Former Dolphins Cheerleader and Paddleboard Miami Owner on Survivor Nicaragua
When you think ofSurvivor
you think of extreme weather, heat, beaches, and pure drama. Kind of sounds like a normal day here in Miami. Which is why we know our hometown girl,Brenda Lowe
, is going to absolutely kill it this season.
With a resume that includes beauty queen, Miami Dolphins cheerleader, and owner of Paddleboard Miami, people might question how the Magic City native is going to do on Nicaragua sand, but she sat down with Cultist the day of the premiere to let us know exactly what she has in store for us this season.
Brenda Lowe: I am a transplant. I moved here when I was about six from Spain and have been here ever since. I never plan on leaving!
So, we know you own Paddleboard Miami. How do you go from beauty queen/Dolphins cheerleader to Paddleboard expert?
I have always been really active. I love sports. When I got into paddleboarding, I organized a group to find others who did it. When I started, the first event 15 people showed up with no boards. So I decided to buy five boards and rent them out. And it grew from there.
What made you want to try out for the show?
I went in confident not only because I am athletic and sporty, but also I really enjoy everything they do on the show. For me, I watch the show and all the competitions, and I would, be like "Wow. I would kick ass doing that!" I knew I loved the water, puzzles, jumping around, and for me, believe it or not, I always thought this show would be a good time. I went in with the attitude that this was going to be a blast.
Have you watched every season of Survivor?
Yes. I am fan of the show; I knew I could do it. I figured I would try and be like, "Lets just see what happens." Next thing you know I went, I am back, and it's starting tonight. It all went by so fast.
Did you have a strategy going in?
My game plan was just take it second-by-second. People say take it day-by-day, but over there you have to take it second-by-second. You have no idea what to expect. You have to play it by ear with the challenges, days, everything. My game plan was to do my best, have a blast, make my parents proud, and to kick ass. I really wanted to win.
Did Miami's insane heat help you prepare for the show?
Hell yeah. We're really not that far away from Nicaragua. It's less than a three hour plane ride. I was used to paddle-boarding and everything was tropical there. I went in pretty prepared.
From the preview, it looks gorgeous there. What was it like?
It's very tropical, exotic. There are monkeys everywhere! There are wild animals that you would bump into - it is a jungle! You're placed on the beach in this tropical country. It was so hot. It rained a lot. It was perfect for the show. When you go on Survivor, you can't expect a vacation. You have to take everything that comes with it.
So you're an ex-Dolphins cheerleader--were you excited to see fellow Dolphins alum, Jimmy Johnson, there?
Really nice. I knew who he was right away. I can't really say if Jimmy and I connected, I can't say if we talked or if we made an alliance or anything. But yes, he's great.
What can we expect from this season? Lots of drama we hope.
I would say that this season is going to be unexpected. People who watch the show are going to think, oh this is what happens or this person is definitely going to win, but this season has a lot of surprises. A lot of dramatic surprises and a lot of first time for things--meaning in the tribes. People who are fans of the show are going to be seeing things they have never seen before. It was cool to be a part of that.
So you announced on the preview that you were a single lady this season. There were a lot of hot guys - any romance on the island?
It's funny how that happened. I went into this show single, but I was glad to see there were a lot of cute guys there. It helped.
You're literally in the middle of freaking nowhere. What did you miss the most?
Food more than anything, really. I haven't been to Olive Garden in years and for some reason, I was like "When I get home, I'm going straight there!" And my family, every night I would look at the stars and wonder if they were looking at the same stars.
So where did you watch the premiere of the show?
I had a nice dinner with my family and we watched together. Super chill, but nice.
Once you got home, whenever that was, you couldn't say anything to anyone! Was that hard?
Yes, it's hard to stay quiet. At the same time, I knew it would be better just not to say anything. Going away, I didn't tell anyone! I came back and was like, "Oh hey guys. This is where I was by the way." It was only a matter of time 'till they found out what happened, so they can wait! It will spoil it if I told them what happens, I really can't wait to see their faces. The first episode is going to be really cool for me. I can't wait to watch all the surprises together.
So if you take home the big prize at the end you get a million dollars. Did you do the show for the dough?
I didn't do it for the money. I mean, I knew it would be nice. But I knew I had to get by day after day, and I had my eye on the prize, which was the final three. I knew if I could get there, I could deal with the rest. It was more than just the glory. I wanted to get on the show and win. I was obsessed with winning. And I knew if it happened, then I would deal with the money later.
It had to be a pretty rough experience. Would you do it again?
I would do it again. Totally! While I was on the show, I was like, "There is no way I would do this again! Its not worth it. I hate this place!" The minute it ended, I was like - I can't wait to do it all again. I want another shot at this, it was amazing, and I would totally do it again.
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about arts and culture events in Miami and offers you won't hear about anywhere else.