big Tom route, playing into stereotypes and not appearing a threat, just letting them bring him along for the ride. I’m guessing final six, but I hope and pray that he’ll be out a LOT quicker than that.


Twila Tanner


Dang. Don’t let the name that’s usually reserved for children of Moonies fool you: Twila is one tough woman. How tough is she? She eats a bowl of nails for breakfast. WITHOUT MILK. In spite of the don’t-mess-with-me Ozark attitude, however, I really like Twila. I think she could easily become the Deena of Yasur, pulling the troops together and saying, “This is what needs to be done and this is how we’re going to do it.” Missourian women have traditionally done well on Survivor and I don’t think Twila will be the exception to that rule. She’ll need to be careful, because too much bossiness will result in her untimely ouster, but I think she’s smart enough to pull it together. One thing I love about her bio is that one of her favorite outdoor activities is “mushroom hunting.” Thank God for people like Twila, hunting the carnivorous, wild fungi of North America and keeping the streets safe for the rest of us. I’m gonna say that she’s either one of the last three boots before the jury or one of the first three on the jury. And who knows? Maybe she can take it all the way.


I don’t know about you guys, but this looks like a DYNAMITE cast to me and I can’t wait for the series to begin. After the dud of All-Stars, I’m ready to actually be rooting for a few people and I think this motley crew will be more than up to the challenge.


Jonathan’s final four picks: Brady Finta, John Palyok, Leann Slaby and Scout Cloud Lee.

Jonathan’s winner pick: Brady Finta


Written by Jonathan;

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Re: Local "Survivor9 Cast" Articles
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2004, 07:01:48 PM »

The new series of Survivor will divide its contestants according to tribal tradition. The show's host, Jeff Probst, told the American media that the 18 contestants would be split along gender lines.

However, in a curious nod to the setting - Vanuatu in the South Pacific - he hinted the male tribe would take a leadership role and the female tribe would follow, at least initially.

The contestants include a youth mentor, a teacher, a barista, an FBI agent, a finance manager, a real estate agent, a drill sergeant and a mechanical-bull operator. Two of the women, say their biographies, are gay, a minor detail that has whipped up a tornado in the American media. "We really enjoyed these people," Probst said. "They were really, really fun."

Survivor: Vanuatu will be the first regular edition of the franchise to feature 18 contestants, divided into two tribes: the Yasur (the women, who will wear yellow bandanas) and the Lopevi (men, in red). Past series have had only 16; the total was increased to 18 for Survivor: All Stars.

The series was filmed over the past three months in the Vanuatu islands


WSAW-TV to beef up 'Survivor' coverage

By David Paulsen
Wausau Daily Herald

WSAW-TV 7, the CBS affiliate in Wausau, is gearing up to provide extra coverage of the new season of the reality TV show "Survivor," which starts Sept. 16 and will feature a local contestant.

Leann Slaby, one of 18 contestants on the new "Survivor," is a native of Kronenwetter and a D.C. Everest High School graduate. Slaby, 35, now lives near Milwaukee and works as a research assistant for an investment firm in the city.

WSAW-TV 7 plans to follow Slaby's progress in its news broadcasts, but news director Rob Crain said the station is limited in what it can say in its reports. The station can interview Slaby's family and friends, but CBS will not allow anyone to divulge details about Slaby's success or failure on "Survivor."
Even so, Crain said it is exciting to be able to follow a local contestant on what is one of CBS' most popular shows and a ground-breaking reality TV franchise.

"We view it as a good opportunity and something that doesn't come along very often," Crain said.

Slaby, who recently divorced, is "big on adventure and thrills," according to CBS' Web site. She has worked as a model and a singer and enjoys bungee jumping, skydiving, outdoor sports and Las Vegas blackjack.

Her favorite movies include "Fargo," "Pulp Fiction" and "Meet the Parents," and her beverages of choice are vodka and cranberry, beer, pina coladas and margaritas, according to the Web site.

Slaby donated a kidney six years ago to her father, who was suffering kidney failure brought on by diabetes.

She lives with her dog in Kansasville in southeastern Wisconsin.

