Archive for Survivor:China

Lunch Lady Denise: Survivor Liar?

Contestants on “Survivor” have been known to stretch the truth a tad in their quest, and there is no question quite a few unsavories have emerged, from the currently incarcerated Richard Hatch (tax evasion) to Jonny “My grandmother died” Fairplay.

But Lunch Lady Denise?

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Lunch Lady Liar?

Fans of the show watched Sunday’s high rated finale had nothing but sympathy for Denise when she had to endure hearing Courtney wonder on the show why Denise deserved anything just because she “sucked at life” and was poor.

Then on the live show, a teary Denise told everyone how horrible the school district behaved when she returned to work and was demoted from lunch lady to janitor. It was all because her presence was “too disruptive” to the students, who saw her as a TV star. So she was shuffled off to clean toilets and barf in obscurity.

A little bell went off in my brain, because I know janitors make more money than lunch ladies, so didn’t she get a promotion? Turns out Denise may have been a little less than honest about the whole deal. CBS’ “Early Show” host Julie Chen grilled Denise and school superintendent Nancy Lane, who says Denise fibbed.

Here’s the release from the school:

Press Release: Mrs. Denise Martin
December 17, 2007
Douglas Public Schools

On the “Survivor China” television program that aired on December 16, 2007, Mrs. Denise Martin, an employee of the Douglas Public Schools, stated that she was demoted from her position as a cafeteria worker upon her return from taping the show. This statement is false. In fact, Mrs. Martin held a full-time position as a custodian prior to her participation in the series, and she returned to this same position upon her return from China. Mrs. Martin was granted – at her request – an unpaid leave of absence so that she could participate in the “Survivor” program. We were pleased and excited to support Denise, and have enthusiastically cheered her on throughout the duration of the show.

Although Mrs. Martin was a cafeteria employee prior to her selection as a contestant, she asked to be considered for a promotion to full-time custodian, and was promoted to this position on March 30, 2007. This promotion came with additional benefits and a higher salary. Following her leave, she then returned to this same position.

Regretfully, the Douglas Public School District was inaccurately portrayed as failing to be accommodating to an employee during what the District viewed as a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity. This is far from the case. On the contrary, we granted all requests made by Mrs. Martin so that she could participate in the “Survivor” series. Since Mrs. Martin was on an approved leave, her position was held open for her, and she returned to this same position upon her return from China. As a District, we make every effort to support our employees, and will continue to do so.

Nancy T. Lane
Superintendent of Schools

Denise, Denise. Now you’re $50,000 richer because “Survivor” creator/producer Mark Burnett decided to dip into his deep pockets to make you feel better. He can well afford it, but can you afford to go back and face those people in Douglas after this?

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And the Survivor winner is…

Whoa, not so quick. First, our snappy recap of “Survivor:China” finale.

Amanda won the reward challenge, but of course on Survivor it’s never that easy. She had to choose either one, or two, other people to share pizza, beer and brownies with her. If she chose no one, she would have appeared to be fair with all of her alliance. But she also would have come across as selfish.

She kept the Courtney warning in mind: “An angry Todd is a bad Todd.” Best to keep him satisfied, so she chose the schemer – who wouldn’t have a chance to smack talk her while she was eating without the other three.

And she wisely decided not to choose between Denise or Courtney, because to take one would have tipped her hand.

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Denise Martin, Todd Herzog, Courtney Yates and Amanda Kimmel during the Reward Challenge “Great Wall” & Reward of Pizza, Beer, Cola, Brownies during tonight’s finale episode of “Survivor: China” Photo: Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS

As Courtney says, “Todd’s a slippery little sucker.” Todd’s been able to weasel his way into more food by getting chosen to go on rewards won by others because no one wants him hanging around camp plotting against him.

He’s played a good game. But now he’s scared about Court, Denise and Amanda going all “girl power” on him. Game on.

After the traditional walk down memory lane, where the torches were lit and firecrackers popped to celebrate the fallen Survivors, it was time to move on to tribal council. It didn’t look good for Todd. Would he once again slip-slide out of getting the boot?

Todd was the first out of the immunity challenge. Each had to stack china on a small platform while holding firm with one hand. Second out was waitress Courtney. Denise desperately tried to strike a deal with Amanda: She would drop out if Amanda promised not to vote her out.

Amanda said no deal. Perhaps Denise knew she was faltering, or maybe her deal-making made her lose concentration. In any case, Denise dropped her dishes and Amanda was guaranteed a top three spot and a chance to plead her case in front of the jury.

