Ashley Underwood

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Ashley Underwood
Born (1985-02-08) February 8, 1985 (age 31)
Benton, Maine, U.S.
Known for Miss Maine USA 2009 (winner)
Miss USA 2009
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.72 m)
Television Survivor: Redemption Island
Spouse(s) Chris Markwood (m. 2014)

Ashley Underwood (born February 8, 1985) is an American women's basketball player and pageant contestant from Benton, Maine who competed in the Miss USA pageant in 2009. In 2011, she appeared on Survivor: Redemption Island.

Early life[edit]

Underwood was born in Benton, Maine and grew up on her family's strawberry farm.[1] She had a competitive early life, she went on to star in basketball at Cony High School in Augusta, Maine, where she was a finalist for 2003 Miss Maine Basketball award, a two-time All-State honoree, and two-time Eastern Maine All-Tournament Team selection. She led Cony to the Class A Eastern Maine title in 2002 and Eastern Maine runner-up in 2000, 2001, and 2003.

Underwood received a full-ride basketball scholarship to the University of Maine. After playing in a reserve role her freshman and sophomore year, she moved into the starting line-up by her junior year and became one of the Black Bears' top players. During her senior season, she led the team in scoring (15.4 ppg) while finishing third in the American East Conference in scoring, earning all-conference honors in the process. She closed out her career with 1,195 points, ranking her in the Top 10 all-time scorers for the Black Bear woman's basketball program.

After graduating in 2007 with a degree in nursing, Underwood signed a professional basketball contract to play in Geneva, Switzerland. However, after playing in Europe for a season, she returned to her state of Maine and decided to enter the Miss Maine USA contest, her first pageant. On November 22, 2008, she was crowned Miss Maine USA 2009 by outgoing titleholder, Kaetlin Parent. Underwood represented Maine in the nationally televised Miss USA 2009 pageant which was broadcast live from the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on April 19, 2009. She was featured prominently during the swimsuit portion of the competition but did not advance to the semifinals.

Underwood formerly worked as a school nurse in MSAD 49 system, serving grades K-12. She is married to former UMAINE basketball star Chris Markwood.[2]

Maine statistics[edit]


  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
2003-04 31 125 39.0 44.4 70.0 0.7 0.3 0.3 <0.1 4.0
2004-05 30 253 36.5 39.0 92.5 2.0 1.1 0.5 8.4
2005-06 29 385 36.8 35.5 82.4 2.3 2.8 1.0 13.3
2006-07 28 432 37.1 42.0 84.5 3.2 2.5 1.5 0.1 15.4
Career 118 1195 37.1 39.7 84.9 2.0 1.7 0.8 <0.1 10.1


In 2011, Underwood appeared on Survivor: Redemption Island, the 22nd season of the reality competition series Survivor. She started out on the original Ometepe tribe and remained there until the merge. From the beginning of the game, she was part of a majority alliance with Andrea Boehlke, Grant Mattos, Natalie Tenerelli, Phillip Sheppard, and "Boston Rob" Mariano. Underwood was also in a sub-alliance of four with Tenerelli, Mariano, and Mattos, while presuming herself to be in a Final Three plan with Mariano and Tenerelli. For most of the game Underwood was a low-key player, not causing waves while being loyal to her main allies and friends in the game, and was not at that point perceived as any threat to win should she make the end. However, she came on strong with several key strategic moves and a surprising strong final immunity run, that nearly pushed her into the finals, which would have given her a good shot at winning the votes for a million dollars had she made it there (considering the three other people left at that point: Sheppard, Tenerelli, and Mariano).

In Episode 13, with five people remaining in the main game and three people on Redemption Island, Mariano and Mattos plotted to oust Underwood. However, she won the individual immunity challenge, and Mariano then shocked and blindsided his closest friend and main ally Mattos instead, sending him to Redemption Island after Underwood had already previously pushed forward the idea to Mariano, by arguing that Mattos was the worst possible finals opponent. After Mattos was eliminated from Redemption Island, along with Matt Elrod and Mike Chiesl, Underwood felt good about her situation at that point, knowing that she would have lost to Mattos, Elrod, or Chiesl in a jury vote, and that her best chance to win Sole Survivor was against some combination out of Mariano, Tenerelli, and Sheppard. Underwood then won the Final Five Immunity challenge as well, leading to the second elimination of Redemption Island winner Boehlke, who had just returned to the game.

Underwood almost won a third immunity in a row to secure a place in the finals with a good shot of winning the game, but narrowly lost the last immunity challenge and was voted out unanimously, becoming the final juror. She had made the mistake of openly saying, just before the final votes, that she had a much better shot to win the game than either Tenerelli or Sheppard, and that she believed she could beat Mariano. Her closest friend in the game Tenerelli was persuaded by Mariano to vote Underwood out rather than force a tie and subsequently a fire-making challenge with Sheppard, as Mariano had sold Tenerelli on the idea that Underwood was too well liked by the Zapatera tribe, and that she had come on too strong in the late challenges for anyone to risk taking her to the end with them. Tenerelli, despite having no apparent chance of winning herself and being seemingly unaware of this, went along with Mariano's suggestions and voted out Underwood, Mariano's final remaining threat, securing Mariano an easy victory against the disliked Sheppard and the coattail-riding Tenerelli.

Underwood was one of eight jurors who voted for Mariano to win the game. While she had blasted Tenerelli at the Final Tribal Council, Underwood stated that she was not bitter towards Tenerelli in her final vote, but strongly felt that Mariano played the much stronger game of the Final Three, and thus felt compelled to send her vote his way.

Underwood was later considered for the Blood vs. Water season, but was dropped from consideration due to her original partner and back up partner both being unable to compete due to other commitments.


  1. ^ "Maine's down-to-earth 'Survivor' contestant getting chance at dream - The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram". The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram. 2011-02-16. Retrieved 2016-05-23. 
  2. ^ "Ashley & Chris' Wedding Website". Retrieved 2016-08-19. 
  3. ^ "NCAA® Career Statistics". Retrieved 2016-05-23. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Kaetlin Parent
Miss Maine USA
Succeeded by
Katie Whittier