PHOTOS Survivor’s Jefra Bland as Miss Kentucky Teen, competing for Miss Kentucky

Jefra Bland - Survivor Cagayan

Wednesday is the premiere of Survivor Cagayan: Brains, Beauty and Brawn — and competitor Jefra Bland definitely earned her spot on “Team Beauty.” The 23-year-old was Miss Kentucky Teen USA 2009, finalist in Miss Teen USA during the same year and a two-time runner-up in the Miss Kentucky pageant.

Here is Jefra’s official pageant picture from her 2009 Miss Kentucky Teen USA win..

Jefra Bland - Official Miss Kentucky Teen Photo

She went on to participate in the Miss Teen USA pageant, which was held in the Bahama that year. (Meaning Survivor isn’t her first time competing on an island!)

Jefra Bland - Official Miss Kentucky Teen USA Photos

After her Miss Kentucky Teen reign ended, Jefra graduated to the Miss Kentucky pageant. She was second runner-up in 2010. She improved to runner-up in 2011 and 2012, which earned her a combined $3,000 in scholarship money for her coursework at the University of Kentucky.

Jefra Bland - Miss Kentucky 2011

The beauty queen told the Central Kentucky News-Journal this week her pageant experience actually prepared her for the reality show.

“Pageants are a lot of hard work,” said Jefra, a native of Campbellsville, Ken. “A lot of people think you just show up a few hours before the competition in your pretty dress, but it’s not like that at all.”

Jefra Bland - Miss Kentucky Teen Casual

Beyond the pageants, Jefra’s personal history shows she has some true grit: She defeated cervical cancer and is an outspoken advocate for preventing prescription pill addiction, which her father battled for 20 years.

“A lot of people just look at me and judge quickly based on what’s on the outside, you know, blonde hair and being a girly-girl,” Jefra, 23, said in her Survivor cast video. “But, at the same time, I’m kind of a tomboy. I love to hunt and fish… I don’t feel like the survival techniques are going to be that hard for me.”

The two-hour premiere of Survivor is on CBS this Wednesday at 8/7c.

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