Survivor: China

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Survivor

Survivor: China is the fifteenth season of the American CBS competitive reality television series Survivor. The show premiered on September 20, 2007, and was the first American TV series filmed entirely in China. Host Jeff Probst claimed the location was in Mountain Lu West Sea, Jiujiang. The season featured 16 contestants who were divided into two tribes, Fei Long and Zhan Hu.

The season was unique because it was the first American television show ever filmed or produced in the People’s Republic of China. The season’s logo featured Chinese characters that translated to “compete in intelligence” and “compete in skill.” The contestants faced various challenges, including physical, mental, and strategic elements, and the winner was ultimately determined by a jury vote.

Most Famous Survivor Winners

Key Takeaways

  • Survivor: China was the first American television show to be filmed entirely within China, and the contestants faced various challenges that tested their physical, mental, and strategic abilities.
  • The season featured 16 contestants divided into two tribes, Fei Long and Zhan Hu, and a jury vote ultimately determined the winner.
  • The show’s unique cultural influence and production elements, as well as the post-Survivor careers of the contestants, have contributed to its lasting impact on the reality television genre.

Season Summary

Survivor: China is the fifteenth season of the American CBS competitive reality television series Survivor. The season premiered on September 20, 2007, and ended on December 16, 2007. It was filmed entirely within China, specifically in Mountain Lu West Sea, Jiujiang. The season featured 16 castaways competing for the title of Sole Survivor and a grand prize of $1,000,000.

The season was notable for its unique location and challenges, which were heavily influenced by Chinese culture. The castaways were divided into two tribes, Fei Long and Zhan Hu, and initially competed in challenges to win rewards and avoid elimination at the tribal council. As the season progressed, the tribes merged, and the remaining castaways competed individually in challenges.

Throughout the season, the castaways were forced to outwit, outplay, and outlast each other to stay in the game. They formed alliances, backstabbed each other, and strategized to gain an advantage. The season was also notable for its strong female players, including Amanda Kimmel, Courtney Yates, and Denise Martin.

Ultimately, Todd Herzog was crowned the Sole Survivor, receiving 4 out of 7 jury votes. He outlasted the other castaways by playing a strategic game, forming alliances, and making strategic moves to eliminate his competition. His victory was well-deserved, and he remains one of the most memorable winners in Survivor history.

Overall, Survivor: China was a successful season, offering viewers a unique glimpse into Chinese culture while still delivering the drama and excitement that fans have come to expect from the show.

Contestants

Survivor: China featured 16 contestants who were divided into two tribes: Fei Long and Zhan Hu. Here is a breakdown of each contestant:

Todd Herzog

Todd Herzog was the winner of Survivor: China. He was a flight attendant from Pleasant Grove, Utah. Todd was known for his strategic gameplay and social skills, which helped him win the game.

Amanda Kimmel

Amanda Kimmel was the runner-up of Survivor: China. She was a hiking guide from Los Angeles, California. Amanda was a strong physical competitor and made it to the final two for the second time in Survivor history.

Courtney Yates

Courtney Yates was the second runner-up of Survivor: China. She was a waitress from New York City, New York. Courtney was known for her sarcastic wit and ability to fly under the radar.

James Clement

James Clement was a grave digger from Lafayette, Louisiana. He was a physical powerhouse and was known for his strength in challenges.

Peih-Gee Law

Peih-Gee Law was a jeweler from Marina del Rey, California. She was a strategic player and survived several tribal councils despite being on the outs.

Denise Martin

Denise Martin was a school lunch lady from Douglas, Massachusetts. She was a strong physical competitor and made it to the merge.

Jaime Dugan

Jaime Dugan was a student from Columbia, South Carolina. She was a strategic player, but her downfall came when she played her hidden immunity idol on the wrong person.

Erik Huffman

Erik Huffman was a musician from Nashville, Tennessee. He was a strong physical competitor, but his strategic gameplay was lacking.

Aaron Reisberger

Aaron Reisberger was a surfing instructor from Venice, California. He was a physical competitor, but his strategic gameplay was lacking.

Dave Cruser

Dave Cruser was a former model from Simi Valley, California. He was a strategic player, but his downfall came when he was blindsided at the merge.

