You’ll get no spoilers from Mike Holloway. His lips are sealed.
When interviewed last week about his experiences as a castaway on the new season of Survivor, the 38-year-old oil driller from North Richland Hills responded to the opening question this way:
“Wait! I’m on Survivor? Why didn’t anybody tell me?”
Holloway was sworn to secrecy after returning last summer from Nicaragua, where he was one of 18 people competing for a $1 million prize. He took his vow of silence to heart.
“When people try to pump me for information, I just switch back into game mode and keep my cards close to my chest,” Holloway says. “My closest friend in the whole wide world has no idea about anything that happened.
“The only information I’ve given away is, ‘Hey, the premiere is at 7 p.m. Wednesday on CBS and it’s an hour-and-a-half long. You might want to check it out.’”
We managed to get a little more out of Holloway, but only a LITTLE more.
What made you want to compete on this show?
I’ve been a Survivor fan since Season 2. It started when one of my friends asked, “Did you see Survivor last night?” and I was like, “Um, that show with the naked guy?” And he starts telling me about this contestant from Texas who brought this huge Texas flag with him and was really good at the game.
If you’re from Texas, you’ll watch anything on TV about Texas, right? So I started watching Colby Donaldson [Season 2 runner-up] and it sparked my interest in the show. I fell in love with the game. For the past 10 years, I’ve been making Survivor casting videos, but I never sent anything in until last year.
How deep are your Texas roots?
I’m a sixth-generation Texan. Anyone familiar with Texas history has probably heard of my great-great-great-great grandfather: Oliver Loving of the Goodnight-Loving Trail. Loving County is named after him.
I was born in Odessa, we lived for a while in Abilene and, when I was 14, we moved to Dallas-Fort Worth. I’ve been here ever since. I went to L.D. Bell High School in Hurst. Blue Raiders!
Were you much of a world traveler before this opportunity came along? And what did you think of Nicaragua?
Because of what I do in the oil fields as a directional driller, I have gone to places like Romania and the Netherlands. There’s not a rig next to my house. So, yeah, I’m a traveler at heart. In a way, my 10 years in this business prepared me to be part of Season 30.
And it was great being there, waking up and seeing the beauty of the landscape. In the mornings, when the surf was up, I would be wishing, “Somebody get me a surfboard!”
How would you describe your approach to playing the game?
I think viewers will see me as a combination of good guy and villain. I mean, that’s kind of the role I wanted going in. In real life, I want to be a good guy.
But in this game, you have to be villainous to succeed. If not, you’re going to be road kill. And nobody wants to be road kill.
Have you ever been on a TV show? Like, did you ever audition for American Idol or get your bathroom remodeled on HGTV?
Well, me and Blake Shelton are best buds. He’s always trying to get me to go on The Voice. … No, nothing like that. I can’t sing. I can’t even clap on beat.
This was a new experience. It was an amazing opportunity, getting to play this beautiful game that I love with all of my heart.
Survivor: Worlds Apart
▪ 7 p.m. Wednesday
▪ KTVT/Channel 11