Survivor: China

`Survivor: China' lunch lady apologizes

A school lunch lady who gained fame as a contestant on CBS' reality show "Survivor: China" wasn't telling the truth when she claimed during Sunday's season finale that she'd been demoted to janitor, her boss says.

Denise Martin of Douglas, Mass., finished fourth in the competition, missing out on the $1 million grand prize.

"They didn't give me my job back," Martin, 40, said during the live broadcast. "I'm a janitor now. I clean the toilets. I wash the floors in the bathrooms. I vacuum the kids' rugs."

Producer Mark Burnett surprised Martin with $50,000 to help get her life back. But Martin may have some damage control to do when she returns to work.

In an interview Tuesday on CBS' "The Early Show," Douglas Schools Superintendent Nancy Lane said Martin had been promoted, at her own request, to custodian in late March, a job that came with more benefits and higher pay.

"We granted her a leave to go to participate in `Survivor.' And did everything possible to support her," Lane said. "And when she returned, she of course returned to the position that she left. Which is the custodial position."

"That's perfectly accurate, yes," Martin said in response.

Martin said she decided while she was taping "Survivor" that she wanted to go back to her lunch lady job. Lane said the job was no longer available, but Martin could apply when there is an opening.

"It was not my intention to be misleading," Martin said. "I'm sorry and I apologize to everybody."

Will she accept the $50,000 if it is still offered to her?

"I had no idea that I was going to be awarded that," she said. "I did not do this for myself, I've done this for my family, I've done this for my town."

Margaret Reed, chairwoman of the School Committee, said she was puzzled by Martin's story.

"Everyone was cheering her on," Reed said. "And then we get this slap in the face."


Ok I admit it, I'm hopelessly and helplessly addicted to Survivor, I have been since it came out. This grouping was the most annoying group yet. There really wasn't anyone that I cheered FOR and so many that I cheered AGAINST. Enforcerwife put it the best when she mused "is it a coincidence that this particular group visits China and they start sending us lead paint based toys?????
Lunch Lady was one of the more particularly annoying (my particular axis of evil picks were her, PG and that blonde nitwit waitress from New York) I didn't even know that Lunch Lady was from Massachusetts (Yet another reason for the rest of the country to hate us) but what a jackass for lying and trying to get sympathy by saying that her bosses demoted her for being on the show. Thats a friggin lowlife scumbag move. I hope she enjoyed her 15 minutes of fame.