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Brendan Shapiro is a contestant from Survivor: Ghost Island.

Initially starting out on the Malolo tribe, Brendan took on a leadership role until he was relegated to the bottom after the Tribe Switch. Shortly thereafter, Brendan and the original Malolos forged an alliance against the Naviti majority. However, his game came to an end after he failed to convince any of the opposing alliance to flip and because of an idol misplay, eliminating him in 17th place.


Retrieved from

Age: 41
Hometown: Herndon, Virginia
Current residence: Herndon, Virginia
Occupation: Physical Education Teacher
Hobbies: Coaching and watching my kids' sports, tailgating at Redskins games, running and chopping wood.
Pet peeves: Passive-aggression, when people slow down to merge or change lanes, cry babies, and waiting.
Three words to describe you: Deliberate, optimistic, and determined.
What's your personal claim to fame? I am not afraid to take risks and make big changes. During the recession, I left a well-paying but unsatisfying desk job, risking everything I owned, to start my own business. After more than a dozen years and at 40 years old, I sold the business to pursue another lifelong interest to become a teacher.
Who or what is your inspiration in life? My wife because she overcame bike crashes, injuries, and big obstacles to become a world-class professional triathlete (while raising two kids and running a business).
If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? A picture of my wife and kids to keep me tethered to reality, a football to throw on the beach, and bacon jerky because it's delicious and doesn't need to be refrigerated.
Which Survivor contestant are you most like? Jeremy Collins and Tom Westman because I understand people and know how to unite them behind a common goal. Also, I am pretty athletic for an old guy.
What's your reason for being on Survivor? To win.
Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor? I'm strong, fast, tough, and good with my hands. I can read a room. I know how to make people feel comfortable and secure. My tribemates will want to keep me around.[2]


Starting on the Malolo tribe, Brendan was selected to be the Tribe Leader for the opening Reward Challenge on Day 1. As leader, host Jeff Probst tasked him with selecting a member each for the physical part and the puzzle part of the challenge, and he selected Michael Yerger and Laurel Johnson respectively. In a close challenge, Chris Noble decided to forfeit the puzzle section for rival Naviti tribe, giving the large reward to Malolo. When Malolo lost the first Immunity Challenge on Day 3, Brendan joined the majority in voting out Stephanie Gonzalez at Tribal Council.

After Jacob Derwin returned from Ghost Island the following day, he told his tribemates that he found the Hidden Immunity Idol on Ghost Island, but when asked by Brendan to show the note that came with it, Jacob claimed that he left it behind, which made Brendan suspicious. After Malolo lost immunity again on Day 6, Brendan and Michael successfully led the charge to vote out Jacob, but split the vote between Jacob and James Lim in case Jacob actually did have the idol.

When the Tribe Switch occurred on Day 7, Brendan, along with Stephanie Johnson, Michael, and Jenna Bowman remained on Malolo, but found themselves outnumbered by the original Navitis, 5-4. Knowing they were on the bottom, they all searched for the idol, which Michael found and shared with Brendan. When Malolo lost immunity on Day 12, the original Navitis decided to target Brendan after they reasoned that the minority would not think to play an idol on him. Brendan and his allies, on the other hand, decided to target Bradley Kleihege for his arrogance and tendency to complain, in addition to pointing out to Chelsea Townsend and Sebastian Noel that he was calling the shots within the Naviti majority. At Tribal Council, Michael bluffed that he could use his idol for two people, claiming to play it for both him and Brendan, but when forced to choose who to save, played it for Stephanie. However, the original Navitis stayed united and voted out Brendan in a 5-4 vote.

Voting History

Brendan's Voting History
Episode Brendan's
Voted Against
1 Gonzalez -
Jacob -
2 Malolo Tribe Immune
3 Bradley Bradley, Chelsea,
Desiree, Kellyn, Sebastian
Voted Out, Day 12


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Survivor: Ghost Island Castaways
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