From pageantry to Survivor contestant

Surviving on a desert island is not exactly what comes to mind when someone wants to win a bet.

Who needs insects crawling on their skin or getting hit on the head with a coconut?  But put a few other folks willing to compete, a camera crew and a grand prize of a million dollars, and out comes a fascinating reality game called Survivor.

A former student from UMHB has decided to take part in the grueling challenge this season.

Kimberly Spradlin fights for the grand prize on Survivor. Photo courtesy of CBS.

29-year-old Kimberly Spradlin attended the university in fall 2001. She was in First Year Council and represented the freshman class in the Miss MHB pageant. Today, she manages a small bridal shop in San Antonio.

The hit reality show is back for its 24th season. With 18 contestants fighting to become the sole survivor so that he or she can win a monetary prize, this competition returns with more heat fueling the fire.

This year, it will be televised from the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific.

The two different tribes, Salani and Manono, will be competing against each other. To make things even more interesting, the show has added a new feature called the hidden immunity idol.

Spradlin’s main reason for joining Survivor is because she is “obsessed” with the series.  She saw her first episodes at UMHB and has not looked back since.

When she first mentioned the thought to her father, Mike Spradlin, he assumed the probability for being on the show was very slim.

He said, “I was real surprised. I knew she had always wanted to do it, but I just figured that the chances were kind of like hitting the          lottery.”

With a knack for the outdoors and a bubbling personality, does she have what it takes to become the winner?

Her father seems to think so.

“I have no doubt Kim has the tools to be the sole survivor,” he said. I also would speculate that some may see her as a threat because of that. It will be real interesting to see how it all plays out.”

Being on a reality show is an adventure in and of itself, but being filmed on an exotic island is a whole different story. Naturally, Spradlin has grown through the                    experience. She realized that there were certain areas where people can have an influence instead of vice versa.

“You can change the environment around you instead of letting it change you,” she said.

Freshman Christian ministries major Samuel Rosario has been interested in the show since it first aired on television.

As the series progressed, he noticed the attitudes of the contestants and how each season became more challenging than the one before due to an increasing level of greed and selfishness as the stakes got higher.

If there were any advice he would give Spradlin, it would be to think rationally.

He said she should, “Prepare herself mentally. It’s totally different from the outside world. In the program, there is always a catch or a surprise that will come up with different things that you have to do to be able to survive.”

Now that Spradlin has a bachelor’s degree, is a bridal shop owner and a reality starlet, it is safe to say that she has plenty of advice to offer to students.

She said “There is so much out there, and even though it doesn’t often make sense, take chances. Go see things. Travel. Don’t be afraid of being wrong. You have your whole life to be safe and get it right.”

So if she were stranded  on an island, what would she bring?

She said, “Peanut butter, Bear Grylls and Chapstick.”


Author: Natasha Christian

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