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Erik Reichenbach is a contestant from Survivor: Micronesia and Survivor: Caramoan.

Erik entered the game in Micronesia as a longtime Survivor superfan, often finding himself in awe of playing with castaways he had previously watched on the show. He eventually became the last man standing after all the others had been eliminated by the cutthroat Black Widow Brigade, seemingly set on making it to the final four after winning individual immunity. However, he was goaded into handing his Immunity Necklace to Natalie Bolton by the Black Widow Brigade, who then promptly voted him out. This is widely considered to be one of the dumbest moves in Survivor history.

In Caramoan, Erik returned to the Fans vs. Favorites format as a Favorite. He again made it deep into the game due to his low-profile strategy allowing him to hide behind the more bombastic personalities in the Stealth R Us alliance, finding himself the swing vote at several crucial Tribal Councils. However, he was medically evacuated from the game at the final five due to low blood pressure, ending his game prematurely.


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Erik Reichenbach was born and raised in Pinckney, Michigan. He is currently in his senior year of studying art at Eastern Michigan University, and is a member of the college's track team. Reichenbach works at an ice cream parlor called "Screams" in Hell, Michigan, where he also designs t-shirts, hauls canoes and entertains his customers. He previously worked in landscaping, construction and as a freelance graphic designer.

Reichenbach's hobbies include drawing, writing comic books, rock-climbing and studying philosophy/religion. He describes himself as animated, earnest and familiar. He is very proud of his running accomplishments during his senior year of high school, where he set the school's 400 yard record (49.3 seconds), and being able to run in the Nike Outdoor Nationals in Carolina. Reichenbach is a member of the Eastern Michigan Cross Country and Track team, Pinckney Pirate Track and Field Alumni and a rock climbing club.

Reichenbach believes he'll go far on Survivor because he is a good listener, entertaining, optimistic, athletic, a creative thinker and can easily be a leader or a follower.

Reichenbach is currently single and lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan, with his cats, Furrball and Kittyfizzle (K-Fizz for short). His birth date is November 27, 1985.[1]

Name (Age): Erik Reichenbach (27)
Tribe Designation: Bikal
Previous Season: Survivor: Micronesia – 13th castaway voted out/6th Jury Member
Current Residence: Santa Clarita, Calif.
Occupation: Comic Book Artist
Personal Claim to Fame: Survivor: Micronesia.
Inspiration in Life: My Dad and my girlfriend, Dana.
Hobbies: Drawing, running and traveling.
Pet Peeves: Quiet or opinion-less people.
3 Words to Describe You: Easy going, humorous and original.
If You Could Have 3 Things on The Island What Would They Be and Why? 1) Contacts – So I can see. 2) Acrylic Paint – To paint a "masterpiece" at tribal camp. 3) A deck of cards - to eliminate any boredom.
Survivor Contestant You Are Most Like: Ozzy – I am great at challenges too!
Reason for Being on Survivor: To show everyone that I am really not dumb, and in actuality I am a smart, funny guy who just does things in a different way.
Why You Think You'll "Survive" Survivor: I'm physically strong and easily adapt to my surroundings.

Why You Think You Will Be the Sole Survivor: I adapt to working with different personalities easily and I have enough of an understanding of the game to improvise if necessary.[2]



Erik was placed on the Airai tribe consisting of "diehard" Survivor fans. Erik quickly proved himself to his favorite Survivor player Ozzy Lusth during the first individual Immunity Challenge when he beat Ozzy to the beach. Although Erik was in a comfortable position on his tribe, on Day 6, Joel Anderson wanted to blindside Mary Sartain because of how close she and Mikey Bortone were and how controlling Mikey B. was trying to be. At Tribal Council, Erik sided with Tracy Hughes-Wolf's Older Airai Alliance and joined Joel's plan in blindsiding Mary. At Airai's next Tribal Council on Day 11, Erik joined the majority of the tribe in blindsiding Mikey over the weaker Chet Welch.