This is the ninth season of "Survivor," and the new contestants are competing in Vanuatu, an island nation in the South Pacific. On the show, they will participate in various challenges and then vote one contestant off the island at the end of each episode until a winner is crowned.


She’s a Survivor:
by Denise Lockwood
    The rumor has been confirmed.
    Kansasville-resident, Leann Slaby (Needles was her married name), is one of the 18 castaways to be on Survivor 9 on the Island of Vanuatu. The reality show will air at 7 p.m. Sept. 16 on CBS. The names of the castaways were revealed during the CBS Morning Show on Tuesday.
    Wait – Kansasville? Is that town even on the map? Just foolin,’ we know where Kansasville is, but does the rest of the world?
    They will soon as the nation tunes in to watch the show. Slaby, a research assistant at an investment firm in Milwaukee, must survive 39 days battling the elements. She also needs to get along with people who have names like Dolly, a sheep farmer from Pennsylvania; Twila, who is in highway repair and from Montana; and John Kenny, a mechanical bull rider from Los Angeles, California. The 18 castaways will be divided into two groups of nine pitting the men against the women.
    Slaby, 35, also sang in a band called “76 Juliet” up until she left in June telling her band members she was off to Mexico and her band’s agent she was off to Europe to film a movie. Meanwhile, the band commandeered a new lead singer and most recently sang at the Wisconsin State Fair last weekend. Her fellow band members, Dave Roembke and Tommy Riewe, say she is back in town and contacted them early this week. Still, the conversation was short and sweet, even though Riewe asked her how she did.
    “She told Tommy, ‘Gotta go, bye’ and hung up,” Roembke said.
     Contractually obligated not to share any information about the show until after she is booted off of the island, obviously mum is the word.
    Roembke and Riewe said Slaby watched Survivor all the time and would often re-schedule band practice so she wouldn’t miss an episode. According to her bio on the band’s web-site, her dislikes include: prissy foofoo people, bats, poor spelling and/or grammar and people that think college degrees make them smart. Slaby’s likes include: candles, Las Vegas, lines in the carpet a vacuum makes, cookie dough, the beach, puzzles, and lucid dreaming.         While it is doubtful Slaby will have the chance to eat cookie dough on the show, her dislikes may give Survivor watchers some insight on who she will get along with and who she may not. In a previous interview, Riewe said he felt Slaby would do very well on the show.
    “I don’t see her having problems with that (the elements, eating bugs, getting along with people), as long as she didn’t encounter thunderstorms, she’s not really into them,” he said.
    Erika Strickmaker, Slaby’s modeling agent for a firm based in Chicago for the last 18 months, described her as “a pretty tough broad, she has to be because this is a pretty cut throat business. There’s a lot of rejection…. But she is one of our favorites here. She is truly stunning and has always gotten a lot of work here. I suspect this will definitely skyrocket her career.”
    And while some may describe her as a no nonsense kind of person who is known for being a straight shooter, she also has heart as she gave her father on of her kidneys. Some of her philosophies are: “Right lane fast, left lane slow; crying is good; and dogs are better friends than most people, so be nice to them.”
    If her bio is any indication of what her personality is like, it should be an interesting show. This is the tenth survivor show including the All Star show.

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Re: Local "Survivor9 Cast" Articles
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2004, 02:50:24 PM »
From MSN

'Survivor' Heads Into Season 9

See 'Survivor: Vanuatu' photo gallery

The Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Reality TV is getting old. "Survivor" will head into its ninth season on Sept. 16 with a two-hour premiere (8 p.m. ET), according to CBS. The new edition, "Survivor: Vanuatu — Islands of Fire," takes place in a nation of over 80 volcano-dotted islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean.

Eighteen castaways will compete in separate tribes of men versus women. The participants include an FBI agent, a drill sergeant named Sarge, a Pennsylvania sheep farmer and a mechanical bull operator from Los Angeles.

The oldest competitor is Scout Cloud Lee, a 59-year-old rancher from Oklahoma. Contestants will compete for a $1 million prize and the title of "Ultimate Survivor."

