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Ami Rae Cusack is a contestant from Survivor: Vanuatu and Survivor: Micronesia.

In Vanuatu, Ami led the all-female Yasur Alliance, successfully eliminating three of the four remaining men in the game. However, the last man standing, Chris Daugherty saw an opening when her alliance began to turn on each other. After cobbling together an alliance with the Yasur bottom-feeders, Chris overthrew Ami's alliance and ousted her at the final six.

In Micronesia, Ami returned as a Favorite, but found herself in the minority quickly. She got lucky when the tribes were mixed up, allowing her to join the Favorites' majority to vote out the Fans. However, her half-baked scheming with the enemy alliance caused her elimination, narrowly missing out on the merge.


Retrieved from

Age: 31
Occupation: Barista/Model
Home Town: Lakewood, CO

Ami Cusack was born to and raised in Golden, Colorado, by Richard, a top gun pilot and explosive engineer and Virginia, a former substitute English teacher and homemaker. After graduating Golden High School, she attended Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in Denver. While attending RMCAD, she landed a job with Experimental and Applied Sciences as charitable director (one of six employees), working with children and women. In 1998, the company was sold and Cusack decided to travel for the next four years. Her travels led her to Australia, Thailand, Tahiti, Iceland, Japan and Africa.

Upon returning to the US, she took a job at a coffee shop which she now considers "the greatest job in the world." She looks forward to being a mom and taking care of her family.

In 1996, she lost her 18-year-old younger brother, Kyle, to a drunk driver. Her mother now conducts motivation speaking to high school students about the consequences of drinking and driving.

Cusack is currently dating Crissy, whom she's been with for three years. Her birth date is January 25, 1973.[1]

Ami Cusack was born and raised in Golden, Colorado, to Richard, a top gun pilot and explosives engineer, and Virginia, a former substitute English teacher and homemaker. After graduating Golden High School, she attended Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in Denver. In 1992, while attending RMCAD, Cusack became one of the original six employees of a Golden-based nutritional company called Experiment and Applied Sciences. She started out by answering phones and by 1996 she became the company's charitable director. In 1998, (with over 350 employees), the company was sold and Cusack decided to travel for the next four years. Her travels led her to Australia, Thailand, Tahiti, Iceland, Japan and Africa.

Upon returning to the U.S., she took a job at a coffee shop, which she now considers "the greatest job in the world." She looks forward to being a mom and taking care of her family. She also is a nanny for a six-year-old. She is still very active in charities and has been named an Ambassador for the Colorado Chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

In 1996, she lost her 18-year-old younger brother, Kyle, to a drunk driver. Her mother now conducts motivational speaking to high school students about the consequences of drinking and driving.

Cusack is currently single. Her birth date is January 25, 1973.[2]



During the welcoming ceremony, Ami was annoyed that she was put second to a man. The tribal chief divided the tribes by gender and Ami was placed on the Yasur tribe. The women won the first challenge because of Chris Daugherty's inability to stay on the balance beam. The women also won the Reward Challenge and comfort items, once again due to the men's inability to cross a balance beam. However at camp, the women were divided between youth and work ethic. Ami preferred the hard workers and bonded well with Leann Slaby. They failed to work together in the Immunity Challenge and lost badly. After the challenge, a paranoid Eliza Orlins came to Ami with a proposition to vote out swing vote Dolly Neely. The plan worked and Dolly was blindsided. At the next challenge, it was revealed to be a double Tribal Council. Yasur lost the reward part of the challenge. As a stipulation of winning the individual immunity, John Kenney spent time at the Yasur camp to decide on who gets the individual immunity for Yasur. Hoping not to disrupt the intended elimination, John decided to give it to Ami. Ami's alliance proceeded to vote off the temperamental Mia Galeotalanza. The Yasur tribe won the next two challenges, winning a native wilderness guide, named Da, to show them the resources of their camp, and immunity.

On Day 11, native Vanuatu tribesman came to the Yasur, wanting the women to pick a tribe leader. The women agreed the oldest member, Scout Cloud Lee. A tribe switch occurred with Scout and Lea "Sarge" Masters in charge of mixing tribes. Scout picked the tribes that Ami would stay with Eliza, and Leann and introduced to Travis "Bubba" Sampson and Rory Freeman. Sarge picked the other group as the Lopevi tribe. The new Yasur also gotten Lisa Keiffer when she chose Yasur over Lopevi. Yasur lost the first challenge of the new tribes. At the Immunity Challenge, Ami hears Bubba asking Chris to throw the challenge. Angered by this, Ami successfully campaigned for Bubba's elimination. Yasur lost the next two challenges. Although Rory was the initial target, Ami deemed Lisa untrustworthy and arranged for elimination as well. Yasur won the next challenge, winning a coffee shop and loved-one letters and pictures. Although she bonded with everyone, Ami was dead-set on voting out Rory, much to the latter's anger. This would be averted as Rory won the women immunity. Despite that, Ami still targeted Rory.

