Chris's supposed disloyalty led to him being the third person voted out on Day 8, but after lasting 26 full days on the Edge of Extinction and winning the second re-entry duel on Day 35, Chris made the most of his second chance by catching up to speed strategically and socially, as well as winning the Final Immunity Challenge. Believing his last-minute return would still not suffice for a win, he gave up his immunity and instead faced Rick Devens in the fire-making challenge to earn himself a spot in the Final Tribal Council. His strong relationships with the jury during his stay on the Edge of Extinction and resilience during the game's closing moments won him the title of Sole Survivor in a 9-4-0 vote.
Retrieved from CBS.com
Hometown: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Current residence: Greenville, South Carolina
Occupation: District Sales Manager
Hobbies: Surfing, sailing, camping, anything outdoors!
Pet peeves: Laziness, political Facebook posts, people who are all talk and no walk.
Three words to describe you: Personable, hustler, and intuitive.
What is your personal claim to fame? My professional career. I went from being a barista to managing the #1 sales team in my solar company within a year.
Who or what is your inspiration in life? The people who have taught me to get back up when I'm knocked down, to fight for the things that matter in life, and to never let my goals get away from me, no matter how big or small.
If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? A surfboard because Fiji has amazing waves! A skillet because literally everything tastes better on a skillet. Scuba gear equipped with a spear gun because I love diving and spearfishing.
Which Survivor contestant are you the most like? Malcolm because of his charm, Rob because he is a leader but also manipulative, Spencer because of how well he understands strategy, and Ozzy because of his skills in the water.
What's your reason for being on Survivor? My primary motivation is to say that I accomplished the goal that I was set out to do—win! Even if the grand prize was $1,000, if I say I am going to do something, then I am everything in my control to achieve it.
Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor? I can make fire, fish, build shelter, and I will most likely be cooking a lot of meals (I'm big into cooking). Also, I'd work hard and won't lay around camp. I'm a team player in terms of getting a group to work together, I am extremely competitive, and I will do whatever it takes to help my team win!
Chris was the standout performer in challenges in a struggling Manu tribe that went to each of the Tribal Councils before the swap. Chris started the game in a strong majority of six as outsiders Wendy, Keith, and Reem isolated themselves. After the first Tribal Council where Reem was voted out, things got a bit more complicated as Chris developed a friendship with Keith. On Day 6, Chris was happy to let Keith participate in the ring toss portion of the challenge in an attempt for the latter to redeem himself following a poor swimming performance. This decision proved costly, resulting in Manu's second immunity loss. Chris entertained the possibility of voting with David, Rick, and Wendy in voting out Kelley, who was perceived as the bigger threat of the tribe's two returning players and had close allies in Lauren and Wardog. However, the tribe chose to keep the stronger Wentworth in and voted out Keith. Following a third loss in a row, Chris would once again consider voting out Wentworth. This time, the plan was all but set when Chris approached Wardog in an attempt to preserve that relationship. This went against David's instructions, fearing Wardog would tell Wentworth, and this put David and Devens in a tough position as to whether to vote out Wentworth or Chris. Chris's indecisiveness resulted in his blindside on Day 8, where after Tribal Council he opted to go to the Edge of Extinction to join an unhappy Reem and Keith.
While on the Edge of Extinction, Chris found an advantage that allowed him to practice the future re-entry duel. In an attempt to find another advantage, Reem and Keith were searching in the water where Keith found it after Reem pointed it out. Chris was annoyed that Reem apparently "let" Keith have the advantage, which offended Reem and caused an argument. That advantage allowed Keith to give another player a disadvantage in the re-entry challenge. On Day 17, Reem, Keith, Chris, Devens, Aubry, and Wendy competed in the re-entry challenge and Keith selected Chris to receive the disadvantage in the form of 30 knots to untie before moving on to the final stage. That disadvantage slowed Chris down just enough for Rick Devens to win and return to the game. Probst asked Chris about his lowest point of his Survivor experience, to which Chris lamented his mistakes in the game but accepted that playing a perfect game was an unrealistic goal and ultimately owned them. Chris accepted the offer to continue on the Edge of Extinction, where he remained and participated as a jury member until the second re-entry challenge on Day 35.
On Day 35, in a field of 10 voted out castaways consisting of Reem, Aubry, Joe, Eric, Julia, David, Wentworth, Wardog, Ron, Aurora, and himself, Chris narrowly beat the competition to finally re-enter the game after 28 days on the Edge of Extinction. Like Devens when he reentered on Day 17, Chris came in with two halves of an idol. Needing to give one half of the idol to another player for a round of voting before it could have any power, Chris gave his half to Devens, whom he had the best relationship with out of the remaining players. Chris approached Lauren about her idol, having been told about it by Wentworth on the Edge of Extinction. He told her that the jury felt that Lauren needed to play that idol on herself or another player to add a big move to her "Survivor resume". When Julie won the combined immunity and Reward Challenge on Day 36, she took Chris and Lauren with him, with Chris targeting Victoria as the biggest jury threat. Chris also asked Lauren to play her idol on him that night to fulfill that big move he told her she would need to make to win. Lauren obliged, and Rick's idol was played as well negating four of the six votes that night at Tribal Council cast either for Devens or Chris, sending Victoria to the jury with two votes.
