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

His victory in Panama resulted in his being regarded one of the most personable, well-liked players of his era. Highlights of his game included his rivalry with Terry Deitz, his strong social gameplay, and his leadership over the post-switch Casaya tribe despite his status as its youngest member. He overcame an unprecedented five straight Immunity Challenge wins by Terry in order to eliminate the latter on the last day before the Final Tribal Council, securing himself the title of Sole Survivor in a 5-2 vote.

His 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.

Profile

Retrieved from CBS.com

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]

Survivor

Panama

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 power 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.

Voting History

Aras's Voting History
Episode Aras's
Votes
Voted Against
Aras
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.

Voting History

Aras's Voting History
Episode Aras's
Votes
Voted Against
Aras
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
10
Eliminated, Day 25
Voted for
Sole Survivor
Tyson

Post-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]

Trivia

  • Aras and Vytas Baskauskas's maternal grandfather was late actor Macdonald Carey.
  • Aras is half-Lithuanian. His last name is pronounced: "Bush-kows-kass".
  • Aras is the youngest contestant on Panama.
    • Aras is the second of two winners who was the youngest contestant of the season they won. The first was Jenna Morasca in The Amazon.
  • In the final four of Panama, the remaining four players represented the original tribe that they were on. Aras represented Viveros.
  • Aras's injury on Day 39 marks the first time someone has been injured on the final day of the competition.
  • Aras is the first winner with a dual citizenship: Lithuanian and American.
  • Aras holds the record for most elimination votes that counted against a Sole Survivor with 9 over the course of Panama. Ben Driebergen received 11 over the course of Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, but negated the majority of those votes with Hidden Immunity Idols.
  • According to her profile for Heroes vs. VillainsCirie Fields listed Aras as the past Survivor castaway that she respects the most.
  • Aras lost 17 lbs. (7 kg) during his time in Blood vs. Water.[11]

References

Preceded by
Guatemala
S11 danni t.png
Danni Boatwright
Sole Survivor Titleholder
Panama
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Aras Baskauskas
Succeeded by
Cook Islands
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Yul Kwon
Survivor: Panama Castaways
 Aras
Viveros
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 Austin
Viveros
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 Bobby
Viveros
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 Bruce
La Mina
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 Cirie
Casaya
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 Courtney
Bayoneta
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 Dan
La Mina
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 Danielle
Bayoneta
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 Melinda
Casaya
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 Misty
Bayoneta
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 Nick
Viveros
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 Ruth Marie
Casaya
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 Sally
Bayoneta
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 Shane
La Mina
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 Terry
La Mina
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 Tina
Casaya
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Survivor: Blood vs. Water Castaways
 Aras
Galang
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 Brad
Tadhana
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 Caleb
Tadhana
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 Candice
Galang
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 Ciera
Tadhana
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 Colton
Galang
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 Gervase
Galang
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 Hayden
Tadhana
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 John
Tadhana
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 Kat
Galang
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 Katie
Tadhana
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 Laura B.
Tadhana
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 Laura M.
Galang
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 Marissa
Tadhana
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 Monica
Galang
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 Rachel
Tadhana
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 Rupert
Galang
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 Tina
Galang
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 Tyson
Galang
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 Vytas
Tadhana
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