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Westman's back, on 'Heroes vs. Villains'

tom westman

tom westman Photo Credit: getty

In case you missed, I've repurposed today's "Explore LI" piece below.


Tom Westman is on tonight. As "Survivornistas" recall, he was winner of the 10th season.

Tom's a really good guy, and was one of the best "Survivors" ever; but that said, I'm worried about our local presense..."H vs. V" is peopled with quasiprofessional reality-show contestants who know how to keep the camera trained on 'em week after week. They're very skillful at that, and Tom's been out of this game a while.  Plus, you can be certain they'll gang up on someone who won five of seven immunity challenges. Tom's a threat and they know it...

THE SHOW "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains"

WHEN | WHERE Thursday night at 8 on CBS/2

FIRST REASON TO WATCH Sayville's Tom Westman, winner of 2005's "Survivor: Palau"

SECOND REASON This is the 20th edition of the reality show, pitting the nice against the not-so-nice.

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Two tribes, and you know most, if not all, of 'em, including "heroes" Rupert Boneham (Pearl Islands), Cirie Fields (Panama) and Sugar Kiper (Gabon) vs. "villains" like Russell Hantz (Samoa), Rob Mariano (Marquesas), Parvati Shallow
(Cook Islands) and "Coach" Wade (Tocantins).

CATCHING UP WITH WESTMAN After winning "Survivor 10," he left the FDNY and later joined the Hartford Financial Services Group as an executive in Manhattan. He's father to three children - Meghan, 13, Declan, 11, and Conor, 9 - and married to

WHAT WESTMAN SAYS He rebuffed the show's offer to join "Fans vs. Favorites" (2008) because he had just started his new job: "After going through considerable effort and expense to turn a fireman into someone who sells financial products, I didn't
want to walk out the door . It would have seemed like I wasn't serious."Moreover, by playing twice "you risk getting linked with professional reality TV people who have done
shows four, five times." But his wife encouraged him to take the leap again by pointing out the obvious - Palau was the most fun he ever had, and the chance of CBS knocking a third time was slim.

Westman remains devoted to his town, and no doubt Sayville remains devoted to him: "When your 15 minutes is up for the rest of the world, your hometown still cares."

MY SAY Westman was one of the best "Survivor" contestants ever - winner of five of seven immunity challenges - while "Palau" was one of the most enjoyable editions. He brought great heart to the game, while precisely conveying the sense that this is how "Survivor" is supposed to be played. He won, and certainly should have. But a repeat? Only if he
somehow figured out a way to beat the professional reality TV contestants onboard. That's gonna be tough - even for Westman.

A 'Survivor' hero's welcome in Sayville

WHAT "Survivor" screening party

WHEN | WHERE 7 p.m. Thursday night, Sayville Inn,

199 Middle Rd., Sayville

INFO 631-567-0033

Sayville native and two-time "Survivor" contestant Tom Westman is scheduled to attend a "Survivor Night" party at the Sayville Inn celebrating the premiere of "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains."The pub/restaurant is donating proceeds - including an auction of "Survivor" memorabilia - to the food pantry at Gillette House in Sayville, says co-owner
Pamela Raymond. Westman won "Survivor: Palau" in 2005.

"Just come and have fun," Raymond says. "We want to support our main guy." - CATHRINE DUFFY

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