After surviving the first Tribal Council, Donathan was able to make it to a Tribe Switch where he created a Final Four Alliance with Domenick Abbate, Laurel Johnson, and Wendell Holland. This allowed him to advance deep into the game, until he realized the threat his alliance members posed. However, Laurel's refusal to eliminate Domenick and Wendell despite being given numerous opportunities to do so caused Donathan to abandon ship, resulting in his eventual elimination at the final five.
Retrieved from CBS.com
Hometown: Phelps, Kentucky
Current residence: Kimper, Kentucky
Hobbies: Discovering new music on Spotify, vinyl record collecting, binge watching Survivor on CBS All Access, and photography of nature and portraits.
Pet peeves: People who think they know it all, people who are disrespectful toward others for no reason, people who judge the book by its cover (people have treated me that way my entire life), people that say "literally" without it being literal, people who aren't straight forward when they need to be and finally, getting my name wrong. It is D-O-N-A-T-H-A-N, not Jonathan or Donovan.
Three words to describe you: Determined, whimsical, and rare.
What's your personal claim to fame? I was a part of a national and state level winning dance team. I danced in the hip-hop routine. I am proud of being openly gay and dancing in front of thousands in this area. My goal is always to try to change the opinions of others when it comes to the LGBTQ community and through dancing, I was able to open the arms of many. There will never be another me when it comes to those years and for that impact, I feel very accomplished. Being the only guy to hold a national championship among the basketball, football and baseball guys—yeah, that felt really nice!
Who or what is your inspiration in life? My hero is my grandmother, Deloris Bentley. Always has been, always will be. My grandmother had seven children between the years of 1960-1968, with my mom being the youngest. She raised them all with very limited food, no power until 1975, no bathrooms, only outhouses—all while dealing with the day-to-day struggles of having an alcoholic as a husband. Over the years, things got better for her. She raised her children, divorced and re-married (twice), and ended up being very independent and open-minded! In 2006, she had a brain aneurysm. She flew out to have emergency surgery and you know what saved her that time? Her blood was so thick from smoking three packs a day for so many years, that the aneurysm was sealed shut. After her surgery, she was up the next morning eating on some ice. Now if that isn't inspiring, I don't know what is! She has always been the glue in our family. She is such a hero in my eyes because of all the sacrifices, determination and selflessness she has expressed and shown all her life! Many people are probably picking celebrities and all that jazz, but my little 'ole Maw Maw is my hero.
If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? My cross necklace my grandmother got for me, my glasses (if that counts) so I can snap them in half to help with making fire, and just the clothes on my back.
Which Survivor contestant are you most like? While there are tons of castaways that I have related to, especially those from the LGBTQ community (Colton, Todd, Tai), and my hillbillies (Keith, Sandy, JT), I always find the most relatable to be Cirie. No one expected the gameplay Cirie played in her first season. She went out there, hated leaves, and really didn't know much about the game. But you know what? She went out there and learned the way. She kept her mouth shut when need be, made the big moves when she needed to, and had a great sense of the people on the island what they were thinking. She is the type of player I see myself being. I adore her, and it doesn't hurt that her birthday is July 18 and mine July 19. We Cancers just have a way about us that is charming, yet manipulative. Our knife is always ready for backs (figuratively)!
What's your reason for being on Survivor? It's for me and my family. We have always been below the poverty line. We have always struggled year to year to make ends meet. But it does make you stronger having to live that way. But you know what? I am tired of living this life. I want to be a great influence for my family—prove to them that when you try, things can happen. It takes you to put the first foot in the door, no one else. I don't want to end up being stuck here in a rusted old trailer. I want more for my family, especially my mom and grandmother, and also help those in my area who are less fortunate.
Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor? Living in Eastern Kentucky has its perks. We are outdoors people. We love the lakes, we love to roam trails and mountains, and I have learned a lot about nature and survival. And while I have never been in a dire situation to use these skills, I truly believe when the survivalist in me kicks in, I would have a lot to offer. Now darlin', I ain't no lumberjack. But I can offer common sense solutions in order to help make my tribe grow. I already plan on breaking my glasses to help with fire and prove that this little gay hillbilly nerd isn't afraid of what nature can bring! I really think I will surprise a lot of people.
Donathan's Southern charm made him well liked by the Malolo tribe as he immediately bonded with Laurel. When Malolo lost the first Immunity Challenge on Day 3, with the tribe's initial target Jacob being sent to Ghost Island by Naviti, Donathan was targeted by Gonzalez for being the weakest link. Luckily at Tribal Council, the rest of the tribe saw Donathan as more trustworthy and he joined the tribe in blindsiding Gonzalez unanimously. Malolo lost the next Immunity Challenge on Day 6 when James couldn't even dive a foot in the water. Donathan panicked before eventually diving down and releasing the buoys for Malolo, amazing himself, his tribemates, and the rival Naviti tribe. As a result, Naviti sent Donathan to Ghost Island, remaining safe from Tribal Council.
When Donathan returned to Malolo the next day, a Tribe Switch happened, Donathan along with Laurel, James and Libby were switched to Naviti. There, original Naviti's Chris and Domenick talked to the Malolo's about taking out the other, putting Donathan in a good spot. When Naviti lost the next challenge, Donathan joined Laurel, James, and Libby in blindsiding former Naviti Morgan. The following day, however, both he and Laurel approached Domenick and former Naviti Wendell, respectively, about forming a Final Four Alliance. Naviti would win the next four challenges in a row.