After losing cookies and milk in a Reward Challenge, the tribes merged at the next Immunity Challenge. Ami agreed with Twila Tanner's recommendation of staying at the Lopevi camp. In the first individual Immunity Challenge, Ami made to it the final round but lost to Sarge. At camp, Ami was targeted by the Lopevi men because Rory informed them of what was going down at Yasur. Ami was safe because Twila and Julie Berry deemed it was their best interest to go with the women over the men. Ami's alliance eliminated Sarge and Chad quickly. Ami wanted Chris to go next as he failed to win immunity (which she won). Her closest ally, Leann, didn't feel right about sending Chris to the jury as they sent Lisa home. Ami was willing to accommodate for Leann and vote out Eliza. Unfortunately, Chris used this opportunity to form a counter-alliance with Eliza, Twila, and Scout to blindside Leann. In the minority, Ami tried to get Eliza to turn against the duo of Twila and Scout. Ami failed in both winning immunity and swaying Eliza to her side. Ami was voted out in a 4-2 vote and became the fourth member of the jury.

At Final Tribal Council, Ami pointed out the irony that Twila would do anything for the million dollars but refused to apologize to Eliza. Ami then asked Chris what genuine qualities he had to beat her. Chris said he possessed none and that the two people with the least amount of those genuine qualities were the finalists. Twila, who was asked the same question, said that she herself was cold, and that Ami didn't have it in her to be cold. Ami gave her vote to Twila for giving answers from her heart.

Episode Tribe
Challenge Challenge Type Sit-Out? Result
1 Yasur Fire Starter Reward/Immunity No Won
2 By the Numbers Reward No Won
Four on the Floor Immunity No Lost
3 Great Escape Run Reward/Immunity1 No Lost2
4 Remembrance Reward No Won
Tribal Tiles Immunity No Won
5 Dive Masters Reward No Lost
Outwit, Outplay, Outrig Immunity No Lost
6 Pig Pen Reward No Lost
Strung Out Immunity No Lost
7 Jo-Coconut Reward No Won
Shoot Your Way Home Immunity No Won
8 Fire Fighter Reward No Lost
Tribes Merged, Day 20
8 Alinta Jumper Immunity Lost
9 Head Hunter Reward Lost
Memory Mosaic Immunity Won
10 Sacrificial Lamb Reward Won
Get a Grip Immunity Lost
11 Played Out Reward Lost
Love Is Blind Immunity Won
12 Troubled Water Reward 2nd
Island Hopping Immunity Lost
Voted Out, Day 33
^1 Both tribes were sent to Tribal Council. The tribe that won the Reward Challenge earned the right to compete in an individual Immunity Challenge.
^2 John K. was instructed to transfer his Immunity Necklace to one member of Yasur. He chose Ami.

Episode Ami's
Voted Against
1 Yasur Tribe Immune
2 Dolly -
3 Mia Individual Immunity
4 Yasur Tribe Immune
5 Travis -
6 Lisa -
7 Yasur Tribe Immune
8 Rory Chad, Chris,
Lea, Rory
9 Lea Individual Immunity
10 Chad -
11 Eliza Individual Immunity
12 Scout Chris, Eliza,
Scout, Twila
Voted Out, Day 33
Voted for
Sole Survivor


Ami returned to Survivor: Micronesia as a Favorite in the Malakal tribe, which enjoyed early success in camp life. In the next few days, Ami had formed an alliance with fellow Vanuatu returnee Eliza Orlins, Jonathan Penner, and Yau-Man Chan to usurp the budding Malakal Couples Alliance consisting of Amanda Kimmel, James Clement, Ozzy Lusth, and Parvati Shallow. Malakal lost the Day 3 Immunity Challenge, sending them to Tribal Council. Jon Dalton, aka Jonny Fairplay, asked to be voted out to be with his expectant girlfriend and his request was honored by the entire tribe, sending Fairplay home in a unanimous 9-1 vote. After this, the remaining swing vote was Cirie Fields. Penner and the rest of the alliance, including Ami, believed that Cirie was on their side, but Cirie felt she could trust the Couples Alliance better due to Penner's past as a liar, and joined their ship. Any strategizing was put on hold due to Malakal winning the Day 6 Immunity Challenge. After Malakal won the Day 7 Reward Challenge, Ami volunteered to go to Exile Island, along with fan Kathy Sleckman. Ami immediately wanted to search for the Hidden Immunity Idol, but Kathy convinced Ami that there was a storm coming and they shouldn't be out searching for the idol. Ami reluctantly agreed. Ami returned for the Day 8 Immunity Challenge, but unfortunately, Malakal lost, putting Ami, Eliza, Penner, and Yau-Man on the chopping block. Though the Couples Alliance (except Cirie) were leaning towards voting out perceived weak link Eliza, Cirie convinced the Couples Alliance to vote out strategic threat Yau-Man. At Tribal Council, Yau-Man was voted off, but Ami threw a vote at Cirie for her "betrayal". Though the alliance was upset at the prospect of losing Yau-Man, Malakal was able to win the Day 11 Immunity Challenge.

