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Courtney Yates is a contestant from Survivor: China and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains.

During her initial run in China, Courtney made a name for herself with her sharp-tongue and fiery attitude. This was especially true during her season-long rivalry with Jean-Robert Bellande. After aligning with Todd Herzog and Amanda Kimmel, the trio quickly took over the game and managed to reach the Final Tribal Council where Courtney narrowly lost to Todd in a 4-2-1 vote after the jury saw his strategic game more deserving than her own.

Courtney returned in Heroes vs. Villains and was quickly deemed the weak link on the Villains tribe for her lacking physical ability, though she was kept around as she proved to be a valued asset to Rob Mariano and his alliance against Russell Hantz. Following Rob's elimination, however, Courtney and close ally Sandra Diaz-Twine found themselves on the bottom, and, after the Villains lost the final Immunity Challenge before the merge, she was eliminated in a 5-1 vote due to the tribe's fear of her connections on the Heroes tribe.


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Courtney Yates grew up in Boston, the only sister with three brothers, two older, one younger, all much bigger. She attended Suffolk University, studying at both the main Boston/Beacon Hill campus and the University's West African campus, located in Dakar, Senegal. She paid her way through college working nights as a passenger service agent for a major airline at Boston's Logan International Airport, spent time as a receptionist at a high-end hair salon, and has even worked as a "historical interpreter" (a tour guide in costume) at historic homes in Salem, Massachusetts. She graduated in May 2003, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Yates is currently a waitress in a popular restaurant in New York City's Union Square, where she enjoys the fast pace and the freedom her job affords her.

Yates' main hobbies include reading and learning new things. She loves history and enjoys keeping ongoing lists of things to look up whenever she comes across something new or interesting. Yates has a large and varied collection of friends with whom she loves going out, eating, drinking and, of course, gossiping, a long-practiced skill she hopes will serve her well on Survivor: China. Originally from Boston, her sport of choice is baseball, and despite now living just a few stops from Yankee Stadium, she remains a loyal member of Red Sox Nation.

Yates is best described as honest (sometimes interpreted as cruel), sarcastic (often interpreted as bitchy) and physically small. She is aware that people find her slight frame curious, and at times controversial, but she warns people against judging her on looks alone. She proclaims that her body weight (or lack thereof) is purely genetic, as both her parents are tall and thin as well. She claims to be tough as nails, both mentally and physically, and is ready for the challenge of Survivor.

Yates currently resides in New York City with her rescued, semi-reformed alley cat, Catullus (named for the poet). Her birth date is March 26, 1981.[1]

Courtney Yates (28)

Tribe: Villains
Hometown: Boston, Mass.
Current Residence: New York, N.Y.
Personal Claim To Fame: "Punctuality."
Inspiration in Life: "The laughter of children."
Previous Finishes: China: Runner-up
Favorite Past Moment: "Seeing my Dad bust out from behind the bushes at the family reward."
Previous Survivor She Respects Most: Yau-Man Chan (Fiji, Micronesia)
Previous Survivor She Respects Least: "All the strong people, because they are so smug."

Why Did She Come Back?: "Couldn't pass up the opportunity."[2]



Did you win immunity?

–Courtney Yates

On Day 1, Courtney found herself annoyed by the Chinese welcoming ceremony. Once the ceremony was compete, Courtney ended up the Fei Long tribe. During her time on Survivor, Courtney often made sarcastic comments and witty confessionals. Fei Long won the first challenge of the season over its rival tribe, Zhan Hu. However, Courtney grew annoyed with Jean-Robert Bellande's laziness, annoying snoring, and overall creepiness towards the women of the tribe. At the Reward Challenge, Courtney did not need to compete as Fei Long won the first two rounds and by extension, challenge. The tribe won fishing gear and the ability to kidnap one of Zhan Hu's members and chosen Jaime Dugan to kidnap until the Immunity Challenge. During Jaime's time, Jean-Robert argued with Aaron Reisberger about the former's lack of work ethic. Courtney thought the fight was ridiculous, especially in front of Jaime. At the Immunity Challenge, Courtney sat out along with Leslie Nease and Fei Long won immunity again.

