SESP senior featured in upcoming season of ‘Survivor’

SESP senior Alexis Maxwell will compete on the 28th season of the CBS reality show “Survivor,” scheduled to premiere Wednesday. Maxwell was part of the competition’s “Beauty” tribe.

Source: CBS

SESP senior Alexis Maxwell will compete on the 28th season of the CBS reality show “Survivor,” scheduled to premiere Wednesday. Maxwell was part of the competition’s “Beauty” tribe.

Rebecca Savransky, Assistant Campus Editor

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SESP senior Alexis Maxwell tested her endurance and stamina last summer as a participant in season 28 of the CBS series “Survivor,” which premieres Wednesday.

Maxwell said she and her dad both applied hoping the show would add a family element, but she was the only one who got a callback.

“It’s like one of my family shows so I’ve been watching it with my parents (and) my brother since the very first season,” Maxwell said. “Actually my dad, he’s like the biggest fan of ‘Survivor’ and every season he talks about how good he would do on the show and how he thinks that he would just win if he had the chance.”

This season of “Survivor” was filmed in Cagayan, a province in the Philippines, and featured a competition between three tribes: “Beauty,” “Brawn” and “Brains.” After finding out she was placed on the Beauty team, Maxwell said she was both surprised and flattered. She said she thought her assignment gave her a clear advantage, as she was one of the only contestants who could clearly be a member of two teams — Beauty and Brains. The former was the “least threatening title,” she said.

During the season, she said she was trying to represent herself and her father because he didn’t have the opportunity to compete. Maxwell said one of the hardest parts was telling her parents the news and keeping it a secret from the rest of her friends.

“I had to sit them down, especially my dad, and be like ‘Do not say anything,’” Maxwell said. “’If you love me, you will not tell anyone,’ because he is such a blabbermouth.”

After taking last Spring Quarter off to do an internship because the show’s filming interfered with her plans to work over the summer, Maxwell deactivated her Facebook account and took other precautions to make sure her role on the show remained a secret, she said. She attributed her lack of social media use to her job.

Before the season, Maxwell said she had several concerns. She started sleeping fewer hours a night and eating less to avoid going into shock when she was not able to access food.

“I was afraid that I was going to be the one who has a breakdown because I really, really love eating,” Maxwell said. “I do it so often, so it’s just I’ve just never had a point where I’m just not eating or I’m not able to just continually eat.”

She engaged in intensive workouts daily. After coming home from a 12-hour day at her internship, she worked out for about two hours every day.

“I did INSANITY (workout) because I hate going to the gym because I don’t like people watching me work out,” Maxwell said. “I would do those everyday, maybe more than once a day, and they were brutal. Those were very hard.”

Maxwell said her Northwestern education also gave her a clear benefit. As a psychology major, focusing on social psychology and group dynamics, she said she could more clearly understand her position in a group, which gave her greater control.

“Being at Northwestern is the biggest help I had with both getting on the show and in the show,” Maxwell said. “The whole thing is a big psychological game.”

Weinberg senior Alysa Statler, Maxwell’s friend, said she was shocked when she found out Maxwell was going to be on the upcoming season of “Survivor,” but has been counting down the days to the season’s premiere. 

“I was really excited for her,” Statler said. “It’s something that’s really out of her character.”

Statler said she thought Maxwell might surprise everyone with her success on the show due to her resourcefulness and ability to play mind games and build alliances.

Maxwell said she did not regret anything about her time on “Survivor” and learned a great deal through the process, including the importance of putting things in perspective and persevering.

“I think it sounds cliche, but the most rewarding part is the fact that I learned how mentally tough I could be,” Maxwell said. “I was so afraid I was going to just break down but I learned I can be mentally tough if I really need to be.”

Email: rebeccasavransky2015@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @beccasavransky

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