Survivor casting director denies models were used, but admits to recruiting cast.

Survivor casting director denies models were used, but admits to recruiting cast.
Responding to Survivor Palau cast member Wanda Shirk’s allegations that seven of her fellow cast members were models recruited from agencies, the show’s casting director says that’s not true. Lynne Spillman tells TVGuide.com that Wanda’s claim “is a completely false statement. Completely false. There was never an original 20 people cast. Wouldn’t you be hearing from these ‘other’ seven that were ‘originally’ cast? There is no one on the show from a modeling agency. We don’t use modeling agencies.” Spillman does admit that the series finds some cast members. “We have never hidden the fact that we recruit people. I personally found Jonny Fairplay [from Survivor: Pearl Islands] on a bus-stop bench smoking a cigarette, and he just looked like such a character to me.” However, she notes that even the recruited cast members still make audition tapes; Wanda said the models did not do tapes. Spillman thinks Wanda may have “misinterpreted what their answer was,” since those who attend open casting calls “technically didn’t put their own tapes together, but they had a submission tape.”

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.