Mike Holloway
From Left: Mike Holloway with Blue Collar (Escameca) Rodney Lavoie Jr

There is torrential rain on a small island of San Juan del Sur, Rivas, Nicaragua, where 18 contestants are isolated and stranded to compete for $1 million and other prizes on the 30th season of the U.S. reality TV series Survivor: Worlds Apart ​on CBS Television Network.

After almost 3 months and only 8 remaining players, Mike Holloway developed a clear reputation as one of most dominant players. He was a leading figure in a strong majority alliance. However, with a bold strategic game move on day 25 and the fact that the end of the game was in sight, only 14 days left, the members of the 8 person alliance began turning against him. They realized that if he made it to the end, he would win the $1 million. With the system of progressive elimination, the contestants vote off tribe members until only one final contestant remains and wins the title of "Sole Survivor."

As the torrential rain continues, Mike volunteers to cover the fire while the others sit, warm and dry under the shelter. He is strong. Up to this point, he has won four reward challenges and individual immunity (safety from elimination) two times in a row proving that even with the island against him, getting him out would be one of the hardest tasks they would face this season.

Mike successfully saves the fire from being quenched. He still isn't a hero in their eyes. They are still all waiting for the moment he will break. Thing is... He refuses. Instead, he wants to make a point.

Mike uses the cold pouring rain as an analogy and message to everyone remaining in the game. The rain cannot break him and neither can anybody under that shelter. He finds his faith and strength in a higher power. His faith in the midst of adversity gave him the strength to win five of the last six immunity challenges; the one time he lost, he played his "Immunity Idol" and successfully negated the votes casted against him. Mike won Survivor despite being a massive target, and was awarded with six of the eight jury votes, and the title of "Sole Survivor.

We had the chance to sit down with Mike and ask how he became one of the most dominant players in Survivor history:

Q1: How did you incorporate your faith while on Survivor?

Mike Holloway: ​While I was on Survivor I put my morals and values on the forefront for everyone to know. There wasn't one person on the show that didn't know what I believe and my relationship with Christ. Every morning I would get up and have alone time with God. I would sing praise songs and pray, but I never once prayed for myself. I prayed for everyone on the island and for everyone back home. When we would get into the van to go to a challenge I would pray, "God whatever I need today, I need you to give me." We didn't know what the challenges were going to be or how they are going to work out. That was the power source for me to turn on. That is the place I would go to during hard challenges. There were a few people in our season and a lot of people have commented on it afterwards saying, "When I get into challenges, I go somewhere else." It's not that I'm going somewhere else, what they are seeing is the power of God during those challenges. After I won, I would always give God the glory. He helped me endure this game and blessed me with the opportunity. Winning it was really incredible.

Q2: What was the hardest trial while on the show?

Mike Holloway: The hardest trial was the food. Holy smokes, not eating was the hardest physical challenge. The toughest mental challenge was the two and a half days that nobody would talk to me. It put me in this realm of isolation. The only way I can describe it is that my animal instincts kicked in. Say somebody accidentally dropped a piece of wood on my foot, I was getting a branch to hit them in the face with it. That was the defensiveness nature that came out. The only thing that saved me from staying in that mental state, even knowing it was a game, was the morning prayer times with the Lord. I would ask God for his grace and to continue to give me strength. Those were probably the two hardest things about the game.

It was so much fun. For such a long time I was in a better position than anybody in the game. Realistically, I was running the Blue Collar alliance. It's not easy being the head figure in an 8-person alliance. You have seven other personalities that you have to lead by example and show that you know what the heck you're doing. I was in a great position until people realized that if they took me to the end I would have won it. I would have beaten them. I didn't help myself, either. They were already coming for me with torches and here I was standing with a lighter saying, "Let me light them for you guys." When all of them were coming for me and they couldn't get me, there was nothing better than going to Tribal Council and being completely safe.

Q3: Did you ever feel like giving up? If not, what about your personality made giving up not an option?

Mike Holloway: ​Nope. There was never a second where I thought about giving up. Not one moment. I've been very open about this; I had a rough life growing up. I was molested and beat by people that were close to me, never from my mom. I was verbally abused. I was bullied as a kid. I was always really hyper active and I didn't know what to do with all that energy which put me in bad situations growing up. But this is what's so awesome; God took this really wayward kid and transformed him into a man that gives him all the glory and the praise. It isn't something I could have done on my own.

I was taught never to be the type of person to quit by seeing the example of my mom. She never gave up, worked three jobs, went to school and graduated Magna Cum Lade, and raised two really not good kids. When I signed those papers for Survivor I was in it to win it.

Q4: How did your experience at SAGU impact you?

Mike Holloway: ​ There was a man who was my dorm pastor when I lived in Davis Hall. His name was Pastor Tom Hill. Sometimes I wouldn't act the most mature or make the best decisions. Instead of him coming down on me like an authoritative figure when I was in trouble, he always chose to love me. He would bring me into the office and talk to me about what I did wrong, but he did it in such a way that showed so much love and compassion.

One man's love taught me how to deal with people for the rest of my life and I met that man because he was my dorm pastor at SAGU.

Mike moved from Houston to Fort Worth, Texas, when he was 15 years old. During high school, he got saved and felt God calling him to attend SAGU. From 1994-1996, he played football and pursued a degree in psychology with a focus to become a youth minister while at SAGU.

Mike now lives in North Richland Hills, Texas, and is the co-founder of a T-shirt company called Sweet T's Designs. He added, "It's crazy that we are a first year business and are actually self-sustaining right now. It's so awesome." The company is a 20-year dream come true with college friend Jacob Hendrix. "Our success in business has taught us the value of a quality product."

They recently launched a new design in support of current Survivor contestant Joe Anglim.

Regarding Survivor, Mike set a Survivor record by becoming the first person to ever successfully save himself with a hidden immunity idol, and still go on to win the season. Host Jeff Probst said that Mike will "go down as one of our top winners."