Big news in the Sunday paper!
JORDAN OVERTURF TELEGRAM STAFF
Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 4:30 AM
Kimberly Spradlin, daughter of Temple High School's head football coach Mike Spradlin is a contestant on the upcoming season of "Survivor." The San Antonio resident will compete against 17 contestants for a million dollar prize. (Photo courtesy of CBS)
What’s the one skill every survivor needs? An unquenchable thirst for victory.
While every contestant on the 24th season of “Survivor” will claim to possess this trait, there’s only one who grew up under the tutelage of a Texas high school football coach.
“Survivor: One World” premieres 7 p.m. Wednesday on CBS, and Temple Wildcat football fans will likely tune in to root for Kimberly Spradlin, daughter of THS head football coach Mike Spradlin. Kimberly will be one of 18 contestants living together on an island in Samoa.
The contestants are divided into two tribes for a battle of the sexes. Kimberly is in the Salani tribe.
The San Antonio resident said in a phone interview earlier this week that she has always been obsessed with the show. A little over a year ago she was watching an episode with her friends and decided on a lark to make an audition video. Her iPhone recording landed her a callback and months of anxious anticipation. It was early summer when she finally received the call to pack up; a week later Kimberly was on a plane.
“I was kind of shocked, to be honest,” she said. “I was so fired up. The whole thing was surreal.”
Kimberly, 29, owns two bridal boutiques, one in San Antonio and the other in Austin. She comes from a family of competitors – her sister, Beth, was an athlete in college and her brother, Clint, is a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps – and has reveled in her own share of victory.
“Kim has a great competitor’s spirit,” said coach Spradlin in an email earlier this week. “I mean she hates to lose at anything she does … I mean HATES it.”
In high school, her volleyball team won a state championship. The Spradlin clan moved around a lot in those years and Kimberly eventually graduated from Western High School in Round Rock. Her athleticism certainly will be to Kimberly’s advantage during the course challenges. But it’s her experience as a white water rapids guide that makes her the ultimate survivor.
“Physically, I’m not afraid of anything,” she said.
Kimberly spent some time as a white water rapids guide in Colorado, which included going on overnight excursions. You know, the type of thing where one would learn survival tips.
Last year, after she got the call back, Kimberly began some light training – in her sister’s backyard.
“I did everything I could think of that would get me prepared. I learned how to shoot a bow and arrow and a slingshot. I threw grappling hooks at things,” she said. “My sister and her husband and my nieces would all come hang out while I shot arrows at the tree.”
Kimberly’s brother-in-law, is a naval officer, showed her a few tricks, as well. But it mostly came down to physical training and basic acts of survival, such as starting a fire.
Meanwhile, her parents didn’t really believe she was going to be on the show until she got on the plane.
“When she told me she would be going to audition for it, I just figured it was a real long shot. Kind of like winning the lottery,” said coach Spradlin, who along with his wife had never seen the show before. “Last fall we watched every episode, just so we would have an idea what to expect. I have to admit, after a couple of episodes I kind of got into it!”
“Survivor: One World” was filmed over the summer, all except for the live finale where the winner will be announced. Kim is back in San Antonio and excited to see the competition from the other side.
“Survivor” is comprised of three major elements of intrigue: survival in the elements, competing in complex obstacle challenges and voting off the competition. Kimberly doesn’t flinch at the first two. The politics involved with voting, though, was the hardest element of the show to prepare for.
“I think the one of the best things I had going for me … was making connections with people,” said Kimberly. “I can be friends with anyone and find the value in each person and find a way to connect with them. I was just hoping that would get me far enough.”
In a preview for the upcoming season, “Survivor” host Jeff Probst named Kimberly as one of his favorites to go far in the game.
“Kim is someone I think everyone is gonna want to root for. She’s the all-American woman. … She could walk away with the money,” he said.
In her cast interview, which was tapped before the competition, Kimberly said she would love to win the money, but was more interested in coming out and making a good run at the game.
“Survivor: One World” airs 7 p.m. Wednesdays on CBS. Check with your provider for local listings. To see previews or cast interviews for “Survivor: One World,” go to www.cbs.com/shows/survivor.