The contest started several weeks ago on the America Online KISS bulletin board, and has gained steam as fans worldwide pick from nine candidates. The group is currently on its farewell tour.

“I thought Survivor was absolutely brilliant, and watched it from Day 1,” said Derek Christopher, 32, a KISS fan of 25 years who dreamed up the competition.

“As the finale came and went with all of the hoopla, I started thinking, `Wow, KISS has been around for 27 years and they’ve gone through their share of members, some of whom survived and some who didn’t.'”

Gone so far are former guitarists Vinnie Vincent and Mark St. John, and former drummer Eric Singer. Still remaining are founding members Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, as well as ex-guitarist Bruce Kulick and former drummer Eric Carr, who died in 1991.