After being voted off CBS’ hit show Survivor: One World, Kat Edorsson returned to the UCF campus last semester ready to take on a full-time class schedule, a demanding job in sales and all of the criticism she was sure would come her way once the show aired.
Edorsson, a senior majoring in interdisciplinary studies, a degree she will use to start a real estate business in Miami or Fort Lauderdale. For now, she works as a timeshare sales representative and has her sights set on more reality television.
“I was fine before Survivor, I didn’t plan to try out for reality TV but I was looking for something new. … This [Survivor] was the best thing I could do to change my life around,” Edorsson said. “I love sports and fitness and love to be around people. Survivor is the biggest challenge you could manage, so I did it.”
In its 24th season, Survivor had contestants competing in Upolu, Samoa, for a chance to win $1 million. Survivor, a game known for being brutal to its contestants and entertaining to its audience, gave Edorsson an opportunity to prove her abilities and discover her comedic side.
“Apparently, people think I’m funny. I became known as ‘the clown,’” Edorsson said. “Re-watching myself on TV, I was even laughing.”
Being voted off was no laughing matter. The tribal council kept her on after a close call in the second show, but Edorsson’s game came to an end after she was blindsided in the 12th episode. She was originally planning to blindside tribemate Sabrina Thompson and was surprised to see the tribe turn against her instead.
“I definitely think I played a great game, but the choices I made weren’t as great,” Edorsson said. “Not entertaining Troy’s idea when I should have wasn’t a good thing, and not talking to Sabrina didn’t help.”
Although she was voted off, she still says she feels like a winner.
“I went out as a threat, not a weak player,” she said. “I feel like I had a great attitude. I wish I could do better, but I feel like I did good.
“… I went out there hoping I’d change the person I am, and [in] every episode, you see me change. The last thing you saw in tribal council is you saw how much I learned and changed. I matured a lot and am very thankful.”
Life on campus hasn’t changed much for Edorsson, although she says many students stare at her wondering if she’s “that girl from Survivor.”
“Yes, it’s me, and I want people to come talk and tell me how they feel [about the show],” Edorsson said. “I really hope Orlando is proud of how I played the game and that I represented UCF well.”
After her experience on the show, Edorsson says she would love to play Survivor again.
“I might have plans to audition for other things,” Edorsson said. “I’d love to do Dancing with the Stars, mind you you’d have to actually be a star and I’m not really a star, but still.”
With no set plans but high hopes of being part of shows like Big Brother or Amazing Race, Edorsson says we should be on the lookout for her again.
“This is definitely not the last time you’ll see me on national TV,” Edorsson said. “I’m there for the challenge and for the game, and apparently people think I’m funny, so why not.”