Survivor Wiki

Judson John "Jud" Birza (also known as Fabio) is the Sole Survivor of Survivor: Nicaragua.

Best known for his humor and carefree attitude, Fabio was not taken seriously by his competition for the large part of the game, leaving him in the dark strategically. While his votes rarely aligned with the majority, Fabio proved to be secretly perceptive and aware of his surroundings, letting the more cunning players take each other out. With no real allies, he relied on his general likability and individual immunity to get by. His unusual strategy won him the million dollar prize and the title of Sole Survivor in a close 5-4-0 vote.


Retrieved from

Name: Jud Birza (21)
Tribe: La Flor
Current Residence: Venice, Calif.
Occupation: Student
Personal Claim to Fame: Being a rad older brother.
Inspiration in Life: My dad. Despite growing up under-privileged, he put himself through college and flight school. He is now a pilot, which is sick! We have a very strong relationship.
Hobbies: Surfing, skating and bike riding. I also enjoy jamming all night with buddies.
Pet Peeves: Inconsiderate people.
3 Words to Describe You: Intelligent, sexy and goofy.
Survivor Contestant You Are Most Like: Ozzy because he surfs. Although, I'm younger, goofier and probably a better swimmer.
Reason for being on Survivor: I could do a lot with a million dollars! Plus, camping on a tropical island with a bunch of cute girls sounds like the best vacation ever.
Why you think you will be the Sole Survivor: I'm young and seem innocent enough. Although I take very careful notes on behavior and will follow my instincts until the end.[1]


Fabio became the younger La Flor tribe's resident comic relief, sending his tribemates to laughter at every opportunity. His antics however, gained him an enemy in NaOnka Mixon, whom Fabio had a conflict with after the former lost their socks. Using his personality as strategy, Fabio assumed a strategically clueless, bemused character, though completely insightful of tribe politics.

Early on, Fabio was an alliance outsider, having initially aligned with Shannon Elkins, Alina Wilson, Kelly Bruno, and Benry Henry. Shannon wanted Brenda Lowe eliminated because she was perceived a threat. At the first La Flor Tribal Council on Day 6, Shannon began to aggressively berate Chase Rice for playing both sides. Fabio attempted to calm Shannon down, but to no avail when Shannon then directed homophobic remarks to Sash Lenahan, whom he suspected as gay. The conversation ended with NaOnka being called on to answer, only to deliberately say she disliked Fabio and his antics. At the end of the night, Fabio stuck with Shannon anyway, but Benry and Kelly B. voted with the rival alliance, sending Shannon home because of his comments; after which Fabio's remaining alliance partners were left in the minority. However, Fabio remained indispensable for his challenge strength, which attributed to La Flor's early successes, winning three of the first four Immunity Challenges.

After a Day 12 tribe switch, Fabio, along with Kelly Shinn, Kelly B., Brenda, and Sash remained on La Flor. There, he befriended new members from the rival Espada tribe, Jane Bright, Marty Piombo, and Jill Behm. By virtue of being an original La Flor, Fabio seemed to have been included in Sash and Brenda's alliance. The second coming of La Flor won the following Immunity Challenge, keeing Fabio safe.

On Day 15, both tribes were forced to vote off one of their own. Jill, the next intended target, won individual immunity, forcing Fabio, Sash, Brenda, and Jane, who was also adopted to the alliance as she harbored resentment toward Marty and Jill, to shift plans. The alliance split their votes between Marty, who possessed Espada's Hidden Immunity Idol, and Kelly B., an original La Flor, but perceived as a threat. Marty's pandering to Fabio nearly endangered the plan, with Fabio believing Marty's lie about him being a chess grandmaster. Ultimately though, Fabio stuck with the plan and forced a 3-3 tie at Tribal Council between Marty and Kelly B., but it was Kelly B. who took the fall after the revote. Fabio lasted long enough to reach the merge, becoming a member of the Libertad tribe.