It looked like Denise might just pull out a top-three finish as she worked Amanda, and Amanda in turn tried to work Courtney, all against Todd. In the end, we knew Courtney would never turn on snark-buddy Todd. There seemed to be a small chance Amanda would force a tie between Todd and Denise, but it was not to be.

We think Denise shot herself in the foot by saying because she had two children that might influence a jury. And she put Amanda on the spot by saying that Amanda told her she had Denise’s back. But it was Todd’s little oh-she-burned-you look that made Amanda look like a jerk.

In the end, a three to one vote shoved Denise into the jury box and out of the running for a top-three slot.

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Denise only gets into the final four, out of the three. She returned home only to lose her job as the lunch lady and now works as a janitor. Mark Burnett decided on the live show to give her $50,000 to help get her life back on track.

Going into the final confrontation with the jury, I felt that Todd played it best, with Courtney coming in a surprising second. I almost thought I might want to vote for her since she was the snotty kid who at least played the most honest game of the three.

But in the end, it was the guy who studied the game, and watched it since he was a 14-year-old in Utah. Todd, you deserved it. You just need to get that snark in check.

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Todd wins “Survivor: China”Photo: Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS

Do you agree with Jeff Probst that the biggest blunder was James not playing the Immunity Idol? Or was it Denice not going with Erik and Peih-Gee?

And for qodrn, who thought I got laid off and that I spend too much time talking “Survivor”, I’m still working for the paper, just working online instead of in print. And just think, with the end of Survivor tonight you’ll get a reprieve just in time for American Idol.

You would need a search and rescue team to find the link on this site to get my blog delivered to you free through an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed, so just click here.

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“Survivor” brats Todd & Court win again

Right off the bat tonight, Courtney won the challenge…for Denise.

The reward challenge had the Survivors taking an ancient contraption that shot arrows at a target. Todd, who always thinks he’s better than anyone else, actually was better than anyone else. He zipped the most arrows into his name cards on the target.

Denise only hit two, but then Court started shooting her arrows into Denise and Todd’s names, eventually putting Denise over the top for the win.

What is it about the Great Wall of China? CBS’ sibling net the CW sent “America’s Next Top Model” there too. I’m thinking they shared camera crews and saved a few sheckles.

Anyway, Denise ended up taking Todd and Courtney on the reward, leaving Amanda and Peih-Gee back at camp. I honestly thought Peih-Gee had swayed Amanda into her camp, but I should have known better. This group of Survivors are staying the course all the way down the line, and it paid off for them.

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Peih-Gee Law, Todd Herzog, Courtney Yates, and Amanda Kimmel during the Immunity Challenge

In the immunity challenge, which brought together different elements from past challenges including eating that big old dead bird fetus, Amanda came out victorious with Peih-Gee a close second. While an Amanda-Denise-Peih-Gee final would have been sweet, the truth is that both Denise and Amanda know they could win up against either Todd or Courtney and they couldn’t take the chance of losing those two losers.

And that’s what makes me ticked about “Survivor” these days. People who don’t deserve to make it into the final four always do. Courtney has done nothing to deserve getting this far, and she’s a nasty little witch to boot.

I actually liked Todd in the beginning because he came across as a savvy player. Now, he’s just an arrogant jerk. Even Courtney treads lightly around him, saying “An angry Todd is a bad Todd.”

So on Sunday, we’ll go live blogging. I hope you’ll join me as we weigh in on the finale. I think I’m pulling for Denise, if only because her family needs the money the most.

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“Survivor: China” Peih-Gee top Swamp Monkey

Unless Peih-Gee continues to win immunity, she’s out next week. And yes, I know the challenge was Swamp Donkeys, but it looked more like Swamp Monkeys to me.

Moving on. The one shot at upset came when Lunch Lady Denise thought about defecting from her Todd-Amanda-Courtney alliance to hook up with Erik and Peih-Gee. Saying that this vote was probably the biggest mistake she’ll make in “Survivor,” Lunch Lady sealed her fate by voting for Erik.

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Erik was cute, but not a million bucks cute. Amanda stuck to the alliance and voted off her sugar baby. Photo: Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS

Chances are slight that she’ll be able to win an immunity challenge, so expect next Sunday’s finale to finish up with the trio of Todd-Amanda-Courtney in the final three. Of course, we’ve been wrong before. But I think that the trio knows that each one has an equal chance of winning against each other when they go up against the jury.