When a crab was found in the fishing nets, the tribe argued about what to do with it until agreeing with Courtney's idea of boiling it for crab stock. Courtney formed an unlikely friendship with Leslie Nease. At the next Reward Challenge, Courtney sat out along with Todd Herzog because of their smaller sizes. However, the women of Zhan Hu managed to give the tribe it's first victory. Later, Courtney was collecting tree husk with Todd when they overhead Jean-Robert and James Clement loud and lewd comments about who to vote out. They openly discussed voting out Courtney or Leslie, despite the former standing only meters away. At the Immunity Challenge, Courtney struggled with the cutting portion. This gave Zhan Hu a major lead and allowed them to win immunity. At Tribal Council, Courtney voted against Jean-Robert because of their conflict. Although Courtney was spared, it was Leslie who was voted out in a 6-2 vote over Jean-Robert.

Courtney was annoyed that Jean-Robert was still in the game and wanted him to go as soon as possible, but ultimately didn't care who went as long as it wasn't her. Courtney formed an alliance with Amanda Kimmel and Todd, however in a confessional she revealed that she "disliked them less than the other members of the tribe", which they mistook as actual friendship. At the next Reward Challenge Courtney sat out again. Fei Long won the visit from a Chinese fisherman and his family. At the Immunity Challenge, Courtney was partnered with Denise Martin for the first round. Despite the women's failure to score, Fei Long was able to win the challenge.

On Day 13, Fei Long received a note from two Chinese men telling them to pick Zhan Hu's two strongest members who could benefit the tribe. The tribe chose Frosti Zernow and Sherea Lloyd to be Fei Long, but it was assumed that Zhan Hu had been given the same note. Fei Long was correct about their assumptions and Zhan Hu chosen Aaron and James. The four chosen members switched tribes. When Frosti and Sherea arrived, The Chinese men gave the tribe a basket of food to celebrate. At the Immunity Challenge, Courtney sat out with Amanda Kimmel. Fei Long won the Immunity Challenge, in part because Jaime and Peih-Gee Law were throwing it to protect Frosti and Sherea. 

At the next Reward Challenge, Courtney sat out once again with Amanda and Denise. Fei Long won the challenge, winning the tribe a trip to a local tea house and they chose to kidnap James. Courtney and Amanda bathed together in the bathtub farthest away from Jean-Robert. The Immunity Challenge was an eating contest of Chinese foods. Courtney faced off against Jaime in the second round but lost. Fei Long ultimately lost the challenge. Although Sherea was slated for elimination, Courtney had grown close to her, and Courtney lobbied for Jean-Robert's ouster instead. However, it was Sherea who left the game in a 5-2 vote. 

Courtney was annoyed that Jean-Robert was still in the game and believed that her tribe sucks up to Jean-Robert, including Amanda and Todd who she were meant to be her friends. When she protested to the others, Todd told her that they do dislike Jean-Robert, but didn't want him to be aware of it. On Day 20, the tribes merged into one and they moved to Fei Long's camp for the remainder of the game. Courtney was pumped because they feasted instead of doing a challenge. The next day, the castaways were quizzed on details of the feast for the Immunity Challenge, which Frosti won. At Tribal Council, Courtney put aside her disdain for Jean-Robert to help vote out former Zhan Hu member Jaime. At the next Reward Challenge, Courtney was chosen by Peih-Gee to be on her team with Frosti and Erik Huffman. Courtney struggled at the challenge and lost her round which lead to her team losing the challenge. At the Immunity Challenge, Courtney surprised herself when she won individual immunity. After her win, Todd informed Courtney that Jean-Robert was the target for the vote. Despite her doubts, Jean-Robert finally left the game in a 5-3-1 vote much to Courtney's delight.

