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Survivor Wiki

Colby Donaldson is a contestant from Survivor: The Australian Outback, Survivor: All-Stars, and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains.

Considered the series' first "hero", Colby was regarded for his strength and continuous winning streak when it came to individual Immunity Challenges. However, in his subsequent appearances, he has failed to live up to his original performance, even being likened to a "Superman in a fat suit" by James Clement.

In The Australian Outback, Colby was known for his love-hate relationship with Jerri Manthey and becoming the first ever contestant to win five Immunity Challenges in a single season. He notably voted out Keith Famie at the final three, and took Tina Wesson to the Final Two with him. However, Tina was awarded the title of Sole Survivor in a close 4-3 vote, thus leaving Colby as the runner-up.

In All-Stars, he continued his rivalry with Jerri Manthey, ultimately being voted out in 12th place for being a possible threat at the merge, and because Jerri wanted revenge on him for betraying her in their original season.

Colby's experience in Heroes vs. Villains was tumultuous for the most part. He failed to perform in challenges as well as he did in his first season, and found himself on the outs early on. However, his luck changed when he joined the Heroes Alliance, but it soured after J.T. Thomas was blindsided at the start of the merge. Despite being in the minority throughout the merge, his allies were targeted over him until he was left as the last member of the Heroes standing. When he failed to win immunity at the final five, he was voted out at the subsequent Tribal Council as the final four believed he would win at the Final Tribal Council.


Retrieved from

AGE: 26
OCCUPATION: Custom Auto Designer
HOMETOWN: Dallas, Texas

Originally from Christoval, Texas, Colby Donaldson is a successful, self-employed custom auto designer and builder currently living in Dallas, Texas. He graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in business marketing and began working as a sales representative at an HMO carrier until he decided to leave the security of a successful corporate job to pursue a passion and start his own company.

Donaldson describes himself as imaginative, dedicated and flexible. A competitive athlete, he enjoys water skiing and mountain biking before gathering with friends for a barbecue. When not customizing cars, Donaldson enjoys designing and building furniture. His favorite sport to watch is football, but he prefers to play sand volleyball.

His birth date is April 1, 1974.[1]

After his success on Survivor: The Australian Outback, Colby Donaldson moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting. He has guest starred on "Reba" and "Just Shoot Me." He can soon be seen in "Curb Your Enthusiasm." He is also the face of the very popular Schick commercials. In addition to acting, Colby enjoys outdoor sports and spending time with friends.

Originally from Christoval, Texas, Colby was a successful, self-employed custom auto designer and builder living in Dallas before he was cast on Survivor. He graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in business marketing.

Colby's birth date is April 1, 1974.[2]

Colby Donaldson (35)

Tribe: Heroes
Hometown: Christoval, Texas
Current Residence: Los Angeles, Calif.
Personal Claim To Fame: "I make a pretty mean potato salad."
Inspiration in Life: "God, family & close friends."
Previous Finishes: Australia: Runner-Up; All-Stars: 5th Out
Favorite Past Moment: "The very beginning of it all for me – stepping off the plane and into the Outback."
Previous Survivor He Respects Most: Tom Westman (Palau)
Previous Survivor He Respects Least: "Those who have thrown in the towel and left the game early."

Why Did He Come Back? : "For me, it's all about the extreme challenge and the epic adventure. A million bucks is a pretty good motivator as well."[3]


The Australian Outback[]

At the start of the season, Colby quipped that the trip to find their camp, 'fired him up' because it was a good way to see what his tribemates were made of. He took on an early leadership role in the tribe. He then made a plan with Keith to keep the tribe moving along the creek bed; Keith scouted ahead to see how much farther the camp was.

He was a physical asset to his tribe. He helped them win the first Immunity Challenge. However, the second Immunity Challenge was not strength-based and Ogakor lost. Colby, with the other Ogakors in a unanimous vote, ousted Kel Gleason.

