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'Survivor' made 'em famous. Now what?

Tonight Survivor is off to Tocantins, Brazil, for Season 18. We repeat: Season 18! That's a lot of dirty people in bikinis scarfing raw fish.

Local Survivor fan Spencer Duhm, 19, left, an openly gay UF student from Lakeland, will be one of those hardy souls looking to parlay their wits and stamina into a $1 million payday. But if he doesn't, then what? Beyond a handful of players, not many Survivors have seen their show biz careers take off. So that prompted us to do some research to see which of Survivor's memorable characters still have their celebrity torches burning?

If host Jeff Probst were here, he'd be handing out color-coded head buffs and sending contestants off in canoes to find fresh water. Instead, we'll call the shots and name our own tribes.

Compiled by Kelly Smith, Times staff writer

Tribe "Scoundrel"

Richard Hatch

Known for: Gay "fat naked guy" who made the first show, Survivor: Borneo, a big hit in 2000.

Now: That's probably not how he introduced himself to his new "tribe" in prison. Sentenced to 51 months for skipping out on taxes, Hatch, 47, is set for release in October.

Brian Heidik

Known for: Soft-core porn star before winning Thailand in 2002.

Now: Doesn't matter, because nobody can get past his 2006 arrest for shooting a puppy with a bow and arrow. After a few beers, it looked like a coyote, the 40-year-old claims.

Tribe "Keeping It Real"

Chris Daugherty

Known for: One of the most unlikely Survivor winners. Couldn't even stay on the balance beam in the first challenge.

Now: After he won Vanuatu in 2004, he weirdly went back to his $34,000-a-year job at the Ohio Department of Transportation. But true victory was his dream wedding in Victory Lane at the Daytona International Speedway in 2005. Daugherty, 38, said "I do" over the drone of cars practicing. NASCAR star Mark Martin was his honorary best man. Nice.

Rudy Boesch

Known for: The retired Navy SEAL is Survivor's oldest-ever player — 72 in 2000's Borneo, 76 in All Stars.

Now: He just turned 81 in January and is still going strong. Enough said.

Tribe "Overexposed"

Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Colby Donaldson

Known for: Hasselbeck, right, a shoe designer, and Donaldson, a custom auto designer from Texas, competed in 2001's Outback.

Now: They both made the jump to TV. Hasselbeck, 31, is the conservative regular on The View and is expecting her third child with NFL quarterback husband Tim. Donaldson, 34, has appeared on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Reba, Joey and Bones as well as commercials. He also has contributed segments on topics from dating to how to buy a car on the Rachael Ray show.

Amber Brkich and Rob Mariano

Known for: Brkich, the winner of All Stars in 2004, married runner-up Mariano in 2005.

Now: Like you need us to tell you. A two-hour special on their wedding. Amazing Race 7 (second place) and Amazing Race All Stars (eighth place). And don't forget Rob and Amber: Against All Odds, which followed their move to Las Vegas so Rob could be a professional poker player. That aired in 2007. Which means Brkich, 30, and Mariano, 33, are due for another reality show any minute now.

Tribe "Heroes"

Rupert Boneham

Known for: The bushy-bearded gentle giant is probably the most popular contestant ever. The 2003 Pearl Islands and 2004 All-Stars fave won $1 million based on a nationwide popular vote.

Now: He used his winnings to start Rupert's Kids, a charity dedicated to helping troubled teens. Boneham, 45, also started a record label featuring reality and other TV stars. .

Jenn Lyon

Known for: Diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer after the finale of 2005's Palau, the actor had a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.

Now: About a year ago, she found out the cancer had metastasized to her backbone and she returned to chemo, according to People. You can keep up with Lyon, 36, on her Web site,

Sources:,, and individual Web sites. Times staff writer Steve Spears contributed to this report.

Survivor: Tocantins

Season 18 debuts at 8 tonight on CBS.

'Survivor' made 'em famous. Now what? 02/11/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 11, 2009 11:10pm]
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