Ox Notes: December 18, 2007

Survivor: China’s resident lunchlady, Denise Martin, got herself into a pickle when she said during Sunday night’s Reunion Show that the school where she works forced her to take a job as a janitor, lest she prove distracting to the students behind the lunch counter. MOIB reader Mandy posted a link to an excerpt of a statement from the school district’s superintendent, claiming that Denise had asked for the janitor position before she went on the show.

Julie Chen interviewed both Denise and the superintendent for CBS News, and the superintendent clarified that Denise applied for the higher paying janitorial position in January. Denise said that, when she returned from filming Survivor, she asked for her old job back but didn’t get it. The superintendent said that this was news to her, and that the lunchlady position had already been filled, anyway.

Near the end of the interview, Julie Chen asked Denise if she was still going to take the $50,000 Mark Burnett offered her. Denise didn’t say no: "I did not do this for myself. I’ve done this for my family. I’ve done this for my town."

Reality News Online has interviews with the three Survivor: China finalists. Todd seems bitter toward Amanda, now that he’s seen the show and realized that she may have outplayed him prior to the final Tribal Council. And Amanda still sounds exhausted.

Courtney gave the best interview of the three, showing a savvy understanding of the game, for someone who’d never watched Survivor before appearing on it. She said that the events that transpired at the Reunion Show validated the concerns she had about going up against Denise at the end: "She didn’t even have to make it to the final three. She still won the jury of Mark Burnett."

MOIB reader Sande emailed me the good news that BBC America will rebroadcast Dancing with the Stars Season 2 starting on January 6. I’ll need to upgrade my cable package if I want to see Tia Carrere & Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s smoldering Tango again.

In strike news, the WGA announced that its members won’t be writing for any of the upcoming awards shows. And Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien announced that they will be returning to the air without writers on January 2. Since they’re both WGA members, Leno and O’Brien won’t even be able to write material for themselves. O’Brien warns fans of his show: "In moments it may very well be terrible."

The LAist interviewed Joel McHale, host of The Soup. McHale says he doesn’t see much of his "half-deity" E! coworker, Ryan Seacrest: "The only way I can communicate with him is by praying." But McHale says they are trying to get cute little "Dancing Nathaniel" to appear in person on an episode of The Soup: