Tyson Apostol has returned to Survivor for the fourth time, which is the second-most seasons any one castaway has appeared on (Rob Mariano appearing on “Winners at War” will mark the fifth season for one single castaway). Tyson previously appeared on “Tocantins” (season 18), “Heroes vs. Villains” (season 20) and “Blood Vs. Water” (season 27), which is the season he won.
Here’s what you need to know about Apostol and his life outside of Survivor.
1. Tyson Apostol Was Raised Mormon in Utah
Tyson Apostol was born June 17, 1979 in Provo, Utah. He was raised in nearby Lindon, one of four siblings. He attended Brigham Young University and did his two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to the Philippines.
In a 2013 interview with the Salt Lake Tribune, he compared Survivor to being on his mission, saying that the way former Survivor contestants talk about the game all the time is the way guys talk about their missions for years.
“It’s really similar to serving an LDS mission. You know, you get a bunch of guys who went on a mission together and they will talk about it non-stop 30 years down the road. It’s exactly the same feeling [when Survivor contestants get together].”
“If you get 10 former Survivor contestants in the same room, they will talk until your head will explode about the game. How and why they should have won their season. What their greatest rivals could have done differently to help them. Stuff like that. And it just goes on and on and on. It’s very similar.”
He also told the Deseret News that after his first appearance on the show, his fellow Mormons reacted positively.
“Most people told me that they were grateful that I didn’t make Mormons look like such tight (expletive),” he said.
2. He Became a Professional Cyclist After College
Apostol didn’t graduate from BYU but began managing a bike shop and cycling professionally in Europe. He most notably rode with Team Volksbank (now known as Team Vorarlberg Santic), a professional team in Austria, but he also rode with Team Mega Bike out of Switzerland.
His biggest year of cycling was in 2005 when he raced in the Tour of Slovenia, Germany’s Schwarzwald, Italy’s Settimana Ciclista Lombarda, and Switzerland’s Stausee Rundfahrt and Giro del Lago Maggiore “GP Knorr.”
In a pre-“Winners at War” interview with XFinity TV, Apostol likened his Survivor strategy to the way he approached professional cycling.
“You may disagree with this, but I think I am probably the most personable person here,” said Apostol, adding, “People want to keep that person around on a subconscious level. Even if that gives you a 1 or 2 percent advantage, that’s an advantage. It’s all about marginal gains. … Marginal gains means if you can do one extra thing with your diet that gives you .2 percent advantage, that’s an advantage. And, if you do enough of those things, it adds up to equal 5 percent, which would be a huge advantage. I see being a likable as an advantage.”
3. He and His Wife Rachel Were Also on Marriage Boot Camp
After appearing on Survivor: Blood vs Water together in 2013, Apostol and his then-girlfriend Rachel went on Marriage Boot Camp to work on some of their relationship problems. The two had been dating for six and a half years when they went on the show. Rachel’s main complaint was that she had been considering marrying Apostol since they’d been together for just one year, but he would not make that kind of commitment. Plus, she said, “Our relationship has always been kind of interrupted with Survivor.”
Apostol said going into the show, “If I had to predict who is more at fault and who is going to get more of the backlash, it’s me. By the end of it all, there’s a very small percentage that’s going to be Team Tyson.”
But the two of them managed to work things out and during the season finale, Tyson proposed. After the finale aired, the two were able to reveal that in the time since the show filmed, they had gotten married in an intimate ceremony in Utah, which was featured on Martha Stewart Weddings.
Survivor alum Stephen Fishbach officiated the wedding in February 2015. Then in June 2018, Tyson and Rachel attended Fishbach’s wedding to Julia Lemle, a woman Fishbach met through OKCupid.
4. Tyson and Rachel Have Two Children
Just a few months after tying the knot, Apostol and his wife welcomed daughter Bergen Rose, born June 2015. In July 2018, they welcomed their second daughter, Marlowe Maeve. In his interview with XFinity, Apostol said that being a dad has changed him a lot.
“Yeah, being a dad has changed me. My kids are my priority rather than just myself. … I like to stay home with my kids. I skip out on a lot of stuff … because I want to be with my kids, not because I have to be with my kids. I’m probably more patient. You have to be patient with kids, they’re just kids. They don’t know everything. They haven’t lived for forty years yet. You’ve got to cut them a little slack,” said Apostol.
Then he cracked, “I don’t even make jokes about them being stupid,” referring to his dry and sometimes abrasive sense of humor while on Survivor.
5. His Strategy Has Not Really Changed Over the Years
Apostol’s Survivor strategy has always been very in-your-face and not really caring what other people think of him. It did not pay off the first two times he played, as he was the 8th person voted out the first time and the 6th person voted out the second time. He finally managed a win on his third try, though his win came at least partially because the jury members were so mad at Apostol’s fellow finalists, Gervase Peterson and Monica Culpepper.
He said in a pre-“Heroes vs. Villains” interview that he is going to continue to be himself.
“When you do it, you just are yourself … I think that’s why the show’s so great is that you really do catch people being themselves and being real, as opposed to always playing up to the camera,” Apostol told the Deseret News, adding, “The surviving is easy. You just basically sit around. It’s not really surviving to the point where you have an equilibrium and can be self-sustaining. It’s being able to sit out in the wild for 39 days. And anybody who can’t do that for a million dollars is a weirdo.”
And in a pre-show interview for “Winners at War,” Apostol says his strategy is still pretty much the same: “I plan on befriending everybody and then stabbing them in the back, joking all the way to the finish line.”
Survivor: Winners at War airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
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