The battle of the sexes also was the beginning structure of "Survivor: The Amazon," but was altered in midseason. CBS Publicist Chris Ender says nothing is set in stone this time around, either.

"In true Mark Burnett (the show's producer) style, there will be some twists and turns throughout the season," Ender told The Associated Press Tuesday.

The Yasur tribe members include:  Julie Berry, 23, a youth mentor from Gorham, ME; Ami Cusack, 31, barista and model from Lakewood, CO; Mia Galeotalanza, 30, finance manager, Tom's River, N. J.; Lisa Keiffer, 44, real estate agent, from New Orleans; Scout Cloud Lee, 59, rancher, Stillwater, OK; Leann Slaby, 35, research assistant, Kansasville, WI; Dolly Neely, 25, sheep farmer, Mercer, PA; and Twila Tanner, 41, highway repair person, Marshall, MO.

The Lopevi tribe comprises: Chad Crittenden, 35, a teacher from Oakland, CA; Chris Daugherty, 34, highway construction, from South Vienna, OH; Brady Finta, 33, FBI agent, Huntington Beach, CA; Rory Freeman, 35, housing case manager, Des Moines, IA; Brook Geraghty, 27, project manager, Winthrop, MA; John Kenny, 22, mechanical bull operator and model, Los Angeles; Lea "Sarge" Masters, 40, drill sergeant, Columbia, S. C.; John Palyok, 31, Home Depot sales manager, Los Angeles; and Travis "Bubba" Sampson, 33, loss prevention, Blountville, TN.

Vanuatu is home to more than 100 languages and a tribal and ritualistic culture still in existence on many of its islands.

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Some Ami Gossip
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2004, 02:37:53 PM »
Some Ami Gossip
PSST...: Another day, another reality-TV contestant with a "secret" past.
Turns out, Survivor: Vanuatu's Ami Cusack is the ultimate heterosexual male
fantasy. The 31-year-old is not only a lesbian, she's also a former Playboy
pinup. Back in 1996, she posed nude for the lad mag, which billed her "the
perfect Venus guy trap." So much for truth in advertising.

{If I get some time I'll ask my boyfriend to dig this up for me..he keeps all his Playboy mags for the articles
 :)* }

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Re: Local "Survivor9 Cast" Articles
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2004, 04:41:38 PM »
We found Ami's pictures..they are posted in the BB5 Nude Board if anyone is interested..

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Re: Local "Survivor9 Cast" Articles
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2004, 12:08:05 PM »
Another Article about Ami~

CONFLICT OF, UH, INTEREST? "Survivor" contestant Ami Cusack is giving 'em plenty to talk about. Not only did she once appear nude in Playboy magazine, she's presenting herself as one of the show's first "out" lesbians.

CBS knows a hyping point when it stumbles onto one. To quote its release: "When CBS announced the new 'Survivor: Vanuatu, Islands of Fire' lineup a few weeks ago, several of the contestants caused a stir, including 31-year-old Ami Cusack - one of the show's first 'out' lesbians. While the plucky Cusack may be a newcomer to the Ring of Fire - she's no stranger to the bikini.

"In 1996, the Denver barista modeled swimsuits for Venus swimwear and was featured in a nude Playboy magazine pictorial."'+has+new+controversy

Offline WENDY

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Re: Local "Survivor9 Cast" Articles
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2004, 04:35:12 PM »
They just can't seem to get enough of us PA girls... Makes the odds of me getting on the show even better.  :)()
Wendy Jean


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Re: Local "Survivor9 Cast" Articles
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2004, 07:55:54 PM »
Maybe you should take up Sheep Herding Wendy  :)* Wendy..I promise to let you know if
I read anything about Survivor 11  :)_{} Pa. peeps need you to represent us  ^:)^

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Re: Local "Survivor9 Cast" Articles
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2004, 01:12:14 PM »
Thanks Puddin... just say the word, and I'm there
Wendy Jean


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Re: Local "Survivor9 Cast" Articles
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2004, 01:16:58 PM »
Whatcha up to Wendella  (#) ?

