The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

College alumnus Drew Basile will compete on the 45th season of the CBS reality TV show “Survivor.”

2023 College graduate Drew Basile will compete as one of 18 contestants on the newest season of CBS reality TV show “Survivor.”

Basile, one of the youngest contestants on "Survivor"’s 45th season, postponed his graduate studies in English and philosophy to compete in the show. The 18 contestants are tasked with providing food and shelter for themselves as well as competing in challenges to test their physical and mental abilities — voting each other out along the way. The last contestant standing in the show — the Sole Survivor — will win the $1 million-dollar prize.

"The show is very different than the Ivy League," Basile, who majored in English, said at the start of the episode. "There is a level of sophistication and finesse that is required here that you do not learn in the classroom." The first episode also pictures Basile outside Penn Commons.

To prepare for Survivor, Basile said he taught himself how to swim and also practiced cardio exercises. Basile told Parade that he “did some of the more common puzzles, got [his] slide puzzles down pat — things like that.” 

He told Hollywood Life, “I’ve spent a lot of time building myself during this ‘educational’ stage, in a lot of senses. And I want to test that. I want to see where I’m at. I want to knock on the door, see what the foundation looks like.”

Basile told Entertainment Weekly about his personal qualities that will lead him to be the Sole Survivor.

In the interview with EW, Basile said, “I am very personable and authentic. I’m also a good strategist and a potent speaker. My hope is these attributes counterbalance for a weak physical game and help me clinch the title.” He also described himself as smart, witty and dynamic and values loyalty and experience in an alliance partner.

According to EW, Basile said that his mother is his biggest inspiration in his life because “she is a pillar of strength and has always pushed [him] to go beyond [his] limits. [He] would not have accomplished half as much without her.”

At Penn, Basile worked as an acquisition intern at Penn’s Press Incorporated and as a researcher for Your Language My Ear, a Russian-language poetry symposium. Basille is originally from Birmingham, Mich., but currently lives in Philadelphia.

According to his profile on MyPenn, Basile studied abroad in Ku Leuven and participated in the Red & Blue Calling Crew.

Basile is not the first Penn graduate to compete on the show. In 2016, 2014 College graduate Cydney Gillon participated in season 32 of the show, finishing in fourth place. 2001 College graduate Charlie Herschel played in season 17. 

2019 Wharton MBA graduate Kellee Kim competed in "Survivor"'s 39th season. 1993 College graduate Chrissy Bass Hofbeck and 1999 Engineering graduate Gregg Carey have also played. 

When asked why he wanted to join the "Survivor" cast by EW, he stated that “Survivor is the ultimate test of character. I’ve worked hard building myself up into who I am today, and my growth was in considerable part motivated by watching Survivor. I want the chance to play the game and see how far I’ve come.”