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Aras Vydunas Baskauskas is the Sole Survivor of Survivor: Panama. He later competed on Survivor: Blood vs. Water.

Highlights of Aras' game included his rivalry with Terry Deitz, his strong social gameplay, his close friendship with Cirie Fields, and his leadership over the post-switch Casaya tribe despite being its youngest member. He overcame an unprecedented five straight Immunity Challenge wins by Terry to witness his elimination on the last day before the Final Tribal Council, where he earned himself the title of Sole Survivor in a 5-2 vote.

Aras' game in Blood vs. Water proceeded much less smoothly. He was unable to keep a low profile on the Galang tribe and found himself positioned as a figurehead for his Galang Alliance entering the merge. This swiftly resulted in his blindside at the hands of his former allies, Gervase Peterson and eventual winner Tyson Apostol.


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Aras Baskauskas completed his undergraduate program in three years and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from the University of California, Irvine. In 2003, he was named one of UC Irvine's "Most Eligible Bachelors" in the student newspaper.

Baskauskas continued his education at UC Irvine and graduated from the Graduate School of Management, where he received his Masters in Business Administration. He is proudest of being the only student to have played NCAA Men's Division One basketball on scholarship while in the MBA program.

Baskauskas is a former professional basketball player, having played briefly overseas in Lithuania. After leaving the court, Aras moved to Capetown, South Africa, where he opened up a donation-based yoga studio. He currently works as a yoga instructor in Santa Monica, California. His hobbies include meditation, golf and surfing. He describes himself as outgoing, compassionate and genuine.

Baskauskas is currently single and living in Santa Monica, California. His birth date is September 26, 1981.[1]

Name (Age): Aras Baskauskas (31)
Tribe Designation: Returning Player
Relationship to Significant Castaway: Vytas' Brother
Previous Season: Survivor: Panama – Exile Island, winner
Current Residence: Santa Monica, Calif.
Occupation: Musician

Why Did You Want to Return to Survivor and Play with Your Loved One? I want to play Survivor with Vytas because I know we'll have a great shot at winning. More importantly, I know an experience like Survivor will bring us closer together. Early in our lives, we had a very rocky relationship. Taking on adventures as adults gives us the chance to make up for lost time.[2]



Originally part of the younger male Viveros tribe, Aras and the rest of the tribe struggled early on, as the group of younger men was unable to set up camp, nor make fire. Their goofing off and foolishness almost carried over at the first Immunity Challenge, narrowly beating the older women Casaya tribe, finishing third place and avoiding Tribal Council.

On Day 4, Aras became a member of the new Casaya tribe and formed an early alliance with Shane Powers, Courtney Marit, and Danielle DiLorenzo. But the alliance was threatened with implosion when Shane wanted to quit the game, having smoked three packets of cigarettes a day prior to Survivor. But Aras convinced him not to quit, and the alliance regrouped and voted out Melinda Hyder, one of the two older women of the tribe. The dysfunctional Casaya tribe would then win two consecutive Immunity Challenges.

Aras led the charge to vote out Bruce Kanegai due to their clashing points of view, but Courtney, Danielle, and Cirie Fields felt that Bobby Mason was much more of a threat than Bruce, and they voted Bobby out. When the tribes merged into the Gitanos tribe in Day 16, the ex-Casaya tribe members, Aras, Shane, Bruce, Cirie, Courtney, and Danielle had the power in numbers against the four ex-La Mina tribe members. Due to Terry Deitz, the largest target, winning immunity, the alliance voted out Nick Stanbury, Austin Carty, and Sally Schumann in three straight Tribal Councils.

On Day 25, Bruce was evacuated out of the game due to constipation, causing him immense pain. When Terry continued to win individual immunity, the alliance was forced to turn on themselves at the final six. Shane, together with Cirie and Aras, targeted Danielle, but Courtney, together with Terry, Danielle, and Cirie wanted to vote out Aras. Not happy with any of these options, Cirie brewed a plan of her own, and together with Aras and Danielle, voted out Courtney, whom Cirie believed was aligned with Shane.

Terry continued his immunity winning streak and once again the alliance was forced to take out one of their own. Shane, believing he was safe, targeted Danielle. But once again, Cirie had her own plans, and together with Aras and Danielle, they voted out Shane, who had aligned with Terry. At the final four, the long-standing rivalry between Terry and Aras was once again raised when Aras won a Reward Challenge, much to Terry's dismay. When given the choice of picking someone to go on the reward with him to cross the Panama Canal, he decided to pick Cirie, which in turn sent both Terry and Danielle to Exile Island. When sent to Exile Island, Terry and Danielle formed an alliance against Aras and Cirie with plans of ousting Aras.

