A workhorse around camp, Mike was the unofficial leader of the 'blue-collar' Escameca tribe. His social game was up-and-down, as he sometimes championed the cause of his ostracized tribemates, but at other times irritated his allies with his overbearing conduct around camp and at challenges. He was able to secure a tight majority alliance going into the merge. However, a bold move at the Survivor Auction, as well as his ill-considered call-out of Rodney Lavoie Jr.'s secret sub-alliance, caused his allies to turn on him. Despite this setback, Mike's numerous Immunity Challenge wins and use of the Hidden Immunity Idol allowed him to make it to the end. His aggressive yet honest gameplay, kindness, and ultimately benign social game won him the title of Sole Survivor in a 6-1-1 vote.
Retrieved from CBS.com
Name (Age): Mike Holloway, 38
Tribe Designation: Blue Collar (Escameca)
Current Residence: North Richland Hills, Texas
Occupation: Oil Driller
Personal Claim to Fame: Paying off my house in 2 ½ years. It took a lot of Ramen noodle nights, but to see the focus and drive pay off, was priceless.
Inspiration in Life: Don Couch-He is the man and I call him "Dad." Even though we are in no way related he took it upon himself to teach me how to be man. He is a man of morals and values and he is a man of his word. He means what he says and is who he says. What a mentor.
Hobbies: Disc golf, running and picking up the ladies! Haha!
What is your favorite sport? When I was younger, it was playing football because the sound of someone losing their air is awesome. Now that I am older, it is disc golf because I love the challenge of me against the course.
Pet Peeves: People who are bad at time management. If you say you're going to be somewhere at a certain time, be there! Also spelling, I can't stand it when someone can't spell.
3 Words to Describe You: Loyal, Ambitious and Clever.
If You Could Have 3 Things on The Island What Would They Be and Why? 1. Any ball because I can make a game out of anything, MacGyver-ish in this case. But it would be nice to have a ball. 2. Toilet paper because it kind of stinks rubbing your bum with your hands. 3. Tooth brush because it's refreshing not having yuck mouth.
Survivor Contestant You Are Most Like: Cochran, because he knows the game and how to move pieces; Ozzy because that dude has the best posture of anyone and he's a bad ass; and Rob because he takes over and gives 110% at everything.
Reason for Being on Survivor: There's a competitive fire inside me. I can't get enough. I live to compete daily in my own life. If you guys let me loose on the challenges you will see. Also, I want to see if I am as good of a manipulator as I think I am.
Why You'll "Survive" Survivor: I have a never-quit attitude. If I have to die, I will before I quit! I am also confident in who I am and what I can do and can't do. The ole 'fake it till you make it' applies here. I also am a leader; people naturally flock to me because of my outgoing attitude on life.
Why Will You Be the Sole Survivor: My life is constantly changing. At work, I must adapt to what the oil well is doing and sometimes drastic measures need to be taken. In my personal life, I have had to overcome being molested and bullied when I was young and not having a father. Learning to be influenced by the right people has been no easy chore. I have grown into my own skin - I know who I am and what I am about. My faith has made me whole, my family and friends have me strong, and my experiences have made me adapt. Let's get it on!!!!
Being a blue-collar laborer, Mike started off on the Escameca tribe. He initially formed an alliance with Dan Foley and Kelly Remington, of which he was viewed as the leader. However, he began to earn the ire of his other tribe members Lindsey Cascaddan, Rodney Lavoie Jr., and Sierra Dawn Thomas when he repeatedly insisted that the tribe do more work around camp. Nevertheless, the tribe did well in challenges. They won the first three Immunity Challenges and thus avoided going to Tribal Council for the first eight days. During that time, Mike's reputation became more favorable as Dan's antics and Rodney and Lindsey's rivalry took the attention off of him. However, Escameca finally lost their first Immunity Challenge on Day 11. After the challenge, Mike, Dan, and Kelly aligned with Rodney. Rodney wanted to vote for Lindsey for her outbursts at camp, but Mike and Kelly privately considered voting him out instead. At Tribal Council, they stuck with Rodney, and the four of them split their votes between Lindsey and Sierra and eliminated Lindsey in the revote.