Initially, Colby and Jerri seemed to have some chemistry, although there was suspicion that Jerri had ulterior motives. After Maralyn's poor performance at the third Immunity Challenge, Colby voted with the rest of his tribe and eliminated her. After losing their third consecutive Immunity Challenge, Jerri boldly alienated Tina and Keith by stating that Colby, Amber, and Mitchell were her friends. This gesture caused Tina to ask Colby his opinion of Jerri, slowly broaching the subject of voting with them. Colby did not want to vote for Keith, who was the main target next Tribal Council. He bonded with Keith and saw him as a valuable ally to have later on in the game and so that night Colby voted with Tina and Keith to force a tie in Ogakor. Since Mitchell had received a previous vote in the last Tribal Council, he was eliminated. After Ogakor's three-time Immunity winning streak, all five remaining Ogakors remained intact until the merge. Colby became one of ten castaways to comprise the merged Barramundi tribe.

Due to Ogakor's plan to make Kucha believe he had received past votes cast against him, the rival Kucha tribe cast their five votes for him at the merge. Colby got the back of his Ogakor comrades and all of them voted for Kucha member Jeff Varner. After a deadlocked tie, previous votes were taken into account. While Colby had no previous votes, Varner already had two (from Debb Eaton and Kimmi Kappenberg), which caused Varner's ouster. Donaldson would later become a force to be reckoned with, winning eight of the final ten challenges, while his core alliance of Tina and Keith had voted the competition off, thus leaving the threesome as the final three castaways. Colby's winning streak not only spared him from elimination but also made a critical decision of taking either Tina or Keith to the Final Tribal Council. Although he thought Keith would be easier to beat, he felt that Tina was more deserving, sending Keith to the jury.

At the Final Tribal Council, Colby's decision to bring Tina was considered by fans a big mistake, and which was widely believed to have cost him the competition, because four of the seven jury members gave their votes to Tina, making her the second Sole Survivor and leaving Colby as the runner-up.

Episode Tribe
Challenge Challenge Type Sit-Out? Result
1 Ogakor Bridging the Gap Reward/Immunity No Won
2 Butch Cassidy Reward No Won
Tucker'd Out Immunity No Lost
3 Water Torture Reward No Won
Lock Step Immunity No Lost
4 Mastermind Reward No Lost
True or Falls Immunity No Lost
5 Triage Reward No Lost
The Maze Immunity No Won
6 Blind Leading the Blind Reward No Lost
Tribes Merged, Day 20
7 Barramundi Perch Immunity Lost
8 Return to Sender Reward Lost
Don't Fence Me In Immunity Lost
10 Double Play Reward Won
Hanging in the Balance Immunity Lost
11 Survivor Auction
Fire and Water Immunity Won
12 End of the Line Reward Won
Blue Plate Special Immunity Won
13 Reward Lost
Fugitives Immunity Won
14 Survivor Pentathlon Reward Won
Memory Immunity Won
15 Fallen Comrades Immunity Won
Runner-Up, Day 42

Episode Colby's
Voted Against
1 Ogakor Tribe Immune
2 Kel -
3 Maralyn -
4 Mitchell;
5 Ogakor Tribe Immune
6 No Tribal Council
7 Jeff;
Alicia, Elisabeth,
Jeff, Nick, Rodger;
Alicia, Elisabeth,
Nick, Rodger2
8 Alicia -
10 Jerri -
11 Nick Individual Immunity
12 Rodger Individual Immunity
13 Rodger Individual Immunity
14 Elisabeth Individual Immunity
15 Keith Individual Immunity
Jury Votes
for Colby
Amber, Nick, Rodger
Runner-Up, Day 42

^1 In "The Killing Fields", the vote ended with a 3-3 tie between Keith and Mitchell, forcing a revote. Colby did not change his vote on the revote.
^2 In "The Merge", the vote ended with a 5-5 tie between Colby and Jeff, forcing a revote. Nobody changed their vote on the revote, eliminating Jeff due to previous votes against him.


Colby was chosen to participate in Survivor: All-Stars, where he was on the Mogo Mogo tribe. Right away, Colby told his tribe that he didn't trust anybody. The tribe came in second in the first two Immunity Challenges, but they faced a setback when Jenna Morasca quit the game after the first two Tribal Councils.

