Earl Cole is the Sole Survivor of Survivor: Fiji.

Though originally a member of the winless and destitute Ravu tribe, Earl built a lasting alliance, most notably including Yau-Man Chan. His charisma, likability, and natural leadership skills earned him the title of Sole Survivor, as he became the first person to win the jury vote unanimously and the second African-American to win Survivor.


Retrieved from

Earl attended business school at the University of Washington in Seattle and received a National Scholastic Achievement Award before moving to Southern California. He is currently a Senior Advertising Executive who creates and manages new media strategies, brand marketing and advertising budgets for major accounts. He formerly worked as a marketing manager at a cable company, a sales analyst for a film company and a writer's assistant for a television comedy series.

In addition, Cole also works as a composer and is an accomplished musician. He plays multiple instruments (piano, saxophone, guitar, violin... and a little bit of drums). He also enjoys playing chess, hiking, watching movies, billiards and playing basketball. He considers himself to be very intelligent, creative, athletic and confident, with a witty sense of humor. He is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Earl currently resides in Santa Monica, California. His birth date is April 9, 1971.[1]


When Sylvia Kwan was tasked to divide the other 18 castaways on Day 3, she placed Earl on the Ravu tribe, which was forced to live in squalor after they lost the first Immunity Challenge. While the dysfunctional Ravu constantly lost challenges, Earl managed to form a close alliance with Yau-Man Chan. After Ravu lost the Immunity Challenge on Day 6, Earl was sent by the rival Moto tribe to Exile Island, saving him from Tribal Council where Erica Durousseau was voted out. On Night 11, Earl and Yau-Man shared with each other the clues to the Hidden Immunity Idol that they received during their respective times on Exile Island, agreeing to work together to find it. The following day, Earl led the Ravu tribe on a hunting expedition, leaving Yau-Man at camp to look for the idol, though the latter was unsuccessful in finding it. After Ravu lost the Reward Challenge later that day, Earl was again sent to Exile Island.

During the Tribe Switch on Day 15, Earl stepped forward, along with Moto's Edgardo Rivera, to begin the Schoolyard Pick for new tribes. Earl initially picked Boo Bernis, and, by luck of the draw, ended up at the more luxurious Moto camp after Edgardo drew the Ravu buff. On Moto, Earl formed the Syndicate Alliance along with original Ravu allies Yau-Man and Michelle Yi, as well as original Moto outsider Cassandra Franklin. On one occasion, Earl and Yau-Man again attempted to locate a Hidden Immunity Idol with the same strategy as they had implemented on Ravu days before; Earl led the tribe in trying to retrieve Moto's stranded boat, while Yau-Man stayed behind and used the tribe's tools to look for the idol. This time, Yau-Man was successful in finding the idol and later shared the information with Earl. With the advantage of the luxurious camp, as well as Ravu's continuing dysfunction, Moto won the remaining Immunity Challenges before the merge.

After the tribes merged into the Bula Bula tribe on Day 22, the newly merged tribe returned to the original Moto camp, only to be surprised to see it stripped of its luxurious amenities. At the next Immunity Challenge, a twist divided the Bula Bula tribe into two teams, with only the losing team being forced to immediately attend Tribal Council without any strategizing. Earl's team, consisting of Boo, Cassandra, Edgardo, Yau-Man, and himself, won immunity, though the twist prevented them from saving Michelle, who was voted out at that night's Tribal Council.

Following this, Earl's alliance initially had a 5 to 4 majority over the rival Four Horsemen alliance, but Four Horsemen member Dreamz Herd flipped to Earl's alliance informing them that Mookie Lee had a Hidden Immunity Idol. However, after Mookie passed the idol to Alex Angarita, Dreamz informed Earl's alliance of the switch. Unsure of where Dreamz' loyalties lay, Stacy Kimball suggested to the alliance to target the unprotected Edgardo instead. At Tribal Council, Alex played the Four Horsemen's idol, but it was all for naught as Earl's alliance blindsided Edgardo. Following this, Earl and his alliance successfully eliminated the remaining loyal members of the Four Horsemen.

