Published December 24th, 2008
Yau-Man Comes to Oakwood
By Cathy Tyson
Fiji season Survivor Yau-Man at the Lafayette Rotary Luncheon with Bob Shusta Photo Andy Scheck

Lafayette Rotary was proud to host Yau-Man Chan, voted most popular Survivor of the Fiji season, at a recent luncheon at the Oakwood Athletic Club. Now back in the real world after completing two seasons of the popular reality TV series, he's returned to his day job as the Chief Technology Officer for Computing Services at the University of California Berkeley, College of Chemistry, but makes local appearances for charity groups.
"It is real. They don't give you any food or water behind the scenes. The camera people never eat or drink in front of us - we would have attacked them," said Chan. Not a big guy to begin with, he went from 140 pounds to 125 during the course of the show.
"The producers are trying to create a story with no script," he noted. "Each one hour show is condensed from three days of us suffering." He explained that careful editing of hours of videotape produces the end result - sixty minutes that weaves a story enhancing characters' story lines such as "flirt" or "crazy guy."
Chan was charming and had the audience in stitches with stories of snuggling with Miss Venezuela on a cold night and his being characterized as a "loveable old geek." He went on to describe the game as not about survival, "it's a social game about who to trust and hang out with." He suggested to the audience if they'd like to try out for the show, it's necessary to like seafood, don't mind bugs, and it helps to be an ethnic minority.

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