As "Survivor II" prepares for its grand finale Thursday, now's a good time to check up on the cast of "Survivor I" -- clearly one of the most influential groups in the history of recent television. "Where are they now?" Well, they're not on a Pacific island.
So here, gathered from interviews and other news sources, is what's going on with the original "Survivors," listed in alphabetical order.
In his life after "Survivor," Andersen travels the globe, though it has nothing to do with the show whatsoever. "He was quite well off in his own life prior to this," said his agent, Sherri Spillane. B.B. has done two commercials -- the famous Reebok ad and one for Hunkler Eye Centers, based in Andersen's hometown of Kansas City, Kan. Other than that, Andersen could take his fame or leave it. "He came off very grouchy on the show and I thought he was going to bite my head off the first time I saw him," said Spillane, who also represents Rudy Boesch. "I thought the same thing about Rudy, too, but he couldn't be sweeter and neither could Rudy."
The Bible-toting farm boy from Wisconsin has parlayed his TV fame into speaking engagements with Christianspeakers.com. "He has been busy speaking to young people about faith, morals, values and abstinence," said publicist Ben Laurro of Pure Publicity (who also represents "Survivor" alums Gervase Peterson and Joel Klug). "Dirk was labeled as 'the Bible guy,' which is funny because the new 'Survivor' has four (Christians)." Speaking of the new show, Been's next stop is Australia, where he'll do more public speaking. He's honing his acting skills and is up for a lead role in a movie scheduled to start shooting this summer. Laurro described the flick, which has no title, as an "apocalyptic urban legend."
The ex-Navy Seal earned a reputation as the island's gruff guy, which has extended into his post-show stardom. He recently guest-starred on the CBS series "JAG." As for his other recent antics, it's all marching orders: "Whatever my agent says to do, I usually do," Boesch said. Expect to see him on another Mark Burnett reality-TV show, "Combat Missions." Boesch just finished five weeks of filming for that show.
CBS lists an L.A. manager as representing Buis, but that person hasn't handled him in months. Asked how to contact Buis, a worker bee at the L.A. office cracked, "Why not try Colleen's manager?" Actually, the Brown University anthropology major signed a modeling contract in January with Donald Trump's T Management.
The first "Survivor" booted off Pulau Tiga may be the bravest survivor of all. Christopher beat breast cancer in 1998, and has spent much time since the show working for those who've lived with and beyond the disease. "It's been an amazing journey," said Christopher, who recently did a public service ad for the American Cancer Society.
Throughout the new "Survivor" season, Cordy has served as a guest commentator for two Florida TV stations, WJXT in Jacksonville and WKMG in Orlando. In between stints hosting "Gretchen's Survival Guide" on those two stations' newscasts, she has been doing radio appearances in central Florida to help promote her special feature. Like Susan Hawk, she doesn't have too high an opinion of the new batch of survivors. Cordy is also busy on the lecture circuit, making $3,000 per appearance according to People and donating a good chunk of the money to charity.
She lasted just four episodes, yet Ramona Gray has a full slate of activities thanks to the show. "She's speaking at colleges all over the country, at corporations, and right now she's in Los Angeles doing some 'Survivor' commentaries for CBS affiliates," said Gray's New York-based manager, Michelle Hord. Gray will appear in an upcoming issue of Rosie, was featured in a January issue of Mode and hosted MTV's "Road Rules Extreme Challenge" in January. Meanwhile, she's working on a game show pilot, a TV show for Oxygen Media and juggling "Survivor" commentaries for "The Early Show" and MSNBC. She also just taped NBC's "The Weakest Link" "Survivor" special.
The cute and slightly spacey Haskell may not have come close to winning the million dollars. But in the "Survivor" celebrity sweepstakes, Haskell is about to take a big leap to the front of the pack. Following an invite to screen test for a film starring Rob Schneider, Edward Asner and Cloris Leachman, Haskell shelved plans to pursue an advertising career. And unlike former island-mate Stacey Stillman (who bombed in her "Touched By An Angel" audition) Haskel landed a plum part in the comedy "The Animal," slated to hit screens June 1.
Hatch connived his way into our hearts with a disarming mix of sly scheming and surprise nudity. And it's been nothing but exposure, if you will, ever since.