Courtney felt that everyone was happier with Jean-Robert gone. However, Denise was agitated because she was left out of the loop for Jean-Robert's blindside. Courtney and Frosti bonded, with her referring to him as her "Survivor boyfriend". At the next Reward Challenge, Courtney ended up teamed with Amanda, Erik, and Frosti. Their team won the challenge easily and won a river cruise. The group of four enjoyed eating food and enjoyed the scenery. At the next Immunity Challenge, the castaways were given the choice of competing or eating burgers with the fixins, fries, and cold sodas until the challenge ended. Courtney chose to eat and Peih-Gee ended up winning immunity over Frosti. After the challenge, Courtney was told that she may have to vote out Frosti. Although Courtney was hesitant because of her bond with him, she joined the tribe in voting out Frosti.

After Frosti left, the castaways were quizzed on China for a trip to a Shaolin temple. Peih-Gee won and chose Erik and Denise to accompany her. Camp life was miserable due to heavy rains and everyone was crowded into a small cave. Courtney was upset as the cave was her private spot. Amanda told Courtney that she wanted James gone because him being the biggest endgame threat, which Courtney agreed to. At the Immunity Challenge, Courtney scored an six and advanced to the final round. However, she failed to score and Erik won immunity. Courtney secretly winked at Amanda as she was glad Erik won over James. Amanda rallied for James' elimination and at Tribal Council, he was blindsided with 2 Hidden Immunity Idols in his pocket.

After Tribal Council, Courtney believed that the jury, Jean-Robert in particular were happy with James' blindside. The Reward Challenge was the Loved Ones Challenge and Courtney was teamed with her father, Graham. Denise and her husband won the challenge and picked Todd, Amanda, and their loved ones to join her on reward. Courtney told Peih-Gee and Erik she thought that it was convenient that Todd's other sister had a miscarriage shortly before the loved ones visit and believed Todd lying about it to gain sympathy. Peih Gee and Erik both agreed that it was most likely not true. Courtney even likened it to Jon Dalton's Dead Grandma Lie, although she believed Jon's was funnier. Peih-Gee won the Immunity Challenge and Erik was voted out in a 4-2 vote. 

After Tribal Council, Courtney declared Erik was the nicest people on earth, which was why he had to go. At the Reward Challenge, the castaways had to use a crossbow to shoot arrows at a board. If their section of the target was hit, they would score a point. The castaways were also required to divide their five arrows between the other castaways, as they would use the arrows they received in the challenge. She was the only one to give an arrow to Peih-Gee. After the castaways gave each other arrows, Courtney ended up with the most at 12. Courtney mostly landed her arrows on Todd or Denise's targets, giving the latter the win and the trip to the Great Wall of China. Denise picked Courtney and Todd to join her on the trip. When they arrived at the Great Wall, the castaways were confused when they saw all of the uncooked meat surrounding a fire pit. However, the trio realized it was an hibachi and enjoyed themselves. Todd and Courtney agreed to go to the Final Tribal Council together because they had angered the most people on the jury. When the trio returned, Courtney and Todd upset Amanda and Peih-Gee when they complained about having to cook their own food on the reward. At the Immunity Challenge, Courtney was eliminated in the third round. Amanda won Immunity and Peih-Gee was unanimously voted out at Tribal Council.

After Peih-Gee left, the remaining castaways were happy they were the final four. Courtney in particular was proud because she believe she would be the first out. At the final Reward Challenge, Amanda won the food reward and picked Todd to join her. Later at camp, Courtney eavesdropped on Denise and Todd's conversation when they mention her and told Amanda about this. After the Rites of Passage, the final four participated in the Final Immunity Challenge. Courtney was the second person eliminated from the challenge and Amanda went on to win immunity over Denise. Courtney, Todd, and Amanda agreed to vote out Denise and at Tribal Council, The 40 year-old lunch lady was unanimously voted out over Todd. The next day, the finalists enjoyed the Day 39 Breakfast.

