Until earlier this week, Henry Nicholson seemed like countless Survivor contestants who have come before him. Young, strong, charming, non-threatening and able to go all the way.
But 25 days into his time on the island, a revelation about the labourer posing as a yoga instructor came to light that fundamentally changed not only how a lot of people saw Nicholson, but also his reasons for being there to begin with.
After a three year battle with pancreatic cancer, Henry’s beloved mum Jenny passed away just six weeks prior to him entering the show – something he decided not to tell any of his tribe members while competing.
“It was a strange way to grieve out there,” Nicholson told Mamamia on Wednesday.
"I think I might have delayed my grief, but grief is a long journey and it's going to be a continual thing... I think it's helped."
Heading to a remote Samoan island with a group of strangers after what would universally be considered one of the hardest experiences of your life isn't something many would sign up to. But for Nicholson, competing on the show was not only honouring one of his mum's greatest wishes for him but also inadvertently helping those he loves the most.
"Now that I'm back, Survivor is something we can all watch together and all remember together," he said.
Listen: Fellow reality TV contestant Georgia Love talks about losing her mum to pancreatic cancer last year. Post continues...
"I am my mum's boy. I am her son and it's great for all of her friends and all of her family to sit down two nights a week and remember her and the family. It brings us together."
When asked about the woman Jenny was, the 26-year-old replied: "She's truly indescribable. She could push through all the bad qualities in a person and make sure she found the good in everyone. She's taught me to look for the magic inside people and realise that everyone's got it, it's just up to us to go find it."