JMU grad student competes on newest season of "Survivor" on CBS

JMU grad student Jack Nichting compete on reality show "Surivior."
JMU grad student Jack Nichting compete on reality show "Surivior."(WHSV)
Published: Sep. 25, 2019 at 12:19 AM EDT
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From a graduate level classroom to a beach in Fiji -- a James Madison University grad student is one of the 20 contestants competing on the reality show "Survivor" this season.

Jack Nichting, 23, said competing on the show is something he's always wanted to do.

"I love talking to people. I love learning people's stories, I love giving people advice, and just interacting with people," Nichting said.

Growing up with a father in the military, Nichting moved all over the world, but he said watching "Survivor" remained constant.

He believes his advantage is his love for the wild.

"I'm so excited to sleep in the rain. I'm so excited to be hungry. I'm so excited to be hot. I'm so excited to have all of these experiences that other people are usually afraid of," Nichting said. "I just love it."

The 23-year-old public administration student said he doesn't have a strategy for "surviving," but rather, his goal is to lay low at the beginning and stay true to his character.

"My goal is to just be this genuine person," Nichting said. "I want people to come to me, not for their physical needs but for their emotional needs, too. I want to be this fun, Fabio character, that makes people happy, but also serious."

The premiere of "Survivor" season 39, “Island of the Idols” airs Wednesday night at 8 p.m. on CBS.