Patrick Bolton will have to outwit, outplay and outlast 18 other castaways as he competes in the upcoming 35th season of "Survivor."
The long-standing reality show, which first aired back in 2000, takes strangers to Fiji where they must find food, shelter and fire for themselves while competing for the title of "Sole Survivor" and a prize of a million dollars.
Patrick Bolton, 25, graduated from Auburn in 2014 with a degree in health services administration.
"My time at Auburn was incredible," Patrick Bolton said. "All the connections I made, the friendships – I still appreciate to this day."
It was while he was a sophomore when he and his brother, Stephen Bolton, began the early works of their moving business, Bolt Movers.
Stephen Bolton leads Bolt Mover's branch in Nashville, Tennessee, while Patrick Bolton still lives in Auburn to oversee their business.
This year's theme of "Survivor" is "Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers," and it was Patrick Bolton's early start in the business world that earned him the title of "hustler."
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"I identify well with a hustler and have referred to myself as a hustler before the show," Patrick Bolton said. "Starting a business with my brother was not easy and still remains challenging, which I like so much. Hustling to stay on top is not easy, but it's something that I want badly."
Patrick Bolton said his work ethic was prevalent even during his childhood, always picking up odd jobs to make a little bit of money.
He said what made him interested in competing in Survivor was mainly how it pushed limits.
"It's a game so original to itself, and it tests every contestant's body during challenges and being able to withstand the elements – the sun being the element I was most affected by," he said. "Mind, are you able to outwit and lie your way to the top? No one there wants to give up a chance to win a million dollars. Last, social skills – can you read the minds of others before they make the move to send you home without causing a catastrophe but also make the majority want to keep you around?"
Patrick Bolton said he was focused on being both a mental and physical threat.
He felt he was prepared physically for the island but didn't have much free time to make any other changes.
"I grew up loving the outdoors," Patrick Bolton said. "I've been camping a lot, so that prepared me somewhat for what I was walking into."
Patrick Bolton joked how he probably could've prepared more with a restricted diet beforehand.
"Before the show, I indulged in all of my favorite foods because, you know, you don't get anything like that on the island, you have to fend for yourself," Bolton said.
He binge watched the show before competing. He said being a fan and then a contestant was a surreal experience.
"It let you realize how real the show really is," Bolton said. "Everyone asks, 'was it staged?' My answer will always be no. Everything is so much more real than you would imagine."
With the show wrapped, but yet to air, Patrick Bolton reflected on his experience.
"It changed the way I see myself, and I am thankful for that." he said.
The season premiere of "Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers" will air Wednesday, Sept. 27, on CBS.
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