Fabio would then either join several, albeit failed, alliances. Marty included Fabio in an all-male alliance to topple Brenda's alliance, only to fail when Chase and Sash ultimately sided with Brenda. While he was kept around, the remaining castaways, mainly Sash, Chase, and Holly Hoffman, realized Fabio's strategy could actually work as he had not made any enemies among them or the members of the jury. With no viable strategic options, winning Immunity Challenges was Fabio's last resort, winning the remaining three Immunity Challenges, keeping himself safe from the vote, while the formed alliance turned on each other. Fabio then joined Chase and Sash in voting Holly out, making them as the Final Three.

At the Final Tribal Council, Chase and Sash were lambasted for being indecisive and "spineless" respectively, while the two accused Fabio for being clueless the entire game, though Fabio rebutted he did it on purpose. In the end, with five votes to four, Fabio's unconventional strategy won him the title of Sole Survivor garnering the votes of Marty, NaOnka, Kelly S., Dan Lembo, and Benry.

Voting History

Fabio's Voting History
Episode Fabio's
Voted Against
1 La Flor Tribe Immune
2 Brenda -
3 La Flor Tribe Immune
4 La Flor Tribe Immune
5 La Flor Tribe Immune
6 Kelly B.;
Kelly B.1
7 Marty -
8 Alina Individual Immunity
9 Jane -
10 Brenda -
12 No Vote
13 Holly Benry, Dan
14 Jane Individual Immunity
15 Dan Individual Immunity
Holly Individual Immunity
Jury Votes
For Fabio
Benry, Dan, Kelly S.,
Marty, NaOnka
Sole Survivor, Day 39

^1 In "Worst Case Scenario", the vote ended with a 3-3 tie between Kelly B. and Marty, forcing a revote. Fabio did not change his vote on the revote.


Fabio on the cover of "City of Lost Souls".

  • Barely two months after winning Nicaragua, Birza was arrested for skateboarding in the streets, which was illegal in Santa Monica, California. Police reports also stated that he might be under the influence of illegal drugs. Birza was apparently also hit for an unrelated DUI warrant and a probation violation.[2]
  • Birza returned to Nicaragua as a visitor and got a surprise visit back to the beach, where he camped during the filming of Survivor.[3]
  • Fabio is featured on the cover and trailer of the fifth book of "The Mortal Instruments" series, City of Lost Souls.[4]
  • Fabio said to Parvati Shallow on the Survivor After Show that he bought a farm for his dad and a condo for himself using the money.[5]
  • Fabio became the drummer for a band called Space Funk Odyssey, an electro-dance/rock band from Venice, California.[6]
  • Fabio has since married and had a daughter.[7]
  • In 2014, Fabio starred in the Sc-Fi TV movie 90210 Shark Attack.[8]
  • Fabio attended the Survivor primetime edition of The Price Is Right that aired on May 23, 2016. However, Fabio himself did not compete.
  • On March 22, 2017, Fabio, along with Nick Maiorano, appeared on an episode of Pen Fan Forum hosted by Andrea Boehlke to discuss the fourth episode of Game Changers.[9]


  • Fabio was recruited for Survivor when he met a casting agent while grocery shopping.[10]
  • Fabio is the youngest man to compete on Nicaragua.
  • Fabio had the first confessional in Nicaragua.
  • It was Shannon Elkins who nicknamed Jud to "Fabio," after Italian fashion model Fabio Lanzoni.
  • Fabio is the first person to have his name changed in the opening intro, where his name was changed from "Jud" in the first episode to "Fabio" in the second.
  • Fabio is the first person to win a Final Three where all of the finalists are of the same gender. He would be followed by Kim Spradlin and Natalie Anderson.
    • Fabio is currently the only man to defeat two other men in a Final Three.
  • Fabio currently ties with Jenna Morasca and Sophie Clarke for the record of youngest winner, with all three being 21 during the time of filming. However, both women turned 22 between the Final Tribal Council and Reunion Show of their respective seasons, making Fabio the youngest winner when declared the Sole Survivor.


Preceded by
Heroes vs. Villains
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Sandra Diaz-Twine
Sole Survivor Titleholder
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Fabio Birza
Succeeded by
Redemption Island
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Rob Mariano
Survivor: Nicaragua Castaways
La Flor
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La Flor
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La Flor
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La Flor
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La Flor
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 Jimmy J.
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 Jimmy T.
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 Kelly B.
La Flor
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 Kelly S.
La Flor
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La Flor
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La Flor
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La Flor
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