Miss Alabama USA 2012 Katherine Webb, who was raised in the Columbus-Phenix City area, escaped elimination on Tuesday's premiere of "Splash" on ABC.
Webb, 23, was one of five celebrities who showcased their diving skills on the episode. She and "The Cosby Show" star Keshia Knight Pulliam had the lowest point tally, based on scores from the two judges and the studio audience.
They competed in a dive-off and the judges decided to keep Webb in the competition.
Auburn University graduate Webb entered the national spotlight when she watched her boyfriend, starting quarterback AJ McCarron, play for the University of Alabama in the Jan. 7 BCS National Championship. During the game, ESPN’s camera turned to Webb and sportscaster Brent Musburger gave some remarks admiring her beauty.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Ledger-Enquirer
The result? Webb got a deluge of new Twitter followers, a spot in the 2013 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and a gig covering the Super Bowl for "Inside Edition."
On the "Splash" premiere, Webb dedicated her dive to Musburger: ""Thanks, Brent Musburger. This dive is for you," she said. No, Webb didn't wear a traditional bikini while competing in front of the judges. She wore a purple one-piece with the popular cut-out style.
Two of Webb's siblings, Laurie and Matthew, were in the audience.
Here's a full recap of the "Splash" premiere.
With guidance from diving legend Greg Louganis, the celebrity divers "will train and compete in regulation platform and springboard diving at dizzying heights in front of a weekly poolside audience," according to a summary on the show’s website.
Five of the 10 celebrities will dive this week. The celebrities will receive scores from two judges: London Olympic U.S. Gold medalist David Boudia and Australian Olympic athlete and USA Dive Team director Steve Foley. They will also get a score from the audience.
Keshia Knight Pulliam is best known for her role on "The Cosby Show." She says she's extremely competitive and capable of winning the competition. "When you belly-flop onto that water, it's a whole new ballgame," she says in an interview. She kicks off the show by diving from a board that's 10 feet above the ground. She starts the dive with a handstand and there are no major mishaps. She gets a "6" from each of the two judges.
Louie Anderson is a comedian who weighs about 400 pounds. He says it's harder getting out of the pool than getting in the pool. His goal is to shock everyone. "When I was a kid, I could never get up the rope in gym class. So this is my rope," he says. He dedicates his dive to the troops. He initially plans to dive from a board that's 16 feet above the ground, but decides to go for the 23-foot board instead. Well, he didn't belly-flop, so I guess things went well. He gets a "7" and a "7.5" from the judges.
Katherine Webb dedicates her dive to Brent Musburger during an interview. "Thanks, Brent Musburger. This dive is for you," she says. She acknowledges that many people might know her as Musburger's point of interest. "How am I famous? Good question," she says before describing what happened at the Jan. 7 BCS National Championship. She vows, "I'm more than just a pretty face." She does a back somersault dive from a board that's 16 feet above the ground. The judges give her a "7" and a "6.5."
Rory Bushfield is an extreme skier who wants to take risks in the competition. He dives from a board that's 33 feet above the ground. His dive seems pretty difficult and awesome. The judges give him a "7.5" and a "8.5."
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a basketball player. Can you believe he's 65? He's worried his height will interfere with his diving. He does a back somersault dive from a comparatively low springboard. The judges give him a "7.5" and a "7."
Without the audience's scores, Katherine and Keshia are in the bottom two. The outcome doesn't change once the audience votes are tabulated.
Katherine and Keshia will have a dive-off to stay in the competition.
Katherine does a head-first dive from a 23-foot board. Keshia dives from a 10-foot board. The judges unanimously decide to send Keshia home. Katherine stays in the competition.
Check out this video of Webb jumping off a diving board that's 35 feet above the ground: