Kelly "Kel" Gleason is a contestant from Survivor: The Australian Outback.

Despite being a physically strong member of his tribe, Kel was seen as untrustworthy after being accused by Jerri Manthey of smuggling beef jerky into the Outback. He was voted out unanimously on Day 6 as a result.


Retrieved from

Captain Kel Gleason is an Intelligence Officer in the United States Army. He has a bachelor's degree in radio/television communications and has completed work toward a Masters degree in telecommunications at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Before entering the Army, Gleason worked as a production assistant for CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) Radio.

Gleason was commissioned in the Army in 1996 and immediately posted to Germany for three years. While posted there, he was a platoon leader and a battalion staff officer for intelligence and security. During that same period, he was also assigned to Bosnia in conjunction with the peacekeeping operation there.

Born in Murphysboro, Illinois, Gleason and his family moved to Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, where he lived until he completed high school. After graduation, Gleason moved back to the United States and has been based here ever since.

On visits home, Gleason enjoys camping, fishing, and kayaking with his dad, a retired professor. In addition, he is avidly interested in his South American Indian (Quechuan) heritage, particularly its history, art, and cuisine. He loves to cook, having learned his culinary skills from his Peruvian mother, who teaches gourmet cooking in the family home. Gleason's hobbies include weightlifting, running, rollerblading, snorkeling, photography, and skiing.

Currently single, Gleason recently relocated to Fort Hood, Texas. His birth date is January 5, 1968.[1]


Kel started the game on the Ogakor tribe. He did not form many strong relationships while in the game. When Ogakor lost the second Immunity Challenge, Kel was targeted because fellow tribe mate Jerri Manthey accused him of holding out on the tribe by smuggling beef jerky in his kit bag. He rebutted that he was not eating beef jerky, but instead was chewing grass. Kel tried to earn his tribemates' trust by offering his shaving kit (his luxury item) to the other contestants, which Jerri saw as a huge sign of guilt.

Kel seemed to have a little hope when Maralyn Hershey told Kel that she would not vote for him at Tribal Council. Despite this, the tribe deemed him untrustworthy, and he was unanimously eliminated in a 7-1 vote.

Voting History

Kel's Voting History
Episode Kel's
Voted Against
1 Ogakor Tribe Immune
2 Jerri Amber, Colby, Jerri, Keith,
Maralyn, Mitchell, Tina
Voted Out, Day 6


  • Kel was a Telecast Judge for the Miss Universe 2001.[2][3]
  • Kel appeared on Hollywood Squares for Survivor Week along with the rest of The Australian Outback cast on May 16, 2001.[4]
  • After his appearance on Survivor, the beef jerky incident landed Kel on several beef jerky commercials. However, he continued to vehemently deny what he ate that day was beef jerky. When he returned to service, he found his colleagues playing darts, with Jerri Manthey's face pinned on their dartboard.[5]
  • On January 9, 2010, Kel attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party.[6]



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