'Survivor' Winner Kim Wolfe Shares How the Competition Influenced 'Why the Heck Did I Buy This House?'

Kim Wolfe has made a name for herself after competing on Survivor, winning One World and returning for the 40th, Winners At War. Now, she's taking on a whole new challenge with HGTV's Why the Heck Did I Buy This House?, which airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET. PopCulture.com recently got to chat with Wolfe about her new show, during which she shed light on how her experience in the CBS competition influenced her work on Why the Heck Did I Buy This House?

In Wolfe's new show, she's helping homeowners in the San Antonio area find the beauty in properties that they may have overlooked at first glance. You might not think that there wouldn't be too much of a connection between Survivor and a home renovation program. However, the former winner explained how her experience on Survivor actually helped her tackle life, and her work, in a different way. Wolfe said that Survivor is a unique experience in that there is "overlap for everything" in real life. 

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(Photo: HGTV)

"You have no food, no family, no clothes, no mirror, just these kind of basic things that we take for granted," she said. "You just realize how much we have ... And I think all of those things, those things coming clear, both times really, I think changed the trajectory of my life because when you come home, you pivot. You realize all the things you're doing that you don't care about at all and have no bearing on your life." Wolfe went on to say that both of her seasons of Survivor offered her "clarity" particularly when it came to the future of her career. 

"And I think it also, it just made me grittier," the HGTV personality continued. "I mean, this experience of renovating seven houses at once is not a glamorous one. It's not a fancy experience. It takes some grit. I'm really impressed with the people who have gone before me and done this. I had no idea what kind of mental toughness it takes. I think that helped me just get through the experience without totally losing it."

As for what Wolfe's experience was like while filming Why the Heck Did I Buy This House?, she explained that it was definitely "thrilling." Although, they still found themselves facing a series of challenges during production, particularly during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. "We renovated seven houses at one time in 24, 26 weeks. They're all staggered, started, stopped on top of each other," she said. "And then on top of that, we're in a building crisis. It's really hard to get materials. It was just kind of over the top hard, but it was such a good learning experience."

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Wolfe stressed that no matter what challenges they faced while filming, there was never any doubt that they would be able to accomplish what they set their minds to. After finishing production, she can look back on it fondly and noted that she'll definitely be taking what she learned for when and if Why the Heck Did I Buy This House? gets another season. She said, "We, of course, look forward to hopefully getting to do it again and use everything we've learned and do it better. That excites me, for sure."