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Did Shane's magic number mean nothing?

Questions about Shane's "Survivor" number; Taylor Hicks' hair; winter clothing on "Amazing Race."
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After "Survivor" and "The Amazing Race" ended last week, we received numerous questions from viewers wondering what amount of money second- and third-place finishers (and so on down the line) receive. We answered this question to the best of our ability a while back, and here's a link to that .

A bunch of other mini-news bulletins:

Want to audition for the next "Survivor"? The , with June 16 listed as the deadline. Sorry, Canadians and others, you must be a U.S. citizen. We're constantly asked why this is a common requirement, and other than the basic taxes/legalities differences, we have yet to receive a great answer. Canadian women have appeared on "The Bachelor," not that that's much of a comfort, all things considered.

Looking for some upcoming premiere dates? Here you go:

May 25: "So You Think You Can Dance," 8 p.m. ET, FOX.May 30: "Last Comic Standing 4" premiere, 8 p.m. ET, NBCJune 6: "Fear Factor" premiere, 8 p.m. ET, NBCJune 12: "Hell's Kitchen 2" premiere, 9 p.m. ET, FOXJune 21: "Big Brother 7: All-Stars" casting episode, 8 p.m. ET, CBS. After show airs, viewers can cast votes online to help choose the new cast. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. ET, June 28.July 5: "Rock Star 2/Supernova" premiere, 8 p.m. ET, CBSJuly 6: "Big Brother 7: All-Stars" premiere, 8 p.m. CBS.July 6-Aug. 2: "American Idol" summer tour. Information is now . July 12: "Project Runway 3" premiere, BravoJuly 18: "Contender 2" premiere, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN

Q: What was the number between 1 and 1,000,000 that Shane [from "Survivor: Panama"] wrote on his vote?    —Sheldon

A: Andy says: The second vote Jeff Probst showed for Danielle had a number written at the top. Probst announced that presumably that was Shane's vote. However, it was barely visible on screen. To the best of my blurry image-reading ability, the number was 419,999, or perhaps 489,499. The last digit could also be an oddly-scrawled 8. The number was preceded by two blurry, hard-to-read words. Aras guessed 4, while Danielle guessed 10, so if Shane's number was in fact a six-digit number, he should have voted for Danielle, which he did.

Shane's penmanship needs help, as does his originality: Greg Buis asked the exact same question during the final Tribal Council of "Survivor's" first season, although his range was from one to 10, not Shane's one to one million.

Gael says: I freeze-framed the number and couldn't read it either, but it may not matter. On "Survivor Live," Aras and Danielle said Shane's number was 4, the very number Aras gave. On the show, co-host Dalton Ross said to Aras: "The magic number was 4. You nailed the magic number.  Because he had told you earlier, ‘that's my favorite number.’ You look at him, you say 4, it is 4.  And he doesn't give you the vote anyway."

So to me, it looks like Shane was going to vote for Danielle the whole time, decided to ask them the number question for his own reasons, got an answer he didn't want to hear, and made up a large number to justify voting for Danielle. I asked CBS for comment, and they didn't respond. But really, only Shane knows for sure, and he's likely to mold the answer to justify his own vote anyway.    —G.F.C.

Q: Is that the real color of Taylor Hicks' hair or did he do it to get into "American Idol"?    —Clarice

A: According to Hicks, it's his real color. Photos from his childhood were also shown on an "Idol" episode, and he's had quite the rainbow of hair colors throughout his life — starting out as a blonde, then watching his hair deepen to brunette in later childhood, and then the arrival of the gray. The makers of Grecian Formula might not be too thrilled with him — he may singlehandedly be making gray hair cool.

But if you'd like to see what Hicks would look like with blonde, red, black or brown hair, , showing him with a bevy of different 'dos.    —G.F.C.

Q: Previously on ‘The Amazing Race,’ the hippies, and Ray and Yolanda both finished last during a non elimination leg and were forced to give up everything but the clothes on their backs - neither team had winter clothing on. How and why did they get winter clothing during the leg through Alaska?    —Peter

A: While it would have made great TV to watch contestants freeze to death, Ray and Yolanda most likely received their coats from either the production or from a task, at least judging by what's happened in the past. CBS did not respond to our query by press time, but we can make an educated guess based on past seasons.

On "The Amazing Race 5," for example, racers Colin and Christie that a number of tasks were cut from the final show, including an excursion to multiple stores in Banff, where they picked up clothing for the cold weather. It's likely that this season's players had a similar task, or perhaps their cars had cold weather gear inside.

According to the , an excellent resource for "Amazing Race"-related information, during other seasons, "production has been known to give the Racers cold-weather gear in Alaska (TAR1 and TAR2), Canada (TAR5), and Iceland (TAR6)." However, the site notes that "racers had to bring their own cold-weather gear for the Italian Alps (TAR4). So it depends, we guess."    —A.D.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper is's Television Editor. is a writer and teacher who publishes , a daily summary of reality TV news.