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"Survivor" hopefuls converge at casino

By: Stephanie Dumm, News Messenger Reporter
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Close to 1000 hopefuls lined up at Thunder Valley July 15 morning for their shot at fighting the elements and catty cast mates while foraging for food. A casting call for the popular CBS show “Survivor” was held from 7 a.m. to 12 noon July 15 at Thunder Valley’s amphitheater, and some people started lining up as early as 5:30 a.m. Survivor-hopefuls filled out paper work, had head shots taken and then were given one minute in front of the camera to say why they wanted to and should be on the show. “Bugs are a vacation when it comes to my work,” Michele Boggus of Auburn told the camera during her audition. Boggus is a preschool director, and said she’s a die-hard fan of the show. “I have seen every episode from day one. I don’t Tivo it, I have to be watching it every Thursday at 7 p.m.,” Boggus said. “I think it’s something I can do, and of course, the bonus is the $1 million at stake. It’s like a 39-day camping trip.” Lawrence Maniscalco auditioned along with his daughter, Danielle, and at 85, said he’d “probably be the oldest person on the show.” “I think I’d do a better job than a lot of the ones I’ve seen on the show,” Maniscalco said. “I’d bring common sense, a little bit of personality and I’m a happy-go-lucky guy. I like the adventure.” Having served as an Air Force medic at Guantanomo Bay in 1995, Carrie Davis of Vacaville said she is no stranger to dehydration and bug bites. She is currently a nurse, and told the camera during her audition, that she “sits in a cubicle all day so I can handle back-stabbing.” “I can handle the elements,” Davis said. “I’m very sly, sneaky and love to stir the pot.” Diane and Troy Thiel, of Lincoln, both auditioned. Diane said she wants to be on “Survivor” to have a good time. “You only live once, you might as well work it,” Diane Thiel said. The casting call almost took place in the casino’s parking garage, according to Thunder Valley public information officer Doug Elmets. “We had thought about having it in the parking garage because of the heat but said we ought to do it in the amphitheater,” Elmets said. “If the potential contestants can’t survive the Sacramento heat, they’ll never survive as a contestant on ‘Survivor’”. Elmets said CBS 13 approached Thunder Valley about being a potential venue for the casting call, and the casino was “excited” to do so. “First of all, it was the opening of a new hotel, which was clearly a draw, but the other thing is it’s easy accessibility to the region, and the large quantity of parking,” Elmets said. “It was certainly our desire to do what we could to make it a fun event while people were there.”