Bethesda Resident Competing on ‘Survivor’

Bethesda Resident Competing on ‘Survivor’

Fan watched a dozen seasons of TV show to ‘get myself in the mindset’

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Julia Carter

CBS Entertainment

Julia Carter has watched “Survivor” ever since she can remember, but she’ll be on the other side of the action for the 38th season of show, airing later this month.

The now 25-year-old Rutgers University medical student from Bethesda will attempt to outlast 17 other castaways for a $1 million prize in the Mamanuca Islands of Fiji, the site of Tom Hanks’ film “Cast Away.”

Carter said she did a bit of physical training to prepare for the show but mostly focused on the mental aspect, watching 10 to 12 previous seasons in a matter of days to develop her personal strategy.

“I tried to just look at their game from a future player’s perspective rather than as a fan on the couch and really analyze what I can from the moves that were made,” Carter said. “Just so that I can really get myself in the mindset of being out there and trying to play the game.”

“Survivor” features a group separated into two “tribes,” with living in a remote location with limited resources. Tribes pitted against each other in challenges that offer rewards. The losing tribe is forced to vote off a teammate each week in a tribal council. The tribes eventually merge into one, and a winner is chosen from the final two remaining people by the losing contestants.

The show and its host Jeff Probst have won several Primetime Emmy awards.

Carter watched the show casually with the rest of her family while she was growing up, but viewed more intently after her father passed away. While in college, the personal journeys and emotional struggles of the contestants encouraged her to apply to be on the show.

“I [thought] this would be a good experience for me to have not only as a fan of the show but as someone who also wants to challenge themselves and show what they’re made of and what they’re capable of,” Carter said.

This season’s theme is “Edge of Extinction,” offering a twist on the traditional format. Once players are voted out, they have the choice to either return home or go to the Edge of Extinction, “where they will be pushed further than ever before for a chance to get back in the game,” Probst said in a news release.

Four of the 18 contestants are returning players. Carter will be part of the “Kama” tribe.

The first episode airs on CBS on Feb. 20 and Carter said she’ll absolutely be tuning in.

“It’s going to be a different experience and I’m looking forward to it,” Carter said.

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