|March 10, 2005||- "'Let
me tell you about my grandson'
Sometimes when a grandmother says, 'Let me tell you about my grandchild,' others will buck and run. But, not when Jimmie Drinkard utters those words. In fact, others are asking her about her grandson.
All of Pike County and half the US of A are interested in her grandson, team leader of the Ulong Tribe that is attempting to 'survive' the hardships and pitfalls of Palau and outwit and outlast the other castaway tribe on the isolated island in the Pacific Ocean.
Bobby Jon Drinkard has become a household name and one of the most popular castaways of Survivor: Palau. The fourth episode of the 2005 season will air tonight on CBS and Bobby Jon's family, friends and newfound fans will be glued to their televisions to learn the fate of their favorite survivor.
Jimmie Drinkard and her husband, Robert, are not typical reality show fans, but that have become the number one fans of "Survivor," since they learned that their 27-year-old grandson had 'tried out' for the 2005 season, Survivor: Palau.
'Oh, we watch the show, record it and watch it again and again,' the affable grandmother from Brundidge said. 'This is very exciting for us.'
Until their grandson called and said that he was trying out for Survivor, the Drinkards had never watched the reality show. But, that quickly changed.
'We didn't know anything much about the show but we started watching it, just in case Bobby Jon made it,' Drinkard said. 'We watched the last three episodes of the last one. I saw that it was very strenuous and that it wouldn't be easy to live on an island like that, but I knew Bobby Jon could do it because he keeps in shape. He has always like a challenge. He's always said about anything, "I can do that." So, I wasn't surprised that he would want to try out for the show.'
The Drinkards knew that their grandson was trying out for Survivor, and Drinkard said she made several phone calls to him in California to see whether he made it.
'I left messages but he didn't return my calls,' Drinkard said. 'That was not at all like him. So, I began to think, maybe.'
Drinkard told her son, Bobby, that Bobby Jon was not returning her calls.
'Bobby said, "Mama, he's not going to call," so I knew,' Drinkard said.
She could only imagine what it was like for her grandson on the island but the mental images soon became reality.
But when Survivor: Palau aired in February, Drinkard could sit comfortably and watch the struggles and triumphs of his tribe.
'Bobby Jon came home from Australia in December, right after they had filmed the show,' she said. 'He had lost 20 pounds and he ate like he was starving to death. But, I knew that he was all right so when the show came on, I wasn't nervous at all. But, if the show had not been taped and I had been watching as it happen, I would really have been nervous and worried.'
But, with her grandson safely home, Drinkard can sit back and enjoy the show and even brag a bit about her grandson.
'Last week, he was working, gathering wood and coconuts. He did more than his share of the work,' Drinkard said, with a hint of pride in her voice. 'When they had the challenge, he carried bags of sand for the others in his tribe when they couldn't do it. But, that's Bobby Jon. His attitude is "if you can't do it, I'll do it for you." He would give you the shirt off his back. That's just the way he is.'
Jimmie and Robert Drinkard are in as much suspense about the "survival" of their grandson as everyone else is.
'No, we don't know and we knew that Bobby Jon wasn't suppose to tell, so we didn't even ask,' Drinkard said. 'But I think he'll be one of that last ones to leave. Do I think he'll win? No. He's too sweet. To win, I think you would have to do a lot of backstabbing. He doesn't like things like that and I just don't think he'll not it.'
Not even for a million dollars?
'No. Not Bobby Jon.'"
|- Jaine Treadwell, the Troy Messenger.|
|January 26, 2005||- "Bobby Jon is a... young, good-looking guy. Kind of plays that 'aw shucks' game, which I don't buy for a second. This guy knows exactly how charming he is, how good looking he is, but... when we met him, you know, he's really good at it. And it could really work. And that guy could go a long ways. Unless the other guys look at him, and say 'No way are you sticking around, dude! You're gone!'"||- Jeff Probst's pre-game comments on the contestants, from the official CBS site.|
|January 13, 2005||- "Drinkard
will try to 'survive' Palau
Rumor is now "reality." Bobby Jon Drinkard of Troy is among the 20 hopefuls competing on the reality television show, Survivor: Palau.
...Peggy Vargas, a spokesperson for Colleen Sullivan, vice president publicity for CBS Network, said Sullivan prefers to wait until the show premieres on Feb. 17 before loosening the orders on the families.
However, Andy Blair talked openly about his friend and his chance of being the last survivor standing. 'Bobby Jon is an avid outdoorsman. He hunts and fishes,' Blair said. 'He grew up in Pike County so many of the things the survivors have to do should be second nature to him and put him ahead of the others on the show.'
Blair said that he wasn't sure if Drinkard would be the one to get a fire started using only what Mother Nature offered.' I don't know if Bobby Jon will be able to do that or not,' he said, laughing. 'That's tough.'
But Blair is sure that his friend has the athletic skills necessary to keep him in the game.
'We've always said that if anybody around here could compete in Survivor, it would be Bobby Jon,' he said. 'He played football and baseball and has all the skills to compete with any of those on the show. He's a great, outgoing guy and this is right up his alley. He'll do good.'
...Another friend, Tommy Lucas was equally sure that Drinkard will be among the last to be kicked off the island or maybe the sole survivor. 'People like Bobby Jon. He gets along with everybody. He won't go behind anybody's back to say things or do things. He's just not like that,' Lucas said. 'He's a team player and he's a good leader. When he makes up his mind to do something, he'll do it and he'll get others to go along with him.'
Lucas said Drinkard's background and experiences have prepared him to survive as a castaway on an island with a bunch of strangers. 'Bobby Jon grew up on a farm. He hunted and fished so he's used to being outdoors. That won't be a problem for him at all,' Lucas said. 'He's an athlete so he will be able to handle the physical challenges.'
Drinkard's friend said he also has the spirit of a daredevil and that should be a plus for him. 'He likes to compete and he's head strong, too,' Lucas said laughing. 'I'm anxious to see him on the show and I believe that he will be one of the last ones standing.'
Lucas' dad, James Lucas, has watched Drinkard grow up. He coached Drinkard in baseball and football since he was knee high and he has no doubt that he will have little difficulty 'surviving' anything that he encounters. 'Bobby Jon's an old country boy so he'll do fine,' James Lucas said. 'He's an athlete and has always worked hard at anything he did.'
Lucas said he's not surprised that Drinkard would want to be on a show like Survivor. 'He's always been a little daresome and, yeah, I can see that he would want to do something like this,' Lucas said. 'Bobby Jon has a strong determination and he'll give this everything that he has. I'm not into reality shows, but this is one that I'll watch.'
Drinkard's friends believe he has all the qualities and skills necessary to make him a survivor. But the activities coordinator at Charles Henderson High School, Betty Wagoner, might have added the one that will make Drinkard a winner at whatever he does. 'He's just a sweet young'un,' Wagoner said. 'A sweet young'un.'"
|- Jaine Treadwell, the Troy Messenger.|
|December 14, 2004||- Name revealed by "Anonymous" on the Survivornews.net S10 Contestant Confirmator.||- SNN|
|October 16, 2003||
Extensive article and interview in the Troy Messenger,
the Troy, Alabama local paper:
|- Jaine Treadwell, the Troy Messenger.|
|October 14, 2003||
Appeared on everyone's favorite talk show, "Living It Up With Ali
& Jack," as part of the Cosmo Bachelor press tour.
|October, 2003||- Named by Cosmo as the 2003 Alabama representative for the nation's "50 Most Eligible Bachelors."||- Cosmopolitan magazine.|