It seems like we always remember the winner of the first season of any reality show. While the winner of season two and on may fade into obscurity, season one winners often remain in the limelight. Kelly Clarkson won the first “American Idol” and went on to win many Grammys and sell millions of records. Adrianne Curry won the first season of “America’s Top Model” and has been on three VH1 reality shows, been on the cover of many magazines, and recently wed “Peter Brady,” Christopher Knight. And, it seems we all remember Richard Hatch, the often clothes less winner of season one of “Survivor.”
However, Richard has not done as well for himself as others. By failing to pay taxes on his $1 million dollar “Survivor” winnings and other earnings, Richard got in trouble with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). After it was noticed he failed to pay taxes, he issued a statement saying it was the fault of CBS because he thought they would pay the taxes or would have withheld them from his winnings. In January 2006, he was convicted of tax evasion by a federal jury and sentenced to 51 months in federal prison. He arrived at the Federal Transfer Center in Okalahoma City, OK last week, although officials will not say if he will serve his time there.
Now that he has begun serving his sentence, his lawyer has said Richard would like to be held in a jail in Rhode Island (where he lives) or Florida. His lawyer further stated that because Richard is such an outdoor person, he should be in a camp, where he can see the sky and be outdoors.
I have a few comments about Richard. First, he has said he started working on his “Survivor” strategy before he even reached the island of Pulau Tiga. He practically set the precedence for creating an alliance in a reality show. He schmoozed, schemed, and fought his way to the big win. Yet, he thought that CBS would pay his taxes? Come on Richard! I have never been on a game show and I know they are not going to pay your taxes for you. And, as for the camp prison – maybe he will get lucky and moved to one. But, he did a crime and now he has to do his time – no matter where it is. The IRS even took down Al Capone for tax evasion and he was Public Enemy #1 – did Richard honestly think he would get away with it?
Of course, he’s not a hardened criminal, but if Martha had to go to jail for her blue collar crime, so does Richard. He was more than willing to show us how smart he was on “Survivor,” now he wants to convince us he is dumb. I just don’t buy it.
What do you think?