Three locals put their beauty and brains to the test on next season of 'Survivor' (video)

Written By Sun-Times Wire Posted: 01/22/2014, 12:22pm

A trio of Chicago-area residents will try to outwit, outplay and outlast 15 other castaways on the next season of “Survivor.”

The long-running CBS show, now entering its 28th season, returns at 7 p.m. Feb. 26 with a two-hour premiere. Filmed in Cagayan, a province in the Philippines, this installment will be themed “Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty.” All three tribes will be made up of six castaways, who must be thrilled to be lumped into these categories (especially the Northwestern student from Addison who’s on the Beauty Tribe, not Brains).

Some of the hardy souls competing this season: a nuclear engineer (from Chicago and on the Brains Tribe, natch), a high-stakes poker player, an attorney, an ex-NFL cheerleader, the president of the Miami Marlins and a former NBA All-Star (Chris Robinson). Will the Brains use their expertise solving puzzles to outsmart the others? Will Brawn dominate all the challenges, given their physical attributes? Or will Beauty use their looks to master the social game?

A 21-year-old student from west suburban Addison (go A-Town!) is on the Beauty Tribe. The Northwestern University psych major’s name is Alexis Maxwell.

“I would consider myself a brain! I work my butt off at Northwestern and consider this an accomplishment that defines me,” her CBS bio says.

Another 21-year-old student — this one from University of Chicago — landed on the Brains Tribe: Spencer Bledsoe from Chicago. Don’t challenge him to a game of chess.

Joining Bledsoe on the Brains Tribe is another city-dweller: J’Tia Taylor, 31, a nuclear engineer.

Meet the cast: