Sole Survivor
Devon Shelley S1
Survivor Gameplay
Description: The person who has earned the highest number of votes from the jury.
Appearances: Every season

The Sole Survivor is the title held by the winner of Survivor, as determined by a plurality of votes from the jury. It is the task of the jury to award the title to the contestant who most thoroughly embodies the show's three-word slogan: "Outwit, Outplay, Outlast."


There are no formal constraints on the rationale that jury members may employ in choosing the Sole Survivor. The only built-in requirement of eligibility for the title is to survive all 39 days of competition.

At the Final Tribal Council, the finalists are subjected to questioning by the jury, who may ask any questions or make any statements that they feel will help them make the best decision possible. As there is no objective definition of 'best' in this case, the methods by which contestants have won the game, and the reasons adopted by jury members in voting for them, have varied widely throughout the history of the series.

Jury members are expected, however, to choose Sole Survivors that have credibly embodied the show's three-word premise:

  • Outwit: The strategic element; the ability to outmaneuver other contestants and eliminate them in a manner conducive to one's own long-term success in the game. This component of the game may include alliance formation/management, the execution of blindsides, the use of Hidden Immunity Idols, or any other manifestation of guile, deception, or strategic command.
  • Outplay: The social element; the ability to bring about one's desired strategic goals without sacrificing one's social standing or alienating other contestants emotionally. A strong candidate will remain respected while playing an efficacious game.
  • Outlast: The physical element; the ability to withstand the harsh realities of being a contestant for 39 days, such as harsh weather, grueling challenges, and deprivation of the necessities of life. It is expected that the Sole Survivor will have not only endured the physical difficulties of the game, but indeed will have borne them with enthusiasm and grace.

It should be noted that in the game of Survivor likeability and respect are not always fungible qualities. In some cases, the winner may have played a game strategically dominant enough to overcome the fact that other finalists were more likeable. At other times, the opposite may be the case, and a more sociable player may win due to the quality of their personality even in the presence of a more strategically "active" but socially inept competitor. It is up to the idiosyncratic interpretation of the jury to determine who has fulfilled all three elements of "Outwit, Outplay, Outlast," and it is up to each finalist to present a compelling argument in their own favor, emphasizing their strengths and eliding their weaknesses, at the Final Tribal Council.


The Sole Survivor receives a check of $1,000,000, to be received after the season finale. The winner, and all contestants present in the live Reunion Show will also receive an extra $10,000 appearance fee, which immediately follows the finale broadcast.

List of Sole SurvivorsEdit

Season Winner Runner(s)-up Jury Vote
Survivor: Borneo Devon Shelley S1 Devon Shelley Carolyn Roberts S1 Carolyn Roberts 7-0
Survivor: Africa Janette Archuleta Janette Archuleta Shelly Lincoln Shelly Lincoln 7-0
Survivor: Java Jordan S3 Jordan Young Camila S3 Camila Austin 5-2
Survivor: Ecuador Erika S4 Erika Taylor Lucas S4 Lucas Brooks 4-2-2
Rachel S4 Rachel Phelps
Survivor: Blood vs Water Alec S5 Alec Lewis Stacy S5 Stacy Daniels 4-3-1
Gabriel S5 Gabriel Gray
Survivor: Papua New Guinea Susana S6 Susana Strong Elisa S6 Elisa River 4-3
Survivor: All Stars Sean All Stars Sean Lawrence Ethel All Stars Ethel Herring 10-0-0
Brielle All Stars Brielle Hart
Survivor: Nepal Rhea S8 Rhea Sharpe Marcus S8 Marcus Schmid 8-1
Survivor: Palawan Talon S9 Talon Rowe Elijah S9 Elijah Utley 7-2-0
Valerie S9 Valerie Falls
Survivor: Cuba Clare S10 Clare Rice Mateo S10 Mateo Villanueva 8-0-0
Reid S10 Reid McCann
Survivor: Worlds Apart Selina S11 Selina Kelsey Brock S11 Brock Melville 8-0-0
Maverick S11 Maverick Harbor
Survivor: Cagayan Damian S12 Damian Masters Micah S12 Micah Potts 6-3
Survivor: Japan Jakob S13 Jakob Mason Eliott S13 Eliott Basso 5-4-1
Nathaniel S13 Nathaniel Miller
Survivor: Fiji Jaylen S14 Jaylen Trevino Liberty S14 Liberty Wilkerson 6-5-0
Clyde S14 Clyde James
Survivor: Heroes vs Villains Parker HvV Parker Banks Clare HvV Clare Rice 5-4-0
Mateo HvV Mateo Villanueva
Survivor: Anarchy Frank S16 Frank Gross Zelma S16 Zelma Russell 5-4-0
David S16 David Messinger
Survivor: Tokelau Hanna S17 Hanna Marin Glenn S17 Glenn Stone 5-4-0
Jax S17 Jax Hamilition
Survivor: Mexico Ezra S18 Ezra Miller Bret S18 Bret Holmes 4-3-2
Andrew S18 Andrew Fischer
Survivor: Myanmar Terry S19 Terry Flynn Andrea S19 Andrea Benson 8-0-0
Melany S19 Melany Hastings
Survivor: Madagascar Bridgette S20 Bridgette Kelly Nickolas S20 Nickolas Shields 10-0
Survivor: Blood vs Water II Chelsea S21 Chelsea Sawyer Annette S21 Annette Dukoo 4-3-0
Remington S21 Remington Loredo
Survivor: Mamanuca Islands Noah S22 Noah Seavers Mila S22 Mila Sanyo 5-3-1
Samuel S22 Samuel Grey
Survivor: Peru Jafari S23 Jafari King Serena S23 Serena Jackson 5-3-0
Pedro S23 Pedro Boston
Survivor: Sri Lanka Layne S24 Layne Andrews Aiden S24 Aiden Daniels 4-3-3
Andrew S24 Andrew Patrick
Survivor: Montserrat Amie S25 Amie Dubois Stefanie S25 Stefanie Garcia 4-3-3
Beth S25 Beth Washington
Survivor: Bali Octavia S26 Octavia Bauman Shaina S26 Shaina Michaels 8-1
Survivor: Italy Adrianna S27 Adrianna Crawford Isamu S27 Isamu Hoke 8-2-0
Hale S27 Hale Braun
Survivor: Skeleton Coast Ying Yue S28 Ying Yue Li Callen S28 Callen Roberts 8-2-0
Julia S28 Julia Webb
Survivor: Khao Sok Everett S29 Everett Fields Rosanny S29 Rosanny Rivera 5-4
Survivor: Champions vs Challengers Terry S30 Terry Flynn Mya S30 Mya Walls 7-2-1
Thaddius S30 Thaddius Wright


  • There are currently 15 male winners, and 15 female winners.
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