Survivor’s Yau-Man Chan: Where Is He Now

by | June 7, 2009 at 2:40 PM | Reality Stars: Where Are They Now, Survivor, Where Are They Now


Name: Yau-Man Chan

Age: 56

How We Were First Introduced: We first met Yau-Man Chan during ‘Survivor: Fiji,’ where he quickly became an audience favorite for his toughness, perseverance, and quick wit. He again played the game in ‘Survivor Micronesia: Fans vs. Favorites.‘ Find out what Yau-Man is up to now, and if he’s been in contact with Dreamz since the infamous car incident in Fiji.

Still A Computer Geek: “Before I started the show, I was a computer geek. The same as I am now. I am the Chief Technology Officer for the College of Chemistry at the UC-Berkley. I basically run the network computers for the College of Chemistry.”

Getting On The Show: “It was pretty straightforward. I sent in a tape and then they brought us in for interviews, it’s a ten day process. We got poked by doctors and psychologists and then we had to have face-to-face interviews with Mark Burnett and Jeff Probst.”

Probed By Probst: “I was surprised. He was at the hotel where we were locked up for a week and I actually got to talk to him in one of the interview sessions.”

Second Time The Charm? “Well, I didn’t have as much fun [the second time] but I knew what was in store for me going in.”

“The first one I went very far because I was the feeble man who could get away with stuff, but going back, they knew that I could play the game and they did not want to play with me.”

Survivor Friends: “I still talk to a few castmates – the winner of Fiji, Earl Cole, we email and text, he’s a really nice guy. I’m in contact with Eliza Orlins and Ami Cusack from Fans vs Favorites and Rita Verreos from Fiji.”

Dreamz Redux: “I was automatically the nice guy and that Dreamz had done me wrong, so the fans thought I would’ve won that season had Dreamz not gone back on his word. I still meet fans today that say, “Oh I wish Dreamz would’ve kept his word, you would’ve won.”

Dreamz MIA: “When I first came back, during the season, I tried to contact him but he has not contacted me back.”

Tough Reality: “The toughest thing about the show was really the environment you had to deal with. We didn’t get any food and barely any water to drink, it’s a lot harder than it looks. You take a few days to let it sink in and then you’re like, “Oh my gosh, this is real.”

A Real Fan Favorite: “I don’t know why, everybody keeps telling me that. Why did I become that person? I think because I went in there as the old guy, the underdog, and I think the way I played the game…going in there, I know muscle for muscle I cannot compete with these guys, so I had to use whatever resources I had from my education background and my knowledge. Growing up in Borneo, I was quite familiar with the environment and my surroundings, so I was able to open up coconuts properly, for example. By helping my fellow castmates I was able to be the nice guy, the lovable geek, and suddenly I broke the stereotype from the mean, strong guys who go really far and they don’t expect people like me to do well and so people can relate to me.”

All About The Fans: “Everybody who has contacted me has been very nice. Since I work at the university and I still had to return to my job, you know, CBS told us to turn off Facebook and email and whatnot, but I could not because of my job, so all fans have to do is look on the UC-Berkley website and send me an email, but they’re all very nice, no negative comments at all.”

A Return Visit? “If they asked me, sure, I mean, I didn’t win the million! But I don’t think they’ll ask me. I don’t know if anybody will get to do it a third time. I got the second chance and didn’t do very well, so I don’t know if they’ll ask me. I’d be very surprised if they did.”

The Real Jeff Probst: “He is a very nice guy, I was surprised. I’m not into the TV thing or the celebrity culture, so I know very little about celebrities, but when I first met him he was just very nice, very genuine and very personable.”

The Survivor Effect: “Well, I have tried not to let it affect me. I did not have the desire to change my career or be in Hollywood, so I’ve gone back to my normal life, but it has given me the opportunity to help out with local charities and so on. I’ve been auctioned off for a local food bank. A couple won me on the auction and we get to have dinner and talk and I tell them behind-the-scenes stories about the show. This show has helped me do a lot of that and I’m really happy to be able to help out. I’ve also been speaking at our community libraries to promote science and science education.”