As part of the Survivor 2015 Second Chance cast, Monica Padilla could be a secret weapon in the midst of the other castaways. She isn’t all that memorable from her first go around on Survivor Samoa, except for her last minute head-butting with the infamous Russell Hantz. Yet, if you watched her closely on her first season on the show, Monica had a strong social game, she’s highly intelligent, and she isn’t likely to be seen as a big threat, at least early on.

Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance Cast Then & Now - Monica Padilla (CBS)
Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance Cast Then & Now – Monica Padilla (CBS)

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Monica made her way all the way to 7th place on Survivor Samoa mostly with a quiet, but strong social game. Until right at the end, she didn’t really make a lot of waves, and built solid relationships with tribe members that helped her survive deep into the game. Monica might have actually been ousted on Day 15, but the Tribal Council blindside planned against her was cancelled when Russell Swan suffered a medical emergency and had to be taken out of the game.

On Survivor 2015 Second Chance, Monica Padilla will be part of the Bayon Tribe (pink/magenta), along with Joe Anglim, Ciera Eastin, Jeremy Collins, Kass McQuillen, Keith Nale, Kimmi Kappenberg, Andrew Savage, Stephen Fishbach, and Tasha Fox. (Full Survivor Second Chance cast list.)

On Survivor 2015 Second Chance, Monica is the only cast member from her previous season. In one way, this might be a disadvantage as she doesn’t have any potential allies carried over into season 30. On the other hand, this may make her less of a threat as she has no previous cast mates to bond with in the game, unlike some of the other players. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that she’s easy on the eyes and has a pretty likeable personality as well, which will help her to make friends and allies.

Monica may be gorgeous but she has plenty of brains to go along with her beauty. She was the first member of her family with a college degree, graduated law school and works as private attorney. She’s also had a chance to look back at her time on Survivor Samoa and evaluate what she did right, and what she didn’t, when it came to playing the game.

Click thumbnails for bigger pics or to scroll through. 

Monica Padilla told Entertainment Weekly that she worried too much about what other people thought of her, and “not hurting anyone’s feelings” last time she played Survivor. Just out of law school when she joined Survivor Samoa, she didn’t “truly see the big picture” when it came to planning a winning strategy.

Now “older and wiser,” Monica is ready to face Survivor Second Chance with her focus on the end game from day one. “This time I am going ALL in, and holding NOTHING back,” Monica said.

Does this mean that we are going to see more of the woman who had no fear of threatening Russell Hantz to his face to stay in the game? Well, this time Monica said she won’t be waiting until she’s about to be voted out before making her “million dollar threats!”

We can’t wait to see what Monica will do when she lets it all loose on Survivor Cambodia Second Chance, premiering on CBS September 23, 2015.

Join us on Facebook, Twitter, and by Email updates to get our latest Survivor spoilers, news, results and more!

Photos: CBS, and Monica Padilla Facebook, Instagram & Twitter