- "Kelly Goldsmith figured her best bet was to play The Bitch when she tried out for season three. Goldsmith, now an assistant marketing professor at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, had noticed that “Survivor’s” season two ratings took a dip after the show’s original bad girl, Jerri, was sent packing. She astutely surmised that producers would be in the market for more bitches as a result.
For her audition tape, Goldsmith donned an old cheerleading outfit and made snarky comments about her sorority sisters. She got the call to go to L.A., where she was summoned into a room with executive producers Mark Burnett and host Jeff Probst, among other “Survivor” bigwigs.
“Mark looks at me and says, ‘You’re a-- is much bigger than I would have expected,’” Goldsmith recalled. Someone else chimed in that Goldsmith looked like she could barely do a single pushup.
A deflated Goldsmith walked out of the room, assuming she was toast. That’s when another staffer arrived to call her bluff, saying a real bitch would have gone off on Burnett for saying she had too much junk in the trunk.
“They said, ‘You need to play another angle if you expect to stay,’ ” Goldsmith said. It was suggested she drop the bitch routine and become a nerd.
- “They tell us what to wear,” said John Cochran, last season’s nerd who rocked a sweater vest in the South Pacific. Turns out that sartorial decision wasn’t his own. The Harvard Law student didn’t own a sleeveless sweater before the show, but producers wanted that look. “The lady on the phone said, ‘Justin Timberlake wears sweater vests,’ ” Cochran said.
- As for those aerial shots of the challenges, the people depicted in them aren’t the contestants, cast members said. They’re “Survivor” staff members — a.k.a. the so-called Dream Team — giving the challenges a dry run. “There’s never a helicopter flying over us during a challenge,” Cochran said.