Mar 28, 2006

Austin Carty: LU alumnus fights in survival of the fittest on hit reality show

by Justin Morgan
The hit reality TV show that started it all, “Survivor,” kicked off its 12th season in the exotic isles of Panama.

Sixteen strangers from across the country will compete for $1 million through multiple challenges to ultimately avoid a vote off the island.

But what the viewers may not realize is that one of those cast members is a former Liberty University student. Austin Carty, 24, spent three years at Liberty studying communications and public speaking. He came with a soccer scholarship and played Division 1 soccer.

“It’s so neat to see someone who once roamed the halls of my school on national TV,” said junior Abby Winlow.

“I’m pulling for Carty,” said Nick Taylor, “not just because he came from Liberty, but because he’s a Christian, and it would be great exposure for him to share his faith.”

The challenge this season is much different for Carty and the other 16 castaways. Each week a player will be voted off the show, but another will be cast away to “Exile Island,” where they will stay alone for a certain amount of time.

The 39-day shoot of “Survivor” was filmed in the fall of 2005, and ever since the cast members returned home, none can be exposed to media or be quoted. They are under strict contracts to be silent until the last episode or until they are kicked off the show.

“I think he will definitely go far in the game, but it’s hard to know if he’ll win or not this early in the show,” said “Survivor” fan Josh Pauler. “It will be interesting to see how a former Liberty student plays up against the other guys.”

Carty believes his athleticism, strength and intelligence will help him become the “Sole Survivor.”

After his years at Liberty, Carty moved to Atlanta, Ga., where he pursued acting, modeling and writing.

Carty published his first novel “Somewhere Beyond Here” in November of 2003. He later signed with a literary agent from New York City who is trying to sell two of his newest works, “Storm of Fireflies” and “Gray’s Sacrifice.”

Carty has also played a role on WB’s “One Tree Hill” and modeled for John Deere, Hanes and General Tire. He now resides in his hometown of High Point, N.C., where he was born and raised.

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