Survivor: A tribute to all the first people voted out
Everyone wants to get first place when they play Survivor, but someone also has to be the first one out. Here, we pay our respects to those that were cut loose just as the game got going.
An ode to the first ones out
They came. They saw. They got voted out. (Or, in two cases, not even voted in.) See how many of these Survivor first boots you can remember from their brief time on the island.
Sonja Christopher — Survivor: Borneo
The music therapist became the first person ever voted out of Survivor after being considered the weakest member of the Tagi tribe due to her stumbling in the immunity challenge. But she became a part of Survivor history, lending her name to EW's Sonja Christopher Golden Ukelele award, presented to the unlucky soul voted out first each season.
Debb Eaton — Survivor: The Australian Outback
It's hard to be a leader when people don't want to be led by you. Debb tried to take control of the Kucha tribe early, but the others weren't having it and saw her as bossy, voting her out at the first Tribal Council.
Diane Ogden — Survivor: Africa
Sickened by a tough hike to camp and an even tougher immunity challenge, Diane was an easy first boot for the Boran tribe.
Peter Harkey — Survivor: Marquesas
Peter probably punched his own ticket as the first guy gone when he freaked his tribemates out by talking all about his holes…as in the holes in his body. It led Boston Rob to describe him as a "fruit loop" and the rest of the tribe to vote him out.
John Raymond — Survivor: Thailand
Even though Chuay Gahn lost the first immunity challenge because of Ghandia Johnson's lack of skill on the puzzle, and even though Tanya Vance was sick and suffering from dehydration, it was John that was voted off first after playing a prank on the tribe about their water source. Suffice it to say, the prank did not go over so well.
Ryan Aiken — Survivor: The Amazon
Blame it on Rob Cesternino. He was the swing vote and ultimately sided with Roger Sexton to take out Ryan, who was never mistaken as a hard worker and struggled with island BFF Daniel Lue on the balance beam in the first challenge.
Nicole Delma — Survivor: Pearl Islands
The first poster child for playing too fast, too soon, Nicole would have been fine if she laid low. Instead, she targeted Tijuana Bradley, and after that information got back to her and her alliance, it was bye-bye, Nicole.
Tina Wesson — Survivor: All-Stars
The Australian Outback champion went from first to worst thanks to a plot among her tribe to vote the winners off, making her an easy target for an early dismissal. Tina came back and acquitted herself quite nicely in season 27 when she joined her daughter Katie Collins for the Blood vs. Water season.
Brook Geraghty — Survivor: Vanuatu
In the battle between Old vs. Young, Old won. Brook had formed an alliance with the three other younger, stronger members. But the youngsters apparently never did the math, leaving the five older men to join together to vote them out, starting with Brook. WHOOPS!
Wanda Shirk — Survivor: Palau
Technically, Wanda was never voted out as she was never even voted in to a tribe. That's because she and the next person on our list were not selected for teams on a day 2 schoolyard pick 'em. Therefore, viewers were deprived of enjoying 37 more days of her singing.
Jonathan Libby — Survivor: Palau
Jonathan was the only man not selected for a tribe in Palau and — like Wanda — was booted from the game before even making it to a Tribal Council.
Jolanda Jones — Survivor: Palau
Due to the Wanda/Jonathan situation, Jolanda was not the first person kicked out of the game, but she was still the first person voted out at the first Tribal Council on day 3 — merely the first Ulong domino to fall.
Jim Lynch — Survivor: Guatemala
Asking a 63-year-old to do a brutal 11-mile hike in the unrelenting Guatemalan heat was probably asking too much. After tearing his bicep and enduring numerous fits of vomiting, Jim was physically done — and soon done from the game as well.
Tina Scheer — Survivor: Panama — Exile Island
Tina was actually supposed to compete in Survivor: Guatemala, but her son was tragically killed in a car accident a week before filming so she dropped out. She returned a season later, however, and was a pre-game favorite among the press on location to be the last person from her tribe standing. Instead, she was the first person out of the game.
Sekou Bunch — Survivor: Cook Islands
Inside intel: I actually was embedded 24/7 with the Cook Islands cast from the time they left Los Angeles until the game began. After watching the way everyone interacted before the game, I was convinced that either Sekou Bunch or Jonathan Penner would be voted out first. Sekou was, while Penner went on to become a fan favorite, appearing on three different seasons.
