Keeping TV-show secrets

Contender: Despite tight lips, Maralyn Hershey likely to be part of new `Survivor' cast.

January 04, 2001|By Sarah Pekkanen | Sarah Pekkanen,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Is she or isn't she? Maralyn Hershey is being tight-lipped, but a Web site devoted to uncovering the secrets of "Survivor" has outed the former Bowie resident as a contestant on the second installation of the hit CBS show, set to premiere on Jan. 28.

Hershey, who also lived in Crofton before moving to her current home in Wakefield, Va., was coy when asked yesterday whether she was among the select 16 contestants: "Survivor who?"

Hershey did say, however, that anyone interested in the game show/soap opera should try to catch "The Early Show" with Bryant Gumbel today, when the contestants are expected to be introduced.

The Web site may have already scooped the secretive network by naming contestants and providing personal details about them. It had this to say about Hershey: "Maralyn is a 51-year-old former police officer from Washington, D.C., where she was commander of Police Communications (the head of 911 to you and me). Known as "Mad Dog" on the force, Maralyn also happens to be a champion equestrian."

But to capture the $1 million grand prize, Hershey would have had to best a formidable slew of challengers including a New York City fitness instructor named Alicia - described by the Web site as "tough as nails" - a former male cheerleader, several triathletes and a mother of two.

The Web site even boasts photos of Hershey, including one of her riding her horse, G-Man. ("Who?" Hershey responded when asked to confirm her horse's name.) In the pictures, Hershey has salt-and-pepper hair and wears a patriotic outfit of a blue blazer, red turtleneck and white pants.

Of course, CBS is only too happy to let incorrect information swirl around its top-rated show - remember the rumors that Gervase had won the original "Survivor"? So it's possible the Web site has it all wrong.

As for Hershey, she isn't taking any chances on letting some information slip. She even declined to discuss whether she could be sued by CBS if she were to be too chatty. "I can't even confirm or deny that," she said.

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