Former 'Survivor' contestant speaks at library

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Jefra Bland Hines talks about time on TV show

By Calen McKinney



Even though she had never been so hungry in her life and didn't like being away from her family, Jefra Bland Hines said she would participate in the "Survivor" challenge again.

Bland Hines spoke on Tuesday night at Taylor County Public Library about her experiences on the "Survivor" reality television show.

After competing in the Miss Kentucky pageant three times, and making the Top 5 during each attempt, Bland Hines said she didn't know where her life was going and wanted a new adventure. She applied to be a contestant on "Survivor" and waited to hear from CBS officials.

She and 17 others were chosen from a pool of more than 22,000 applicants. Bland Hines left Campbellsville on July 3, 2013, and returned home Aug. 22.

"There was no one out there to beat me but myself," she said.

Bland Hines said it was hard living outside and the game was physically and emotionally draining.

Contrary to what some might believe, there were no showers or restrooms and the survivors really did have to find their own food.

"It was truly just survivor," she said.

Bland Hines finished in seventh place and has kept in touch with many of those she competed against.

"I had the experience of a lifetime," she said.

"It truly was the most eye-opening and best experience of my life, for sure."