Adam Scott Klein[2] is the Sole Survivor of Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X. He later competed on Survivor: Winners at War.

A long-time superfan of the show, Adam began the game on the Vanua tribe, where he found himself in the minority after the first Tribal Council. He ended up in a swing vote position after the Tribe Switch, and eventually flipped on the Millennials majority, voting out Figgy Figueroa. After the merge, he joined the majority and eventually became a member of David's Vinaka Alliance. Despite being on the wrong side of the numbers following a rock draw tiebreaker in which he took part, as well as finding and misplaying two Hidden Immunity Idols, he navigated to the final four as an active member of his alliance, and played a crucial role in the elimination of David Wright at that point. At the Final Tribal Council, his strong strategic and social game-play won him the respect of the jury and resulted in a unanimous victory.

In Winners at War, Adam attempted to play more aggressively. On Sele, he found himself on the hot seat early for leaving camp with ally Denise Stapley; when he figured this out, he managed to turn the tide and orchestrated the elimination of Natalie Anderson. However, his gameplay backfired disastrously after revealing a blindside plan to Rob Mariano, and he became a target for the remainder of his time in the game. Ultimately, he was voted out shortly after the merge in a memorable Tribal Council where he tried to play a podium decoration that he thought was a Hidden Immunity Idol. He finished in 12th place after failing to win the re-entry duel.

Profile

Retrieved from CBS.com

Name: Adam Klein
Age: 25
Current residence: San Francisco, CA
Occupation: Homeless shelter manager
Tribe designation: Vanua (Millennials)
Three words to describe you: Intelligent, confident, and personable.
Hobbies: Board games, poker, browsing the Survivor Subreddit, and travel.
Pet peeves: Bullies, long lines, and smokers.
What does it mean to be a Millennial? Millennials believe that, in this moment, anything is possible. If you have dreams, go after them. If you want to change the world, change it. I don't believe you have to "pay your dues" making copies and fetching coffee before you can be successful—or before you can make a difference. Don't just work harder, work smarter, and make your goals a reality! My dream is to win Survivor and I'm going to make it happen!
Personal claim to fame: As a volunteer, I chaired a Relay For Life event that raised over $135,000 for cancer research and grew in size from about 10 youth participants to over 500. If any of that money helps save my mom's life, then it is, by far, my most important accomplishment.
Inspiration in life: My mom. She is surviving lung cancer and has survivorship in her blood [because] her mom survived Auschwitz. She is incredibly physically fit and otherwise healthy. She can tear up the dance floor—that's where I get my moves!—and she's my best friend and supporter.
If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? A picture of my family to keep myself grounded and focused, a fake Hidden Immunity Idol because the threat can be just as powerful as the real thing, and a razor because I hate mustaches with a fiery passion.
Survivor contestant you're most like: Spencer Bledsoe (Cagayan, Cambodia). We are both wise beyond our years, can easily play up to the egos of older and stronger players, are strategic thinkers, and are widely underestimated in the game. I also relate to the never-say-die nature and social finesse of Hayden Moss (Blood vs. Water).
Reason for being on Survivor: When I set a goal in life, I achieve it. As an ultimate super-duper fan, winning Survivor is an unrealized goal that I simply must accomplish. I have dreamed of winning Survivor since I was 9 years old, even going so far as to play Survivor online when I was in middle school. The money is secondary, but not unimportant because it would allow me to continue my passion for social justice.
Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor? No one is going to fight as hard as I will for that title. I may be—and look—young, I may be small, but my fellow competitors won't know what kind of power punch I pack until they are already knocked out. I will use my youthful charm and energy, combined with my strategic nature to win. I come from a long line of real-life survivors, and I am next.[3]