Leslie Nease

Leslie Nease was a Christian radio talk show host from Tega Cay, South Carolina. She was a strategic player, but her downfall came when she was blindsided at the merge.

Sherea Lloyd

Sherea Lloyd was a bartender from Atlanta, Georgia. She was a physical competitor, but her strategic gameplay was lacking.

Jean-Robert Bellande

Jean-Robert Bellande was a professional poker player from Las Vegas, Nevada. He was a strategic player, but his arrogance and lack of social skills made him a target.

Ashley Massaro

Ashley Massaro was a professional wrestler from East Northport, New York. She was a physical competitor, but her strategic gameplay was lacking. Ashley was the first person voted out of Survivor: China.

Tribes

Survivor: China featured three tribes: Fei Long, Zhan Hu, and Hae Da Fung. Each tribe started with six members and had their unique characteristics.

Fei Long

Fei Long, which means “flying dragon,” was the first tribe introduced in Survivor: China. The tribe’s color was red, known for their strength and dominance in challenges. Fei Long won the first three immunity challenges and only lost one member before the tribe switched. The tribe was also the first to have a player kidnapped by the opposing tribe as part of a reward challenge.

Zhan Hu

Zhan Hu, which means “fierce tiger,” was the second tribe introduced in Survivor: China. The tribe’s color was yellow, and they were known for their resilience and determination. Zhan Hu lost the first three immunity challenges but won the fourth and fifth ones before the tribe switched. Despite their early struggles, Zhan Hu was a formidable tribe with a strong alliance.

Hae Da Fung

Hae Da Fung, which means “black fighting wind,” was the third and final tribe introduced in Survivor: China. The tribe’s color was green, and known for their intelligence and strategic gameplay. Hae Da Fung won the first immunity challenge they competed in and managed to win the sixth immunity challenge before the tribe switched. The tribe also had the first player to find and play an immunity idol in Survivor: China.

Tribe Switch

After 12 days, the tribes were switched up, with two members from each tribe moving to the other two tribes. The new tribes were Fei Long, with four original members and two Zhan Hu members; Zhan Hu, with four original members and two Fei Long members; and Hae Da Fung, with three original members and three members from the other tribes. The tribe switch proved a turning point in the game, as alliances were broken and new ones were formed.

Challenges and Gameplay

Survivor: China features a variety of challenges that test the physical and mental abilities of the contestants. The challenges are divided into two categories: reward challenges and immunity challenges. Reward challenges offer a prize to the winning tribe, while immunity challenges determine which tribe is safe from elimination at the tribal council.

One unique feature of Survivor: China is the introduction of the hidden immunity idol. An idol is a small object that can be found hidden around the camp or won at a reward challenge. If a contestant possesses the idol and plays it at the tribal council, any votes cast against them will not count. However, if the contestant does not receive enough votes to be eliminated, the idol is no longer valid and must be found again.

In addition to the hidden immunity idol, Survivor: China also features Exile Island. After a reward challenge, the winning tribe can choose one member of the losing tribe to send to Exile Island. The contestant is isolated from the rest of the tribe and must endure harsh conditions until the next immunity challenge.

Throughout the season, the challenges become increasingly complex and intense. Some notable challenges include:

  • Buggin’ Out: Contestants must eat live insects to win a reward.
  • Boulder Smash: Contestants must launch large rocks with a giant slingshot at targets.
  • Survivor Quiz Show: Contestants must answer questions about Chinese culture and history.
  • Chinese Zodiac Symbols: Contestants must navigate a maze while carrying a giant, heavy statue.
  • Sea Salvage: Contestants must dive into the ocean to retrieve puzzle pieces and then solve the puzzle.
  • Tomb Raider: Contestants must navigate a maze and retrieve a hidden immunity idol.

Overall, Survivor: China offers a unique and challenging gameplay experience that tests the physical and mental limits of the contestants.

Strategic Elements

Survivor: China was a season that relied heavily on strategic gameplay, with players constantly forming and breaking alliances, lying to one another, and employing various tactics to gain the upper hand. The season featured several standout players who excelled in these areas, such as Todd Herzog, Amanda Kimmel, and Courtney Yates.

