Survivor: David vs. Goliath interview: Winner Nick Wilson on his path to victory, immunity challenges

Nick WilsonLast night on the Survivor: David vs. Goliath finale, Kentucky attorney Nick Wilson found himself claiming the title of Sole Survivor and the million-dollar prize. How did he do it? Think along the lines of a strong strategic game, good social bonds, and also a big challenge run in the finale. He received the majority of final-tribal votes, and he came a long way from someone who was an early target back on the David tribe.

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So what did Nick have to say about the journey, getting paranoid, and whether or not he really would have made the final four if he didn’t win immunity? CarterMatt spoke with Nick on the red carpet at the Survivor finale last night following his big win.

CarterMatt – I want to go trace the origin story of Nick the underdog here, because you were in danger early on. How did you get out of that tough situation early on in the game?

Nick Wilson – I think in the very beginning what I was struggling with most was opening up to everyone. Since we were placed on the David tribe, it made everyone want to open up and tell their stories. People would say ‘well, what makes you a David?’ and I struggled with talking about my mother. That was the one thing, going into the game, that I said I wouldn’t talk about. It was too personal and it was my business. They can’t make me.

At the very beginning, I was on the outs because I didn’t want to open up; but, the experience of the first couple of days and having the time to be out there and reflect on my life, allowed me to come to a point where I was comfortable enough to open up. That made a world of difference. My tribe-mates were suddenly saying ‘I could actually see Nick for who he is.’ It was a big turnaround.

It’s funny — a lot of times in Survivor you think ‘oh, I’m in trouble. What crazy thing should I do to get myself out of it,’ but with this, it wasn’t about doing something crazy. It was just about being real and being honest and being a human being. I’m glad I learned that lesson early.

CarterMatt – You know this game really well, but I know that there’s a big difference between watching it and being out there. I hear that the boredom can be consuming. How hard was it to not lose your mind thinking over every possible scenario, all the time?

It’s so funny — I was never paranoid. I was really only paranoid two times: On day two, when it was going to me either me or Pat before Pat was [evacuated], and then when Davie and Christian were starting to target me. Those were the only two times that I was ever paranoid. I think that was essential to remaining calm — shut the paranoia out and not let it in. If you start thinking that somebody’s out to get you, you won’t be able to stop it. I tried to just remain calm, trust the relationships I built, and just be confident in my social game.

When you won the first immunity in the finale, I started to think you would have to win your way to the end. If you didn’t win the final five immunity, do you think you would’ve been going home?

At the final tribal council, I asked Mike and Angelina if I had needed to win the immunities. Mike said no, that they weren’t going to vote me out. That being said, Mike’s a player — he voted out Davie! I think that if I hadn’t won immunity, Angelina would have played the idol for me because she really wanted to make a move. She had wanted to play the idol and after Davie was gone, she was the only person I could trust 100% and vice-versa.

Before I let you go, I wanna talk about these alliance names! You became a Big Brother player on Survivor with some of these. I don’t know if you’re a fan of Big Brother…

Yeah, I’m a fan of Big Brother. I just wanted to have fun. I named the alliance with Elizabeth because it was a fun thing to do and I was just having a good time. Then, I noticed that it had an effect on her and we formed a tight kinship because of it. I started thinking ‘this could actually be a legit strategy!’.

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