James "Chad" Crittenden is a contestant from Survivor: Vanuatu.

Chad is probably best known for being the show's first amputee contestant. Throughout the game, Chad's prosthetic leg was commonly brought up in conversation, often being pitched as a threat to win. However, being a member of the Fat Five alliance, Chad was able to make his way to the merge unscathed. However, due to the men being down on numbers and the gender war that became prominent throughout his season, Chad became the second member of the jury.


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James "Chad" Crittenden was born on a military base in Oceanside, California. Growing up in Half Moon Bay, California, he discovered a love of sports and the outdoors, particularly soccer and fishing.

Crittenden attended Half Moon Bay High School, where he participated in many sports (soccer, tennis, bowling, fishing, running, mountain biking) as he pursued a collegiate future.

After high school, Crittenden decided to work at a local community college before pursuing studies at the University of California at Davis, majoring in International Relations with an emphasis on world resources, the environment and Spanish. Upon graduation, he accepted summer day-care jobs that ultimately led him to an after-school tutoring program. From there, he accepted an offer to head a new bilingual tutoring program in San Jose. Two years later, an internship where he taught a bilingual second grade class launched his career.

After two years teaching in San Jose, Crittenden accepted a teaching contract in San Salvador, El Salvador, where he met his wife, Dyann. Upon returning to the US, Crittenden and his family settled in the San Francisco Bay area. They have two children, Clara (3) and Trevor (4 months).

About one and a half years ago, Crittenden went to the doctor to have a lump on the bottom of his foot removed and discovered find it was a cancerous tumor. Synovial Sarcoma is a rare and deadly form of cancer (comprising less than one percent of all cancers) and amputation was necessary just below the knee. His recovery was miraculously quick, and he completed a triathlon nine months after the surgery. After many prostheses and much development, he feels that he has almost reached his post-surgery potential. Crittenden has been cancer-free for almost two years and has decided to take a leave of absence to be a full-time dad, which he has been planning for some time. He looks forward to the adventure.

Crittenden's birth date is August 8, 1969.[1]


Crittenden was placed on the Lopevi tribe, which was all male. The men made camp life decent but failed to make fire. Chad revealed that he had a prosthetic leg. This was met by mixed reactions by the tribe. Brady Finta viewed him as inspirational for coming out there, but at the same time the biggest threat to win the game. At the first challenge of the season, the men were leading. However, Chris Daugherty had problems crossing the balance beam. This allowed the Yasur women to surge ahead and win. Chad join Lea "Sarge" Mastersalliance and they voted off Brook Geraghty

The tribe was cold and miserable without fire, because of the lack of fire they couldn't boil water or cook food. At the Reward Challenge, the men lost again due to a balance beam. Thankfully, Sarge lead the men to victory at the Immunity Challenge, also earning them flint. The men made fire very quickly. The next challenge was for tribal reward and immunity. However, immunity was individual as both tribes had to go to Tribal Council. Lopevi won reward in the form of fishing gear. In the Immunity Challenge, Chad initially had the lead. However, John Kenney won immunity. John K. would go to the women's camp to decide which women would get immunity for the Yasur Tribal Council. The alliance remained loyal to one another and sent John Palyok home. Yasur won the next two challenges, costing them the help of a local bushman and immunity. Despite his efforts to save himself, Brady was unanimously voted out by the tribe.

A pair of local Vanuatu men came to the camp, asking for the tribe's chief. Sarge was declared the chief and was given a staff. Before the Reward Challenge, a Tribe Switch occurred. Chad was placed by Scout Cloud Lee to be with Chris and Julie Berry. They were joined by Twila Tanner and John. Sarge deemed Chad's group the new Lopevi tribe. Lopevi went on a winning steak, earning two rewards and two immunities. Chad was getting annoyed with John's laziness. He and Chris talked about John and felt he was coasting through the game. At the Reward Challenge, Lopevi was shocked that Lisa Keiffer was voted out over Rory Freeman. Yasur broke Lopevi's winning streak when they won reward. Rory won the Yasur tribe immunity. Chad didn't trust Julie. However, John K. was lobbying against Chad for being the biggest threat to win the game because of the prosthesis. In the end, John was voted out unanimously.

The next challenge was for reward. Lopevi won, earning them milk, cookies, and a huge chocolate cake. At the Immunity Challenge, the tribes merged. Chad made it to the second heat, but lost to Rory and Ami Cusack. When the newly merged tribe returned to camp, there was a feast awaiting them. Rory told Lopevi that Ami was running the show and they targeted her. However, Julie and Twila went to the women and eliminated Rory. At the first individual Reward Challenge, The men were quickly eliminated. When the men talked about strategy, Sarge wanted to vote against Eliza Orlins as she was at the bottom of the women's pecking order. Chad disagreed with this as they could use Eliza for a vote. When the men returned, Leann Slaby and Julie said they only had wingtips from the reward. The men were thankful, unaware that the women ate all of the chicken wings that Leann and Julie brought back. At the Immunity Challenge, the men were all out in the first round. Sarge was the women's next victim and became the first member of the jury.

Scout was tired of Eliza and wanted her out. She proposed a plan to the men to blindside Eliza. Chad and Chris were thrilled as they had a chance to stay in the game. At the Reward Challenge, Chad along with Chris, Ami, and Eliza won. They enjoyed a local Vanuatu experience with food and everything. At the Immunity Challenge, Chad almost won but ran out of endurance. After the challenge, Twila didn't know who she was voting against. Chad felt Twila had no reason to vote out Eliza because Twila herself won immunity. Unfortunately, Ami caught wind of the plot and managed to stop it flat. Chad was voted out in a 6-2 vote, becoming the second member of the jury.

At Final Tribal Council, Chad asked the finalists what is something that changed them over the course of the game. Twila said that she needed to watch her mouth and how she come off at people. She said she was judgmental and that wasn't always a good thing. Chris said it was playing the game with the jury and Twila. He said that the money started talking and he was doing anything to stay in the game. Chris added that the two people with least amount of genuine quality is seating in front of them. Appeased by his answer, Chad voted for Chris to become the Sole Survivor. 

Voting History

Chad's Voting History
Episode Chad's
Voted Against
1 Brook -
2 Lopevi Tribe Immune
3 John P. -
4 Brady -
5 Lopevi Tribe Immune
6 Lopevi Tribe Immune
7 John K. John K.
8 Ami -
9 Julie -
10 Eliza Ami, Eliza, Julie,
Leann, Scout, Twila
Voted Out, Day 27
Voted for
Sole Survivor


  • Chad has become a motivational speaker.[2]
  • In Summer of 2009, Chad appeared on the TVGuide special "Survivor Millionaires: Where Are They Now?" during Chris Daugherty's segment.[3]
  • On January 9, 2010, Chad attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party along with all of his Vanuatu cast mates.



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