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Denise Martin, Amanda Kimmel, Courtney Yates, Todd Herzog, Peih-Gee Law and Erik Huffman during the Immunity Challenge – “Swamp Donkeys”

Peih-Gee won immunity in the Swamp Donkeys challenge in which the Survivors had to go over an obstacle course that included slogging through a mud swamp. They raced down to one end, answered a question that would give them the correct key, then went back to open a box. There were three questions, three keys and if you missed the question and got the wrong key, you had to go back and get the right one.

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Todd and Court doing the course

Todd looked like he was the winner until he grabbed the wrong key in the last leg, giving Peih-Gee the win. It was a win that guaranteed Peih-Gee would make it into the top five.

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Can Peih-Gee win enough immunities to make it into the final three?

The reward challenge this week was a game of blind man’s bluff, with the six finalists getting a visit from their loved ones to help them compete. There wasn’t much gleaned by these encounters, except that Amanda and her sister have some weird bird-call deal going on that bordered on mental torture for the other competitors. And that Courtney’s dad seems to embody the stereotype of a stuffy Brit.

“He’s British,” explained Courtney after she commented that she thought he’d be wearing a suit, and certainly would never wear shorts.

The other Survivors thought Todd was pulling a Jonny Fairplay move when his sister arrived and told him that their younger sibling suffered a miscarriage in her teen pregnancy. Fairplay punked his fellow Survivors during a similar deal when his friend told him that his grandmother had died. The sympathy ploy worked for Fairplay, but made Todd the object of mistrust. Todd insists that it’s true, not a game move. But you never know about this play-ah.

Courtney once again solidified my opinion that she’s the least worthy of the group when she made a comment about how when Jonny said his grandmother died, “it was kind of funny.” But if Todd’s making up the miscarriage, then that’s really sick.

I’d still like to see Courtney get the boot, but apparently there will be no early Santa present for me.

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Survivor:China Backstabbing

Oh, yeah. Time to let the dogs out.

When Peih-Gee won the challenge to go to the Shaolin Temple, she picked Hunky Eric and Lunch Lady Denise to come along. Turns out Denise has some wicked karate moves, which she shared with the people at the Kung-Fu temple. Very cool.

But without the three, the remaining Survivors back in camp could plot like MacBeth witches around a cauldron.

The surprise came when Amanda told the camera that she didn’t see herself being in the final four with any of these hound dogs. And who could blame her? Machiavellian Todd, ripped James and skinny mini Courtney.

Please snuff out Courtney. Please snuff out Courtney.

Of course, it’s too soon for that to happen. Too soon strategy wise, never too soon for me.

Why do I dislike Courtney in this game? Because she’s an idiot, and an annoying idiot to boot. Case in point: Before the challenge, both she and Amanda plotted to get James out if he didn’t get immunity. Of course, James could still use one of the two immunity idols he already possesses. But everyone figures he won’t do that because he’s still feeling secure.

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Jeff Probst (left) watches as the survivors (l-r) Amanda Kimmel, James Clement ,Courtney Yates, Erik Huffman, Todd Herzog and Peih-Gee Law prepare for the Immunity Challenge

But at the challenge, Courtney insisted on giving the wink-wink, nod-nod to Amanda all through the challenge, which James ultimately lost. If he had even a smidgeon of observational skills, he would have noticed the scheming taking place and used one of the idols at Tribal Council.

But he didn’t.

Todd took the biggest risk tonight, because if James had been canny enough to use the idol, then Todd would have been snuffed for sure. And he knew it. Still, he’s enough of a gamesman to risk it, and the risk paid off handsomely.

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Todd, you are the ultimate player

Actually, it was amazing strategy on the part of Todd, Amanda, Courtney and Denise. They got rid of possibly the strongest player in the game AND both of the immunity idols. James just trusted too much. He should have known people were gunning for him.

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James, you shoulda played the idol.

You can check out James’ final words on the Survivor site.

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“Survivor: China” Gambler cashes out

James, you sly dog.

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James

At first, I thought Todd was the guy to beat. But James, you’ve got some serious game. You’ve already snagged both immunity idols and when it came to tonight’s showdown, you showed gambler Jean-Robert how to hold your cards.

I was sure you’d play the immunity idol, which would have been a win-win for the other tribe members. If you played the immunity idol, they would have gotten one idol out of play and the obnoxious J-R would have been out.

