Ashley Underwood

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Ashley Underwood
Born (1985-02-08) February 8, 1985 (age 30)
Benton, Maine, U.S.
Known for Miss Maine USA 2009 (winner)
Miss USA 2009
Height 1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)
Television Survivor: Redemption Island

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 (15.2ppg) 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.

Survivor: Redemption Island[edit]

In 2011, Underwood appeared on the twenty-second installment of Survivor. She originated on the original Ometepe tribe and stayed on that tribe until the merge. Since the beginning of the game, Underwood was part of a majority alliance with Andrea Boehlke, Grant Mattos, Natalie Tenerelli, Phillip Sheppard, and Rob Mariano. She was in a sub alliance of four with Natalie, Rob, and Grant as well, and presumed herself to be in a Final 3 plan with Rob and Natalie. For most of the game she was a low key player, not causing waves and 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, and would have given her a good shot at winning the votes for a million dollars had she made it there (considering the 3 other people left at that point- Phillip, Natalie, and Rob). In Episode 13 with 5 people remaining, Rob Mariano and Grant Mattos plotted to oust Underwood. However, Underwood won the individual immunity challenge, and after Ashley had already previously pushed forward the idea to Rob by arguing Grant was the worst possible finals opponent, Rob then shocked and blindsided his closest friend and main ally Grant instead and sent him to Redemption Island. Then again as the primary target to be sent home, she also won the Final Five Immunity challenge, leading to the 2nd elimination of Redemption Island winner Andrea Boehlke who had just returned to the game. She almost won a 3rd in a row to secure a place in the finals and a good shot of winning the game, but narrowly lost the last one and was voted out 3-1 after making the mistake of openly saying just before the final votes she had a much better shot to win the game than either Natalie or Phillip and believed she could beat Rob, becoming the final juror. Her closest friend in the game Natalie was persuaded by Rob to vote her out rather than force a tie and firemaking challenge with Phillip, as Rob had sold her on the idea Ashley was too well liked by the Zapatera tribe and had come on too strong in the late challenges to risk taking to the end against them. Ashley, like Grant before her, was deemed too big of a threat to win the game by Rob, especialy in comparision to the low key Natalie Tenerelli and widely disliked Phillip Sheppard, leading to their blindsides and ousters.

She was one of eight jurors who voted for Rob Mariano to win the game. While she had criticized Natalie at the Final Tribal Council and blasted her for not warning her she was probably going home that night, she stated that she was not bitter towards Natalie in her final vote, but simply felt Rob played the much stronger game of the final three, and thus deserved the victory more.

References and external links[edit]

Preceded by
Kaetlin Parent
Miss Maine USA
2009
Succeeded by
Katie Whittier