On Day 12, a Tribe Switch occurred, saving Ami from being stuck in the minority. Ami was picked by fan Erik Reichenbach to join the new Malakal. The new Malakal consisted of Ozzy, Joel Anderson, Amanda, Erik, Ami, Tracy Hughes-Wolf, Cirie, and Chet Welch. Unfortunately, the new Malakal generally lost in many challenges, though this gave new light to Ami, as Ozzy, Amanda, and Cirie convinced her to align with them to vote out fans Joel, Erik, Tracy, and Chet. Ami joined the new Couples Alliance and stayed in a very secure position. However, when Malakal lost the Day 20 Immunity Challenge, while the initial target was Tracy, Amanda, and Cirie wanted to vote out Erik over Tracy, and the remaining fans wanted to vote out Ozzy. Ami hatched a plan: Ami would tell Ozzy that she'd vote Tracy, she'd convince Cirie and Amanda to vote Erik with her, but in reality, Ami would blindside Ozzy along with the remaining fans, Tracy, and Erik. Though the plan was brilliant, in the end, Ami stayed loyal to the favorites and voted out Tracy over Ozzy. Malakal lost the final Tribal Immunity Challenge on Day 21, due to Airai exiling Ozzy, whose strength was needed in challenges. The last fan on Malakal, Erik, knew he was on the chopping block. However, Erik decided to turn the tables on Ami, revealing to Amanda and Cirie that Ami was planning on betraying Ozzy. This didn't change Amanda and Cirie's minds, forcing Erik to convince kingpin Ozzy to vote out Ami after betraying the favorites. Ozzy agreed with Erik, and tried to convince his alliance to vote out Ami. At Tribal Council, Ozzy pointed out Ami's crafty work, but Ami, who was very emotional, desperately denied this, saying that the favorites should stick together during the merge and that she was an excellent ally. Despite all her reasons why she should stay in the game, Ozzy felt he couldn't trust Ami any longer, and she was voted out in a unanimous 4-1 vote.

Episode Tribe
Challenge Challenge Type Sit-Out? Result
1 Malakal First to Shore Immunity1 No Lost
Reinventing the Wheel Reward/Immunity No Lost
2 Smash and Grab Reward/Immunity No Won
3 Beach Bash Reward No Won
Nut Bucket Immunity No Lost
4 Diver Down Reward No Won
Crosswalk Immunity No Won
5 Cat and Mouse Reward No Lost
A Stone's Throw Immunity No Lost
6 Build It Up, Break It Down Reward No Lost
United We Stand Immunity No Lost
7 Money Roll Reward No Won
What-er Drag Immunity No Lost
8 The Gauntlet Reward/Immunity No Lost
Voted Out, Day 21
^1 This challenge was played for individual immunity at each tribe's first Tribal Council.

Episode Ami's
Voted Against
1 Jon -
2 Malakal Tribe Immune
3 Cirie -
4 Malakal Tribe Immune
5 Joel -
6 Chet -
7 Tracy -
8 Erik Amanda, Cirie,
Erik, Ozzy
Voted Out, Day 21


  • On January 9, 2010, Ami attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party along with all of her Vanuatu cast mates.[3]
  • According to Ami's Facebook, she now lives in New Zealand.
  • Ami married Bianca Ranson on May 1, 2016.[4]


  • Ami is one of four castaways that were confirmed to have been casted by Kelly Goldsmith for Vanuatu[5]
  • Ami is the first woman to have individual immunity in the tribal stage of the game.
  • Ami revealed in the "On Shaky Ground" featurette of the Vanuatu DVD that the native Vanuatuan man that stayed with the Yasur tribe after winning his survival help in a Reward Challenge, gave her his necklace when he was leaving Yasur camp.
  • Whenever Ami received votes at Tribal Council, she received exactly four.
  • In both seasons Ami competed in, there was an all-female alliance. The Yasur Alliance failed, while the Black Widow Brigade succeeded.
  • Ami is involved in two tribe switches but always stayed on the same tribe.
    • In Micronesia, Ami was the only castaway to stay on Malakal during the Tribe Switch and be voted out pre-merge.
  • Ami is the only woman on the original Malakal tribe to not make the merge in Micronesia.
  • Ami says that the main reason her game was so much different in Micronesia is because right before filming began, one of her childhood friends committed suicide and it left her heartbroken.[6]


Survivor: Vanuatu Castaways
S9 ami t
S9 brady t
S9 brook t
S9 chad t
S9 chris t
S9 dolly t
S9 eliza t
 John K.
S9 johnk t
 John P.
S9 johnp t
S9 julie t
S9 lea t
S9 leann t
S9 lisa t
S9 mia t
S9 rory t
S9 scout t
S9 travis t
S9 twila t
Survivor: Micronesia Castaways
S16 alexis t
S16 amanda t
S16 ami t
S16 chet t
S16 cirie t
S16 eliza t
S16 erik t
S16 james t
S16 jason t
S16 joel t
S16 jon t
S16 jonathan t
S16 kathy t
S16 mary t
 Mikey B.
S16 mikeyb t
S16 natalie t
S16 ozzy t
S16 parvati t
S16 tracy t
S16 yauman t