Before signing up for two months in the middle of nowhere and being cut off from the rest of the world, Charlie Herschel - a corporate lawyer from New York who is openly gay - was chatting up recently openly gay Clay Aiken online.
The two met on a popular social networking site (Manhunt?) and exchanged IM conversations while Charlie was in law school and Clay was in New York with Spamalot. Charlie says the pair IMed each other every day and are still friends.
Charlie says he auditioned for the 17th season of Survivor not for the gay-fame, but just because he'd wanted to since the first season. When he got the call for the show he packed up and traded his swanky New York apartment for a tent in Africa. While on location Charlie remained ignorant of all the developments in in Clay's life.
With the season about to debut Charlie will probably get a little taste of fame, much like his former chat buddy.
We wonder if Charlie is as "surprised" about Clay as the rest of the world is.