However, Aras managed to win immunity, making him safe. Terry, due to the widely-known fact that he possessed the Hidden Immunity Idol, was also safe. This created a 2-2 tie between Danielle and Cirie, who competed in a fire-building challenge to determine their fate. Shown over two episodes, Danielle won the challenge, and Aras's ally Cirie was eliminated. With Terry's idol now useless, it was now fair game between the final three, Aras, Danielle, and Terry.

The Final Immunity Challenge was the first to be preceded by a "prepare for the Immunity Challenge" reward for the Reward Challenge winner. The Immunity Challenge was not one that the winner of the Reward Challenge would profit from. At the Final Immunity Challenge, Danielle out-balanced the two guys to win immunity, giving her the ability to choose her opponent in the Final Two. Danielle eventually chose to eliminate Terry, making him the final member of the jury and propelling Aras into the Final Two. The challenge ended the perceived battle between both Terry and Aras.

On Day 39, while he and Danielle had glasses of champagne, Aras slipped on a wet rock and fell, sending shards of glass into his hand and back. His wounds required seven stitches by the medical crew.

In the end, despite the injury, Aras beat out Danielle to become the Sole Survivor in a 5-2 vote, gaining the votes of Austin, Sally, Courtney, Cirie, and Terry.

Episode Tribe
Challenge Challenge Type Sit-Out? Result
1 Viveros Skull Crush Reward Yes 2nd
4x4 Immunity No 3rd
Switched Tribes, Day 4
2 Casaya A Reptile Dysfunction Reward No Lost
Anchor Management Immunity No Lost
3 Cross Fire Reward No Lost
Battle Dig Immunity No Won
4 Puzzle Paranoia Reward No Won
Sea Level, Tree Level Immunity No Won
5 For Cod's Sake Reward No Won
Buried at Sea Immunity No Lost
6 In-Cog-Neato Reward/Immunity No Won
Tribes Merged, Day 16
8 Gitanos Vampire Bats Immunity Lost
9 Rock the Boat Reward Won
Ups and Downs Immunity Lost
10 Get Hooked Reward Lost
Marine Memory Immunity No Lost
11 Voo Doo Reward Invited
12 The Key of Sea Reward Lost
Hold Your Own Immunity Lost
13 Second Chance Reward Lost
Vertigo Immunity Lost
14 Station By Station Reward Won
Puzzle Dig Immunity Won
15 Wall to Wall Reward Lost
Balance of Power Immunity Lost
Sole Survivor, Day 39

Episode Aras's
Voted Against
1 Viveros Tribe Immune
2 Melinda -
3 Casaya Tribe Immune
4 Casaya Tribe Immune
5 Bruce Shane
6 Casaya Tribe Immune
8 Nick -
9 Austin Austin,
Sally, Terry
10 Sally Sally, Terry
11 No Tribal Council
12 Courtney Courtney, Terry
13 Shane Terry
14 Danielle Individual Immunity
15 Ineligible -
Jury Votes
for Aras
Austin, Cirie,
Courtney, Sally, Terry
Sole Survivor, Day 39

Blood vs. Water[]

Aras returned to Survivor with his older brother Vytas Baskauskas, whom he had a long-standing rivalry with. As with the other returning players, Aras was assigned to the Galang tribe, while Vytas was placed on the Tadhana tribe. Aras lamented the tension between him and his brother, with Aras being the congenial, more popular brother who wanted to look after his older brother who was battling heroin addiction.

The brother's conflict spilled over in challenges, with Aras defeating Vytas in the first four Immunity Challenges, even after Vytas taking cheap shots at him. However, Aras's tribe prevailed, winning the first four Immunity Challenges. During this time Aras also formed the Galang Alliance which consisted of himself, Gervase Peterson, Tyson Apostol, Monica Culpepper, and Tina Wesson.

When Galang finally lost immunity on Day 13, it appeared Laura Boneham would be the target for being the outsider, but Aras suggested they target Laura Morett because she would defeat Brad Culpepper at the next Redemption Island duel which would keep Monica on their side. Aras's plans came into fruition, with Laura M. sent to Redemption Island and eventually defeating Brad. Returning from Tribal Council, Tyson and Gervase began to question Aras's influence in the tribe.

A Day 14 tribe switch sent Aras along with Tyson and Gervase to Tadhana where they joined original Tadhana members Ciera Eastin, Hayden Moss, and Caleb Bankston. Tadhana won the next Immunity Challenge. The next day, Tyson rallied the rest of the tribe against Aras. However, Aras was spared when Tadhana won immunity again.

