December 9, 2012

Maine native muscles in on $1 million prize

James Davis, a dancer with Chippendales, from Jefferson, reaches 'The Amazing Race' finals.

By Ray Routhier
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

Not a Well-Rounded Athlete
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James Davis, right, who grew up in Jefferson, and his teammate, Jaymes Vaughan, compete in Spain on an episode of “The Amazing Race” that aired Dec. 2 on CBS. The pair made it to the season finale, which will air Sunday. They’ll be vying with three other teams for $1 million.

CBS photo


WHEN: 8 to 10 p.m. Sunday 

WHERE: CBS stations, locally on WGME (Ch. 13)

WHAT: James Davis, who grew up in the tiny Maine town of Jefferson, will be competing for a $1 million prize in the finals of the CBS reality show “The Amazing Race.” Davis, who works as a Chippendales dancer based in Las Vegas, has been seen this fall competing on the show with friend and fellow Chippendales dancer Jaymes Vaughan.

John Davis said his brother's biggest passion is music, and always has been. He's had his own bands since he was in middle school in Maine, and currently sings and plays bass in a metal band called My Name Engraved.

"It's a really a passion for them. They don't get paid much at all, and they end up spending quite a bit to do it," John Davis said of the band.

When Davis first went to Las Vegas, he continued his high school education and graduated with honors, his mother said. While in high school he got an internship with a bank and was eventually offered a full-time job there.

He declined.

"He told me he just couldn't imagine spending 30 years in a cubicle," O'Neill said.

In Las Vegas, he started modeling, and that lead to an audition with the Chippendales dancers, known for their bare chests and bow ties, and for being a staple at millions of bachelorette parties. The Chippendales job -- which Davis has had since 2007 -- surprised his mother.

"When he had to do square dancing as part of gym in eighth grade, he told me he'd rather leave school," said O'Neill. "But he took a crash course with a dance instructor and went off to the (Chippendales) audition."

O'Neill said the routines her son does are "not offensive" but there are some moves other dancers do that she hopes her son won't have to do, in front of her anyway.

When he first joined Chippendales, Davis toured the world, including stops in Latvia and Switzerland, before settling in to work in Las Vegas.

So will his globe-trotting for Chippendales help him in any way Sunday night?

Well, CBS publicists say the two-hour finale will begin with four teams racing through France, and then New York City.

In New York they'll face a "terrifying Houdini-inspired roadblock" the publicists say, but won't give more details.

But if that roadblock is anything like Houdini's famous water escape, Davis might be well suited for it.

After all, as a dancer, he's used to moving his body in ways most of us probably can't.

And as a Chippendale, he's pretty comfortable with his shirt off.

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:


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