Angie Layton is a blonde, but she’s not dumb. She’s a beauty queen, but she’s more than just skin deep. She hunts. She fishes. She can start a fire using flint in "about four seconds."
Which is going to come as a surprise to viewers who tune in to see the 90-minute season premiere "Survivor: Philippines" on Wednesday.
"In my everyday life, people kind of perceive me as the girlie girl," said Layton, 20. "The dumb blonde. But I always surprise everyone."
She was Miss Utah Teen USA and third runner-up Miss Teen USA in 2010, but what really got Layton interested in "Survivor" was the head-to-head competition with the other contestants.
"I love those challenges," she said. "That you can prove yourself and you can compete against other girls who look stronger than you. That whole thing just really made me so excited."
She didn’t get excited about playing the "Survivor" game against former "Facts of Life" star Lisa Whelchel, because she has never seen the 1979-88 sitcom. "No," she said. "My mom did, though."
Layton grew up in Manti; she now lives in Provo and commutes to Draper to attend classes at the Art Institute of Salt Lake City. She was just 8 years old when "Survivor" premiered. For the first few seasons, she considered herself a die-hard fan as she watched the show with her parents, five older brothers and older sister. But then middle school and high school intervened, and she didn’t watch much TV until picking up on the show last year and watching past seasons on DVD.
However, she wanted to avoid patterning her game after any of the contestants on the previous 24 seasons of "Survivor." "I’m my own person and I want to be myself," she said. "But I did like Boston Rob."
Rob Mariano, that is, who competed on "Survivor" four times and finally won the million dollars in Season 22 ("Redemption Island").
"I liked him because he just kind of reminded me of family," Layton said. "He was very sweet and genuine, but at the same time, he was cutthroat and he did backstab a lot of people. But he did it in a way that was almost like it was OK."
Her own strategy going into the season was four-fold: make the older contestants think of her as a daughter; make the young contestants think of her as a friend; not make anyone mad; and be "very, very helpful around camp." "Work to build fires, to go get stuff," Layton said. "Just be nice. And just be myself."
And do what it takes to outwit, outplay and outlast the other 17 contestants.
"My strategy was not to flirt my way in," Layton said. "But if I did have to flirt, I was OK with that."
Source: Salt Lake Tribune