One of the key elements of strategic gameplay in Survivor: China was the formation of alliances. Throughout the season, players formed various alliances with one another, often to eliminate other players. However, these alliances were not always stable, and players frequently betrayed one another to advance their positions in the game.

Lying was also a common strategy employed by players in Survivor: China. Whether lying about their alliances or spreading false information about other players, lying was often seen as a necessary part of gameplay. However, players caught in lies often faced consequences, such as being voted out of the game.

Leadership was another important factor in Survivor: China. Players who were able to take charge and make strategic decisions often found themselves in positions of power. However, this could also make them targets for elimination, as other players saw them as a threat.

Finally, trust was vital to strategic gameplay in Survivor: China. Players who built trust with others often found themselves in strong positions, as they could rely on their allies to have their backs. However, trust was also easy to break, and players seen as untrustworthy often found themselves on the outs.

Overall, Survivor: China was a season that relied heavily on strategic gameplay, with players using a variety of tactics to gain the upper hand. While alliances, lying, leadership, and trust were all important gameplay elements, players who could navigate these factors successfully ultimately came out on top.

Cultural Influence

Survivor: China is heavily influenced by Chinese culture, featuring various elements that showcase the country’s rich heritage. From using Chinese characters to including Chinese monuments, the show immerses viewers in the country’s traditions and customs.

One of the most prominent cultural influences in Survivor: China is including Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. The book is considered a masterpiece of military strategy and has been influential in Eastern and Western cultures. The contestants are often seen discussing and applying the principles of The Art of War in their gameplay, highlighting the importance of strategy in the competition.

Another cultural influence in the show is the Shaolin Temple, a Buddhist temple known for its association with martial arts. The temple is a prominent landmark in China and is often featured in movies and TV shows. In Survivor: China, the contestants visit the temple and participate in a martial arts challenge, showcasing the importance of physical prowess and discipline in Chinese culture.

The use of Chinese characters is also prevalent in the show, with various challenges and tasks requiring the contestants to read and understand the language. Including Chinese characters highlights the importance of language and communication in Chinese culture.

Overall, Survivor: China effectively incorporates various cultural elements to create an immersive experience for viewers. The show’s use of Chinese culture highlights the importance of tradition, strategy, and physical prowess in the country’s history and heritage.

Host and Production

Survivor: China was the fifteenth season of the American CBS competitive reality television series Survivor. The season premiered on September 20, 2007, and was hosted by Jeff Probst, the show’s host since its inception in 2000. Mark Burnett served as the executive producer of the show, produced by Mark Burnett Productions.

Survivor: China was the first complete American TV series filmed entirely in China. The specific location was in Mountain Lu West Sea, Jiujiang. The season was filmed from June 25, 2007, to August 2, 2007, and consisted of 15 episodes, totaling 39 days of filming. The season had 16 castaways, who were divided into two tribes, Fei Long and Zhan Hu.

The production of Survivor: China was not without challenges. While filming in China, the show’s crew had to deal with the language barrier and cultural differences. In addition, the crew had to deal with the aftermath of Typhoon Sepat, which hit the area where the show was being filmed. The typhoon caused damage to the production’s base camp and forced the crew to evacuate the area temporarily.

Despite these challenges, Survivor: China was a critical and commercial success. The season was praised for its location and the challenges inspired by Chinese culture. The season’s winner, Todd Herzog, was praised for his strategic gameplay and social skills.

In conclusion, Survivor: China was a landmark season of the show, as it was the first season to be filmed entirely within China. The show’s host, Jeff Probst, and executive producer, Mark Burnett, played a crucial role in the season’s production, not without its challenges. Despite these challenges, the season was successful and is remembered for its location, challenges, and winner.

Locations

Survivor: China was the first season of the show to be filmed entirely within China. The location chosen for this season was Mountain Lu West Sea, Jiujiang. The mountainous region provided a beautiful backdrop for the show and allowed various challenges that took advantage of the natural terrain.

The campsites for the two tribes, Fei Long and Zhan Hu, were located on opposite sides of the same lake. The lake was surrounded by lush forests and provided a source of fish for the contestants. The campsites were bare, with shelters made from bamboo and thatched roofs.

One of the most memorable locations of the season was the Great Wall of China. The contestants were taken on a historic landmark tour and then had to navigate a challenge that involved climbing up and down the wall. The challenge provided a unique opportunity for the contestants to experience Chinese culture and history.