Another Tribe Switch occurred on Day 15, as Donathan, Domenick, and Libby stayed on Naviti and were joined by former Naviti's Bradley and Chelsea. However, Bradley's condescending attitude during the Day 18 Reward Challenge and around camp rubbed him and Domenick the wrong way. When Naviti lost the final challenge before the merge, Donathan and Libby targeted Bradley for his bossy personality. At Tribal Council, He and Libby got their way when Chelsea and Domenick sided with them in blindsiding Bradley unanimously.
When the merge happened on Day 20, Donathan joined the majority of the tribe in blindsiding Chris. Knowing that the tribe was gonna split the vote between his former Malolo tribemate Michael and Libby, he told the latter the plan to make a move and even the playing field. At Tribal Council, he joined the rest of the tribe in the split vote against Michael and Libby, with the latter being voted out. The next morning, original Naviti Desiree approached the Malolo's about coming together and bringing in Chelsea and Angela to overthrow the Naviti Alliance. Later that day, Donathan joined Michael in an idol hunt and he eventually found a Hidden Immunity Idol owned by Scot Pollard from Survivor: Kaôh Rōng, but it was powerless unless he found Tai Trang's matching idol from the same season, which was hidden under the shelter. He eventually retrieved the idol, but was forced to tell the other Malolo's due to several tribe members shuffling in and out of camp. At Tribal Council, he joined the rest of the tribe (minus Chelsea) in blindsiding Desiree after her plan got leaked out by Laurel. When a shocking Double Elimination twist occurred for the Day 29 Immunity Challenge, Donathan failed to win immunity and his team had to go to Tribal Council first. Back at camp, when Michael asked Donathan if he can borrow his idol, he refused. Donathan's former ally Jenna approached him about not playing his idol as the Naviti's were targeting her. Despite saying to her that she would play the idol on her and told her to vote Sebastian, at Tribal Council, Donathan played the idol on himself, but Jenna was blindsided.
At this point, he and Laurel became the last two Malolo's standing after Michael was voted out in the second part. The men wanted to bring in Laurel to blindside Chelsea for being a physical threat, while the women wanted to bring in Donathan to blindside Wendell, making Donathan and Laurel the swing votes. At Tribal Council, he and Laurel sided with the men and blindsided Chelsea.
However after Chelsea's elimination, Donathan knew how threatening Domenick and Wendell were and decided to flip on them and approached Kellyn about turning against them. At camp, Donathan tried to stir up paranoia by telling Wendell that he would cast his jury vote for Domenick over him, hoping they would turn on each other, but they saw through his plan. After the Immunity Challenge, Donathan got paranoid when he saw Domenick rummaging through his bag and giving Wendell something, prompting him to go back to tell Kellyn. At Tribal Council, Donathan's paranoia took over as an argument ensued between him and Wendell. Donathan voted Domenick, but the vote tied between him and Kellyn. However, he was spared as Kellyn was voted out in the revote. At the final 6, Donathan was initially part of a plan with Angela and Sebastian to target Domenick, with Sebastian playing an Extra Vote. However, Angela told Sebastian's plan to Domenick, and Laurel refused to flip, so Sebastian was blindsided with the advantage in his possession. After the final 5 Immunity Challenge, Donathan told Domenick he would take him to the end when he asked. At Tribal Council, Domenick and Wendell played their idols, with Domenick playing his for himself and Wendell playing his for Laurel. However, Donathan's erratic behavior caught up to him, as he was ultimately voted out unanimously.
At the Final Tribal Council, Donathan reminded Laurel that they had power in the game being potential swing votes when they could have switched it up to get out both Domenick and Wendell when they both wanted to, but never did because of Laurel being risk-averted. Because of Domenick's bullying tactics that he used when Sebastian got voted out and Laurel having been unwilling to commit to flipping with him, Donathan voted for Wendell to be the Sole Survivor. However, Jeff Probst immediately read the votes, resulting in a tie for the first time in Survivor history between Domenick and Wendell, with Laurel casting the winning vote for the latter to win.
|Donathan's Voting History|
| Voted Against|
|On Ghost Island1|
|3||Naviti Tribe Immune|
|4||Naviti Tribe Immune|
|5||Naviti Tribe Immune|
| Angela, Kellyn, Sebastian;|
| || Angela, Domenick,|
|Voted Out, Day 37|
| Voted for|
^1 In "Can You Reverse the Curse?", Naviti sent Donathan to Ghost Island, granting him immunity from Malolo's Tribal Council.
^2 In "The Sea Slug Slugger", Michael used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating Donathan's vote against him.
^3 In "The Finish Line Is in Sight", Donathan used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating 1 vote against him.
^4 In "Always Be Moving", the vote ended with a 3-3 tie between Donathan and Kellyn, forcing a revote. On the revote, Donathan did not receive enough votes to be eliminated.
^5 In "It Is Game Time Kids", Wendell used a Hidden Immunity Idol on Laurel, negating Donathan's vote against her.
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|Survivor: Ghost Island Castaways|