While the show has hit record numbers of viewers during its 18 years of existence, this season, Pacific Beach resident and realtor Kara Kay will participate in the competition.
Originally from Carlsbad, Kay graduated from SDSU with a BA in public relations. To add to her all-around San Diegan status, Kay was also a Charger Girl from 2011 to 2014, during which she was team captain her last two years on the squad. She currently works as a realtor in La Jolla, specializing in coastal properties in and around the area.
Now, Kay is putting her skills developed during a lifetime of cheerleading: balance, endurance, strength and positivity, on the season premier of the hit program.
“San Diego is just so beautiful,” said Kay prior to the season premiere. “They call La Jolla ‘the jewel’ of San Diego for a reason. It’s just amazing how you can go down to PB to kick back a little bit, or head back up to George’s at the Cove for dinner. The people here are just so friendly and laid-back.”
For those not familiar with the competition, contestants are marooned on a remote tropical island then divided into teams (David and Goliath in this season). On the island, they face off to earn basic necessities: food, water or shelter – but rarely any luxury item.
While Kay’s profession entails dressing to the nines frequently, she seems to have relished (to some degree) in being forced to return to the basics during her time on “Survivor.”
“Honestly, wearing one outfit the whole time and subsisting nearly entirely off rice was a bit tough,” she said. “But, aside from that, it was such a freeing experience to not do my hair and make up throughout the competition. Being a beach girl, it was nice to get back to my roots.”
As for how she got involved with the show, Kay said that she was recruited and then interviewed for the position.
“I guess my personality fit with what they were looking for,” Kay added. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I had to jump at. I’ve loved the show, so it’s fantastic to finally be a part of it.”
On her competitor profile, she continues that her goal is: “To win one million dollars (duh)! It would be nice to help my dad get back on his feet for good; he ran a successful business until he lost it all in the recession... This would really help carry out my mom's legacy and make her really proud. I would also love to have a down payment for a house. I live in San Diego, one of the hottest real estate markets... and it's expensive!”
Survivor airs on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS. To find out more about Kay, visit cbs.com/shows/survivor/cast/215962. For real estate purposes, go to karakaysandiego.com.