When the tribe switch occurred on Day 12, Erik along with Tracy, Chet, and Joel were moved to Malakal where he bonded with Ozzy. When Malakal lost the Day 14 Immunity Challenge, Erik joined Joel in voting out Chet for being a burden in challenges, though Cirie Fields gathered the numbers and blindsided Joel for being a strategic threat. Despite being in the minority of the Fans vs. Favorites lines on Malakal, Erik was spared for his challenge strength and he joined the Favorites in voting out Chet and Tracy at Malakal's next two Tribal Councils. While it seemed like Erik would be the next to go after Malakal lost immunity again on Day 21, Erik told Amanda Kimmel, Cirie, and Ozzy that Ami Cusack had been scheming with Tracy's alliance to get Ozzy out ever since Joel's elimination. At Tribal Council, Erik successfully convinced the Favorites in voting out Ami for being untrustworthy.

On Day 22, the tribes merged with Erik coming up with the tribe's name as Dabu where he joined Ozzy as a member of the Malakal Couples Alliance. At Tribal Council, Erik joined the rest of the tribe minus Jason Siska in voting off the tribe's outcast Eliza Orlins. At the next Tribal Council, Erik stuck with Ozzy in voting for Jason for being Eliza's only ally, but the women of a new alliance led by Parvati Shallow named the Black Widow Brigade minus Amanda took the opportunity to narrowly blindside Ozzy with a Hidden Immunity Idol in his possession. Erik won the next Immunity Challenge on Day 30. At Tribal Council, Erik joined the women in blindsiding Jason with the rehidden idol in his possession, but was unaware that this was part of the women's plan to annihilate the men. After James Clement was medically evacuated the next day, Erik was in danger as the women targeted him for being the last man standing. But Erik managed to thwart their plan when he won the Day 33 Immunity Challenge, forcing the women to turn on each other. At Tribal Council, Erik joined the majority in voting Amanda, but she played the idol that was rehidden after Jason's elimination, negating four votes against her, and Alexis Jones was blindsided for being a potential social threat.

Erik won the next Immunity Challenge, thwarting the women's plan once again. However, Cirie suggested that Natalie Bolton attempt to try to convince Erik to give the Immunity Necklace to her, arguing that it would redeem himself in front of the jury and that Cirie and Natalie would agree to vote out Amanda only if Erik saved Natalie. At Tribal Council, Erik fell for the women's ruse when he gave the Immunity Necklace to Natalie and was ultimately blindsided, with James on the jury jokingly saying that he lost his reign as dumbest Survivor player ever.

At Final Tribal Council, Erik respected Amanda over Parvati, but questioned the former for throwing him under the bus at his last two Tribal Councils, even calling her out for trying to apologize after it was too little, too late. Despite that, Erik voted Amanda to be the Sole Survivor, but she lost to Parvati in a close 5-3 vote.

Episode Tribe
Challenge Challenge Type Sit-Out? Result
1 Airai First to Shore Immunity1 No Lost
Reinventing the Wheel Reward/Immunity No Won
2 Smash and Grab Reward/Immunity No Lost
3 Beach Bash Reward No Lost
Nut Bucket Immunity No Won
4 Diver Down Reward No Lost
Crosswalk Immunity No Lost
Switched Tribes, Day 13
5 Malakal Cat and Mouse Reward No Lost
A Stone's Throw Immunity No Lost
6 Build It Up, Break It Down Reward No Lost
United We Stand Immunity No Lost
7 Money Roll Reward No Won
What-er Drag Immunity No Lost
8 The Gauntlet Reward/Immunity No Lost
Tribes Merged, Day 22
9 Dabu Last Gasp Immunity Lost
10 Bai Bai Reward Won
When It Rains, It Pours Immunity Lost
11 Survivor Auction
Pool Party Immunity Won
12 Body Slam Reward Lost
Shoot to Thrill Immunity Won
13 Survivor Roots Reward Won
Dash, Dig, Decode Immunity Won2
Voted Out, Day 36
^1 This challenge was played for individual immunity at each tribe's first Tribal Council.
^2 Erik gave up his immunity to Natalie at Tribal Council.

Episode Erik's
Voted Against
1 Airai Tribe Immune
2 Mary -
3 Airai Tribe Immune
4 Chet;
Mikey B.1
5 Chet -
6 Chet Chet, Tracy
7 Tracy -
8 Ami Ami
9 Eliza -
10 Jason -
11 Jason Individual Immunity
12 Amanda2 Individual Immunity
13 Parvati Amanda, Cirie,
Natalie, Parvati3
Voted Out, Day 36
Voted for
Sole Survivor

^1 In "That's Baked, Barbecued and Fried!", the vote ended with a 4-4 tie between Chet and Mikey B., forcing a revote. Erik changed his vote to Mikey B. on the revote.
^2 In "I'm Gonna Fix Her!", Amanda used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating Erik's vote against her.
^3 In "If It Smells Like a Rat, Give It Cheese", Erik had won individual immunity, but gave it to Natalie during Tribal Council.


