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Holly Wanner Hoffman is a contestant from Survivor: Nicaragua.

Holly underwent a massive turnaround in the game, wanting to quit on Day 5. However, after much prodding by tribemate Jimmy Johnson, she decided to stay, allowing her to make it to the final four as the only female and Espada member standing, though was voted out one day shy of the Final Tribal Council.


Retrieved from

Name: Holly Hoffman (44)
Tribe: Espada
Current Residence: Eureka, S.D.
Occupation: Swim Coach
Personal Claim to Fame: Started my own swim team 16 years ago. I was named Coach of the Year twice.
Inspiration in Life: My husband - he is always there for me.
Hobbies: Running, biking and swimming.
Pet Peeves: Standing in line.
3 Words to Describe You: Energetic, understanding and competitive.
Survivor Contestant You Are Most Like: No one.
Reason for being on Survivor: I have raised three children and given 24 years to my family... Now it is time for me to prove to them who I really am and who I can be. To prove to myself that I can do it!
Why you think you will be the Sole Survivor: One word - determination.[1]


Holly was put on the Espada tribe, which originally consisted of the older players participating in the season. Early on Holly made an alliance with Wendy DeSmidt-Kohlhoff but since the rest of Espada saw Wendy as a weak link, Holly had to either cut Wendy loose or put a target on her back 3 days into the game; she chose the former. With Wendy gone, Holly would then form a closer bond with Jane Bright. On Day 5, Holly considered quitting the game but Jimmy Johnson cheered her up and she changed her mind. Holly's decision to not quit on Day 5 would be constantly referenced by Holly as she progressed in the competition. On Day 11, Holly and Jane felt that Dan Lembo was the weakest link and voted for him at the next Tribal Council, but Marty Piombo's alliance decided to vote off Jimmy Tarantino since he was becoming annoying with his constant pleads to lead the team and to get more time in challenges. After Tribal Council, it was clear to Marty that Holly and Jane would be next, but Holly was saved by the Tribe Switch, which sent Marty and Jill Behm (the most active members of Marty's alliance) to La Flor and gave Espada Alina Wilson, Benry Henry, Chase Rice, and NaOnka Mixon.

Despite Jane also being sent to La Flor, Holly was in a comfortable position on Espada, quickly befriending the newer and younger members of the tribe and voting with them, contributing to the eliminations of Tyrone Davis and Yve Rojas in the process. However, Holly's decision to vote off Yve was a last minute one, as she had to make sure that Dan took back what he said on the morning of Day 15 that he wanted to quit so she didn't keep someone in the game that wanted to leave. Furthermore, Holly also won individual immunity on Day 15. When Espada won the Reward Challenge, Holly stated that it was nice for the 6 of them (the remaining Espada members) to just relax and enjoy the meal together, not thinking about the game.

After the two tribes merged into Libertad, Alina suggested that the Espada members stick together to systematically eliminate the La Flor members, but Holly (and the rest of Espada) ignored that plan. Holly reunited with Jane, who seemed to grow closer to Chase since both Jane and Chase are from North Carolina, and since Chase had links to a powerful alliance, this benefited Holly, and she didn't receive any votes the first 6 days as a merged tribe. On Day 25 however, Holly was aware that Brenda Lowe was running the game so she felt that Brenda had to be stopped. Holly eventually managed to get Jane, NaOnka, Dan, Benry, and Fabio Birza in on the plan and that caused Brenda to be voted off on Day 27. The next day, Jeff gave Holly, NaOnka, Benry, Dan, and Chase the option to give up their reward and stay at camp, and in return, they would earn some rice for their tribe. Naonka was pressured by the others to give up reward as she announced a couple minutes earlier she wanted to quit, but when NaOnka refused, an annoyed Holly decided to stay back, and that decision was well received by Libertad. When Kelly Shinn was also contemplating quitting, Holly told her that her daughter wanted to quit cross country because it was tough at first, but Holly told her daughter that she started so she's finishing, and her daughter ended up very successful at the sport; the moral of the story being that if Purple Kelly quit, she might miss out on success in the game. Purple Kelly appreciated Holly's kindness, but both she and NaOnka still decided to quit, much to Holly and everybody else's disappointment.

With 7 players left in the game, Holly's alliance with Chase and Jane found themselves competing with the alliance of Benry, Dan, and Fabio to get swing vote Sash Lenahan to side with them. When Chase won the Reward Challenge and took Jane and Holly with him, Holly told Chase that it was a bad idea to take Jane over Sash. However, this decision proved not to be costly as Sash sided with her alliance anyway, causing Benry's elimination on Day 32. That same day, Holly would receive her first vote against her from a confused Fabio. Holly was delighted to see her husband after going on reward in Chase and Sash. At Tribal Council on Day 36, Jane, who felt betrayed by Holly, Chase, and Sash, suggested that Dan and Fabio vote with her against Holly since Chase and Sash had idols, but in the end Holly didn't even receive 1 vote, and Jane was voted off unanimously.

Holly would be a potential target again on Day 37 as Fabio and Dan saw her as a threat, but with neither of them being able to convince Chase or Sash, Holly would still avoid elimination, this time at the expense of Dan. Holly finished in last place on the Final Immunity Challenge which Fabio eventually won. Holly tried to get Chase and Fabio to vote off Sash since she felt that Sash had a lot of allies on the jury. At Tribal Council, when Holly voted off Sash, she said "You are the biggest liar I ever met", but unfortunately Chase and Fabio liked their chances against Sash on Day 39 and they voted off Holly, 3-1. Holly finished in 4th place and became the 9th and final member of the jury. Holly was also the last female player and the last original Espada member left in the game (as Fabio, Chase, and Sash all started out on La Flor).

At Final Tribal Council,  Holly started with Chase by asking what was his most strategic move that he made independently. Chase responded by that his biggest move was voting out Shannon Elkins to play with trustworthy people. Then she asked Fabio if the immunity streak was too little, too late. Fabio said winning the Immunity Challenge was the perfect time and his only option. Finally, she asked Sash if he lied to her. Sash admitted that he did lie to her and apologized for it. Holly thanked them for the honest answers. In the end, Holly voted for Chase to become the Sole Survivor.

Voting History

Holly's Voting History
Episode Holly's
Voted Against
1 Wendy -
2 Espada Tribe Immune
3 Jimmy J. -
4 Dan -
5 Tyrone -
6 Yve Individual Immunity
7 Espada Tribe Immune
8 Alina -
9 Marty -
10 Brenda -
12 No Vote
13 Benry Fabio
14 Jane -
15 Dan -
Sash Chase, Fabio, Sash
Voted Out, Day 38
Voted for
Sole Survivor


Holly's Book, Your Winner Within.


  • Holly was cast for Nicaragua the first time she applied for Survivor.[3]
  • Holly is the first, and currently only, resident from South Dakota to compete on Survivor.
  • In his cast assessment of South Pacific, Jeff Probst revealed that Holly was chosen to compete at the last minute over Dawn Meehan.[4]
  • Holly is the first castaway to sacrifice a reward to supply rice and a tarp for her merged tribe, Libertad.
  • Holly is the highest-placing member of the original Espada tribe and the highest-placing woman on Nicaragua.
    • Holly is the lowest-placing woman to be the highest-placing woman in a season.
  • Holly lost 22 lbs. during her time in Nicaragua.[5]
  • Holly revealed that she bought her own torch as a souvenir after the game ended.[6]
  • Former winner Tina Wesson stated in Rob Has a Podcast that she rooted for Holly. Tina also revealed that Holly and Chase Rice's relationship reminded her of her relationship with Colby Donaldson back in The Australian Outback.


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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