Aras reached the merge, where he was reunited with his brother Vytas, and both Vytas and Katie Collins joined his alliance. He talked to his alliance about targeting Laura or Ciera. After the Immunity Challenge, Aras suggested they split their votes between Laura and Ciera in case a Hidden Immunity Idol was in play. Tina, Katie, and Vytas were on his side, but Tyson successfully turned everyone else on Aras. At Tribal Council, Aras was blindsided in a 7-2-2 vote with Aras and Vytas voting for Laura, and Tina and Katie voting for Ciera. He was sent to Redemption Island. Vytas was sent to Redemption Island next, so Aras was reunited with his brother again. Aras lost the duel to Vytas and Tina, so he was eliminated from the game in 11th place, and he became the first member of the jury.

At the Final Tribal Council, Aras asked the Final Three about whom they felt he should vote for if not themselves. Aras contributed to Tyson's 7-1-0 victory.

Episode Tribe
Challenge Challenge Type Sit-Out? Result
1 Galang Blue Lagoon Bustle Reward/Immunity No Won
2 In the Barrel Reward/Immunity No Won
3 Sumo at Sea Reward/Immunity No Won
4 Boats, Brains & Brawn Reward/Immunity No Won
5 Slide Show Reward/Immunity No Lost
Switched Tribes, Day 14
6 Tadhana Buoy Oh Buoy Reward/Immunity No Won
7 Chain Reaction Reward/Immunity No Won
Tribes Merged, Day 19
8 Kasama Flashback Immunity Lost
Voted Out, Day 21
10 Kasama Puppet Master Duel Lost
Eliminated, Day 25

Episode Aras's
Voted Against
1 Gervase -
Galang Tribe Immune
2 Galang Tribe Immune
3 Galang Tribe Immune
4 Galang Tribe Immune
5 Laura M. -
6 Tadhana Tribe Immune
7 Tadhana Tribe Immune
8 Laura M. Caleb, Ciera, Gervase, Hayden,
Laura M., Monica, Tyson
Voted Out, Day 21
9 On Redemption Island
Eliminated, Day 25
Voted for
Sole Survivor



Aras with his bride, Christy, and their son, River.

  • In the summer of 2009, Aras, along with the other first eighteen Survivor winners, appeared on a TVGuide special "Survivor Millionaires: Where Are They Now?"[3]
  • On January 9, 2010, Aras attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party.
  • In 2011, Aras founded Tundra Gear, a winter hat company.[4] The same year, Aras released his debut album, "The Tree and the River", under the stage name of "Odd Us" (the actual pronunciation of his name).
  • In 2013, he became a part of the band "My Swedish Friend" as a parallel project.[5]
  • He was a guest on the second episode of the Survivor After Show in 2013.
  • On November 10, 2013, Aras became engaged with his girlfriend, model Christy Petersen.[6] Their first child, River Juozas Baskauskas, was born on May 29, 2014.[7] Aras and Christy got married on April 25, 2015.[8] Their second child, Sage Tiger Baskauskas, was born on September 29, 2018.[9]
  • Aras finished fourth in the Rob Has a Podcast's Mr. Survivor 2014 first round of voting. However, due to Rob not being able to schedule an interview with finalist Hayden Moss, Aras took his spot in the final three and eventually lost out against Malcolm Freberg, but beat Tyson Apostol.
  • Aras was contacted for Winners at War, although he declined as he did not want to leave his family and he felt that his Survivor journey was complete.[10]



Preceded by
S11 danni t
Danni Boatwright
Sole Survivor Titleholder
S12 aras t
Aras Baskauskas
Succeeded by
Cook Islands
S13 yul t
Yul Kwon
Survivor: Panama Castaways
S12 aras t
S12 austin t
S12 bobby t
La Mina
S12 bruce t
S12 cirie t
S12 courtney t
La Mina
S12 dan t
S12 danielle t
S12 melinda t
S12 misty t
S12 nick t
 Ruth Marie
S12 ruthmarie t
S12 sally t
La Mina
S12 shane t
La Mina
S12 terry t
S12 tina t
Survivor: Blood vs. Water Castaways
S27 aras t
S27 brad t
S27 caleb t
S27 candice t
S27 ciera t
S27 colton t
S27 gervase t
S27 hayden t
S27 john t
S27 kat t
S27 katie t
 Laura B.
S27 laurab t
 Laura M.
S27 lauram t
S27 marissa t
S27 monica t
S27 rachel t
S27 rupert t
S27 tina t
S27 tyson t
S27 vytas t