On Day 12, a Tribe Switch occurred that brought the three tribes down to two. Mike remained on the Escameca tribe with Dan, Rodney, and Sierra, but lost Kelly. They were joined by white collars Joaquin Souberbielle and Tyler Fredrickson, as well as no collar Joe Anglim. However, Joaquin and Rodney started bonding, worrying Mike and Dan. On Day 16, Mike decided to throw the Immunity Challenge to save Kelly, who he feared was the next target at the Nagarote tribe. After the challenge, Joaquin, Rodney, and Tyler targeted Joe because he was the biggest challenge threat, but Mike and Dan wanted to get rid of Joaquin because his friendship with Rodney was too strong. Joe joined them in order to save himself, with the three then trying to secure Sierra's vote. At Tribal Council, Sierra sided with Mike, Dan, and Joe blindsiding Joaquin in a 4-3 vote. Afterwards, Mike explained to Rodney why he got rid of Joaquin, but Rodney was still angry.
On Day 17, the tribes merged into the Merica tribe, and Kelly joined Mike's side again. He was also able to gain former white collars Tyler and Carolyn Rivera and former no collar Will Sims II as allies. Joe won immunity on Day 19 thwarting the Escameca Alliance's plans of getting rid of him, so Mike targeted Joe's ally Jenn Brown instead. At Tribal Council however, Jenn played her Hidden Immunity Idol, negating the seven votes cast against her, and blindsiding Kelly in a 4-1-0 vote. After winning the next Reward Challenge, Joe received a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol, which he showed it to Tyler, though Mike caught them. Tyler told Mike about the clue to keep the alliance's trust. Though Joe could not find the idol, Mike decided to frame him by claiming that he saw Joe find it, which sidelined Joe from continuing his search; Mike continued looking, and eventually found the idol himself. When Joe won immunity again on Day 22, the alliance targeted Hali Ford, and she was blindsided in a 7-4 vote. Tyler then won the next Immunity Challenge, ending Joe's immunity streak. Joe then tried to trick Mike into keeping him by showing him a fake idol, claiming that it was the real one. Despite having the real idol, Mike still asked Joe to give him the fake one. At Tribal Council, Mike played the fake idol on Will and that learned it was indeed fake. The votes were split between Jenn and Joe, but Mike used Shirin Oskooi's swing vote to send Joe to the jury.
Early the next day, Mike overheard Rodney's sub-alliance consisting of Rodney, Carolyn, Tyler, and Will plotting to vote him out next. Later at the Survivor Auction, Mike held out from participating in order to have all of his money for a game advantage. Though the tribe agreed to purchase letters from their loved ones at Shirin's suggestion, Mike attempted to renege on the agreement; after earning the ire of his tribemates, particularly Carolyn and Dan, Mike relented and subsequently lost the lottery to earn the advantage, which went to Dan. After the auction, as the tribe was reading their letters from home, Mike blew up Rodney's four-person alliance to everybody. However, this resulted in him getting kicked out of the alliance and becoming the primary target as the tribe lambasted him for doing so at a time that was meant for everyone to read their letters. When another altercation at camp resulted in Will berating Shirin in front of the tribe, Mike came to Shirin's aid and pulled her aside, resulting in Mike, Jenn, and Shirin ending up in the minority. However, Mike saved himself by winning the next Immunity Challenge. At Tribal Council, Jenn was eliminated.
A twist at the next Immunity Challenge allowed both Mike and Carolyn to win immunity. At Tribal Council, Mike bluffed about giving the idol to Shirin so that the others would switch their votes. Tyler and Will switched their votes to Dan, but Mike did not give the idol to Shirin and she was sent to the jury. Mike, Carolyn, and Sierra then won the next Reward Challenge on Day 30. However, his team did not give up the reward to Rodney, which upset Rodney because it was his birthday. During the reward trip, Carolyn considered teaming up with Mike. After getting back from the Reward Challenge, Rodney acted like he wanted to quit so that Mike would not play his idol, but Mike sensed that he was lying. Carolyn won immunity, but Mike was safe due to him having the Hidden Immunity Idol. Mike wanted to target Tyler and tried to convince Carolyn to vote for him, which she pondered over. At Tribal Council, Carolyn and Sierra sided with Mike. Mike played his idol, negating the four votes cast against him blindsiding Tyler in a 3-0 vote. That night, Carolyn told Mike about Dan's Extra Vote advantage and they decided to get rid of Dan next. Mike, Carolyn, and Will won the next Reward Challenge and during the reward, Mike proposed a final three deal with them, which Carolyn considered. On Day 35, Mike narrowly defeated Sierra to win immunity. After the challenge, Rodney asked him if he was voting for Dan, which he thought about. He then told Carolyn and Sierra that Dan, Rodney, and Will were voting for Carolyn. At Tribal Council, Carolyn played her Hidden Immunity Idol, negating the five votes cast against her, and her and Mike's votes sent Dan to the jury.
