by Kalie Ammons
Season 28 of the hit reality show “Survivor” has been anything but easy for contestants this season. Competitors are left to survive on an island with little supplies, all while competing in challenges before voting each other off of the island.
This season, castaways are in the Filipino province of Cagayan and split into three different tribes; Luzon, Solana or Aparri, otherwise known as Brains, Beauty and Brawn.
Lindsey Ogle, a Northfield graduate and Wabash native, competed in season 28 on the Aparri, or Brawn tribe. Ogle describes her traits that made her a good contestant for the show.
“It’s because I’m such a people person,” Ogle said. “I think that I’m just a social person. I work well with my hands and I’m a hard worker, I don’t think that’s really represented well during the episodes we’ve seen, but I really am a hard worker. Plus, I’m athletic. There was a moment when we were making the shelter and I was weaving a lot of the bamboo leaves and that probably made our shelter a little bit more secure and I couldn’t have done that if I didn’t braid people’s hair every single day.”
Ogle currently owns the Fade Salon in Kokomo.
“We actually own two bars and a salon,” Ogle said. “I’m soon to be starting my own clothing store with hand-knit clothing.”
With all of these fashion and beauty aspects of her career, people naturally wonder why she was on the Brawn tribe instead of Beauty.
“I have people come into the salon all the time and ask that,” Ogle said. “I think that everybody has different elements and that Jeff (Probst, host) said it perfectly when he said ‘Just because they’re on a tribe does not mean that it’s all they are.’ I am a little bit of a tomboy, but I think that everybody has so much inside of them, and that’s what makes the game interesting.”
Strategy is an important part of the game. Contestants must divide their energy between the physical challenges and the social game.
“My strategy changed once I got there,” Ogle said. “I originally thought I would just fly under the radar, and then I thought, ‘you know what? I’m going to have some fun.’ I felt like when I had watched previous seasons, people weren’t having fun. Everyone looked miserable, and there are times when you’re like that. But I think there’s also a lighter side to it, which you can kind of see. I know that CBS posts a lot of their extra videos that you can look at, and I really like those videos on their website, because you can kind of see more of a backstory, and it’s not just, 45 minutes of footage, you get to see a little bit of the understory too.
While Ogle may have seen episodes before her own, she wouldn’t describe herself as a die-hard fan before she went on.
“I’m a new fan,” Ogle said. “I really wasn’t a big fan of any television show, just because I never really watched it. Now I get addicted to it. When Survivor’s on I tell everybody to be quiet. When my season came up, I obviously got super excited. I think I’m the biggest fan for season 28, for sure.”
Even though Wabash isn’t exactly a tropical environment, Ogle says her experience here also prepared her for the show.
“I think that growing up in Wabash, there’s a lot of outdoor activities. I think that by growing up in Indiana helped. I love sports, and basketball is a big thing, and we did sports and things like that. I think that being an active and proactive person in your community helps. Wabash is a very supportive community.
“I think it did prepare me for Survivor because you have to be a people-person, and in the more rural communities everybody knows everybody and of course everybody is going to know your business and that’s kind of how Survivor is too.”
Ogle is known on the show for her long black and orange dreadlocks and tattoos.
“I think there was some prejudgment probably by a lot of my cast members, and I think that when I get kind of talking and being the goofball that I am and make jokes and make people laugh or annoying people, I think they go ‘Oh, she’s got tattoos and dreadlocks and this going on,’ but then I just became a goofball. I think that their prejudgments weren’t very accurate.”
Being on any television program exposes a person to the internet and critiques and comments from anyone and everyone. Searching Ogle’s name leads to blogs and articles dubbing her “the hot Survivor castaway.”
“I have clients come in and say ‘We didn’t know you were buff like that,’” Ogle said. “I always tell them that I was on the starvation diet. That’s the reason I stopped working out before, because I get really, really ripped. But when you’re starving for, goodness-knows how long, I start getting abs and my muscles start bulging.
“But it’s definitely flattering. I think that there’s typical beautiful women with the curves and the long blond hair and everybody has different qualities that people find attractive. I’m not a size two. So for people to say ‘she’s hot’ or whatever it is, it definitely surprised me. It made me feel good, and I realized that beauty is such an open thing.”
Last week’s episode featured Ogle and her relationship with another contestant former NBA All-Star Cliff Robinson.
“Cliff’s a really awesome guy. People are really dogging Tony about how he talks about Cliff, but he’s really just playing the game. I mean, it’s a game. Cliff and I had a really strong relationship and he’s a worker,” Ogle said. “You have friends and you have people you mess with. Someone asked if we were getting married on a social website, and I was like, ‘What? Are you kidding me?’ It’s funny because my husband is 5’5” and white. He plays the piano and the guitar. And then there’s Cliff, who’s African American and 7’7” and an NBA basketball player, and that’s obviously not my style.”
Ogle explained that it is possible to have a friend of the opposite sex. She also explained how little of what happens on Survivor is able to be seen. If people are calm and helpful for 23 and a half hours, but have a bad half hour, chances are viewers are only going to see that portion. And this sorted through a week’s worth of film.
“If you think that it’s cake and you think that it looks easy, I would love to take you on a three-day camping trip and we’ll do exactly what I did for three days,” Ogle said. “A lot of people say, ‘Oh, well I won’t do that.’ And I say, ‘Really, I’ll go with you. We’ll take a bag of rice and a bottle of water and we’ll go for three days and we’ll see if it’s cake.’”
Ogle says Survivor helped her discover herself and gave her confidence for future challenges.
“I feel like I can do so many more things because I experienced what I experienced on that island. I really do appreciate it and I’m so lucky to have the experience. You get to see what’s important and what’s not, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.”
Season 28 of Survivor airs on CBS Wednesday nights at 8 p.m.