Hometown: Burlingame, California
Current residence: Los Angeles
Previous season: Winner of Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X (Season 33)
Occupation: Keynote speaker and host
Hobbies: Board games, poker, travel, and if I am being honest, Survivor.
Pet peeves: When you ask someone to take a picture and they take dozens of the exact same photo.
Three words to describe you: Personable, determined and caring.
When did you first watch Survivor? Season finale of Season 1. Started a fantasy league with my family Season 2 and haven't missed an episode since.
Do you still watch Survivor? Always.
Who is your inspiration in life? My parents, Alan and Susie. Also, Jeff Probst.
What does Survivor mean to you and your family? Everything. Survivor has been a constant in my life, and kept my family close before, during, and after my time on the show. It may sound silly to some, but Survivor is far more than just a television show for us. It has given us hope, it has allowed us to dream and realize those dreams, and it brought us joy during the most difficult times in our lives.
What is one way playing Survivor changed your life? My first ever screen name on the internet was SoleSurvivorAdam. Survivor turned my middle school obsession into a professional title! Ultimately, I believe that I am, at my core, the same person that I was when I played Survivor for the first time. Same values, ambitions, passions, and energy. The difference is that I have more opportunities to realize those ambitions and to make a greater impact on the world around me.
As Survivor approaches Season 40 and celebrates 20 years on television, what does it mean to be a part of the legacy? I grew up watching Sandra, Boston Rob, Ethan, Tina, Amber, and Richard Hatch. Playing in Season 40 is like growing up watching Steve Young and Jerry Rice on your favorite football team and then getting to play against them in the Super Bowl. It only can happen in your wildest dreams. So many thousands of Survivor super-duper fans would do anything to be in my position.
How will you play differently than you did in your past season? My basic strategy is the same for Survivor as it is for life: make friends. Anyone who comes into this game believing, "I'm not here to make friends" is playing a losing game. What's different this time is that some of the people I will be playing with already are friends. I need to obfuscate my existing relationships, keep an eye out for others doing the same, and work hard to build "in-game" trust that goes beyond liking someone outside of the game. This time around, I can't hide how big of a fan I am. I can have fun with that and subtly play into the larger egos, especially since my life is far less serious and scary than it was last time. My sense is I may come into this game generally underestimated, with at least some people believing that my win was fluky and my social game was choppy. I want them to underestimate me and I will play into that, while also recognizing that all of them are incredibly capable and not to be underestimated.[4]

Survivor

Millennials vs. Gen X

Adam began the game on the Millennials tribe, Vanua. He seemed to be in a good position as the Triforce alliance prompted the formation of a counter alliance that he was a part of. Despite being in a 6-4 advantage, Michelle Schubert led the charge to cause three members to flip and join the Triforce in blindsiding Mari Takahashi, leaving Adam and Zeke Smith on the outs. Both of them were upset with Hannah Shapiro after Tribal Council despite her desire to work with them in the future. Now in a vulnerable position, Adam tried to regroup the remnants of his alliance and found Vanua's Hidden Immunity Idol.

After the tribe switch, he was put on Takali with Millennials Figgy Figueroa and Taylor Stocker and Gen-Xers Ken McNickle and Jessica Lewis. At their only Tribal Council visit, knowing how powerful Figgy and Taylor were, Adam took the opportunity to blindside Figgy. This would cause Taylor to target him for the rest of the game, though Adam was unaware of Taylor's grudge against him.

At the merge, Adam found an advantage that allowed him to steal someone's reward. Later that night he attempted to build trust with Taylor by telling him about his advantage and advising him to target Will Wahl. Taylor however used the latter to turn the merged tribe against Adam. Despite Adam's paranoia after Will won the Immunity Challenge, which caused his own allies to distrust him, his alliance protected him by voting out Michelle, though Adam received four votes from the Triforce. Adam continued to worsen his position by arrogantly telling Jay Starrett that he was on the bottom, further angering his allies. At the next Tribal Council, Taylor attempted to turn the majority on Adam by lying about Adam eating the food Taylor stole and revealing the latter's advantage, which Adam confirmed. However, Adam was saved again and Taylor was voted out.

