A Tehachapi woman is among 18 "castaways" who will compete against each other on Survivor, the Emmy award-winning CBS series when it returns for its 28th series with a special two-hour premiere on Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 8 p.m.
Local attorney Kassandra McQuillen, 41, will be a member of the the "Brains" tribe, according to an announcement from the network.
McQuillen said she has always been an avid fan of Survivor and has never missed a single episode.
"I made a video, submitted it online, and the next thing I knew I was getting a call from a casting director," McQuillen said in a phone interview.
In fact, when McQuillen received the call that she was selected to be on the show, she didn't believe it.
"When I got the call I just hung up, because I thought it was one of my friends joking around," she said. But she soon realized it was all real.
McQuillen added that what she enjoyed most about the show was the physical and emotional challenge it presented.
"The starving, making shelter, it's all real," she said. "It's insane for someone who's watched it for so long."
McQuillen is working with the Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Parks District to host a premiere party sometime next month, where the proceeds will benefit the parks district, she said.
"I'm a parent and I'm a huge advocate of children getting to play and I thought that was a good cause."
She is a coach for first and second grade basketball at the parks district.
The spring edition of "Survivor," filmed in Cagayan, a province in the Philippines, will be themed "Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty."
The groupings of these tribes, each comprised of six castaways, reflect the distinguishing qualities that people bring to the game and test whether there is any truth to the pre-conceived notion that that certain characteristics will help you win the game of Survivor, the network said. All castaways will compete to outwit, outplay, outlast and ultimately be crowned Sole Survivor.
In addition to McQuillen, the season's cast includes a high-stakes poker player, an ex-NFL cheerleader, a nuclear engineer, the president of the Miami Marlins and a former NBA All-Star.
Will the Brains use their expertise solving puzzles to outsmart the others? Will Brawn dominate all the challenges given their physical attributes? Or will Beauty use their looks to master the social game?
Tehachapi residents will undoubtedly be pulling for the Brains!