Kim Spradlin-Wolfe has returned to Survivor for the first time since she won Survivor: One World, the 24th season of the show, which aired in the spring of 2012.
Here’s what you need to know about this contestant.
1. Kim Spradlin-Wolfe Owned a Bridesmaid Apparel Store Before Survivor
Spradlin-Wolfe is a native of San Antonio, Texas, where she attended the University of Texas at San Antonio. Prior to the show, she owned a bridal shop that had locations in San Antonio and Austin; following her win, she told The Talk that she wanted to use her winnings to “spruce up” her stores.
The store in question is called Bella Bridesmaids, a national chain of bridesmaid apparel stores. Kim had the idea to open a franchise after her own bad experiences with expensive bridesmaid dresses she had to buy for weddings that she would then never wear again. She and her best friend Cayce Harris decided it was time to follow their dreams and do something about that, even if they were only in their mid-20s and didn’t have any experience. In fact, that’s part of why Kim wanted to do it.
“Being so young was largely why opening the store was so appealing. My best friend and I kept thinking that we didn’t want to look back when we’re 50 and say, ‘We really should have done that whole Bella Bridesmaid thing!’ I loved the concept: truly cool, fashionable, re-wearable bridesmaid dresses. When you’ve been in five-plus weddings, you get the brilliance of it,” Spradlin-Wolfe told San Antonio Magazine back in 2012.
2. She’s Married to Bryan Wolfe and They Have 3 Kids
Shortly after her Survivor win, Spradlin-Wolfe became engaged to Bryan Wolfe, a USAA product manager for fire insurance in San Antonio that she met playing sand volleyball at a local bar. Then the following spring, in March 2013, the two were married in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Spradlin-Wolfe’s attendants included her sister Beth, her best friend and co-store owner Cayce, and then two Survivor castmates, Alicia Rosa and Kat Edorsson (Chelsea Meissner was also invited but was unable to attend). In fact, Rosa also did Spradlin-Wolfe’s hair and makeup for the big day.
“I can’t believe I’m on the beach again with Kim,” Rosa quipped to People at the time. “I haven’t been so happy for her since the day she won the million dollars. Everything about this weekend had Kim written all over it.”
Since getting married, Kim and Bryan have welcomed three children: son Michael, born February 2014, daughter August, born May 2015, and son Walt, born June 2016. Yes, Kim and Bryan had three kids in 26 months, she laughed about with Xfinity TV in a pre-“Winners at War” interview. But her kids are part of the reason she wanted to go back on Survivor.
“That’s part of the reason why I wanted to do this, getting to go through the experience with them. My five-year-old will get it this time. The four-year-old might get it,” she told Xfinity.
3. Spradlin-Wolfe Was Once Mistakenly Arrested
After getting married, Spradlin-Wolfe went to the DMV to change the name on her driver’s license. While there, a clerk saw an alert in their system that there was a warrant out for Kim’s arrest for writing bad checks in nearby Hale County, Texas, according to TMZ.
Spradlin-Wolfe was then arrested, booked, and sat in a holding cell for eight hours on the check-bouncing charge. She eventually paid $1500 to bail herself out and discovered that a woman with her same name and birthday had a warrant out for her arrest and the police mistakenly arrested the Survivor winner instead.
“Be careful at the DMV, ya never know what’s going to happen,” she joked with TMZ at the time, adding, “Bring a jacket … it’s cold in jail.”
4. Kim Spradlin-Wolfe Works As an Interior Designer
Bella Bridesmaids is still going strong in Austin and San Antonio with Spradlin-Wolfe’s best friend Cayce, but Spradlin-Wolfe has moved on to other projects in recent years.
Shortly after her Survivor win, Spradlin-Wolfe started doing a segment called “Kim’s Kart” on the show Great Day SA for San Antonio’s local CBS affiliate KENS. She once described the segment as getting “to share all [her] favorite things with our viewers, from the hottest cooking gadgets to beauty must-haves, etc.”
She did that for several years before leaving to focus on her interior design work. She told My San Antonio at the time, “I’m working for Kate Kingman of Kate Kingman Interiors. I’ve been obsessed with her work for years, so this is a dream for me!”
To see some of their work, check out Kate Kingman Interiors Instagram or go to this feature in Best in American Living where they did the interior decorating for a 1930s house remodeling project. She even did some remodeling for Bachelor Ben Higgins.
5. She Knows She’ll Have to Be On Her Toes in Winners At War
Spradlin-Wolfe is generally regarded as having played one of the most dominant games in Survivor history. She controlled “One World” with the skills of a surgeon, forming an all-woman alliance that made it to the final five together. When asked if she’s worried her incredible gameplay will make her a target, Spradlin-Wolfe tells Xfinity that she hopes “Winners at War” can just be its own, brand new game.
“I’m going to start over and let this be a new game and a new experience,” says Spradlin-Wolfe. “I’ll try not to take any baggage from last time. What worked, what didn’t work. I’ll try not to think about what I did or what they did because they’re changing too. I’m good at reading a room. I think that’s why I did well last time. I’ll let this be a new game, a new day, and hopefully, I can read the new cast.”
But she does acknowledge that “when you think about the evolution of the show, it was nicer in the beginning. There was more human connection. It does feel more cutthroat now … I’m curious to see if this goes a little more old school. I think there are some people who like it how it was. Just because it worked well for them when they played it.”
She adds that she hasn’t missed a single episode of the show since she was on it, so hopefully she has a good handle on what the show is now even though she hasn’t been back since her first season.
“I feel like I understand what people are doing and what the pace of the game looks like,” says Spradlin-Wolfe. “I’m going to play the best game I can possibly play. Try to be brilliant, try to be a genius. But, I think you can play a perfect game and still get voted out second.”
Survivor: Winners at War airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
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