After winning ‘Survivor,’ Nick Wilson dished to HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY about that final tribal council, the moment in the game he had a ‘major wake up call’ and much more!
Nick Wilson received seven jury votes during the final tribal council of Survivor: David vs. Goliath, earning him the title of Sole Survivor against Mike White, who had three votes, and Angelina Keeley, who received none. Mike received his votes from Alison Raybould, Kara Kay and Christian Hubicki, and Nick was admittedly shocked when he learned of Christian’s decision. “I was surprised Christian voted for Mike,” Nick told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “I’m not offended and I don’t mean anything negative by it — Mike played a great game! But I did think Christian would vote for me. I don’t mean it in a disrespectful way toward Mike or Christian, but it was a surprise for me.”
Before beginning the final tribal council, the jury admitted they were mostly undecided about who to choose as the winner, so Nick knew he really had to sell himself when it came down to it. “My goal going into the final tribal was to pull back the curtain and show people: This is the game I played, and this is how I did it. These are the moves I made,” he explained. “Throughout the game, I made all these big moves, but I had to kind of not make it look like I was the one that did it because I didn’t want to come off as a threat and get voted out or something. So I wanted to make it clear that, yeah, other people [madethe moves] with me,and maybe they got some credit, but that’s because I couldn’t take the credit myself at the time.”
Nick is a lawyer, so he obviously got his points across well during that final tribal…but he wasn’t 100% confident he pulled out the win right away. “Right after tribal, I didn’t know what was going on,” he said. “I was so delirious and it was such a whirlwind. Over the next week or so, I started replaying it, and I started to get an idea that I had won in the next week or so. I felt confident that I did a good job and explained my game coherently and in a persuasive way. BUT, I thought Mike and Angelina did a really good job, as well. I just wanted a hamburger, when it was over!”
Before Pat was medically evacuated, you were actually a target during the FIRST vote. How did you manage to turn that around and take the target off yourself? That was a huge wake up call for me. To be the first one out, that would have been so heartbreaking. I started playing as hard as I could. From that day on, I wanted to have as much fun as possible, play as hard as i could, and build as many relationships as possible, so if I did get voted out, I would be pleased with the game I played.
The vote was unanimous for Alison at the final five, but Mike had just made three HUGE moves and seemed to be a greater threat at that point. Why didn’t you guys take him out there? It’s because Kara [Kay] wouldn’t vote for Mike. I tried to discuss it with her, but basically she just said…Mike’s a threat, but so is Alison. And she wanted to keep Mike instead, so I just didn’t have the votes. But at that stage in the game, everybody is a threat. It was a tough decision either way. I was kind of glad that Kara had a hard stance to keep Mike so I didn’t have to make the decision.
You won three huge immunity challenges at the end of the game – did that surprise you? Early on in the season and even at the merge, I didn’t really try to win immunities because I didn’t want to come off as a threat. I was in no danger of going home at all [at that point]. So I didn’t start trying as hard as I could until there was maybe nine of us left. So once we got John [Hennigan], Alec [Merlino] and Dan [Rengering] out, I felt I was probably the best at the challenges of the people left. So it didn’t really surprise me.
Alliances changed so much as this game went on, but who was your closest ally out there? This season really was so fluid. Everyone was working with everyone. Anyone could write anyone’s name. From day one until the end, though, I think Davie [Rickenbacker] was my best friend and closest ally. I did have a lot of very close relationships, but if I had to choose one that was my BEST ally who I trusted 100 percent, it was Davie.
Anything pivotal or important you wish we saw? I think the show did a very good job at leaving the viewer in suspense before a vote. So, I I teamed up with the Goliaths to vote out Christian, but they can’t show that because it has to be a surprise. SO I hope it showed how hard everyone was playing and how much fun we were having and how we really left it all on the line. I really believe we were all playing to win and having as much fun as we could in a respectful way. Everyone was going for it. That’s what made it a great season.
I felt that came across last night because the jury wasn’t bitter at all and really respected the three of you sitting up there at the end. Exactly – they had such a respect for the game. They didn’t even give us hints about who they were voting for or who they were feeling or no feeling. It was just a great game played by every single person out there.