Thursday, October 26, 2000

Teacher may be on 'Survivor 2'

Ky. educator reportedly on hush-hush trip

By Lori Hayes
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        DRY RIDGE, Ky. — A Grant County High School teacher, who applied on the Internet for the second round of the CBS hit show Survivor, is believed to be one of the 16 contestants now filming in Australia for Survivor 2.

        Industrial Arts teacher Rodger Bingham, is on professional leave from the school, about 30 miles south of Cincinnati. He left town a couple of weeks ago and said he probably wouldn't be back until mid-December.

        Because of the top-secret nature of the show, even his friends and employers don't know for certain where he is.

        “He's in the finals; we don't know what that means,” said Marcus Camacho, girls golf coach at the high school and a friend of Mr. Bingham. “All he's allowed to say is he's on a business trip.”

        Survivor 2 filming started in the Australian Outback the week of Oct. 15. It is scheduled to go through November.

        Unlike last March, when the first Survivor began taping, CBS is not releasing the names of the 16 contestants.

        “We won't announce iden tities until January,” said Chris Ender, CBS senior vice president for communications in Los Angeles. “Until then, we won't confirm or deny anything.”

        The Grant County school board approved an unpaid professional leave of absence for Mr. Bingham on Oct. 10, said Ruth Odor, a spokeswoman for the district. For unpaid leaves, teachers don't have to say what they'll be doing.

        In September, Mr. Bingham, who lives in Crittenden, took a top-secret trip to Burbank, Calif., for two to three weeks, Mr. Camacho said. Even his wife didn't know the details, he said.

        Mr. Bingham's family could not be reached for comment.

        “He wasn't allowed to tell anybody where he was going or what he was doing,” Mr. Camacho said.

        Survivor 2 will premiere immediately after CBS' Super Bowl XXXV telecast on Jan. 28.

        Survivor, broadcast weekly from May 31 to Aug. 23, was the highest-rated summer series in TV history.

       John Kiesewetter and Ray Schaefer contributed to this article.


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