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State of the Arts: Goodbye, "Survey Says"


Published January 9, 2008 at 12:00 p.m.

Survey says . . . 85 percent of Burlingtonians have run across the homegrown game show "Survey Says" on Vermont Community Access Media (Channel 15) sometime during its nine-year run. OK, that's not a real stat. But "We get a lot of feedback," says 34-year-old Jamie Polli, who produces and hosts this "Family Feud"-style showdown with contestants recruited from local companies.

He may get more after "Survey Says" films its last episode, live from the VCAM studio on January 20. Polli has decided to pack it in after 160 shows featuring 1121 contestants, including local celebs such as Wild Bill Sargent of WOKO and former Burlington Mayor Peter Clavelle. Though the young host perfected his patter over the show's run - and did a stint as a page for big-time CBS game shows in 2000 - he has no plans to conquer Hollywood. Polli, whose day job is marketing coordinator of the University Mall, is ending the show so he can spend more time with his 2-year-old daughter and promote his sideline biz: creating "corporate gigs, game shows for team building."

Polli points out that "Survey Says" was already a team-building exercise of sorts, pitting coworkers against each other as they tried to suss out how local folks would answer a survey question. What surprised them, he said, was to learn how many friends and neighbors had seen them on-screen. "The contestants don't expect anyone to watch," he says. "Then they come back to me and say, 'Oh, my God, I can't believe how many people saw that show.'"