By Jeanne Rawdin
Devon Pinto, a contestant on the TV Show Survivor, Season 35, is a celeb- rity in North County. e “ re-mak- ing contest” did him in on the show, leaving him in fourth place and with- out the million-dollar prize. But he’s ne with that. A Carlsbad native who makes his living as a yoga and sur ng instructor, he’s now living in Solana Beach, doing what he loves. But he doesn’t take his jobs too seri- ously. “I mostly do it just because it’s fun,” he says. “I make a little cash. I’m not too focused on cash in my life right now, the bills. I make enough to get by to pay for food and pay for my rent and whatever fun plans I have, whether it’s going on a surf trip or going some place new.”
Prior to Survivor, Devon was a student at Sonoma State University, where he studied nance, which seems like an unusual choice for a Survivor contestant with his back- ground. He explains, “But I am a numbers guy; I’ve always been good at math,” and perhaps that’s part of where his lifelong love for Survivor comes from.
So let’s go back to the beginning. What made you decide to try out for Survivor 35?
I never thought I would get on the show, but my mom convinced me to make a video with her. And a er that, things just kinda happened!
How did you get hooked on Survivor in the first place?
I watched the very first season with my mom. ere’s nothing like it. I love seeing these people whom you would never imagine in this situation, left to survive on their own and live o the land. e majority of these people aren’t meant for that. they’re city people. Even just shitting in the ocean is such a f-ing crazy thing to them, and that’s my norm! And the challenges? I get a huge adrenaline rush, just watching the challenges. It’s awesome.
What was the process like before you were chosen?
Intense interviews, physical tests, mental tests, and meetings with producers and Jeff Probst (host of Survivor).
What was your most memorable moment being on the show?
Every single challenge was so much fun to participate in! I always dreamed of being able to participate in Survivor’s epic challenges!
What was the finale like for you? Did you think you were going to win?
Were were moments where I thought I might just win the million, but I have no regrets looking back and am very happy for Ben (the winner) and his family.
Any more television in your future?
I would be open to doing some T.V., although it’s not my ultimate goal in life.
How has being on the show changed your life?
I now live in a van that I have converted into an o -grid home to simplify my life and allow myself to travel while doing the things I love! (Surfing, yoga, writing, and playing music).
How would you characterize yourself?
I’m a lover. A big-time lover. When need be, I’m also a fighter, but more of a lover than a fighter. I love nature, I love being out in the wilderness, I love plants, I love waves, I love surfing, I love my friends, I love my family, and I love this beautiful planet in general. I’m into surfing, I’m into yoga, I grew up playing soccer. I’m into sports, mostly extreme sports. I love snowboarding. I think the coolest way to connect with nature is to get on a board and just freaking ride the most insane, perfect wave, or get dropped o at some untouched mountain and snowboard some fresh powder.
What’s your biggest goal in life?
I want to influence people to live happy, healthy, and positive lifestyles through doing so myself. Ultimately I want to make a positive contribution to this world.