David Murphy is a contestant from Survivor: Redemption Island.

Due to his abrasive personality and frequent bouts of anger, most notably towards Phillip Sheppard and Sarita White, David found himself in the minority following the merge and was eliminated shortly after due to his antagonization of the majority alliance, Stealth R Us. He is remembered most for lauding Rob Mariano's dominant gameplay and campaigning for Rob to win during the Final Tribal Council.


Retrieved from CBS.com

Name (Age): David Murphy (31)
Tribe Designation: Zapatera
Current Residence: West Hollywood, Calif.
Occupation: Defense Attorney
Personal Claim to Fame: I'm very proud of what I've accomplished professionally. Thus far in my career, I've been able to work on a number of very interesting and challenging cases.
Inspiration in Life: I've actually looked up to a variety of people for different reasons at different points. I've learned a lot of life lessons.
Hobbies: Sports, hanging out with friends and watching TV/movies.
Pet Peeves: I can't stand stupid people. If we could criminalize stupidity, I think the world would be a better place.
3 Words to Describe You: Intelligent, thoughtful and sarcastic.
Survivor Contestant You Are Most Like: I'd like to think I'd be myself and be original.
Reason for being on Survivor: This is a once in a lifetime experience.
Why you think you'll "survive" Survivor: Nine times out of 10, when I walk into a room, I am the most intelligent person there. I'm here to win. I don't care about screwing someone over. I don't care about deceiving people and I don't care how I'm perceived at the end. I'm not going to have a static approach to this game.
Why you think you will be the Sole Survivor: In my eyes, I'm flawless. A significant part of my job is selling myself - making myself more appealing than my client. I do it because it's fun. I like the challenge. I like having the odds stacked against me and trying to find a way to win. This is a game; I didn't come to get second place.[1]


Upon knowing that returning player Russell Hantz would be part of their tribe, he immediately expressed distrust for the villain, despite the latter's declaration that he will not be doing the same things he did in the past. While Zapatera enjoyed an early two-challenge winning streak, he and five others (Julie Wolfe, Steve Wright, Ralph Kiser, Sarita White, and Mike Chiesl) formed an alliance and concocted a bold plan to purposefully throw the third Immunity Challenge in order to eliminate Russell. The plan worked, and Russell was sent to Redemption Island, where was eventually sent home after losing the duel against current inhabitant Matt Elrod.

Zapatera went on to lose three of four subsequent challenges, and the once-powerful alliance of six crumbled when he and Sarita clashed about rashness and weakness, respectively. After the elimination of Krista Klumpp (one of Russell's allies), David decided to help Russell's only remaining ally, Stephanie Valencia, by targeting Sarita. The plan backfired, as the five others eliminated Stephanie, despite her strength in challenges. This left David as the new alliance outsider.

When Zapatera lost the Day 18 challenge, Sarita immediately targeted David for elimination. Though David's uncontrollable bouts of anger were pointed out, Sarita was eliminated instead, and she ended up losing the final pre-merge duel against Matt. Right after the duel, the merge occurred, with Zapatera under a precarious position, merging with a 7-5 disadvantage. After sending Matt back to Redemption Island, the tight Ometepe six-person alliance turned on Zapatera, where David was the second to be voted out.

During the first post-merge duel (also the show's first three-way duel), David lost to Mike and Matt within seconds, eliminating him from the game, becoming the first jury member. He got 12th place.

As a member of the jury, David deviated from the standard juror-finalist conversation by talking to the jury instead. He stressed that despite Rob Mariano's aggressive approach to the game, it was rather brilliant compared to the other two finalists, Phillip Sheppard and Natalie Tenerelli, both of whom he castigated for being mere scapegoats. Ultimately, David and seven other jury members (excluding Ralph) voted for Rob, making him the winner of Survivor: Redemption Island.

Voting History

David's Voting History
Episode David's
Voted Against
1 Zapatera Tribe Immune
2 Zapatera Tribe Immune
3 Stephanie;
4 Zapatera Tribe Immune
5 Krista -
6 Sarita -
7 Sarita Ralph, Sarita
8 Grant -
9 Phillip -
Rob Andrea, Ashley, Grant,
Natalie, Phillip, Rob
Voted Out, Day 24
10 On Redemption Island
Eliminated, Day 25
Voted for
Sole Survivor

^1 In "Keep Hope Alive", the vote ended with a 3-3-3 tie between Ralph, Russell, and Stephanie, forcing a revote. David voted for Russell on the revote.


  • During the Survivor: Redemption Island live Reunion Show, David was revealed to be in a romantic relationship with Survivor: Tocantins contestant Carolina Eastwood. Much to everybody's surprise including Eastwood herself, David proposed to her, in which she accepted. Just before the reunion show ended, Carolina was seated at the stage, beside David, along with the other castaways. In 2012 however, Eastwood broke up with Murphy due to the latter's alleged cheating incident with Survivor: One World contestant Alicia Rosa. Carolina accused Rosa of sending salacious messages to David.[2]


  • Jeff Probst confirmed that David has the highest IQ of any Survivor contestant, at 144.
  • David is the first person to lose a Redemption Island duel and become a member of the jury.
  • David was the first new male contestant, and first male member of the Zapatera Six alliance, to be permanently eliminated from Survivor: Redemption Island.
  • David stated that he lost between 15 and 20 lbs. during his time on Redemption Island.[3]
  • On Ponderosa, David said that if there was something he wished he had done differently, it would be to not make an alliance before getting to know your alliance mates, likely referring to his conflict with Sarita White.
  • David is the second contestant to propose on a live Reunion Show, following Rob Mariano, who proposed to Amber Brkich during the Survivor: All-Stars live show.


Survivor: Redemption Island Castaways
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