After that, the decisions got tougher as sub alliances began jockeying for position. Adam joined David Wright's alliance in blindsiding Chris Hammons at the next Tribal Council. At the final ten, Adam told David to play his Hidden Immunity Idol on Ken after Sunday Burquest lied to him about Ken being the target, which resulted in a tie between Hannah and Zeke. Then a rock drawing tiebreaker occurred, where Jessica picked the black rock and was sent to the jury.

At the Family Visit, Adam met his brother Evan. He then announced that he has an advantage to steal a reward, but will not use it. Jay won the challenge and chose to share the reward with Will, Sunday, and Adam. Evan shared information about their mother's battle with cancer. To show his gratitude to Jay for sharing the reward with him, Adam gave Jay the Reward Steal. Adam won the next Immunity Challenge. At Tribal Council, he played his idol on Hannah, which negated the four votes at against her, but it was unneeded as Will had flipped and Zeke was blindsided. On Day 34, Adam decided to target Will because he was trying to play both sides. Adam's plan worked as Will was blindsided. After Ken won immunity at the final seven, Adam wanted to split the votes between David and Jay to eliminate both Jay's idol and a major threat to win. However, Hannah wanted to vote out Sunday, leaving Adam conflicted. He told Jay to play his idol, and confided in him about his mother's cancer battle. At Tribal Council, Adam sided with Hannah and Sunday was blindsided. On Day 36, Adam, David, Hannah, Bret LaBelle, and Ken blindsided Jay. On Day 37, Ken won immunity. Adam and Bret decided to target David; Adam then searched for an idol, which he found. He told Hannah about his new idol and plan to eliminate David. At Tribal Council, Adam played the idol on himself but received no votes and Hannah and Ken sided with David, blindsiding Bret and leaving Adam shocked. On Day 38, Ken won the Final Immunity Challenge. Knowing he and David were the targets, Adam practiced for a possible fire-making tiebreaker, but at Tribal Council, Ken sided with Adam and Hannah and David was blindsided.

At the Final Tribal Council, Adam and Hannah argued about strategic decisions, and Adam finally admitted to the entire jury about his mother having cancer. Believing he played the best strategic and social game amongst the finalists, the jury of 10 unanimously voted for Adam to win the title of Sole Survivor, making him the fifth winner to win unanimously.

Voting History

Adam's Voting History
Episode Adam's
Votes
Voted Against
Adam
1 Vanua Tribe Immune
2 Figgy -
3 Vanua Tribe Immune
4 Vanua Tribe Immune
5 Takali Tribe Immune
6 Figgy -
7 Takali Tribe Immune
8 Michelle Jay, Michelle,
Taylor, Will
9 Taylor Taylor
10 Chris -
Zeke;
Zeke1
-
11 Zeke Individual Immunity
12 Will -
Sunday -
13 Jay -
David -2
David David
Jury Votes
for Adam
Bret, Chris, David, Jay, Jessica,
Michelle, Sunday, Taylor, Will, Zeke
Sole Survivor, Day 39

^1 In "Million Dollar Gamble", the vote ended with a 5-5 tie between Hannah and Zeke, forcing a revote. Adam did not change his vote on the revote.
^2 In "I'm Going for a Million Bucks", Adam used a Hidden Immunity Idol, but did not negate any votes against him.

Winners at War

Adam's eagerness to play with his favorite former players quickly put a target on his back. Although he succeeded in aligning with Denise Stapley on their way to the well, the two were away for too long which caused the rest of Sele to be suspicious of them. Ben Driebergen warned Adam of this development, which frustrated him as players were ignoring more obvious pairings. Adam tried to sway the tribe against Natalie Anderson and Jeremy Collins as their history in San Juan del Sur meant they were more dangerous than he was. This plan succeeded as Natalie was sent to the Edge of Extinction on Day 2. When Denise found a Hidden Immunity Idol, she told Adam about how she was instructed to give half of the idol to another player. Though she initially considered giving it to Parvati Shallow, Adam convinced her to make the safer play and share it with him. Adam would give it back to Denise prior to the next Tribal Council, where they successfully evaded Rob Mariano's impromptu bag search. Despite this, Adam still felt he had a good relationship with Rob to the extent of informing him of Adam's intentions of voting out Parvati at the next opportunity. Rob immediately used this information against Adam, prompting Adam's allies to not trust him and the other alliance to target him. He was spared by his alliance's decision to blindside Ethan Zohn instead.