On Day 37, Devens won immunity and he planned on playing his idol on Gavin to shore up that relationship as well as the fact that Julie and Lauren found the fake idols that he had earlier planted. He also decided to give Chris his half of the idol, saving Chris so that he and Devens could work together to get to the final 3. Chris played his idol that night after Lauren and Julie unsuccessfully played their fake idols, negating 3 votes against him and allowing Rick and Chris to blindside Lauren.
On Day 38, Chris won the Final Immunity Challenge. Devens pleaded for Chris to fulfill their deal, but Chris felt that Devens was his biggest threat in a jury vote so he told him to brace for a firemaking challenge. Chris then told Gavin and Julie to both practice firemaking, and whoever did the best at camp would face Devens that night. However, it later dawned on Chris that he might need one more big move in his resume to convince the jury that he played well enough in his 11 days in the main game to merit jury votes. That night at Tribal Council, Chris gave up immunity to face Devens in a firemaking challenge for the final spot at Final Tribal Council. This risky move paid off as Chris defeated Rick Devens, making Devens the 13th and final member of the largest ever Jury.
At Final Tribal Council, Chris emphasized the moves he made in the last 3 days of the game, claiming that they were bigger than any moves Julie or Gavin made and that he should not be penalized for being on Edge of Extinction for most of the game. Gavin argued the opposite, that his game was better than Chris's because he managed to stay in the main game and without ever having a vote cast against him. Julie's pleas were mostly ineffective, as the jury mostly was torn between Chris and Gavin's contrasting but effective enough gameplay. Ultimately, 9 out of 13 jurors believed Chris made the most of the time he had in the game, particularly commending his bravery to face Devens in the firemaking challenge. Those 9 votes were enough to make Chris the first ever Sole Survivor to come back into the same game after being voted out.
|Chris's Voting History|
| Voted Against|
|3||Kelley|| David, Kelley,|
Lauren, Rick, Wardog
|Voted Out, Day 8|
|4||On Edge of Extinction|
|Returned, Day 35|
| Jury Votes|
| Aubry, David, Eric, Joe, Julia,|
Reem, Ron, Victoria, Wardog
|Sole Survivor, Day 39|
^1 In I See the Million Dollars, Lauren used a Hidden Immunity Idol on Chris, negating 1 vote against him.
^2 Also in I See the Million Dollars, Chris used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating 3 votes against him.
- Chris married his college sweetheart, Katelyn Jermstad on April 26, 2019, a few weeks before the Edge of Extinction finale.
- Chris is the fifth Survivor contestant to give away the Immunity Necklace, following Jenna Morasca, Burton Roberts*, Erik Reichenbach, and Brandon Hantz.
- Chris is the first to do so after winning the Final Immunity Challenge.
- Chris is the third to do so and survive that Tribal Council, following Jenna and Burton.
- Chris is the second to do so and subsequently win the game, following Jenna.
- Chris' strategy of giving up immunity to place himself in the fire-making challenge against his target was first suggested by Ghost Island runner-up Domenick Abbate. Ghost Island was the last season that the Edge of Extinction cast saw before their season started filming.
- Chris is the second person to reach the Final Tribal Council after being voted out and returning, following Lillian Morris.
- Chris is the first person to win the game under such circumstances.
- Spending 26 full days on the Edge of Extinction, Chris has the fewest in-game days out of any finalist with 13.
- Born in 1992, Chris is currently the youngest winner by date of birth.
- Due to his stay on the Edge of Extinction, Chris became the second finalist and second winner who was never eligible to be voted out post-merge, following Yul Kwon. Unlike Yul who received five counted votes, Chris could never have a vote counted against him after the merge due to Hidden Immunity Idols and the final four fire-making challenge twist.
- Due to the nature of the Edge of Extinction, Chris became the second person to be removed from the jury, following Neal Gottlieb in Survivor: Kaôh Rōng. Unlike Neal however, Chris would have been eligible to join it again had he been voted out after returning to the game.
- Chris is tied with Natalie White for having the least number of challenge wins for a winner, with three.
- Chris only attended six Tribal Councils, the fewest of any finalist and winner.
- Due to being on the Edge of Extinction, Chris is the second player (following Laura Morett) and first winner to not participate in a Tribe Switch despite the season having one, yet be a part of the merged tribe.
- Chris is the second winner to never win a tribal Immunity Challenge, following Denise Stapley.
- Chris is the first Hispanic-American man to win the title of Sole Survivor and the second Hispanic-American overall, following Sandra Diaz-Twine, who won Pearl Islands and Heroes vs. Villains.
David vs. Goliath
|Sole Survivor |
Edge of Extinction
| Succeeded by|
Island of the Idols
|Survivor: Edge of Extinction Castaways|