After a shocking tribe absorption, the tribe gained former Saboga members Ethan Zohn and Jerri Manthey. Colby liked the idea of having a former winner on his tribe to target, and he also liked being reunited with his former Australia tribemate in Jerri. The tribe lost the next Immunity Challenge, and they unanimously agreed to vote out Richard Hatch, who Colby didn't wish to work with due to his reputation and lack of trust. His comments at that Tribal Council regarding certain players coasting, and a follow up conversation with Shii Ann Huang, strained his relationship with her.

The tribe ultimately lost the next Immunity Challenge, and it was clear it was either Colby, Ethan, or Jerri going home next. Colby made a deal with Ethan that Jerri had to go next, and the two cast their votes for her, while the rest of the tribe considered Colby as a strong, physical threat in the possibility of a merge. Furthermore, Jerri was motivated by revenge as Colby had voted her out in their original season. Lex ended up siding with Jerri and Shii Ann as Colby was voted out in a 3-2 vote and finished in twelfth place.

At the Survivor: America's Tribal Council special, Colby was in the final four for Fan Favorite Player of the season but ultimately lost to Rupert Boneham. He did, however, win the award for "Sexiest Male" of the first 8 seasons.

Episode Tribe
Challenge Challenge Type Sit-Out? Result
1 Mogo Mogo Quest for Fire Immunity No 2nd
2 Stairway to the Stars Reward No Lost
Float Your Boat Immunity No 2nd
3 Better Homes and Island Living Reward No 2nd
4 Match Maker Reward Yes Lost
Blind Cube Crisis Immunity No 2nd
5 Shipwrecked Raft Rescue Reward No 1st
Pilfering Pirates Immunity No Lost
6 Stomp-ede Reward No Won
7 Floating Puzzle Reward/Immunity No Lost
Voted Out, Day 19
^1 The castaways competed as individuals.

Episode Colby's
Voted Against
1 Mogo Mogo Tribe Immune
2 Mogo Mogo Tribe Immune
3 No Tribal Council
4 Mogo Mogo Tribe Immune
5 Richard Richard
6 No Tribal Council
7 Jerri Jerri, Lex,
Shii Ann
Voted Out, Day 19

Heroes vs. Villains[]

Colby initially became an alliance outsider, along with ex-Palau players Tom Westman and Stephenie LaGrossa. Together with the stress of the competition, he had a surprisingly weak performance in challenges, with James Clement (who visibly idolized him) even calling him, "Superman in a fatsuit." After losing three Immunity Challenges Colby was the only member of his alliance remaining. Despite being an outsider, he and the rest of the Heroes won the next three Immunity Challenges, securing that the Heroes and the Villains would enter the merge with five members each. But after a bold move done by Villain Parvati Shallow of giving two Hidden Immunity Idols to Sandra Diaz-Twine and Jerri Manthey (Colby's Outback nemesis), the Heroes were put in the minority and were systematically eliminated, one by one. After fellow former Hero Candice Woodcock voted along with the former Villains to vote out Amanda Kimmel, he claimed that he and Rupert Boneham were the only remaining Heroes. Fortunately, Colby and Rupert managed to survive the following two Tribal Council's when they voted out Candice for her betrayal and then with Russell Hantz and Jerri's help voted out Danielle DiLorenzo when Russell realized that Parvati and Danielle's true loyalty was to each other. After losing the Final 5 Immunity Challenge, Colby ultimately gave up and conceded to the remaining Villains. However, a short time later, Colby attempted to strategize with Russell to vote out Sandra, but Russell criticized Colby for giving up and then attempting to make a move. Colby was the last of the Heroes to be voted out, being voted out on Day 37, as everyone believed he would be a jury threat.

At the Final Tribal Council, Colby viewed Russell as "delusional" for saying he had no luck in getting to the Final Tribal Council and felt that Parvati was riding Russell's coattails. He voted for the more heroic Sandra to be the first two-time winner, in which she won in a 6-3-0 vote.