And I think I noticed a little fear factor in your face when at one point, you thought you might have overplayed your hand.

We ponder so many mysteries of the universe in this episode. Why do people still trust Todd? And why, oh, why is Courtney chosen for challenges. She’s got neither strength nor brains.

In tonight’s challenge, teams had to try and pour enough water into little boats to sink ‘em. Of course, they put the lightest teammember in the boat so that it would take more water. Peih-Gee, Frosti, Erik, Courtney went up against Jean-Robert, James, Todd and Amanda.

Courtney not only failed to bail, she also kept her boat right next to the bucket brigade.

Todd bailed like a pro, and even Amanda stayed out of the way of buckets of water. But Frosti and Courtney ended up in the soup.

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Todd and Courtney

Courtney couldn’t figure out how to stay away from the competition’s bucket brigade as she quickly got sunk in her boat. And in round two, she could barely pick the bucket up to bail water into the competition’s boat.

Then Courtney won the tailor-made challenge: Sitting quietly on a suspended barrel with no movement.

“I am lazy,” she proudly proclaimed. Finally, a challenge you can win. All you have to do is sit there and do nothing.

With J-R gone, James has a big target on his back. How will he play this one out?

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Goofy Jean-Robert is out

So who’s next?

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Survivor: Anorexia

What’s more painful that watching Jean-Robert tear off his drawers in a challenge?

Seeing emaciated Courtney walking around the jungle like a skeleton. She didn’t have much meat on her to begin with, but she’s gotten even worse as the show has progressed. But she’s getting our vote for the next one booted out of Fei Long.

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Todd Herzog and Courtney Yates, of the Fei Long tribe, during the SURVIVOR: CHINA, Thursday, Oct. 11

Out pick for next out in Zhan Hu is Sherea “I’m saving myself for the challenges” Lloyd. The fourth grade teacher hasn’t exactly been a whiz at the challenges, and unless she picks up the pace, she’s going to get her torch snuffed.

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Miss Attitude herself, Sherea Lloyd

Next week, Jaime and Erik admit to a mutual attraction as a romance blossoms. A tribal switch leads to chaos, tears, fears and cracks in former alliances.

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Erik and Jaime sneak a moment

And if you missed the CBS video of “Survivor:China” base camp:

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Survivor, Sleaze Edition?

Mud wrestling with half naked men and women, but mostly women, in the reward challenge tonight.

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Ashley Massaro, Erik Huffman, Sherea Lloyd and Dave Cruser, during the reward challenge,”Chinese Checkers.” Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS

In fact, make that bare-breasted women. Amanda, who lost her top, got it right when she said, “My mom is going to kill me!.”

Before going on, I’d like to make a shameless plug for my vodcast on the breast issue on SueTube.

Moving on, we had the first alliance formed on the Fei Long clan with Amanda, Aaron and Todd. Todd seems to be getting the vote of confidence in the tribe.

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Amanda Kimmel, Todd Herzog and Aaron Reisberger team up. Monty Brinton/CBS

After Leslie got the clue from “kidnapped” Jamie about where to find the immunity idol, she immediately told Todd so he would help her.

How can these people trust the Todd???

But perhaps the best quote of the night was when lazy snore-boy Jean-Robert explained that he may not do much physical work, but “I contribute with my mind.”

Oh, and I kissed my five bucks good-bye tonight when Ashleygot tossed.

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Ashley Massaro just couldn’t stop feuding with Dave, and it got her booted.

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Hooked on Survivor – Again

Darn you office pool!

This is the first season in a while where there were no locals in the mix, so for a brief moment I thought perhaps I’d simplify the recording process and mark it off an already swamped Thursday.

(“Ugly Betty” back next week, with “My Name is Earl” and “30 Rock”).

Then Ann Tatko Peterson walked by with the office pool and I was hooked again. I remember telling her, “Just don’t let me pick Chicken.”

I didn’t. I got Ashley. Which almost looked like my 5 bucks was going to be sailing right out the door after the WWE wrestler got sick and couldn’t perform. Even Ash thought she was a goner at tribal council. But in the end, Chicken and his passive-aggressive style got him booted out.

My girl Ashley:
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ASHLEY MASSARO, 28 of East Northport, N.Y.
Professional WWE Wrestler

This is the 15th installment of “Survivor.”

“Survivor: China” began not on an island, but in urban Shanghai before moving to HuangPu Mountain’s Mi Tuo Temple for a Buddhist ceremony where they were instructed to leave all of their worldly possessions behind.

