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Survivor's Lindsey Discusses Fame, Fortune, and the AIDS Benefitby Peggy Keller -- 07/10/2002
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On January 24th, The 16 cast members from Survivor: Africa were flown into Dallas, where they were driven in limousines to their hotels and delivered by stretch Hummers to a strip of bars where security ropes were set up holding back hundreds of eager fans, some of whom had been waiting since 11 am to get a glimpse of their favorite Survivor. They came in for a charity event, what they thought would be a pleasant little fundraiser to raise money for the Dallas AIDS Resource Center and the Walt Whitman Alternative school.
Shocked by this reception, the Survivors had a nice taste of what fame was. This had never happened for anything involved with CBS before. The company that owned the strip of bars in Gay ol' Dallas, had sprung for royal treatment of these players.
Unfortunately, it looks like the fifteen minutes are nearly up before they even begin for most of these Survivor cast members. Playboy had inquired about having five of the Survivor girls – those under fifty – pose for them, but when those fifteen minutes started to slip, Playboy withdrew their offer and chose just one of this season’s Survivors, and one from Survivor: Marquesas. However, because of personal reasons, it looks like that will be turned down by the S3 spokes- or should we say strips-person, Kim Powers.
I had the chance to talk once again with Lindsey Richter from Survivor: Africa about what has been happening to the cast since the finale episode aired (click here for the first interview with Lindsey). Lindsey is a realist, she knows what is going on and she knows that once Survivor: Marquesas begins, her cast will quickly go stale in viewers’ minds, like the previous two casts.
It is not something any of the 16 cast members want. None of them are happy to go back to reality yet, even the ones who say they don't care about the fame. It's easy money, $2500 per appearance. Stretch Humvees, fans paying $800 to kiss you and lining up to get your autograph. The ringing phone may be annoying, but it also keeps you in the public's eye for another day or so. And as long as you are in the public's eye, you have a chance to make money by simply being adored.
At the Thockmorten Mining Company in Dallas, things had changed for the Survivors. No longer did they have to be "on" for CBS. No longer did they have to be nice to each other just to last three more days. Everyone relaxed, even Frank, who did not seem at all fazed when Silas had to kiss another man – mind you, for $800 to charity. The cast had a real chance to relax and bond – more, Lindsey says, than they did in Africa or afterwards. It was all over, all downhill from here.
Kelly apologized to Lindsey for going on a popular morning radio show and repeating a rumor as a fact – Kelly also admitted she will do anything that keeps her on TV. Kelly has the bug and is moving to L.A. with Clarence and Kim P. in a short while to pursue whatever they can pursue.
Lindsey does not think an acting career will be the most direct route to fame. Anytime anyone sees Silas on a soap opera, they will probably think, “Hey, that's that guy from Survivor -- the cheese ball.”
She is more inclined to think it will help you do what you were already doing – If you are an athlete like she is, you might get a cover story on a magazine like, say, Hooked On Outdoors, with your producer.
Or if you are a bartender, people might be more willing to come to your bar. It is not likely to make you someone you are not.
Silas in not having too much luck, even with that beautiful face, getting jobs in Hollywood. But he is getting auditions.
Frank has gone back to the phone company, Tom and Carl both own their own businesses and have returned, or will return shortly to that. Diane is back delivering mail, Linda is counseling kids at Harvard (Help! Do I go into corporate law or private practice??). Teresa is flying again.
The others – Ethan, Lex, Jessie, Lindsey, Kelly, Kim Powers, Silas, Brandon, and Clarence – all remain on the hunt for something golden. None of the cast members that Lindsey has spoken with will reject further appearance work, even those that have steady jobs.
The five younger Survivor girls – Kelly, Kim, Teresa, Lindsey, and Jessie – are considering putting a swimsuit-type calendar out.
Kim Powers is pursuing speaking engagements.
Lex's band Lucky Dog just released a CD and Lex has sponsored a charity event in Santa Cruz where his band played and raised ten thousand dollars for AIDS projects.
Lindsey is racing again; the season starts this weekend where she will participate in the Mudlow in Portland.
A song has been recorded about Tom Buchanan, but Mountain Dew has still not called him to be their spokesman – those fools.
The Survivors, while living a life of hardship and going without in Africa, really do not have it much better since they came back.
According to Lindsey, The final monies were doled out and they broke down something like this:
Although not all of the figures may be accurate, many of the Survivors have made public what they earned – Diane, Jessie, Kim Powers, and Lex all told Lindsey what they made. Ethan and Kim Powers are obviously well-publicized.
In addition, the Survivor reunion show also made them $10,000 each. All that before taxes, of course.
Lindsey has so far managed to make enough on appearances to keep her afloat, but she expects that to dwindle soon, so she is heavily pursuing other, more interesting and more profitable avenues.
While hot on the trail of the Sports Department in the big Hollywood store, she is taking an extended trip to Idaho, where she hopes to volunteer for the Humane Society fostering dogs.
And soon Survivor: Marquesas will begin, where lush scenery and no provisions are bound to keep the show interesting. Lindsey has agreed to keep in touch and add her own opinion as guest correspondence during the new series. CBS will announce the new players on February 6.
Peggy Keller is Mother and Behavior Therapist to her two autistic sons and teenage daughter.
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