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 Season 1Survivor: 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 EatonSeason 2Survivor: 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 Debb as bossy, voting her out at the first Tribal Council.
Diane OgdenSeason 3Survivor: 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 HarkeySeason 4Survivor: 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 RaymondSeason 5Survivor: Thailand
Even though Chuay Gahn lost the first immunity challenge because of Ghandia’s lack of skill on the puzzle, and even though Tanya 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 AikenSeason 6Survivor: The Amazon
Blame it on Rob Cesternino. He was the swing vote and ultimately sided with Roger to take out Ryan, who was never mistaken as a hard worker and struggled with island BFF Daniel on the balance beam in the first challenge.
Nicole DelmaSeason 7Survivor: 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, and after that information got back to her and her alliance, it was bye-bye, Nicole.
Tina WessonSeason 8Survivor: All-Stars
The Australian Outback champion went from first to worst thanks to a plot among her tribe to vote the winners off. That made 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 for the Blood vs. Water season.
Brook GeraghtySeason 9Survivor: 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 five other older men to join together to vote them out, starting with Brook. WHOOPS!
Wanda ShirkSeason 10Survivor: 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 Season 10Survivor: Palau
Jonathan was the only male 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 Season 10Survivor: 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 LynchSeason 11Survivor: 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 biceps and enduring numerous fits of vomiting, Jim was physically done — and soon done from the game as well.
Tina ScheerSeason 12Survivor: 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 BunchSeason 13Survivor: 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 deBenSeason 14Survivor: 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, 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' MorrisSeason 15Survivor: 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 Season 16Survivor: 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 ChaseSeason 17Survivor: Gabon
The writing was probably on the wall for Michelle when she was the last player selected on the day 1 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 EastwoodSeason 18Survivor: 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 the RI reunion show. The wedding never took place.
Marisa CalihanSeason 19Survivor: Samoa
Marisa was smart enough to see through Russell Hantz’s lies as he formed his early “dumbass girls alliance,” but not smart enough to avoid being eliminated after expressing skepticism.
Jessica 'Sugar' KiperSeason 20Survivor: 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 KohlhoffSeason 21Survivor: Nicaragua
Perhaps summing up her Survivor experience to a tee, Wendy Jo got lost walking out of Tribal Council after having her torch snuffed.
Francesca HogiSeason 22Survivor: Redemption Island
Perhaps Phillip 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 1, 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 TadesseSeason 23Survivor: 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 MoonSeason 24Survivor: One World
The good news for Kourtney is that she never received a single vote against her. The bad news is that is 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 KnightSeason 25Survivor: 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 HogiSeason 26Survivor: Caramoan
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 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 BonehamSeason 27Survivor: Blood vs. Water
When his wife 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 SamsonSeason 28Survivor: Cagayan
He was selected as the leader of the “Brains” tribe on day 1, and then voted out on day 3. It sucks being the leader, man.
Nadiya AndersonSeason 29Survivor: 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 KimSeason 30Survivor: 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 with Guatemala/Panama, So appeared the very next season here on Worlds Apart, and like Tina, she was the first one out.
Vytas BaskauskasSeason 31Survivor: Cambodia—Second Chance
The Blood vs. Water veteran was described as “smarmy” by at least one his female tribemates and also ended up on the wrong side of the numbers as early alliances formed. As an interesting side note, Vytas also was not allowed at the Cambodia reunion show as punishment for traveling back to the U.S. before the season finished filming.
Darnell HamiltonSeason 32Survivor: Kaoh Rong
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 AkoSeason 33Survivor: 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 EastinSeason 34Survivor: 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 Second Chance vet tried to break up a Caleb and Tony 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 RadkeSeason 35Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. 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, who vomited earlier that day at the challenge) ended up making it all the way to day 39.