Offline WENDY

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Re: Local "Survivor9 Cast" Articles
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2004, 01:21:54 PM »
Trying to keep from cleaning my house...  :)*
Wendy Jean


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Re: Local "Survivor9 Cast" Articles
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2004, 01:37:31 PM »
Hows the weather there WEndy? I heard the Pittsbugh was hit pretty hard ? Everything ok?
  Puddin suggest's that you skip cleaning the house today , go outside a roll around in the leaves ..yippee..its a gorgeous Fall day here in the pocono's  :)_|

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Re: Local "Survivor9 Cast" Articles
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2004, 01:52:52 PM »
It's actually a little cold out.. The whole "fall" thing hasn't hit me yet... I refuse to shut my windowns at night and I think that is how I got sick... People are still cleaning up from the storms..
Wendy Jean


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Brady and Fiancé Survive "Survivor"
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2004, 11:39:08 PM »
Surviving Survivor
It just so happens that Bronwen, the adorable Aussie redhead in the casting department here at WOW is affianced to Brady, the superhot superhunk contestant on CBS's top-rated reality adventure series, Survivor, which begins this Thursday at 8PM. She's sworn to secrecy, actually under contract not to reveal what she knows, but we've cajoled her into telling us everything the law allows about her man and life with a survivor as his survival plays out on TV. [After Ed. read the first two paragraphs of Bronwen's journal below, he wanted to marry Brady himself.]

Brady and I met in Australia at a wedding (very cheesy). He was best man; I was bridesmaid (even worse). We enjoyed huge phone bills and great reunions for three years and he recently asked me to marry him. He works as an agent for the FBI. Believe it or not, he loves his job. He wants to get all the bad guys off the street before we have kids. Watch out JSJ!

Brady is a freak. He loves hard stuff. Running marathons, climbing ropes, training in the desert for days with no shower and minimal food. When he told me he wanted to try out for Survivor I laughed. I knew it would come sooner or later; he hadn’t done anything wild in a while. Brady had never watched an episode of Survivor and had no clue about the alliances and foul play involved in winning. He just thought it would be “fun.” He thinks punishing your body both physically and mentally is fun. Freak show! However, he is gorgeous, flirty, smart, and not scared of much, so of course he got the job.

When I first found out Brady was going to be abandoning me in scary LA I freaked out. I pictured him cuddling up to super skinny supermodels then scrubbing their backs in a swamp the next morning. I soon relaxed and thought there'd be no way the FBI would let him go. Wrong! To his credit, his superiors believed he would be a great representative and they would trust him to "do them proud." What if he gets booted on the first night? Will they kill him? Then, before I knew it I was dropping him off at a hotel in LA and he was on his way to gorgeous Vanuatu.

No contact for two months.

Picking him up at the airport was nerve-wracking, worse then ever before. I noticed what looked like a hicky on his neck. But it was simply the result of his having just received Chinese cupping therapy all over his back. Whew! Then I got to check out the "island’ girls" as they deplaned. They were gorgeous, all I could do was hope that island life had rendered them stinky and hairy.

He definitely looked different. The island had changed him. In the month that he's been home I've found out just how much. He's not so black-and-white, so practical; he's more bohemian somehow. I’m sure it will fade as he heads back to trials, arrests, and FBI life. I’ll let you know.

A week after he arrived home they announced the cast to the public. Our phone didn’t stop ringing. Survivors can’t talk to press until they have been voted off, so we gave out numbers of friends and family to answer questions. I came home from a fabulous day at World of Wonder to find a neighbor standing by the gate. She told me reporters had been looking through our windows and asking questions: Do they party a lot? Do you ever hear them fighting? Is Brady really in the FBI?

When I Googled Brady's name – for fun – I found several sites, chat rooms, fan clubs, all dedicated to my guy. A little daunting, but still worth a giggle. I'll write more about what we call "our little adventure" after Thursday's premiere on CBS. I can’t wait to watch. I know the chat rooms may go crazy and girls will claim they had his baby in '96, but we're ready. We will survive Survivor