The idea that you can win a million dollars by being full of blarney has long fascinated Dan Foley.

When he first watched the CBS reality show “Survivor” in 2000, he was immediately hooked by what he saw as a weird and wonderful dynamic of the TV game: The winner is picked by competitors whom he or she has already beaten.

“At the end of the game, you’re sitting in front of a jury of people who you screwed to get there, but you had to do it in such a way that now they want to help you win a million dollars,” said Foley, 48, a U.S. Postal Service worker from Gorham. “It’s like the Irish word blarney, which basically means telling someone to go to hell, but in a way that makes them look forward to the trip. And I’m full of blarney.”

Foley will be the latest Mainer to try for $1 million on “Survivor” when the new season of the show begins airing Feb. 25 at 8 p.m. The episodes he’ll appear on were filmed last August and September in Nicaragua.

Foley is so sure that his mastery of blarney is perfectly suited for “Survivor” that he had applied to be on the show more than 100 times and had logged some 25,000 miles to get to open casting calls.

“I always knew I had the personality they were looking for,” said Foley, during an interview Wednesday authorized by CBS. “It just took them awhile to realize it.”


Foley’s passion is very “Survivor”-specific. He doesn’t like TV that much, and he really doesn’t like most reality shows.

Foley is at least the seventh Mainer to appear on “Survivor” and the third with ties to Gorham. Former Gorham High School teacher Bob Crowley won the show’s $1 million prize in 2008, the only Mainer to do so. Gorham resident Julie Berry was on the show in 2004. Berry didn’t win the prize money, but she did win the heart of host Jeff Probst, whom she dated for some time afterward.

On his “Survivor” bio page, Foley calls himself a “world class schmooze artist.” Naturally then he’s hoping to host some “Survivor” viewing parties, so he can watch himself on the show with friends and family. He’s not sure yet where those parties will be, but he plans to let people know on his Facebook page.

Foley, like Crowley, stands out among the bikini-clad young women and bare-chested young men who most often populate “Survivor.” He’s a little older and a little more substantial.

“I’ve seen some comments online from people who’ve seen (the new cast pictures) and say things like, ‘What a beautiful cast, except for the fat guy’,” said Foley.

But Foley’s all right with that. He says he was inspired by Crowley, who won basically because he took his time and thought carefully about everything he did and every challenge he was faced with, while competitors strove to be the fastest or the loudest.


Crowley didn’t rush to make alliances and gossip about his competitors, like most folks on the show. The show films the contestants living in a remote location together and attending regular challenge events set up by producers.

The idea of being slow and steady to win the race, as Crowley was, resonates with Foley.

After all, he’s had to survive 14 years of tryouts and rejections just to get on “Survivor.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.