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'Survivor' Contestant Calls Fayetteville Home

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — The shimmering South Pacific waters are nice. But for Candice Woodcock, a magnolia tree like the one outside her dad's office at the Carolina Vision Center is better.

As one of the latest contestants on the CBS series "Survivor: Cook Islands," the Terry Sanford High graduate named it one of her favorite flowers. But her ophthalmologist father warned viewers not to let her blossom of a smile fool them; she's a steel magnolia.

"She knows how to be polite," said Dr. Michael Woodcock. "But talking slow doesn't mean thinking slow, and I think the rest of her competitors will find that out."

Candice is smart, and according to her mother, Debbie Woodcock, she's also cunning.

"That's the kind of person that usually goes far in this game," she said. "If you go out there and start making enemies, you're going to be off."

Her photogenic smile and a big front-page article in the Fayetteville Observer greet everyone who walks into Michael Woodcock's lobby. But in Thursday's newspaper is a letter to the editor from the National Multicultural Institute, urging people not to watch Survivor, saying it exploits racial and ethnic tensions.

This year, the producers are dividing the contestants into four groups: Caucasians, African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Hispanics. Michael Woodcock said the idea is brilliant.

"You are not going to be able to make it to the end if you make enemies with people and if you can't get along with people," he said.

Candice may be a genteel Carolina girl. But that Southern accent knows fighting words.

"We may have to get a new TV set after this series, because if anybody starts talking bad about Candice, we'll be throwing stuff at the TV," said Debbie Woodcock.

Survivor: Cook Islands airs Thursdays 8 p.m. on WRAL-TV.


Bryan Mims, Reporter
Michael Joyner, Photographer
Dana Franks, Web Editor

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