Patrick Bolton’s elimination on Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers was clearly something he didn’t see coming. He was upset and angry about it walking away from Tribal Council, and in our exit interview today we tried to get a better understanding as to why that was.
This interview covers a lot of ground: We discuss why Patrick didn’t come out of the immunity challenge after he started to struggle throwing the sandbags, how much he actually enjoyed being out there, and also how his pre-game history with fellow Hustlers tribe member Ali Elliott influenced his thinking.
CarterMatt – I’m going to dive into some of what your expectations were pre-game. Did you think you would be stuck on a six-person tribe? Were you hoping to be out there on a ten-person tribe?
Patrick Bolton – I’m not the most knowledgeable in terms of Survivor seasons past; I just knew that typically the tribes were bigger and this was a slight change-up. I didn’t care how many people were there, whether it was ten or six. I was more thinking [in the vein of] ‘am I going to link up with people who I enjoy being with, am I going to be on a tribe with people I can be myself with. Can I make an impact and go far with the people I’m originally with?’
I ended up with kind of a weak tribe in the beginning — we went to Tribal Council two times in the [early going]. We were up against the Healers and they just wouldn’t lose.
In terms of strategy I planned to go in and make an alliance with as many people as I could. Obviously I didn’t make an alliance with Lauren because she cut my throat. Pretty much I just got in and felt too comfortable thinking that I had Ali on my team and she was going to be a vote for me. I thought that Ryan and Devon were with me. I just got a little too relaxed and had a little too much fun.
Ali seems to be that sort of person out there who everyone feels really good about and they feel like she is with them. What did she do to make you feel so tight with her?
It wasn’t so much what she was doing. We just knew each other going in and we briefly talked — we knew each other, so we should be able to trust each other. ‘You look out for my back and I’ll look out for your back.’ There were instances where she would come to me and be like ‘hey Patrick, I just want you to know that people are saying your name and it would help if you would not be looking for the idol. I think it would help if you calm down a little bit and play more reserved.’ I should have taken more of her words to heart, since I do think that she was honestly looking out for my best benefit and it came down to if she wanted to risk her entire game on saving me or sacrifice me to the Survivor gods. She sacrificed me. I was the lamb.
Can you just explain what your history with Ali is? You guys knew each other from college, right?
Ali and I were neighbors during college. She lived three or four houses up the street from me. I actually helped Ali move into her apartment. This was when my brother and I were in the early stages of our moving business so we were helping people move into their apartments.
The show labeled you as a Hustler, and that’s pretty indicative of you with your business. In the game, though, did that label define you in any way out there? Is it something that you guys often thought about?
Not a day-to-day thought. It wasn’t like ‘I’m a Hustler,’ and that’s something that we used to feel overly proud. Am I a Hustler in life? Yes, but does it make me a particular person? Not really. It just means that I’m out there, I’m hungry for something better for myself and I’m willing to make something out of nothing. I thought it was an appropriate label for out tribe and most people fit into that.
One thing that I noticed about you at camp, and you can correct me if I’m wrong, but you actually seemed to enjoy really being out there and in the elements. That’s certainly not something that we get from everyone out there. How much did you enjoy it, and is that one of the reasons you were upset over going home?
I was so upset to go because I expected to go so much longer in the game. Another reason I was so upset was because I was so shocked about the vote.
I honestly enjoyed being there. I’m usually working from the office or on a job, so I’m working a lot. Getting the opportunity to go and hang out with six strangers on a beach and to be on a TV show called Survivor — I was out there for the experience and I was having a blast. I enjoyed so much the opportunity and being able to be out there in the elements.
I was enjoying it, but they don’t show the parts where I got three hours of sleep and I’m really hungry, thirsty, I just got sunburned and I’m now about to get bitten by a crab. It’s really cool but it also has its downsides. It’s taxing on your body.
Let’s talk briefly about the immunity challenge. Was that adrenaline on your part that you wanted to keep doing it, or was it you thinking that you were such a badass in the first challenge that you felt like you would pull through?
It was definitely part adrenaline. Also we have about thirty seconds to strategize on what our gameplan is before the challenge starts — everybody agreed that I should throw the sandbags. We get out there, I’m throwing them, I’m in the moment, and I don’t hear people talking behind me. I’m only thinking about what I’m doing and trying to knock blocks off. It’s really unfortunate that I couldn’t pull through for the team.
I should’ve let Lauren swap in. It could’ve saved me had I let her go in halfway through.
What was your relationship like with Lauren out there? Did you even know that she had a history in [softball]?
She was saying that she played 25 years of softball. Lauren, you could have told me that before the challenge started! You could have told anybody that! You failed to mention that. No shade on Lauren, but you don’t look like the most physically fit person out here who looks like they could do this. If there was someone else who I would’ve picked it would have been from my personal opinion Ali, someone who played collegiate soccer, or Devon, someone who could surf and was 6’4”. It’s not Lauren, who does not look like someone who could hit a catcher in the forehead from center field. That’s not [something] anyone knew until after the challenge.
Is there any interest on your part in going out here and doing this again?
I want to do this again so bad, but only to win. I wouldn’t go out here again to go out third — that was way too early for me. It was an amazing experience.
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