Erik was placed on the Favorites tribe of Bikal. His tribe won the first Reward Challenge but lost the first Immunity Challenge. At camp, he was angry on how Phillip Sheppard came up to him and said (though worded differently), "You can join us, but if you don't, we already have the numbers, anyway." He sided with Brandon Hantz, Brenda Lowe, and Francesca Hogi in the first Tribal Council, casting his vote for Andrea Boehlke, but since Francesca was voted off 6-4, Erik was left in the minority.

Thanks to Brandon's personality and being useful in challenges, Bikal won the next three Immunity Challenges, and after the tribe switch Erik was switched to Gota. Luckily, everybody on Gota were great at challenges aside from Sherri Biethman, and Gota won all of the challenges after the tribe switch.

Erik then entered the merge, and was now placed on Enil Edam. Erik's alliance became very successful. Erik won individual immunity on Day 33. Referencing his costly mistake in his first season, Jeff asked him if there's any chance Erik would give up immunity again at Tribal Council, to which Erik replied "I'm way too scared to do that again!". However, Erik did give Andrea the Hidden Immunity Idol after he found it (out of courtesy though, since the clue did belong to Andrea). Furthermore, the idol put a target on Andrea back, setting her up to be blindsided, this time with Erik successfully voting her off after his unsuccessful attempt way back on Day 3. Nearing the end of the game, Erik started to feel extremely hungry, even attempting to climb an extremely tall tree to get coconuts. Tree Mail then came to say that their loved ones were coming, and Erik then began to feel more confident than before. Brenda then won the Loved Ones Challenge and chose Dawn Meehan to enjoy her loved ones time. However, two loved ones were coming and Brenda had to choose between Dawn and her or Erik and the rest of the tribe. However, Brenda chose Erik, Eddie Fox, John Cochran, and Sherri to have time spent with their loved ones. Because of this, Cochran, Sherri, and Dawn chose to blindside Brenda, but Erik stayed loyal to her and voted for Eddie.

After that night of Tribal Council, Erik began to feel lightheaded. After the medical team came and said Erik's blood pressure was too low, so he couldn't compete. After a sad elimination, Erik left the game finishing in the same place he ended up in his first season.

At the Final Tribal Council, Erik commented on how Sherri did not play the game well, and how all of the jury members knew this. They began to argue over the case, so Erik just stopped. Because of that, Erik gave his jury vote to Cochran, just as all the other jurors did.

Episode Tribe
Challenge Challenge Type Sit-Out? Result
1 Bikal Water Slaughter Reward No Won
It's a Long Way to the Top Immunity No Lost
2 Plunge, Pull, Pop Reward/Immunity No Won
3 Cell Block Sea Reward/Immunity No Won
4 Head and Shoulders Reward No Won
Smash and Grab Immunity No Won
5 Nut Bucket Reward Yes Won
Crate Outdoors Immunity No Lost1
Switched Tribes, Day 15
6 Gota Crate Outdoors Immunity No Won
7 Hot Pursuit Reward No Won
Phoenix Rises Immunity No Won
Tribes Merged, Day 20
8 Enil Edam Caramoan Catering Immunity Lost
9 Jump Shot Reward No Won
Last Gasp Immunity Lost
10 Muddy Waters Reward Won
Keel Hauling Immunity No Lost
11 Survivor Auction
Drop A Log Immunity Lost
12 Bermuda Triangle Reward/Immunity Lost
Fun Climb Immunity Won
13 Dizzy Gillespie Reward Invited2
I Hold On Immunity Lost
Evacuated, Day 36
^1 Bikal opted to forfeit the Immunity Challenge, giving the win to Gota by default.
^2 Brenda gave up her reward to the tribe.

Episode Erik's
Voted Against
1 Andrea -
2 Bikal Tribe Immune
3 Bikal Tribe Immune
4 Bikal Tribe Immune
5 Brandon -
6 Gota Tribe Immune
7 Gota Tribe Immune
8 Corinne -
9 Michael -
10 Phillip -
11 Malcolm;
12 Eddie Reynold
Andrea Individual Immunity
13 Eddie Eddie
14 No Tribal Council
Evacuated, Day 36
Voted for
Sole Survivor

^1 In "Come Over to the Dark Side", the vote ended with a 3-3-3 tie between Andrea, Malcolm, and Reynold, forcing a revote. Erik did not change his vote on the revote.



