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Kelly Goldsmith is a contestant from Survivor: Africa.

Originally part of the majority Boran Alliance, Kelly is best remembered for being falsely accused by Lex van den Berghe of voting against him at Tribal Council, leading to her becoming the first castaway ever to flip on her alliance and join the minority and then getting voted out of the game.


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Born in San Diego, California, Kelly Goldsmith attended high school at La Jolla Country Day School in California. During those four years, Goldsmith served as class vice president, class president and student body vice president. She was also a varsity cheerleader, class homecoming queen and a National Merit Finalist (having scored 1520 on her SAT).

Graduating in 1997, Goldsmith then attended Duke University, where she became a proud member of Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority, serving as social chair and rush chair while working towards her degree in Sociology.

Graduating from Duke in 2001, Goldsmith recently started a new job as a behavioral research analyst while she decides where to apply to graduate school. She has previously worked as a research intern for a cosmetic company and a chief researcher for a website company. Her hobbies include lifting weights and crocheting. She also enjoys singing and performing, having won the role of Abigail Williams in the 2000 Duke Drama Play The Crucible. An avid traveler, she has visited over thirty-five countries.

Kelly Goldsmith has one brother, Bryan. Her parents, Lyda and Marshall, have two dogs, Mandy and Beau. Her birth date is April 27.[1]


Kelly started the game with a low profile, being under the radar for most of her time at the Boran tribe. After a shocking tribe switch that sent her to Samburu on Day 13, she started to make her move, starting by finding out who among her new tribemates had previous votes against them. During their first challenge as new tribes, her old Boran comrade Kim Johnson made an "L" hand signal to Kelly, telling her that Lindsey Richter had past votes (in large part to Teresa Cooper and Frank Garrison's continuing vendetta among their former tribemates for mistreating them). Her strategies though were put on hold when Samburu won the Day 15 Immunity Challenge. But after losing the next one, Kelly accidentally overheard Brandon Quinton talking about Lindsey's past votes, thus confirming Kim J.'s information. At Tribal Council, the vote was split along original tribal lines with a 3-3 tie. When the revote did not help, Lindsey's past votes were taken into account, and she was eliminated. They were then merged into the new Moto Maji tribe on Day 20, where Kelly joined the majority to eliminate Clarence Black, where Lex van den Berghe received another vote, making him furious.

Fuming after receiving the "mystery vote," Lex blamed Kelly for the incident (it was in truth Teresa Cooper who voted for him), causing the other ex-Borans to turn on her. Not backing down, Kelly allied with the former Samburus to secure herself. But at Tribal Council, Brandon sided with the Borans, giving Boran the numbers once again and sent Kelly to the jury in a 5-4 vote.

At Final Tribal Council, Kelly after lecturing the finalists on their conduct and gameplay, Kelly thanked Kim Johnson for voting Lex off and asked the finalists to guess a number between one and one thousand. Ethan said 888, while Kim said 3. The number was 568 (since The Graduate is her favorite movie), and as Ethan Zohn got a closer number, she voted for him to win.

Voting History

Episode Kelly's
Voted Against
1 Diane -
2 Jessie -
3 Boran Tribe Immune
4 Boran Tribe Immune
5 Samburu Tribe Immune
6 Lindsey;
7 Clarence -
9 Lex Brandon, Ethan,
Kim J., Lex, Tom
Voted Out, Day 24
Voted For
Sole Survivor

^1 In "I'd Never Do It to You", the vote ended with a 3-3 tie between Lindsey and Tom, forcing a revote. Kelly did not change her vote on the revote.


  • In early 2002, Kelly, along with all of her Africa castmates appeared on Late Show with David Letterman where they would present the top 10.[2]
  • In 2003, Kelly was one of several castaways who appeared on MTV's Men vs. Women: Rumble in the Jungle, a preview show for Survivor: The Amazon and offered her commentary in the debate of which gender was stronger.[3][4]
  • After competing on Survivor, in addition to holding research jobs, Kelly worked for CBS as a casting associate while applying to graduate school. She casted five of the castaways of Survivor: Vanuatu, four of them being Ami Cusack, Julie Berry, Brady Finta, and Brook Geraghty.[5] Kelly also help recruit Hayden Kristianson and Aaron Crumbaugh for The Amazing Race.[6]
  • In 2004, Kelly was admitted to Yale University for a Ph.D. in behavioral marketing with a focus on how psychology can be utilized to understand anomalies in judgment and decision making. Dr. Kelly obtained her Ph.D., M. Phil. and M.A. from Yale University. Her areas of expertise are Consumer Behavior, Consumer Decision-Making and Marketing Research.
  • Graduated in 2009, Kelly earned the title of Assistant Professor in the Marketing Department at the Kellogg School of Management.[7] Her research has been published in several top academic journals, and has received critical acclaim in the media, receiving mentions in outlets such as TIME magazine[8] and the Today Show. 
  • On January 9, 2010, Kelly attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party.
  • Kelly was featured in Chicago Magazine in 2010 as one of "Chicago's Hottest Singles".
  • In 2012, Kelly was endowed with the Clewett Chair, based on her excellence in both research and teaching. Further, she received the Sidney J. Levy award for excellent teaching in an elective class. In 2013, she was nominated for the L.G. Lavengood Outstanding Professor of the Year award, the highest teaching award that is given at the Kellogg School of Management. She remains among the youngest faculty members to have ever been nominated.
  • In 2014, Kelly was recognized as one of the "Top 40 Business School Professors Under 40".[9]  She was also described by CNN and Forbes as one of "8 Young B-School Professors on the Rise".[10]
  • Kelly has married, and in early 2015, Kelly gave birth to twins.[citation needed]


  • Kelly is the first contestant to have the same first name as a previous contestant.
  • Kelly was the youngest contestant on Survivor: Africa.
  • Kelly is the only female from Boran to be on the jury.
  • Kelly's luxury items were crochet needles and yarn.
  • Following the show, Kelly was roommates with fellow Africa contestant Kim Powers.
  • Starting with Kelly, every castaway who was on Samburu at some point was voted out until none were left. This included Lex and Big Tom, who were on Samburu post tribe switch.
  • Kelly never pierced any part of her body. This caused a lot of controversy during Final Four Immunity Challenge. The anomaly was the final question (Which female contestant has no piercings?) The official answer, given by Kim Johnson to earn the win, was Kelly Goldsmith. Lex van den Berghe answered the question with Lindsey Richter's name, who, unknown to the producers, also had no piercings.[11]


Survivor: Africa Castaways
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 Kim J.
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 Kim P.
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