Let me rewind. We take the TV show Survivor very seriously here at Linn Area Credit Union. Each season, we have a group of employees who make the show into a game. This season, we have 25 people playing! Here’s our fabulous board:
So Linn Areainites were beyond excited to discover that Denise Stapley was selected to be on the show. Denise has been part of our Linn Area family for quite some time and you guys actually voted her the winner in our “My First Ride” contest in 2010 (see her entry here). In fact, True Dork added that very special honor into her bio (go here to see the article). See, she’s already a winner!
I am the (self-appointed) Linn Area Survivor Expert, so I know a thing or two about how things go on this show. I’ve watched every single season and can usually figure out who will ultimately win the game.
Here’s my brief synopsis to catch you up to speed (but be sure to read on to find out about my recent conversation with Denise):
Denise may be tiny, but she is super strong and an excellent competitor (could be thanks to her background and passion for triathlons!). Levelheaded, a hard worker and loyal team player, she possesses all the qualities found in the typical winner of this game. From the very beginning, Denise has been faced with challenges. After arriving at the Philippines, she immediately was placed on a team that continued to lose, and lose, and lose until there were only two people left, including her. But she managed to fight back and win people over with her down to earth and genuine personality. Now here she is in the final 5!
I vividly remember her saying on the way to one tribal council, “Even if Russell and Malcolm vote me out, I still know they are good guys.” That just stuck with me. She gets that it’s a game and is able to be clear-minded enough to see her competitors as real people. So cool! I knew I was a big fan as soon as she said that.
I’ll never forget the first time I saw her come into the credit union after the show had started airing. My very first question was, “Is Malcolm as cute as he looks on TV?!” She laughed and said “Yes!” As soon as that was settled, I could move on to the other millions of questions I had for her. The poor girl was just ambushed by question after question after question by yours truly. I couldn’t help it – I just might be her biggest fan. :o)
One thing Denise was surprised about was how little we really see of what is actually going on. Gotta love EDITING! Of course, she can’t say very much and she gave nothing away. Boo…
I did ask her if she had the “best time” and she simply responded, “It was an experience.”
If – I mean, WHEN Denise makes it to the final three, she will face a jury of her peers, made up of nine contestants from her season that have been voted off. They will choose the victor. I think this is where her impeccable strategy will pay off.
Last week on the show, I believe she said it best (and I’m paraphrasing here), “The jury is looking for someone with a balanced game; someone that can play the mental, social, and physical game.” Denise is doing just that.
Denise, sorry if I’ve embarrassed you. I just can’t contain my excitement! You are a real pleasure to watch and make it easy to cheer for a Cedar Rapids native and a fellow Linn Area Credit Union family member!
Watch Denise tonight at 7:oo PM Central and hopefully on Sunday’s finale!
Based on my expert opinion, I really, really think that we are watching a fellow Cedar Rapidian become the WINNER of this season, people! So if you haven’t been watching, TURN IT ON NOW!