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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 19Feb02
By Kent Larsen
Download to My Handheld!

Mormon Woman to be a Survivor

NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- A Mormon woman will be a contestant on the upcoming CBS "reality" show "Survivor," Mormon News has learned. Neleh Dennis, a native of Heber City, Utah, is a 21-year-old certified nurse assistant working towards a degree in cosmetology who will try to outwit 15 other contestants stranded on the South Pacific island of Nuku Hiva in the show, which airs starting February 28th. Dennis stands out from the other contestants by choosing to bring her scriptures as her "luxury item."

With her appearance, Dennis becomes the second Mormon to appear in a "reality" show, succeeding former BYU student Julie Stoffer who was suspended after appearing on MTV's "The Real World." However, since the living arrangements on "Survivor" are markedly different from "The Real World" and because Dennis is not a BYU student, it is unlikely that Dennis will face any similar trouble.

"Survivor" is also different from "The Real World" since it is a contest in which the contestants form a "cooperative society," together building shelter, gathering food and making life easier for everyone. However, contestants are regularly voted off the islands by the other contestants until a single contestant wins.

Contestants are allowed to bring with them one 'luxury item,' something that they will not find on the island. The items are generally personal remembrances or comforts. Dennis chose to bring her personal copy of the LDS scriptures on the trip.

Dennis, whose first name, Neleh, is her grandmother Helen's name spelled backwards, lives in Layton, Utah and is a 1998 graduate of Layton High School who taught dance and donated time to the Special Olympics while there. She then attended Weber State University and graduated with an Associate degree and is still working on a bachelor's degree in psychology. She works full-time as a make-up artist for a major cosmetic company and has acquired 900 hours towards a degree in cosmetology.

This season's Survivor premiere's February 28th at 8pm ET, and will continue weekly thereafter for 13 weeks.

See Also:

Survivor 4 Contestant Neleh Dennis
CBS Survivor Website 6Feb02 P2


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