Erik and his wife Dana.

  • On January 9, 2010, Erik attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party.[3]
  • At the Heroes vs. Villains Reunion Show, Erik was nominated for the "Dumbest Move in Survivor History" for giving up his immunity to Natalie Bolton and getting voted out unanimously. Erik lost to Heroes vs. Villains castaway J.T. Thomas for giving his Hidden Immunity Idol to Russell Hantz.
  • In an interview with, Erik called the Caramoan live Reunion Show disrespectful, ridiculous, and "a farce", since he and half the jury were not given a chance to talk.[4]
  • Since Blood vs. Water, Erik has worked as a graphic designer, where he makes Survivor related caricatures. He posts time-lapse videos of his work on his YouTube and Instagram accounts called "Dabu Doodles," named after the merged tribe in Micronesia.[5]
  • Erik married medical transcriptionist Dana Ruff on August 21, 2014.[6][7]
  • Erik previously worked on a mobile app for Apple and Android users called Islands of Chaos before it was cancelled in February 2019.[8]
  • Erik, along with James Clement, appeared on stage at the Ghost Island Reunion.
  • Erik, along with nineteen other former Survivor contestants, competed in the first Survivor-themed mini-competition of Sequester on May 23, 2020. He was eliminated in the eighth round, finishing in 13th place.[9]


  • Erik originally applied for China.[10]
  • Erik is the youngest contestant to compete on Micronesia.
  • Erik won his first individual Immunity Challenge on his 22nd birthday.
  • Erik is the third contestant to give away individual immunity at Tribal Council, following Jenna Morasca and Burton Roberts*. They would be followed by Brandon Hantz, Chris Underwood and Heidi Lagares-Greenblatt. Erik is the first to do so and be eliminated at that Tribal Council, followed by Brandon.
  • In a 2012 interview, host Jeff Probst stated that Erik giving up his immunity was his third favorite Tribal Council moment of all time.[11]
  • Erik is the only Fan from a "Fans vs. Favorites" season to compete multiple times.
  • Erik was an alternate for Heroes vs. Villains.[12]
  • Erik is the highest-placing Favorite in a "Fans vs. Favorites" season to not improve on his previous finish.
  • Erik is one of six castaways to finish in the same position twice, by placing 5th in both of his seasons. The others are James Clement, Sandra Diaz-TwineCandice WoodcockJonathan Penner, and Tony Vlachos.
    • Erik is the second person to finish in the same position and play the same number of days. The first was Sandra, who played 39 days twice. They would be followed by Tony, who also played 39 days twice.
    • Erik is the second person to finish in the same position and with the same number of castaways. The first was Candice, who finished 8th out of 20 castaways twice. Coincidentally, Candice was also the youngest castaway on her first season.
  • In 2020, Erik explained that his medical evacuation in Caramoan was caused by a reaction to penicillin.[13]
  • Erik is the only castaway to compete on both "Fans vs. Favorites" seasons, and the only castaway to be both a Fan and a Favorite.
  • Erik designed the tribe flags for both Dabu and Enil Edam.
  • Erik's favorite season aside from his first was Fiji.[14]
  • Erik designed the cover of Rob Cesternino's audio book The Evolution of Strategy.


Survivor: Micronesia Castaways
S16 alexis t
S16 amanda t
S16 ami t
S16 chet t
S16 cirie t
S16 eliza t
S16 erik t
S16 james t
S16 jason t
S16 joel t
S16 jon t
S16 jonathan t
S16 kathy t
S16 mary t
 Mikey B.
S16 mikeyb t
S16 natalie t
S16 ozzy t
S16 parvati t
S16 tracy t
S16 yauman t
Survivor: Caramoan Castaways
S26 allie t
S26 andrea t
S26 brandon t
S26 brenda t
S26 cochran t
S26 corinne t
S26 dawn t
S26 eddie t
S26 erik t
S26 francesca t
S26 hope t
S26 julia t
S26 laura t
S26 malcolm t
S26 matt t
S26 michael t
S26 phillip t
S26 reynold t
S26 shamar t
S26 sherri t