The castaways were then be marooned with the clothes on their back at two separate islands on Zhelin Lake (translation: the Land of 1,000 Lakes) located in the Jiangxi Province.

They split into two tribes, Fei Long (translation: Flying Dragon) and Zhan Hu (translation: Fighting Tiger), and given a copy of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War for tribe motivation and assistance throughout the game.

This time there will be a not-so-Hidden Immunity Idol which may save someone from elimination at a future Tribal Council. The idols will be in plain sight, although the castaways won’t realize it at first.

Each week, the winning tribe of the Reward Challenge will be allowed to kidnap someone from the losing tribe. The person who is kidnapped will receive a note from host Jeff Probst before departing for the enemy camp and will be instructed to give it to one member of the enemy tribe (the kidnapped victim will decide who receives it) in private.

The clue will inform this person of the Hidden Immunity Idol located somewhere at their camp. This person must then decide if they wish to share the information with their tribe or keep it to themselves. The kidnapped victim will return to their original tribe at the following Immunity Challenge.

Chicken Out:

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CHICKEN MORRIS, 47 Marion, Va.
Chicken farmer

For pictures of all the “Survivor” competitors, search “Survivor” on the blog for the June entry.

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“Survivor: China”

There’s a chicken farmer, a school lunch lady and even a professional poker play, but for once there isn’t a single “Survivor” castaway from the Bay Area.

CBS announced today the 16 new castaways who will compete in “Survivor: China” when the 15th installment premieres Thursday, Sept. 20 on CBS-Channel 5.

“Survivor: China” begins not on an island, but in urban Shanghai before moving to HuangPu Mountain’s Mi Tuo Temple for a Buddhist ceremony where they will be instructed to leave all of their worldly possessions behind.

The castaways will then be marooned with the clothes on their back at two separate islands on Zhelin Lake (translation: the Land of 1,000 Lakes) located in the Jiangxi Province. They will split into two tribes, Fei Long (translation: Flying Dragon) and Zhan Hu (translation: Fighting Tiger), and will each be given a copy of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War for tribe motivation and assistance throughout the game.

This time there will be a not-so-Hidden Immunity Idol which may save someone from elimination at a future Tribal Council. The idols will be in plain sight, although the castaways won’t realize it at first.

Each week, the winning tribe of the Reward Challenge will be allowed to kidnap someone from the losing tribe. The person who is kidnapped will receive a note from host Jeff Probst before departing for the enemy camp and will be instructed to give it to one member of the enemy tribe (the kidnapped victim will decide who receives it) in private.

The clue will inform this person of the Hidden Immunity Idol located somewhere at their camp. This person must then decide if they wish to share the information with their tribe or keep it to themselves. The kidnapped victim will return to their original tribe at the following Immunity Challenge.

The castaways are:

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JEAN-ROBERT BELLANDE

36

Las Vegas (originally from Long Island, N.Y.)

Professional Poker Player

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JAMES CLEMENT

30

Lafayette, La.

Grave Digger

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DAVE CRUSER

37

Simi Valley, Calif.

Former Model

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JAIME DUGAN

22

Columbia, S.C. (originally from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)

Student

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TODD HERZOG

22

Pleasant Grove, Utah

Flight Attendant

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ERIK HUFFMAN

26

Nashville, Tenn. (originally from Greenville, S.C.)

Musician

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AMANDA KIMMEL

23

Los Angeles (originally from Kalispell, Mont.)

Hiking Guide

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PEIH-GEE LAW

29

Marina Del Rey, Calif. (born in Hong Kong)

Jeweler

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SHEREA LLOYD

26

Atlanta (originally from Pontiac, Mich.)

Elementary Teacher

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DENISE MARTIN

40

Douglas, Mass. (originally from Revere, Mass.)

School Lunch Lady

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ASHLEY MASSARO

28

East Northport, N.Y.

Professional WWE Wrestler

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CHICKEN MORRIS

47

Marion, Va.

Chicken Farmer

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LESLIE NEASE

38

Tega Cay, S.C.

Christian Radio Talk Show Host

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AARON REISBERGER

32

Venice, Calif. (originally from Belmont County, Ohio)

Surfing Instructor

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COURTNEY YATES

26

New York City (originally from Boston)

Waitress

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FROSTI ZERNOW

20

Chicago (originally from Traverse City, Mich.)

Parkour Athlete/Student

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