Victoria Baamonde is one of five finalists in the running to win $1 million dollars and the title of Sole Survivor on the May 15 finale of Survivor: Edge of Extinction.
Baamonde is competing against Lauren O’Connell, Julie Rosenberg, Rick Devens and Gavin Whitson for the title, as well as a sixth player – one of the former contestants eliminated earlier this season – who will join the mix during the finale.
Here’s what you need to know about Baamonde:
1. She Loves Animals & Considers Her Guinea Pig One of Her Biggest Inspirations
Baamonde has spoken about her pet guinea pigs on the show, and in her Survivor bio, she even mentions that her guinea pig Scamp is one of her biggest inspirations in life. She said that he was malnourished and sickly from the moment she adopted her, but that she is still a happy, feisty little ball of fur.
“She’s had two surgery stints, countless vet visits, and tons of medications, but she’s still the happiest, feistiest, and most amazing little fur-ball. She has such a distinct personality and loves eating so much. I just respect that about her and strive to be that simplistically happy.”
She has also mentioned on Instagram that she will “live for f–king ever” because dogs are said to increase your life span, and she loves dogs.
2. She Grew Up in The Bronx & Works as a Waitress
Baamonde is a born-and-bred New Yorker; she grew up in the Bronx and still lives there to this day, when she’s not competing for $1 million dollars on Survivor.
Her Survivor bio lists her occupation as a waitress, although her LinkedIn page also says that she’s an Assistant Manager at the American Kennel Club, which is fitting since she clearly loves animals. She was also a manager at Ruby and Jack’s Doggy Shack in Manhattan.
As a waitress, she says she hates when customers don’t read the menu and then “ask dumb questions like, ‘are there meatballs in the meatball sauce?’”
3. She Graduated Valedictorian of Her Class With a 4.0 GPA
Baamonde graduated from the City University of New York – Hunger College with a Bachelor’s degree in Physical and Environmental Geography in 2016. She was named the valedictorian of her classic with a perfect 4.0 GPA, which she says often brings up when she is talking to new people. She calls it her “claim to fame.”
“I bring it up in conversations as much as possible,” Victoria admits in her CBS bio.
4. She Likes Hiking, Painting & Cooking
She states on her bio that loves hiking, painting, visual art and cooking, but she can’t stand when people walk slow or leave cabinets open, and she sometimes gets peeved at her guinea pig (who she ironically named Peeve).
When asked what she would take with her to the island, she said she would bring along a notebook and pencil, “to keep track of all my thoughts and to sketch.” She also would bring along a guitar, because even though she doesn’t know how to play one, she says she’d have “lots of time to learn.”
5. She Believes She Will Win Survivor Because She’s a ‘Hustler’
Baamonde believes she has a good shot at winning the title of Sole Survivor because she can outlast the competition. She says she isn’t afraid to turn on people when she has to, but also knows when it’s in her best interest to make alliances.
“I truly think I have everything it takes to outwit, outplay, and outlast,” she says in her bio. “I am and always have been a hustler. I work hard to achieve my goals. I’m sociable, very smart, strong, and self-aware enough to know when to tone down the quantities that make me a threat. I’m not afraid to lie and backstab, but I’m smart enough to know without alliances and bonds, you will never win.”