On Day 36, Mike's mom visited as part of the Loved Ones Challenge. Mike won the subsequent Reward Challenge, earning him time to spend with his mom and got an advantage for the next Immunity Challenge. Early the next day, Mike and his mom went to the location of the challenge, where they discovered that his advantage was that he and his mom got to practice for the upcoming challenge for thirty minutes. However, they did not make any progress, which worried both of them. Nevertheless, Mike was still able to win the Immunity Challenge. Afterwards, he and Carolyn decided to vote for Rodney, with Sierra joining their side. He then talked to Rodney, who told him that Sierra had done nothing to upset the jury, leaving Mike to ponder whether to vote out Rodney or Sierra. At Tribal Council, Sierra accidentally told everyone that she was a threat, so she was blindsided in a 4-1 vote. On Day 38, Mike won the Final Immunity Challenge. Back at camp, Rodney told him to vote for Carolyn, but Mike wanted to go with her to the end. Mike then told Carolyn his intention to force a tie at Tribal Council that night between her and Rodney, resulting in fire-making tiebreaker and started prepping Carolyn for the tiebreaker. At Tribal Council, the vote indeed came out tied between Carolyn and Rodney, forcing them to compete in the fire-making tiebreaker. After an hour, Carolyn won and made it to the end, sending a furious Rodney to the jury.
At the Final Tribal Council, Mike was praised for winning numerous challenges and making it to the end despite being the prime target, but was criticized for playing a bad social game. In the end, Mike received six votes, while Carolyn and Will received one vote each, earning him the title of Sole Survivor.
At the Reunion Show, Mike was one of the thirty-two contestants eligible to return for Survivor: Cambodia. While he was one of the top ten male vote-getters, his victory on Worlds Apart disqualified him from returning.
|Mike's Voting History|
| Voted Against|
|1||Escameca Tribe Immune|
|2||Escameca Tribe Immune|
|3||Escameca Tribe Immune|
|5||Escameca Tribe Immune|
| Dan, Hali, Jenn,|
Joe, Shirin, Tyler
|Sole Survivor, Day 39|
^1 In "Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner", the vote ended with a 2-2-2 tie between Lindsey, Rodney, and Sierra, forcing a revote. Mike did not change his vote on the revote.
^2 In "The Line Will Be Drawn Tonight", Jenn used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating Mike's vote against her.
^3 In "Holding On for Dear Life", Mike used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating 4 votes against him.
- Since December 2015, Mike Holloway has been in a relationship with Big Brother 17 houseguest Meg Maley.
- In November 2019, Mike attended the wedding of Joe Anglim and Sierra Dawn Thomas.
- Mike currently works in commercial real estate.
- Mike coined the Worlds Apart merged tribe name, Merica.
- Mike is the first Sole Survivor to receive enough votes to be voted out but used the Hidden Immunity Idol to save himself. He would be followed by Jeremy Collins in Cambodia, Ben Driebergen in Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, and Chris Underwood in Edge of Extinction.
- Mike is the fifth person to win five individual Immunity Challenges in a single season, the first four being Colby Donaldson, Tom Westman, Terry Deitz, and Ozzy Lusth. They would be followed by Brad Culpepper.
- Of the group, Mike and Tom are the only ones that went on to win the season.
- Mike is, so far, the only one of the group to have only played once.
- Mike is tied with Terry Deitz for the most post-merge challenge wins in Survivor history, with 9.
- Mike's luxury item was a giant Texan flag.
- Mike was one of 32 contestants eligible to be selected to compete on Cambodia. However, despite him being in the top ten men, his eventual victory on Worlds Apart disqualified him from returning.
- Mike lost 35 lbs. during his time in Worlds Apart.