Episode Tribe
Challenge Challenge Type Sit-Out? Result
1 Heroes Battle Dig Reward No Won
Lock, Load and Light Immunity No Lost
2 A Crate Idea Reward/Immunity No Lost
3 Sumo in Mud Reward/Immunity No Won
4 Slip, Slide & Score Reward No Lost
Roll With It Immunity No Lost
5 Schmergen Brawl Reward Yes Lost
Blind Cube Crisis Immunity No Lost
6 Rope-a-Dope1 Immunity No Lost
Reward Yes Lost
7 Basket Brawl Reward No Won
Caught in the Web Immunity No Won
8 Fauxconut Bowling Reward No Won
Mud Slide Immunity No Won
9 Chimney Sweep Reward No Lost
Strung Out Immunity No Won
Tribes Merged, Day 25
10 Yin Yang Get a Grip Immunity Lost
11 Pacific Shuffle Reward Won
House of Cards Immunity Lost
12 When It Rains, It Pours Immunity Lost
Pegatory Knockout Immunity Lost
13 Pass the Bucket Reward Lost
Keep It Up Immunity Lost
14 Offer It Up Immunity Lost
Voted Out, Day 37
^1 The tribes competed in separate individual Immunity Challenges where the winners from both tribes competed against each other for tribal reward.

Episode Colby's
Voted Against
1 Sugar -
2 Amanda -
3 Heroes Tribe Immune
4 Cirie James, Rupert
5 James -
6 James James
7 Heroes Tribe Immune
8 Heroes Tribe Immune
9 Heroes Tribe Immune
10 Jerri1 -
11 Parvati -
12 Candice -
Danielle -
13 Sandra2 -
14 Sandra Jerri, Parvati,
Russell, Sandra
Voted Out, Day 37
Voted for
Sole Survivor

^1 In "Going Down in Flames", Jerri used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating Colby's vote against her.
^2 In "Loose Lips Sink Ships", Sandra used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating Colby's vote against her.


  • On May 13, 2001, Colby, along with Outback cast mates Elisabeth Filarski and Jeff Varner appeared on Rock & Roll Jeopardy!. Colby finished in 2nd place earning $2,500 for his charity which was for the Make a Wish foundation.[4]
  • On May 2001, Colby appeared in two episodes of Hollywood Squares as a Panelist along with the other The Australian Outback contestants for Survivor Week.[5][6]
  • On May 19, 2002, Colby appeared at the beginning of the Marquesas Live Reunion Show driving his motorcycle with Rosie O'Donnell (who would host the Reunion) riding on the back.
  • After his stint on reality television, Colby turned to acting, appearing on such shows as Curb Your Enthusiasm (2004), Reba (2002), 8 Simple Rules (2005), Joey (2004-2005), and Bones (2006).
  • He starred in several commercials as the spokesman for Schick razors.
  • In 2005, he had a minor role as a secret service agent in Wes Craven's Red Eye.[7]
  • He was on The Rachael Ray Show as one of Rachael's "buddies" (2007-2010). He's also been on various celebrity/news shows, often in relation to his Survivor stints. See the Internet Movie Database for details.
  • In Summer of 2009, Colby appeared on the TVGuide special "Survivor Millionaires: Where Are They Now?" in a segment focused on non-Survivor winners.[8]
  • On January 9, 2010, Colby attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party along with all of his Heroes vs. Villains cast mates.
Colby TopShot

Colby as the host of Top Shot.

  • In February 2010, Colby appeared on Late Show with David Letterman as Top Ten List Presenter #2 along with nine of his Heroes vs. Villains cast mates.[9]
  • Colby was the host of Top Shot, a History Channel TV competition where 16 sharp shooters competed in teams and then individually using historic and contemporary weapons, until only one survives. The first season aired in June 2010. Season five, the All-Stars season, was the last to be released, in 2013.[10]
  • At the Heroes vs. Villains Reunion Show, Colby was nominated for the Dumbest Move in Survivor History for taking jury favorite Tina Wesson to the Final Two over the despised chef Keith Famie in The Australian Outback. Colby lost to his fellow Heroes tribemate J.T. Thomas.
  • He owns a hot rod restoration business. He divides his time between California and the family ranch in Texas.
  • In fall of 2010, Colby appeared in a "Stand Up 2 Cancer" commercial along with Ethan Zohn, Rob Mariano, Rupert Boneham, and Parvati Shallow.[11]
  • In 2013, Colby interviewed the cast of Fast 6 in London, England.[12]
  • Colby got married in September 2016 to Britt Bailey.[13]