The million-dollar man stands to add considerably to his coffers of fame and fortune. In January, Hatch signed on as the new morning man at Boston's WQSX-FM 93.7, where he's heard on 5:30 to 10 a.m. weekdays. If it's Hatch in a birthday suit you want, he's buff (or nearly so) on the cover of his recently released book "101 Survival Secrets: How to Win $1,000,000, Lose 100 Pounds, and Just Plain Live Happily." Hatch is among a half-dozen "Survivor" castaways appearing on NBC's new game show "The Weakest Link," slated to air May 10 (Hatch was being considered as host for the show). Rumor has it that Hatch is the first contestant voted off.
Like an ex-jock promoted to the play-by-play booth, the tough-talking Hawk has covered the new "Survivor" season for TV Guide. And -- surprise, surprise -- she's opinionated when discussing the Outback bunch: "The characters don't have a lot of depth," Hawk said. "They're very sparse compared with 'Survivor I.' It goes to prove, though, you can put anybody out there and it's still going to be a good show."
Kenniff has made the soap rounds, appearing on CBS' "Guiding Light" as (what else?) a physician ("Dr. Keifer") for four episodes. "It was fun," Kenniff said. "We did 'Nash Bridges' too. I'm no actor, but I'll do cameos for the rest of my life."
Kenniff's a correspondent for "Extra!" where he's giving medical advice -- and trying on-line dating. He's also discoursing on topics like penis enlargement at survivorsean.com, a curious mix of health-fitness advice and "Survivor" gossip.
The traveling salesman who works in the health field has pursued celeb stints related to his off-island profession. He's writing articles and speaking on fitness, getting about $5,000 an appearance -- more loot than he ever made on the show, according to publicist Laurro. "He's been doing quite a bit of auditioning," Laurro said. "There's an upcoming episode of 'Baywatch Hawaii' that he's in. He plays the head of an extreme sports team."
Offered at least a cool half million last fall to pose nude for Playboy (Entertainment Weekly reported $750,000), Lewis turned it down (as did Colleen Haskell). Haskell went on to Hollywood; whether Lewis will ever get anything approaching the Playboy offer remains to be seen. While making the usual media rounds, Lewis has landed at least one unusual gig: She has gone online with the pay-as-you-play service, www.keen.com, to give pointers for people hoping to be selected as "Survivor III" contestants. So far, 36 people reportedly have called in for Jenna's 75-cents-a-minute tips.
Stranded on Pulau Tiga, Peterson lost 20 pounds. Back in the states, Peterson gained 20 jobs -- at least it seems like that many. "He's hugely in demand," Laurro said. "There's a cartoon called 'There Goes the Nation' (on UrbanEntertainment.com) where he does the voice of the president. He also just did an orange juice commercial that will be airing all summer; it's like a 'Matrix'-style commercial." Add to the resume a three-day stint on the soap opera "As the World Turns," several film offers, guest hosting on CBS' "The Early Show" and an endorsement deal with the clothing company South Pole, and you've got one happy castaway.
Go to CBS' "Survivor" Web site, and there's a link under Stillman's profile that says "Where Is Stacey Now?" Don't expect any info when you click on it, though. The bug-gulper once described in media accounts as that "snarky lawyer" is embroiled in a bitter suit against CBS and "Survivor" producer Mark Burnett. According to the suit, filed in February, Stillman claims Burnett rigged the results to have her voted off so that Rudy Boesch could stay on the show.
Reached by phone, Stillman confirmed the suit is still pending. She's seeking $75,000 plus restitution of lost prize money. Meanwhile, CBS and Burnett have countersued for $5 million.
The frenetic pace of life for "Survivor's" No. 2 finisher was epitomized in a frenetic phone interview that lasted all of 25 seconds. With her cell phone battery dying, Wiglesworth shouted, "I'm leaving the country in three days, so I've got a lot to do today!" Wiglesworth was just named a "Fun Fearless Female 2001" in February's Cosmopolitan magazine. And E! just hired her to host a new show called "Celebrity Adventures," due to launch this fall.
Lou Carlozo is a Chicago Tribune staff writer.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times