Xander Hastings should be sitting pretty on Survivor. After all, he not only has an extra vote in his pocket, but he also has an immunity idol. Xander found his idol weeks ago, but it wasn’t activated until the Oct. 26 episode, when one member from each of the other two tribes also found the hidden idols at their camps.
However, Xander is still undoubtedly at the bottom of his tribe, Yase. He is the only male left alongside Evvie Jagoda, Tiffany Seeley and Liana Wallace. Even though Xander thinks he’s in a tight-knit group with the women, they’ve made it clear that Xander is on the outs of their trio. Previews for the Oct. 27 episode show that thing are about to be shaken up, though, with the players seen picking new buffs out of an urn. Could this be Xander’s chance to turn up his game?! Ahead of the episode, learn more about the 20-year-old below.
At 20 years old, Xander was the youngest player on this season of Survivor, along with Liana and JD Robinson, who are also both 20. Xander graduated high school in 2019, and is now a student at the University of Chicago. He is majoring in Economics and Computer Science, with an expected graduation date in 2023.
In addition to studying at the University of Chicago, Xander is also on the Cross Country and Track Field teams. He was also on both of these teams in high school, in addition to a number of other activities, like student government and Model UN. On his high school cross country team, Xander competed at the Nike Cross Nationals, which he says is the “Super Bowl of cross country.” His team finished in the top 10.
Xander lists his occupation as an “app creator” on his CBS bio. He “started [his] own company for developing apps and is working on [his] first release,” according to his LinkedIn. During the summer of 2018, he also interned at the real estate company, Cortland, in Shanghai City, China. While overseas, he researched factories that would be able to source cheap materials for sustainable and affordable housing. He briefly used his experience with HTML at this internship for record keeping and organization.
Xander knows that people might perceive him as a “hollow-headed tool” on the outside, but there is much more to him than that. He said that he loves the “pursuit of knowledge and experience,” and admitted that he could spend hours talking about just about anything — whether it’s the “genius of Richard Serra’s commission for the NYC IRS building” or “Kepler’s 3rd law” or “how Mandarin enables the mind to think more creatively.”
“I grew up being the nerdy guy, the chubby guy,” Xander admitted to Parade. “So for people to tell me that they think I’m some dumb jock is really interesting to me. I want to be someone who’s young and people assume is naive and inexperienced — all of those things go along with being young. Youth could be my camouflage.”
Xander has done a lot of traveling and is fluent in speaking Mandarin. His Instagram page is also filled with photos from his travels to various national parks and more.