Allison “Allie” Pohevitz, a longtime resident of Oceanside, was able to live out a dream this past summer after she was offered a spot as one of the 20 castaways of “Survivor: Caramoan —Fans vs. Favorites” the latest installment in what has become one of the longest-running reality television shows.
Pohevitz, 25, said that she had applied to be on the show in the past, but she was only a teenager and too young to join at the time, so she applied again in January 2012.
“I’ve been a fan since I was 12, 13 years old — whenever the show first started. “I figured just let me try it and see what happens. They must have loved my video because they called me eight hours later and they flew me out [to Los Angeles].”
The spring edition of survivor pits 10 survivor fans against 10 of their favorite players from past seasons on the Caramoan Islands in the Philippines, and each contestant has a chance to be the “Sole Survivor” and win a $1 million prize. The first episode aired on Wednesday, Feb. 13.
Pohevitz explained that what most attracts her to the show is the forced interaction between contestants who don’t know each other well and may not even like each other.
“In real life if there’s a bunch of people you don’t like, with different backgrounds that you don’t want to hang out with, you leave the situation,” Pohevitz explained. “Whereas here, you’re all forced together. If you don’t like somebody, you have to make it like you like somebody, because you don’t want to be the odd man out. I think it’s a really cool dynamic.”
In such close quarters and stressful situations, tempers can flare over minor incidents. Pohevitz said that while one of her biggest pet peeves is “dirty people,” those who leave items strewn across the floor, she said it didn’t affect her much during the show.
“There’s a difference between dirty people in every day life and dirty people on an island,” Pohevitz said. “I went out there knowing that within two minutes we were going to be disgusting anyway. You kind of have to throw that out the window, otherwise you’re going to make yourself crazy.”
Pohevitz said, she was not nervous about interacting with the other contestants, but the environment itself.
“For the most part, I can hold my tongue so if I didn’t like somebody, I wasn’t worried about that,” Pohevitz said. “I was more nervous about the overall environment and what we were going to be doing. I’ve never slept outdoors, I’ve never made a fire, I’ve never had to get my own water, so just all of that I was really excited for it.”
A bachelor’s degree in media studies and journalism from Sacred Heart University, and her experience as editor-in-chief of the school’s magazine and as a bartender at a steakhouse in East Meadow helped her prepare for interactions with the other contestants, Pohevitz said.
“I think I have a nice way of speaking to people,” Pohevitz said. “I deal with a lot of people on good days, bad days, horrible situations and great situations. I know how to approach people in certain situations to get them to open up to you and things like that. I think it helps to be able to talk to people from different backgrounds.”
Despite her extensive knowledge of the show, (she said she has seen every season multiple times), Pohevitz did not limit herself to a single strategy upon arriving at the island.
“It’s hard going into it,” Pohevitz said. “You can say you have a million strategies but until you meet everybody you can’t really have one thing laid out. I was concerned with making alliances and doing things behind the scenes and not getting myself into any trouble. It’s trying to find a balance between the other cast mates.”
Though she could not say how the 39 days on the island turned out so that the show could remain a surprise for the audience, she said she would do it again in a second.
“It was an amazing experience and I’m so grateful I got to do it,” Pohevitz said. “I wanted it forever and it finally happened. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.