CBS’s competition based reality television show, ‘Survivor’ is entering into its 26th season with the 20 castaways heading off to the Caramoan Islands in the Philippines. With the theme of “Fans vs. Favorites”, this season viewers will see the return of several beloved competitors including, Erik Reichenbach from season 16’s Survivor: Micronesia as well as Andrea Boehlke and Phillip Sheppard, both from Survivor: Redemption Island in season 22, amongst several other viewer favorites.
The veteran competitors will be pitted against a group of 10 newcomers, otherwise known as “fans.” Included in the roster of “fans” is a Pittsburgh native by the name of Laura Alexander. A 2008 graduate of Hopewell High School, located in Beaver County, Alexander describes herself as “obsessed” with the reality competition and has been a fan since the very first season.
Currently residing in Washington DC, Alexander works as an Administrative Officer, handling trades issues in the Middle East. A former pageant competitor and high school cheerleader, she believes that she’ll be able to use her physical attributes to her advantage, just don’t expect her to see her “jumping in the hammock on day one.”
Laura is not the first competitor to come out of western Pennsylvania. The show has also displayed the talents of Beaver native Amber Brkich, Ian Rosenberger from Economy and Jenna Morasca from South Fayette, who won the top prize in the Survivor: Amazon season and went on to appear in a number of other reality competitions.
Back home in Hopewell, the self-described “fireball” has growing support from the community and of course mom and dad, who believe that their little girl has what it takes to bring it on home. Speaking with local CBS affiliate station KDKA, her father, Ron Alexander says of his daughter: “She can outsmart the other ones. I know you need strength and everything, but I think she’ll be able to outsmart a couple of them there.”
A sentiment also echoed by Laura. “I’m smart and I’ll utilize everyone else’s weaknesses. I know what works and what doesn’t work on Survivor.”
Watch Laura Alexander and the other castaways attempt to “Outwit, Outplay & Outlast” the competition on Wednesday nights at 8pm EST on CBS.