Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Survivor: China Lunch Lady Scandal

Survivor: China
Denise Martin - Survivor: China

So it came out this week, first reported by, that Survivor: China contestant Denise Martin full out lied at the season finale/reunion show this past Sunday on CBS. You see, Denise the Lunch Lady claimed that when she returned from China the school district she worked for would not give her her old job in the school’s cafeteria back because they feared her new found celebrity status from competing on Survivor would be too much of a distraction for the students. Instead, Denise claimed she was given a demotion to janitor, forced to work nights cleaning toilets and is now missing out on her children’s lives. The Blot, like I’m sure most of America watching the Survivor: China season finale, felt horrible for Denise after hearing her plight. Survivor producer Mark Burnett felt so bad after hearing Denise's story he informed Survivor host Jeff Probst that he would give Denise $50,000 to help her get back on her feet since she lost her job to compete on Survivor. But there was one catch to this feel good story, Denise was flat out lying about her “demotion.” (link)

Survivor: China
The Blot was in shock after finding out it was all a lie, but at the time of the final episode’s airing the person most in shock was Nancy T. Lane, the superintendent of the Douglas Public Schools in Douglas, Mass. and Denise’s boss. Lane claims “Denise Martin lied on Sunday’s live broadcast when she stated that she was not given her job back as a cafeteria worker upon her return from taping the reality show and instead was made to ‘clean the toilets’ as a janitor working night shifts.” (link) Lane explained that Denise “was actually promoted to the position as custodian – a promotion Lane claims Martin asked for herself.” Lane went on to state that the promotion had been applied for and granted before Martin even left for China and that she asked for the promotion because it came with additional benefits and a higher salary.

Survivor: China
Obviously, this is a classic case of he said, she said…except Martin has already called Lane to apologize. Not only that, but Lane and Denise went on CBS’ The Early Show this morning and “apologized profusely for what she said, though she stopped short of admitting that she’d lied to get the money, and won’t give back the $50K.” (link) So not only has Denise slandered her employers and made her home city of Douglas, Mass. look horrible and heartless, she is also now ripping off Mark Burnett who only wanted to help her.

James Clement - Survivor: ChinaI’ve watched Survivor since midway through the first season and this is the first time I can remember hearing someone come out and just lie at the reunion show for no apparent reason other than to try and get money out of viewers. Obviously the reality game show’s theme is Outwit, Outplay, Outlast and most contestants take that to mean they should lie and deceive each other, and maybe it does and maybe it doesn’t. But what was the point in lying after the final votes had already be tallied and the winner of the audience popularity vote for an additional $100,000 had already been announced (it was awarded to James the Gravedigger a.k.a. James Clement)?

Todd Herzog - Survivor: ChinaBefore this I felt sympathetic towards Denise for not making the final three (she was the final contestant voted out before the series finale’s final vote) because she made a strong heartfelt case of why she should be awarded the show’s one million dollar prize. But after this, not only am I glad she didn’t win Survivor: China (Todd Herzog of Pleasant Grove, UT did), I hope Burnett gets his money back and Denise is ostracized from any future Survivor: China events.

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