Jessica deBen — Survivor: Fiji
A classic case of this-person-caused-us-to-lose-the-challenge, Jessica was voted out by her Ravu tribemates and then replaced by Sylvia Kwan, who had split the tribes up to begin with and was waiting to join the losers from Exile Island. Ravu were the losers, with Jessica being the biggest loser of all.
Steve "Chicken" Morris — Survivor: China
For years, historians and fans alike have lamented the fact that a person named Chicken did not win the game of Survivor. The fact that he was voted out first is all the more depressing.
Jon "Jonny Fairplay" Dalton — Survivor: Micronesia — Fans vs. Favorites
Jonny Fairplay went from being banned from all official Survivor events (the result of a Vanuatu finale after-party fracas) to back on the show for Micronesia. But his second stint did not last long when the Pearl Islands bad boy asked his tribe to vote him out first because he missed his pregnant girlfriend back home.
Michelle Chase — Survivor: Gabon
The writing was probably on the wall for Michelle when she was the last player selected on the day one schoolyard pick. Her journey ended two days later when, due to what was perceived as having a negative attitude, Michelle was unanimously voted out by the Fang tribe. (Mildly fun fact: Michelle now spins tunes under the name DJ Soxxi.)
Carolina Eastwood — Survivor: Tocantins
Her stint on Survivor may not have lasted long, but the first Tocantins boot continued to make news when Redemption Island contestant David Murphy proposed to her during his season's live reunion show. The wedding never took place.
Marisa Calihan — Survivor: Samoa
Marisa was smart enough to see through Russell Hantz's lies as he formed his early "dumba-- girls alliance," but not smart enough to avoid being eliminated after expressing skepticism.
Jessica "Sugar" Kiper — Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains
The Gabon finalist was on the bottom from the start in her second go-round, but she made the most of her limited time by offering a truly memorable moment through the flipping of double birds while topless during the reward challenge to start the season.
Wendy Jo DeSmidt-Kohlhoff — Survivor: Nicaragua
Perhaps summing up her Survivor experience to a T, Wendy Jo got lost walking out of Tribal Council after having her torch snuffed.
Francesca Hogi — Survivor: Redemption Island
Perhaps Phillip Sheppard would have learned how to pronounce her name had she lasted a little bit longer. Francesca made the mistake of not bowing down and worshipping at the altar of Boston Rob on day one, and she paid for that decision on day 3. And then again on day 6 when she lost the first-ever Redemption Island duel.
Semhar Tadesse — Survivor: South Pacific
Semhar's failure in the coconut-throwing portion of the first immunity challenge — and subsequent fight with Jim Rice about it — led to her being voted out first on day 3. She then lost the first duel three days later.
Kourtney Moon — Survivor: One World
The good news for Kourtney is that she never received a single vote against her. The bad news is that's because she was medically evacuated on day 3 after injuring her wrist while making a 25-foot jump from a tower onto a net during the first immunity challenge.
Zane Knight — Survivor: Philippines
Zane may not have won the million-dollar award, but he wins the award for most confusing first (and last) three days on the island. In those three days, he made alliances with everyone, had to be physically helped to the end of a challenge, asked his tribe to vote him out, then claimed that was all a big ruse to gain sympathy and see who was actually on his side, and then was unanimously voted out. So at least he packed a lot in.
Francesca Hogi — Survivor: Caramoan — Fans vs. Favorites
In what has to be the cruelest Survivor fate ever, Francesca came back to avenge being voted out first…and was then promptly voted out first again! The fact that Andrea Boehlke and Phillip from her previous season had a hand in making it happen threw extra salt on the wound. (She has yet to eat that rock though.)
Rupert Boneham — Survivor: Blood vs. Water
When his wife Laura was voted onto Redemption Island to start the game, Rupert did the noble — if strategically suspect — thing by opting to switch places with her. He then lost the first RI duel, ending his game (and fourth Survivor appearance) on day 4.
David Samson — Survivor: Cagayan
David Samson was selected as the leader of the "Brains" tribe on day one...and then voted out on day 3. It sucks being the leader, man.
Nadiya Anderson — Survivor: San Juan del Sur
In the second Blood vs. Water season, the "twinnies" covered both extremes — with Nadiya going out first and sister Natalie winning first place.
So Kim — Survivor: Worlds Apart
So was originally set to appear the season before on San Juan del Sur, but a last-minute medical situation with her sister caused the pair to drop out. Like Tina Scheer with Guatemala/Panama, So appeared the very next season here on Worlds Apart, and, like Tina, she was the first one out.