At the Final Tribal Council, Courtney's opening statement was that what sets her apart from Todd and Amanda is that she wasn't an lifelong fan of the show and learned to survive on her own in a highly physical game. When the merge happen, Courtney claimed to have gotten her footing, pointed out her immunity win and the jury had to give credit to the little girl still there on Day 39. Most the jury focused their attention on Todd and Amanda. When the final vote was revealed, Courtney received two votes and finished in second. Courtney earned her votes from Denise and James.

Voting History

Episode Courtney's
Voted Against
1 Fei Long Tribe Immune
2 Fei Long Tribe Immune
3 Jean-Robert -
4 Fei Long Tribe Immune
5 Fei Long Tribe Immune
6 Jean-Robert -
7 Jaime -
8 Jean-Robert Individual Immunity
9 Frosti -
11 James -
12 Erik -
13 Peih-Gee -
14 Denise -
Jury Votes
for Courtney
Denise, James
Runner-Up, Day 39

Heroes vs. Villains

Courtney was placed on the Villains tribe for her sharp-tongued and fiery attitude, where she would start the game amongst the majority alliance, with Rob Mariano and Sandra Diaz-Twine being her biggest allies. The Villains enjoyed early success in challenges. only losing to the rival Heroes tribe once, with Randy Bailey being voted out at their first Tribal Council on Day 8.

When host Jeff Probst revealed on Day 15 that both tribes would vote someone out in a Double Tribal Council that night, the majority alliance planned to split their votes 3-3, with three of the alliance voting for Russell Hantz, three voting for Russell's ally Parvati Shallow, and, expected the rival alliance of Parvati, Russell, and Danielle DiLorenzo to all vote for Tyson Apostol. This would flush out the Hidden Immunity Idol, and allow whoever between Parvati and Russell was not protected by the idol to be voted out on the revote. However, Tyson cast a fourth vote for Parvati, leading to his own elimination when Russell unexpectedly played the idol for Parvati rather than on himself; Tyson was eliminated by a 3-2-0 vote against Russell.

After this, the majority alliance would crumble. Coach Wade and Jerri Manthey would both switch over to Russell's alliance, voting Courtney and Rob respectively, and Rob was voted out at the next Tribal Council. When the Villains again lost immunity on Day 21, Courtney and Sandra were in trouble since they were now on the bottom after Rob's departure and also for being the weakest in challenges. Sandra lied to Russell, telling him that Coach was gunning for him; Russell bought the lie and Courtney was spared as Coach was blindsided 4-3. Despite the Villains winning the next Reward Challenge, the tribe again lost at the subsequent Immunity Challenge and Courtney was voted out unanimously for her connections with the Heroes, with Sandra voting against her ally to protect herself, becoming the 2nd member of the jury.

As a jury member, Courtney made several comments and reactions at every Tribal Council after the merge. At the Final Tribal Council, Courtney complimented Parvati for her athleticism and most notably Sandra for her loyalty as that quality is underestimated in the game. Courtney voted for her ally, Sandra to win the title of Sole Survivor along with the Heroes, which she did in a 6-3-0 vote over Parvati and Russell.

Voting History

Episode Courtney's
Voted Against
1 Villains Tribe Immune
2 Villains Tribe Immune
3 Randy -
4 Villains Tribe Immune
5 Villains Tribe Immune
6 Parvati1 -
7 Russell Coach
8 Coach Coach, Jerri, Russell
9 Jerri Danielle, Jerri, Parvati,
Russell, Sandra
Voted Out, Day 24
Voted for
Sole Survivor

^1 In "Banana Etiquette", Parvati used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating Courtney's vote against her.




Survivor: China Castaways
Fei Long
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Fei Long
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Zhan Hu
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Zhan Hu
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Fei Long
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Zhan Hu
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Fei Long
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Zhan Hu
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Zhan Hu
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Zhan Hu
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Fei Long
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Fei Long
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Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains Castaways
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