Adam tried to make up for his blunder by doing more work around camp. His efforts would be undone by Parvati and Rob convincing the rest of the tribe that Adam was still scheming with them. A Tribe Switch occurred just in time, but it left Adam with an uneasy majority consisting of two players he had bad relationships with at this point: Ben and Rob. Despite their initial agreement to work together and vote out Sarah Lacina or Sophie Clarke, Adam was annoyed by Rob's "Buddy System" strategy and decided to vote out the Redemption Island winner. This decision ultimately boxed him into a corner as Ben grew closer to the original Dakal women than he did. Adam's constant searching for the idol (which Sophie had found the day of the swap) would cause friction with the rest of Yara, with Ben and Adam starting to butt heads more frequently.

His lack of strong allies and reputation as an unreliable ally put Adam in a familiar spot: an easy target shortly after the merge. Adam saw through the assurances he received that either Nick Wilson or Wendell Holland would be the target as no one would commit to solely either name. Adam narrowly survived the vote on Day 21 at Wendell's expense, but Adam was not content with maintaining the status quo. He spoke to Michele Fitzgerald about a possible idol at Tribal Council, hoping to make a move using it. Following the Day 23 Immunity Challenge, Adam pushed for Sarah to be voted out due to her closeness with multiple key players. This set off a series of dizzying strategic conversations. The madness continued into a live Tribal Council, where Adam continued to fight for his place in the game and his rivalry with Ben reached its climax. Upon realizing that he would be receiving enough votes to be voted out, Adam approached the pedestal to try to pry the emblem off of it. Thinking it was an idol but unable to remove it, Adam attempted to play it. After some teasing, Jeff Probst confirmed that it was not an idol, and a content Adam, knowing he did what he could, was voted out 8-2-1.

Adam was unsuccessful at any of the remaining tasks on the Edge, and was unable to win his way back into the game on Day 35. At Final Tribal Council, Adam asked Natalie what else she did besides returning to the game to warrant receiving his jury vote. He was pleased to learn that Tony Vlachos implemented a "spy nest" into his strategy. Adam ultimately joined in crowning Tony the Sole Survivor of Winners at War.

Voting History

Adam's Voting History
Episode Adam's
Votes
Voted Against
Adam
1 Natalie Jeremy
Sele Tribe Immune
2 Danni -
3 Parvati Ethan, Parvati, Rob
4 Sele Tribe Immune
5 Rob -
6 Yara Tribe Immune
7 Yara Tribe Immune
8 Wendell Michele, Nick, Wendell
9 Sarah Ben, Jeremy, Kim, Michele,
Nick, Sophie, Tony, Tyson
Voted Out, Day 23
10 On Edge of Extinction
11
12
13
14
Eliminated, Day 35
Voted for
Sole Survivor
Tony

Post-Survivor

  • Adam opened a non-profit fundraiser towards cancer research after the death of his mother.[5]
  • On April 25, 2019, Adam appeared as a contestant on Let's Make a Deal.[6]
  • Adam, along with nineteen other former Survivor, Australian Survivor, Survivor South Africa, and Survivor New Zealand contestants, competed in the second Survivor-themed mini-competition of Sequester on June 20, 2020. He was eliminated in the sixteenth and penultimate round, finishing in 3rd place.[7]

Trivia

References

Preceded by
Kaôh Rōng
S32 michele t.png
Michele Fitzgerald
Sole Survivor
Titleholder

Millennials vs. Gen X
S33 adam t.png
Adam Klein
Succeeded by
Game Changers
S34 sarah t.png
Sarah Lacina
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