Vytas Baskauskas — Survivor: Cambodia — Second Chance
The Blood vs. Water veteran was described as "smarmy" by at least one of his female tribemates and also ended up on the wrong side of the numbers as early alliances formed. As an interesting side note, Vytas was not allowed at the Cambodia reunion show as punishment for traveling back to the U.S. before the season finished filming.
Darnell Hamilton — Survivor: Kaôh Rōng
Darnell is probably best remembered for the most famous aqua-dump in Survivor history — the infamous "brown trout." Not exactly the type of thing you want on your reality TV tombstone. He also lost the tribe's diving mask in the immunity challenge, which helped cement his ouster.
Rachel Ako — Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X
If you're going to be on the bossy side, you better not also mess up in the first challenge. And if you're going to mess up in the first challenge, you better not also be on the bossy side.
Ciera Eastin — Survivor: Game Changers
Ciera's biggest crime her third time out was playing the game too fast and too soon, according to her tribemates. The Blood vs. Water and Cambodia vet tried to break up a Caleb Reynolds and Tony Vlachos alliance she saw brewing, but could not get anyone else on board. Her failure in the puzzle portion of the first challenge — the exact same puzzle she had lost before to her mother — sealed her fate.
Katrina Radke — Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers
Katrina made no glaring errors during her brief stay on the island. She was merely singled out due to her age and gender. Had she made it through one more vote, then who knows? After all, the other person almost eliminated first (Chrissy Hofbeck, who vomited earlier that day at the challenge) ended up making it all the way to day 39.
Stephanie Gonzalez — Survivor: Ghost Island
Note to future Survivor players: Never volunteer for the puzzle on the first challenge of the season. It's like handing people a reason to vote you out. Unfortunately, that — coupled with likely first target Jacob Derwin being off on Ghost Island, and a case of too-much-too-soon when it came to plotting — sealed Gonzalez's fate.
Pat Cusack — Survivor: David vs. Goliath
Sometimes, Survivor is not fair. But it has never gotten less fair for any player than it got for Pat Cusack, who had to be medically evacuated after he was injured during an off-camera boat accident as the tribe was being transported back to camp after the first immunity challenge. The back injury forced Pat from the game, and may have saved Nick Wilson (who went on to win the game) from being voted out that night.
Reem Daly — Survivor: Edge of Extinction
Reem may have been voted out on day 3, but thanks to the Edge of Extinction twist, we got to enjoy her saucy and sassy personality for 32 more days as other players joined her on that godforsaken stretch of beach hoping to get back into the game. Dude!
Ronnie Bardah — Survivor: Island of the Idols
The crippling pelvic pain he felt out on the island was never shown on screen, but Ronnie was also undone in his aggressive move to take out the likable Elaine Stott first, who turned the tables on the professional poker player and got him voted out first.
Natalie Anderson — Survivor: Winners at War
Is it possible to be voted out first and still make it all the way to the end? It is when your name is Natalie Anderson and there is an Edge of Extinction twist at play. Natalie's bond with Jeremy Collins was deemed too big a threat, so she was the first person sent to the Edge. But after amassing approximately 18 billion Fire Tokens, Natalie won the challenge to get back in the game, making it all the way to the end and securing four votes against eventual winner Tony Vlachos.
Eric Abraham — Survivor 41
Never be the first person to float someone else's name to be voted out first. It often has a habit of backfiring, and that is exactly what happened to Abraham, when he pushed too hard and too soon to get rid of balance beam stalwart Tiffany Seely.
Jackson Fox and Zach Wurtenberger — Survivor 42
The unfortunate medical evacuation of Jackson Fox due to dehydration and lithium withdrawal meant that two players would go home on day 3 of Survivor 42. Zach Wurtenberger became the day's second victim when he made the mistake of volunteering for the puzzle in the first immunity challenge and lost. However, Zach at least made history, unsuccessfully using his Shot in the Dark, making him the first truly unanimous formal vote in Survivor history, when he was eliminated 5–0. Congrats?
Morriah Young — Survivor 43
In terms of personalities and looks, they don't get more colorful than Morriah Young, who talked before the game about how she was "fantastic at kicking people with color, punching them with joy, and making them fall in love with our authentic connection." Unfortunately, that ebullient personality and ray of rainbow-colored positivity could not save Morriah from being booted on day 3 when her tribe lost the first immunity challenge and she was deemed a physical liability.