'Survivor' not for everyone

August 19, 2000

'Survivor' not for everyone

By ANDREW SCHOTZ / Staff Writer

Care to spend 39 days on a tropical island with 15 strangers and no modern conveniences?

No thanks, said the majority of Tri-State residents polled last week about the TV show "Survivor."

Not even for a million dollars.

Nancy Williams, 37, of Gerrardstown, W.Va., said she wouldn't stay on the island, money or no money.

"I'm a Christian, and my faith in God is what motivates me," she said.

"I'm pretty conservative," said Jim Smith, 55, of Smithsburg. "At my age, you've got to be."

Still, he said, $1 million would get him to parachute from an airplane, against his fear of heights, or dive into water, despite almost drowning near Harpers Ferry, W.Va., when he was 9 years old.

Donald Koppenhaver, 56, of Greencastle, Pa., said the TV show seems too "staged" and he probably wouldn't be interested in taking part.


Besides, he said, a great deal of money could become a burden.

"As far as having a million dollars," he said, "it would probably cause more problems than living a normal, comfortable life."

Darian Falcone, 19, of Greencastle, said he'd be more inclined to be a contestant on another CBS "reality" show, "Big Brother," on which a group of people are confined to a house filled with TV cameras. On the "Survivor" island, he'd be worried about unfamiliar wildlife, he said.

Falcone said there is probably something difficult that he would do for $1 million - something "not too extreme" - but he's not sure what it is.

"It depends what they're paying you to do," said Jesse Willson, 17, of Greencastle, who said he'd live on the island because he's more of an outdoorsman than Falcone.

No amount of money would make Patricia Steele, 55, of Keedysville, Md., live on the island, or do anything else. She said money can motivate her, but "not that kind of way."

Beth Carnell, 21, of Hagerstown, has also ruled out being in the "Survivor" competition. Asked what she would do for $1 million, she replied, "Maybe give up TV."

She added that she would also overcome her fear of heights to go bungee jumping if that much money were offered.

"I wouldn't mind being on a deserted island for weeks," said Kitty Silva, 42, of Martinsburg. "But not with ... people. You don't really know the people until you live with them."

"No way. I don't even like to camp," said Rosa Clark, 50, of Martinsburg. "I like the modern conveniences. I just wouldn't do that."

It's "mainly snakes and those other creatures" that would bother her, Clark said.

Several years ago, "Survivor" might have been a possibility for Carolyn Taylor, 29, of Martinsburg, but not now.

"Probably if I was not married and didn't have (two) kids," she said.

"It didn't look like they had too bad of a time. I can get along with anybody," Taylor said.

Julie Mohn, 33, of Waynesboro, Pa., said she wouldn't be comfortable with the conditions on the island. As for any other million-dollar offers, she said, "I'd need to be positive that I'd be coming back home."

"Not now," Bonnie Besecker, 55, of Waynesboro, said of being an islander. "It's not a place for older people. Years ago, maybe."

Like Clark, Besecker is opposed to sharing her living space with snakes.

Tropical island life is unappealing to Tina Washabaugh, 39, of McConnellsburg, Pa.

"I need a shower and facilities," she said. "It's as simple as that."

"I would not eat rodents," she added.

Her son, Caleb, 10, was at the opposite end of the spectrum.

"It's a million bucks!" he said.

"Eating a rat probably tastes like chicken," he suggested.

His mother asked him about eating sushi, one of his strongest distastes. After a brief pause, Caleb said he'd even eat sushi for $1 million.

"I wouldn't like it, but I would do it."

Other people surveyed said they would have loved to have been on the "Survivor" island.

"I'd do it for the challenge," said Eric Zacot, 19, of Hagerstown. "One million dollars would be a bonus."

Zacot said he would emulate one "Survivor" rival's strategy of voting island mates into banishment in alphabetical order since it would be tough to eliminate friends.

"It would be a challenge," said Donna Jones, 24, of Hagerstown. "I'm a person who likes challenges."

Glancing at her third child, 3-month-old son Bradley, in his stroller, Jones added that the top prize "would pay the bills."

"I'm an outdoorsman. I think it would be fun," said James Chappell of Waynesboro, Pa., whose 26th birthday is Monday. "A million dollars would make it a lot more (fun)."

His fiance, Karen Fahrney, 24, of Waynesboro, is content to let Chappell go in her place.

"I'd just send him. That would be a vacation for the both of us," she joked.

The island competition "definitely" sounds enjoyable, said Troy Warrenfeltz, 24, of Chewsville, Md.

"I like to hunt and fish," he said. "I'd just do it for the fun of it."

Randy Ommert, 37, of York, Pa., said he drives a truck and has little time to watch television. But he'd grab an opportunity to compete for the "Survivor" prize.

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