Wilson has returned to the game for the first time since he won Survivor: David vs Goliath, which was the 37th season of the show and aired in the fall of 2018.
Here’s what you need to know about Wilson.
1. Nick Was the First Person in His Family to Graduate From College
Wilson was raised in Williamsburg, Kentucky, by his father and his grandmother Joan after his parents split up. He is one of four siblings, though he also has three stepsiblings from when his father remarried.
After high school, he got a Bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Kentucky in 2013, making him the first person in his family to graduate from college. He went on to attend the University of Alabama law school. He told the Alabama Law School website after his Survivor win that his legal education helped him win the game.
“The ability to present a logical and persuasive argument is definitely a skill I learned at law school,” said Wilson, adding, “I made a lot of friends out there, and a lot of people trusted me. So, they would tell me a lot of information. Once I had the information, I would use it to get my goals accomplished and to take out the people I wanted to vote out.”
2. He Is a Public Defender Turned Prosecutor
After graduating from law school, Wilson worked in the Williamsburg, Kentucky, public defender’s office. But in 2018, he agreed to work for Ronnie Bowling, the Commonwealth’s Attorney for the 34th Judicial Circuit in Williamsburg, once he was done on Survivor.
When Wilson won his first Survivor season, Bowling said he thought Wilson was perfectly suited for the game.
“Not only is he intelligent but he is also a great athlete. Hr’s a good baseball and football player. He’s a track runner. That guy was well equipped for this game,” Bowling told local CBS affiliate WYMT, adding that even though Wilson is a new millionaire, he hoped he would still come work for him.
3. Nick’s Mother’s Overdose Is Why He Works to Fight the Opioid Epidemic
Wilson’s mother died of a drug overdose when he was in his first year of law school in 2014. It had a profound effect on him and is why he wants to work to fight against the country’s opioid epidemic.
“My mother’s passing helped me realize that there were more important things than to use my success for my own personal riches. I began to feel a duty to my community, and I felt a responsibility to return home and help in any way I could,” he told the University of Kentucky’s paper in 2018, adding, “I hope that I am making a difference for those people and their families. I truly believe that if there is a breath left in someone’s body, that life is worth fighting for.”
“Eastern Kentucky suffers from a poor economy and a drug epidemic, both of which have affected me personally. When I was growing up, I didn’t have someone to tell me how to apply for college or how to become successful. I figured it out by doing it … [Survivor] helped me grow from a country boy, who was fun to be around, into a man who understands how to relate to others and connect on a deeper level,” he said of how his time on Survivor changed him.
4. He Is Getting Married Later This Year
Wilson has been dating Grisel Vilchez for almost six years — he first appears on Vilchez’s Instagram in June 2014 — and he recently told an Instagram commenter that the two of them are getting married in September 2020. She is from Danville, Kentucky, which is a small town about 90 minutes northwest of Williamsburg, where she and Nick currently reside.
Vilchez is also a 2013 graduate of the University of Kentucky where she studied political science and sociology and was a member of the Delta Delta Delta social sorority. She currently works as the Undergraduate Student Success Coordinator at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg.
Of her time in a sorority at the University of Kentucky, Vilchez writes on Twitter, “I was a Greek and bc of it I formed some of the strongest relationships of my life while in college. I was taught the importance of giving back to the community, grades were prioritized over everything, it taught me to care for others in a way I never thought I could, and so much more. The Greeks were right, from the outside looking in, you won’t understand it, from the inside looking out, you can’t explain it.”
5. As A Recent Winner, Nick Feels A Little Disadvantaged
In a pre-“Winners at War” interview, Wilson told Xfinity that he knows some of the other returning players have known each other for a long time, which might put the more recent winners at a disadvantage.
“I’m sure there are a lot of pre-game alliances. Some of these people have been friends for years and years. I don’t really know anybody yet. I won like six months ago, so I haven’t really met anybody yet,” says Wilson. “So, hopefully, there’s more people in my position where either they recently won, or they won years ago and haven’t been a part of the Survivor family, or took a step back for some reason. Hopefully, there are people that need me. I think it’s a huge advantage for people who have pre-game alliances, but I hope it’s also an advantage to me that I don’t have any connections. I’m a free agent.”
He did confess to having talked to a few people before filming, however, naming Yul Kwon and Michele Fitzgerald as his pre-game alliance, so he was hoping they would be on the same tribe. He also says that he thinks Boston Rob Mariano should be the first person out because “he’s had his time.”
Survivor: Winners at War airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
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