A local woman is having her debut in one of the most widely watched series on television.
Victoria Baamonde, who resides in Country Club, is a cast member on CBS’s Survivor: Edge of Extinction, Season 38, which premiers on Wednesday, February 20 at 8 p.m. on the network for being the ‘Sole Survivor.’
Baamonde is one of 18 castaways marooned on a tropical island in the competitive reality television show, with one of the contestants winning a $1,000,000 prize at the end of the season.
She told the Bronx Times she’s been a fan of the show ever since she and her parents watched the first season back in 2000 when she was a child, and she dreamt of becoming a cast member for a long time.
“I’ve always loved the show every since it first came out,” said Baamonde. “In the beginning it was a really cool adventure show that was fun to watch.”
As she continued watching, she said she came to see the show as a microcosm of the real world, where the challenges of the real world are heightened.
“I wanted to be able to test myself. They travel to such cool places and I wanted to go where they go and experience challenges you wouldn’t in everyday life,” she said.
The show places a group of people who don’t know each other on an isolated island, where, like castaways, they have to provide food and shelter for themselves.
She said that the show pits the castaways into two teams or tribes and has them compete against each other in adventurous physical or mental challenges and win each other’s trust.
After each challenge, the losing team votes someone out of the competition, and those that are voted out by a ‘tribal council’ go on to become judges for the rest of the series, she said.
Baamonde said that she first applied to become a cast member online about a year and a half before the producers of Survivor contacted her.
After receiving an email out of the blue stating she was moving on to the next step, she had a phone interview, completed a very detailed application, and then attended three interviews in Los Angeles, where she could have been cut at any time.
She was thrilled when she found out that she was going to be on the show.
“They get thousands of applications a year, and it was a life long dream. To think someone over there thought there was something special in the little 30 second video that I sent in is something I am still trying to wrap my head around,” said Baamonde.
Baamonde told the Bronx Times that she had a rather typical upbringing in Country Club, attending P.S. 71 and M.S. 101.
Her grandmother lived down the street from where she grew up, and she played softball with the Pelham Bay Belles.
On the day the episode debuts, Baamonde is planning to have premiere party with friends and family.