After Boo won the Reward Challenge on Day 31, he sent Earl to Exile Island, where Earl received a clue to the re-hidden idol. When Yau-Man sent himself to Exile Island on Day 34, he received another clue, which he later shared with Earl, who managed to find it on Day 36, giving both of them idols. That night, Earl and Yau-Man were left out of the loop as Boo, Cassandra, Dreamz, and Stacy attempted to target Yau-Man after being alarmed of Yau-Man's intentions when he made a deal with Dreamz at the Reward Challenge. At Tribal Council, Yau-Man picked up a cue from Stacy suggesting that the alliance would split their votes. Earl and Yau-Man voted for Stacy, and Yau-Man used his idol to send her to the jury. The following night, Earl played his idol as it was the last time he could do so, but received no votes and Boo was unanimously voted out. After Dreamz won the Final Immunity Challenge on Day 38, he reneged on his deal with Yau-Man and did not give him the Immunity Necklace at Tribal Council. With the agreement broken, Earl joined Cassandra and Dreamz in voting out Yau-Man.

At the Final Tribal Council, although the jury directed most of their anger or discontent toward Dreamz and Cassandra, Earl was confronted by Lisi for voting out Yau-Man and looking confused despite casting a vote against his ally. Earl explained his reaction was from the realization that his longtime ally had actually left the game. Furthermore, he argued that he had to get rid of Yau-Man or else, he would have won. Earl ultimately became the Sole Survivor in a unanimous 9-0-0 vote, thus making him the first winner to win in a unanimous jury vote.

Voting History

Earl's Voting History
Episode Earl's
Voted Against
1 Jessica -
2 On Exile Island1
3 Sylvia Rita
4 Ravu Tribe Immune
5 Rita -
6 Moto Tribe Immune
7 Moto Tribe Immune
8 Moto Tribe Immune
9 Immune
10 Edgardo -
11 Alex -
12 Alex -
13 Stacy -
14 Boo -2
Yau-Man -
Jury Votes
for Earl
Alex, Boo, Edgardo, Lisi, Michelle,
Mookie, Rocky, Stacy, Yau-Man
Sole Survivor, Day 39

^1 In Snakes Are Misunderstood... We Have an Understanding Now, Moto sent Earl to Exile Island, granting him immunity from Ravu's Tribal Council.
^2 In You've Got That Puzzled Look, Earl used a Hidden Immunity Idol, but did not negate any votes against him.


  • In September 2007, Earl hosted a special preview on the TV Guide Network for the upcoming season, Survivor: China.[2]
  • Earl had an endowment with the University of Kansas Medical Center, where he established the Earl Cole Fund, which is a charitable foundation for children with Legg–Calvé–Perthes disease, a hip bone disease he suffered from as a child.
  • In the summer of 2009, Earl, along with the other first eighteen Survivor winners, appeared on a TVGuide special "Survivor Millionaires: Where Are They Now?"[3]
  • On January 9, 2010, Earl attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party.
  • In May 29, 2010, Earl married his fiancée, Los Angeles-based pharmacist, Shelley Lee.[4]
  • Earl and Shelley announced that they are having a baby that is due in November 2017.[5]
    • They welcomed a daughter, Kaia JoAnn, on November 10, 2017.[6]
  • On January 17, 2019, Earl and his wife welcomed their second daughter Alani Ellyse Cole. The child was born prematurely as a result of a placenta abruption that necessitated a C-section. Shelley and Alani were able to leave the hospital on April 30, 2019.[7]



Preceded by
Cook Islands
S13 yul t
Yul Kwon
Sole Survivor Titleholder
S14 earl t
Earl Cole
Succeeded by
S15 todd t
Todd Herzog
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