  • Colby's luxury item in all of his seasons was a Texas flag.
  • Colby and Kel Gleason are the first contestants to reside in Texas at the time of filming.
  • According to the All-Stars DVD commentary, Colby's dog, Deuce, ate the hat that Colby wore on The Australian Outback.
  • Colby was the first player in Survivor history to fall victim to the Car Curse.
  • Colby was the first man to win the Final Immunity Challenge.
  • Colby has won the most individual challenges in a single season Survivor history, with 7 individual challenge wins in The Australian Outback.
  • Colby holds the record for most consecutive individual Immunity Challenges won, winning five in a row in The Australian Outback.
  • Colby was the first man to finish as the runner-up.
  • Colby was the only male representative of The Australian Outback, and the only previous runner-up, to appear in All-Stars.
  • Colby earned the title of "Sexiest Survivor Male" in Survivor: America's Tribal Council.
  • Colby is one of three players (along with Russell Hantz and Coach Wade) to compete in three seasons and not participate in a Tribe Switch. A switch did occur in All-Stars, but Colby was voted out four days before it happened.
  • Along with fellow contestants Amber Brkich and Tina Wesson, Colby is one of three The Australian Outback contestant to appear in finale episodes of Survivor as both a finalist and a jury member.
  • Colby is one of five contestants to play the game three times, but become a jury member only once (the others are Stephenie LaGrossa, Amanda Kimmel, Tina Wesson, and J.T. Thomas).
    • Colby is one of five castaways who have made it to the Final Tribal Council, been voted out pre-jury, and been a member of the jury. The others are Stephenie LaGrossa, Tina Wesson, Tyson Apostol, and J.T. Thomas.
  • Colby and Jerri Manthey are the first pair of Returning Players to compete on three seasons with each other. They would be followed by Amanda Kimmel & James Clement and Sarah Lacina & Tony Vlachos.
    • Jerri made it further in two of the three seasons, but Colby has played more days overall.
    • Colby voted against Jerri at least once in all three seasons.
  • Colby is one of four people to compete in both All-Stars and Heroes vs. Villains. The others are Jerri Manthey, Rob Mariano, and Rupert Boneham.
  • Colby is one of the few contestants to play in seasons with 16, 18, and 20 contestants.
    • The others are Tina Wesson, Jerri Manthey, Rob Mariano, Rupert Boneham, Coach Wade, Amber Mariano, and Ethan Zohn.
  • Colby lost 23 lbs. during his time in Heroes vs. Villains.[14]
  • Caramoan contestant Sherri Biethman has an autistic[citation needed] son named after Colby.


Survivor: The Australian Outback Castaways
S2 alicia t
S2 amber t
S2 colby t
S2 debb t
S2 elisabeth t
S2 jeff t
S2 jerri t
S2 keith t
S2 kel t
S2 kimmi t
S2 maralyn t
S2 michael t
S2 mitchell t
S2 nick t
S2 rodger t
S2 tina t
Survivor: All-Stars Castaways
S8 alicia t
S8 amber t
Mogo Mogo
S8 colby t
S8 ethan t
 Jenna L.
S8 jennal t
 Jenna M.
Mogo Mogo
S8 jennam t
S8 jerri t
Mogo Mogo
S8 kathy t
Mogo Mogo
S8 lex t
Mogo Mogo
S8 richard t
 Rob C.
S8 robc t
 Rob M.
S8 robm t
S8 rudy t
S8 rupert t
 Shii Ann
Mogo Mogo
S8 shiiann t
S8 susan t
S8 tina t
S8 tom t
Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains Castaways
S20 amanda t
S20 candice t
S20 cirie t
S20 coach t
S20 colby t
S20 courtney t
S20 danielle t
S20 jt t
S20 james t
S20 jerri t
S20 parvati t
S20 randy t
S20 rob t
S20 rupert t
S20 russell t
S20 sandra t
S20 stephenie t
S20 sugar t
S20 tom t
S20 tyson t