Another location that played a significant role in the season was the tribal council set. The set was designed to resemble a Chinese temple and provided a stunning backdrop for the elimination ceremonies. The set was in a different location from the campsites, and the contestants had to be transported there by boat.

Overall, the location for Survivor: China was a beautiful and unique setting for the show. The natural beauty of the area, combined with the cultural landmarks, provided a memorable experience for both the contestants and the viewers at home.

Post Survivor Careers

Many Survivor contestants have pursued careers in various fields after their time on the show. This section will focus on the post-Survivor careers of some of the contestants from Survivor: China.

Todd Herzog, the winner of Survivor: China, has had a tumultuous post-Survivor career. He struggled with alcohol addiction and made headlines in 2013 when he appeared visibly intoxicated on the Dr. Phil show. Dr. Phil staged an intervention and sent Todd to rehab, which he completed successfully. Todd has since become an advocate for addiction recovery and has spoken publicly about his experiences with addiction.

Courtney Yates, the third-place finisher on Survivor: China, went on to work in reality TV production. She worked as a casting producer on shows like The Bachelor and The Bachelorette before transitioning to a career as a writer. She has written for publications like Jezebel and The Huffington Post.

Leslie Nease, a contestant on Survivor: China known for her religious beliefs, has continued to work as a Christian speaker and author. She has written several books and speaks at religious conferences and events.

Amanda Kimmel, the runner-up on Survivor: China, has continued to work in reality TV. She has appeared on multiple seasons of Survivor and went on to compete on other reality shows like The Amazing Race and Celebrity Apprentice.

In summary, the post-Survivor careers of the contestants from Survivor: China have varied widely. Some have continued working in reality TV, while others have pursued careers in addiction recovery and religious speaking.

Returning Players and Future Seasons

Survivor has a long history of bringing former contestants to compete in new seasons. Some popular returning player seasons include Survivor: Micronesia, Heroes vs. Villains, Cook Islands, Pearl Islands, and All-Stars. These seasons have been fan favorites due to the high level of gameplay and the opportunity to see some of the most memorable players in Survivor history return to the game.

In recent years, Survivor has brought back former players for new seasons. The show has had mixed success with these seasons, with some being highly praised by fans and others receiving criticism for focusing too heavily on returning players. Despite this, it seems likely that Survivor will continue to bring back former players in the future.

One potential format for a returning player season could be an “end of an era” team, featuring players from seasons 20-39, and a “new era” team, featuring players from seasons 41-44. This would allow for a mix of old and new players and could provide an interesting dynamic for the season.

It is also worth noting that Survivor has experimented with different twists and themes for returning player seasons. For example, Survivor: Blood vs. Water featured returning players competing with their loved ones, while Survivor: Game Changers brought back players who had made big moves in their previous seasons.

Overall, it is clear that returning player seasons will continue to be a part of Survivor’s future. While the format and themes of these seasons may change, the opportunity to see some of the most memorable players in Survivor history return to the game will always be an exciting prospect for fans.

Elimination order

  1. Chicken Morris
  2. Ashley Massaro
  3. Dave Cruser
  4. Sherea Lloyd
  5. Jaime Dugan
  6. Frosti Zernow
  7. Jean-Robert Bellande
  8. Leslie Nease
  9. James Clement
  10. Erik Huffman
  11. Peih-Gee Law
  12. Denise Martin
  13. Michael “Frosti” Zernow
  14. Amanda Kimmel
  15. Courtney Yates
  16. Todd Herzog

Frequently Asked Questions

Who won Survivor: China?

Todd Herzog was the winner of Survivor: China. He received five out of seven votes at the final tribal council.

Who was the runner-up in Survivor: China?

Courtney Yates was the runner-up in Survivor: China. She received two out of seven votes at the final tribal council.

Who were the top 3 contestants in Survivor: China?

The top 3 contestants in Survivor: China were Todd Herzog, Courtney Yates, and Amanda Kimmel.

Where can I watch Survivor: China?

Survivor: China is available for CBS All Access and Amazon Prime Video streaming.

How much weight did Courtney lose on Survivor: China?

Courtney Yates lost 22 pounds during her time on Survivor: China.

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