She went from Oceanside to the ocean's side -- fulfilling, she says, a dream she's had since age 12: Local girl Alexandra "Allie" Pohevitz stars as one of the Gota-tribe fan competitors in "Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites," premiering Wednesday at 8 on CBS/2.
"I was just ecstatic," the 25-year-old Pohevitz (pronounced Poh-HEY-vitz) remembers of the day she learned she'd be spending part of her summer on the Caramoan Islands off the coast of the Philippines' Caramoan Peninsula. "Half my life I wanted to be on the show," she says, "and somebody else saw in me what I saw in me." (CBS forbids contestants from revealing what happens on the show.)
Pohevitz -- the daughter of Suzanne and Christopher Pohevitz and an alumna of Oceanside High School and Connecticut's Sacred Heart University -- works as a nanny during the week and bartends at Jake's Steakhouse in East Meadow on weekends while seeking a job in her chosen field, journalism. "I'm trying to pay off school," she says. "It really is a good job, bartending, but I'm looking for more of a career at this point."
Slinging drinks at least gave her a plausible excuse for where she was disappearing to for several weeks: She told friends she'd gotten a summer job tending bar in Barbados.
"I actually did get offered a job through a travel company and really did get that position," she says. "And three days after that, I got 'Survivor,' so that worked out." Was she worried friends might hop a flight to visit? "That was the biggest issue," she remembers. "Two of my friends, in fact, were going to visit me" but couldn't reach her. After Pohevitz returned, she told people she'd lost her wallet, cellphone and camera.
Pohevitz, who has a younger sister named Leanna, currently lives with her father in Oceanside, which was hit hard by superstorm Sandy. "My family was extremely lucky," she says. "Both of my parents lost power at their homes for around two weeks, and my father's basement flooded, but it could have been so much worse."
She was hit with a storm of criticism, however, for saying on the "Survivor" website that anyone going on the show "who says that money is not the No. 1 motivating factor is either a liar or completely brain-dead."
"I had very angry responses from people," she says about the comment, which she insists "was taken out of context. If you're a fan of the show, you want to be there -- where else are you ever going to get that opportunity? It was harder that I had envisioned," she concedes, "but it was the best experience I've ever had."