Skip to main content

'Survivor' Auction Thwarted by CBS

CBS put the kibosh on an eBay auction Monday when a former Survivor contestant attempted to sell her personal diaries chronicling her experience on the reality series.

As we reported here yesterday, Nicole Delma, who appeared in the Pearl Islands cycle back in 2003, was auctioning off her “Survivor Diaries”—two notebook journals written while she was auditioning for the competition and immediately after she was voted off the island.

The notebooks contain accounts of scenes being staged (including Delma’s audition tape) or re-shot, as well as descriptions of the harrowing weeks she spent in “castaway camp” with the other contestants who were voted off.

When we spoke with her last week, Delma was confident she was out of legal jeopardy and joked that she “hope[s] the price rockets up before I get a call from CBS.”

Sure enough, on Monday afternoon, just hours before the auction was to end at 6:10 p.m. Pacific Time–and with the price over $2,000–Delma received a message on the auction page from an associate general counsel at CBS asking her to call ASAP.

Soon after, Delma posted the following response: “Could you kindly provide me, in writing, an explanation of the basis for their belief that CBS ‘owns’ my life story. I’m still not completely clear… Thank you, Nicole.”

When we checked eBay last night at 8:44, the listing had been removed.

A CBS spokesman confirmed that the network had intervened. And while he would not comment on Delma’s question regarding her contract, he offered the following comment: "The only thing more boring than a reality contestant being reminded about their contract is the press coverage that inevitably follows. [Editor’s Note: Ouch!] We simply asked (very nicely, in fact) that it be taken down. No yelling, no threats or otherwise."

Delma says CBS has yet to provide the documentation she requested and offered this retort: “I am very happy my contract does not include any clause prohibiting me from publishing a work of ‘fiction.’ I’ll be releasing my first ‘novel’ in the near future.”

By Joel Topcik