By John Powell – GlobalTV.com
He played such a stealthy game that many of his fellow players weren’t even aware of how hard he was working behind their backs. It was a dicey strategy that could have sunk Survivor winner Nick Wilson’s game. A public defender from Kentucky, Nick knew he was taking a chance but was confident in his skills in front of a jury, even a Survivor jury.
“I wanted to be underestimated and not be considered a threat but that cuts both ways. When I am sitting at the end and I have to plead my case, I have to tell the jury about all the moves I actually made. Perception is reality out there. If I didn’t do a good job at explaining my game, they just wouldn’t believe it. I had done a good job the whole game of keeping my threat level low and hiding what I was really doing so it was a risky game but I had to do that. Threats were getting voted out left and right. I had to kept the threat level low and plead my case well enough at the end to get the vote. In the end, it worked out well,” said Nick.
As confident as he was, Nick was kept off-balance during the entire final Tribal Council.
“At the final Tribal Council, I had no idea. The jury did such a good job. They respected each of us. Everyone got a chance to plead their case. I felt like I did a great job, the others did as well. The jury was very cognizant of our body language. They made us sweat it out. They did an excellent job,” said the grateful winner.
John Powell: What does it feel like to be finally declared the winner of Survivor?
Nick Wilson: “It feels so good! I have been waiting so long for this. It feels so good to hear those words!”
John Powell: You elected to bring Angelina to the finals, for obvious reasons. Mike and Kara had to compete in the fire-making challenge. Were you pulling for Mike or did you want Kara to win?
Nick Wilson: “I feel like I played the best game out of anyone. At the time though, I wanted Mike to win. I felt we had a close bond. Looking back, I think that was a huge miscalculation on my part. I really thought Kara was a big threat at the time and would have gotten a lot of jury votes. I don’t know if she would have. Mike was obviously a bigger threat then I thought. I miscalculated that but at the time I wanted Mike to win but in the back of my mind I didn’t really care because I thought I could beat anyone now that Christian was gone and Davie went home. I felt like I could beat anybody.”
John Powell: Now that you have been able to watch the episodes what has surprised you the most?
Nick Wilson: “I did eventually figure it out when I was out there but I was impressed about how well Mike played. Basically, Mike and I were playing the same game. He was doing just as well as I was. I was a little flashier but he really played a strong game. I didn’t realize that until they voted out Davie. I was put into a position where I couldn’t do anything about it because he was such a good player. It just shows how strong of a game he played.”
John Powell: One thing I wanted to ask you was about Alison’s game. Many of the Survivors I spoke to said she played a stronger game than we saw on television. What was your perception of Alison’s game on the island?
Nick Wilson: “At the very beginning of the merge Alison won the first Immunity and people just had this narrative that she was a threat. I don’t think that perception was as accurate as we thought. For me, I thought she was going home when Carl went. She didn’t and I got blindsided. I got blinded by anger, rage or whatever. I had blinders on. I had to get rid of Alison. I wish I hadn’t thought that way at the time. Alison just kept staying around but it was not like she was making huge moves to save herself.”
John Powell: If you could go back and change anything about how you played what would you have done differently?
Nick Wilson: “I would have told Davie about my fake idol plan. It was a good strategy and it prevented Kara, Christian and Alison from looking for the idol because they thought I had it but I made a massive mistake not including Davie on the plan. That is where things went very bad for me.”
John Powell: Do you have any big plans for the money?
Nick Wilson: “Well, hopefully I won’t do too much with it. (Laughs) I bought a truck so I am going to pay that off. Other than that, I am just going to relax.”
John Powell: Would you be willing to play the game and risk your position as a Survivor winner?
Nick Wilson: “Yeah, I will play again. I don’t really care about a legacy or anything like that. It is Survivor. I won one of the best seasons ever. What do I care what happens next? (Laughs) I would play again. It is my favourite show. It was such a pleasure being out there that I don’t think I could say no.”
The next season of Survivor, Edge of Extinction, will air on Global TV in the spring of 2019.