Ashley Underwood: Jump Shooting Survivor Pageant Girl


“I was literally starving. I lost 20 pounds. When I came home I had parasites. I couldn’t keep food down and spiked at a fever of 104.”

Ashley Underwood didn’t make Survivor: Redemption Island sound like the most pleasant experience in the world. Yet, the 26 year old is raring to go back and finish what she started, after finishing as the third runner up in the reality show’s latest season.

“I hope they ask me back. I am praying they ask me back for an All-Star season because to make top four and there to only be a final three, you get that itch to prove yourself and go back to win the next time. I am so competitive and I just love challenges.”

1Ashley T  UnderwoodMiss Maine1 187x300Underwood has been competing her whole life, which is a likely reason she was picked for Survivor. She spent four years playing basketball at the University of Maine at shooting guard, finishing as one of the school’s top 10 all-time scorers for the woman’s program and was good enough to receive a contract offer to play professionally in Geneva, Switzerland, bringing her a long way from the small town in Maine she grew up in.

“I was the only American on the team. It was a really different and unique experience but I think it is one of those things, I’d always be saying ‘what if’ if I didn’t do it.”

After a year with the team, Underwood returned to America to compete in Miss Maine, which was actually her first pageant ever. The lack of experience didn’t hurt her as she was crowned the winner and went on to compete in the Miss USA 2009 contest, where she was eliminated before the semifinals. “I was really thrown into the pageant world. It is really a sport on to itself and is so difficult,” she commented.

After spending the past three years alternating between professional basketball, professional pageantry, and reality television, Underwood has decided to put her nursing degree from the University of Maine to use while waiting to see what’s next. Currently she is running, where she is offering health and fitness tips. The website has already recorded nearly a million hits in less than a month and continues to grow rapidly.

“I am excited about the website and now working to develop my own unique workout, involving circuit training that people can do at home. I am trying to use all my different experiences from the past to help put this together.”

Underwood remains a big fan of both basketball and the Miss USA contest, and you could hear her analysis of both topics in our latest episode of The Gunaxin Show. It is pretty rare for somebody to be able to bounce between debating the value of Kemba Walker at point guard and hair styles of Miss Texas, but she pulled it off.

Don’t be surprised to see Underwood back on television in the coming years and if she keeps generating so much traffic for her website, we may have to sign her up here at Gunaxin. For our full interview, check out the latest episode of The Gunaxin Show, and her answers to the Gunaxin Six Questions.