From the moment Mike Holloway burst onto his season, eating a scorpion live off the ground and subsequently convulsing and throwing up for hours afterwards, it was apparent he would be someone to watch out for. It wasn’t clear yet what kind of character he would be, nor the direction he would go in, but by the end of the season he was easily the most preferred winner of the season once Shirin was voted out.
It of course wasn’t apparent he would even make the merge, let alone the finale, because all Mike set out to do was annoy every single one of his tribe members with his irritating work ethic and raspy voice. By the time the merge rolled around he had an enemy in Rodney, Dan, and Lindsey, half his tribe, and his number one was gone by the jury. He was the de facto “leader” of an alliance consisting of the Blue Collar Tribe, the remnants of the White Collar Tribe, and Will, but within several episodes his place in the tribe evaporated due to a variety of circumstances, a number of which involved the minority alliance with which his own alliance treated with disdain.
After Will’s insane disgusting tirade against Shirin Mike had officially defected against his own alliance due to a combination of his ouster from the alliance and own understanding of Shirin’s past, as a fellow victim of childhood abuse. He supported her while he was in the position to do so and with her elimination, he became one of the only palatable winner options left in the season and with that his character shone. While Mike is hardly a capable Survivor player, only making it to the end due to a string of immunity wins and carefully played idols, the way he tried to execute his own plans was hilarious, accidentally scaring the shit out of his tribemates due to his erratic personality and unpredictability in when he would even show up around camp. However, he did manage to make the Final Tribal Council and win against Carolyn, whom had rubbed most of the jury the wrong way, and Will, whom most of the jury had nothing but disdain for.
While not the highest ranking winner on the list, and not even the highest ranking cast member from his own season, Mike was a relief of a character, combining the traits of being a nice human being with good intentions, with an entertaining personality prone to erratic unpredictable behaviour. While hardly the best Survivor player, he was a fantastic winner for the season, even if only due to a dire lack of options as the season came to a close, and an easy choice for one of the best reality television personalities of the year.