Survivor Wiki
Survivor Wiki

Kenneth "Ken" Cole McNickle[2] is a contestant from Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X.

A mostly reserved and quiet contestant, Ken was on the outs on the original Takali tribe with the exception of fellow outsider David Wright. After David saved Jessica Lewis from an early blindside, the three grew to what would eventually become the most prevalent post-merge alliance. Ken proved himself to be a hard worker around camp, becoming the main provider for the tribe, as well as a strong physical competitor, winning four individual Immunity Challenges. Ken eventually blindsided his ally David at the penultimate Tribal Council, fearing that he was too big of a threat to win. Ultimately, Ken's gameplay was viewed by the jury as undesirably conservative, earning him no votes at the Final Tribal Council.


Retrieved from

Name: Ken McNickle
Age: 33
Current residence: Denver, CO
Occupation: Model
Tribe designation: Takali (Gen-X)
Three words to describe you: Driven, mindful, and perceptive.
Hobbies: Anything outdoors (i.e. hiking, camping and fishing), playing and watching music, and dancing.
Pet peeves: Superficial connections and communication.
What does it mean to be a Gen-Xer? It's a generation of hard workers who were on the cusp of some incredible social, political and technological shifts. We are competent and capable in the "new world" yet are happy outside, while disconnected from our devices.
Personal claim to fame: The development of my non-profit, HumaneKind.
Inspiration in life: I admire the Dalai Lama's compassion, wisdom with forgiveness, and willingness to give of himself.
If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? A ukulele to play and sing with; a good book because I love inspiring literature; and a frisbee because no one is ever down throwing one around.
Survivor contestant you're most like: Ozzy Lusth (Cook Islands, Micronesia, South Pacific) because of his easy temperament, his fierce competitiveness, his resourcefulness, and knowledge of how to survive in the wild. Also, he seems idealistic and optimistic, in general.
Reason for being on Survivor: To win! To show my daughter my strengths and what it looks like to fight for something.
Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor? I have the outdoor skills and physical attributes to be an asset to those around me, and I understand and read people well enough to know where to position myself.[3]


Despite being the youngest member of the Gen-X tribe, Ken seemed to agree more with the Gen-X lifestyle. However, his slow-trust-building approach to the game apparently prevented him from being included in the majority alliance. His strengths in challenges and camp life kept the target firmly on the other outsiders, but Ken still aligned with David Wright and CeCe Taylor to have some degree of power. He had a mostly one-sided on his part rivalry with Paul Wachter, and heavily pushed to vote him out. When he succeeded, he unfortunately uncovered a new Gen-X "dictator" in Lucy Huang. Ken tried to convince Jessica Lewis to join his alliance in voting out Lucy, but Jessica did not trust him. Despite his conflict with Lucy, he did not vote against her, but his allies David and CeCe succeeded in ousting her when David played his idol on Jessica. After Tribal Council, Jessica showed Ken the Legacy Advantage and promised to give it to him if she's voted out. Ken and Jessica would then work together the rest of the game, voting out Figgy Figueroa after the tribe switch and working together in the majority alliance post-merge until Jessica drew the black rock in a tiebreaker and was eliminated. Because she was close with him, she willed the Legacy Advantage to Ken.

In the final nine days of the game, Ken emerged from the background and made some moves on occasion, but was still overshadowed by his more strategic allies David, Adam Klein, and Hannah Shapiro. Ken nearly blew up his alliance's game by "testing" Will Wahl on Day 33, which only infuriated Will and nearly made him flip back to his original alliance. On Day 36, Ken activated his Legacy Advantage which gave him immunity and negated a vote against him from Jay Starrett. On Day 37, faced with the decision to vote out either Bret LaBelle or David, Ken stayed loyal to David. Concerned with the fallout if she were to blindside David and leave Ken in the game without him, Hannah voted with David and Ken against Bret. On Day 38, Adam and Hannah both tried to convince Ken to turn on David to have any shot at winning the game. Ken surprised everyone, especially the jury, by voting against David.

At the Final Tribal Council, Ken was castigated for not turning on David until the last vote, and Jessica criticized him for preaching honor and integrity only for him to betray his closest ally David. He became the co-runner-up of the season along with Hannah, losing to Adam in a unanimous 10-0-0 vote.

Voting History

Ken's Voting History
Episode Ken's
Voted Against
1 Rachel -
2 Takali Tribe Immune
3 Paul -
4 Jessica1 -
5 Takali Tribe Immune
6 Figgy Figgy, Taylor
7 Takali Tribe Immune
8 Michelle -
9 Taylor Individual Immunity
10 Chris -
11 Zeke -
12 Will -
Sunday Individual Immunity
13 Jay Jay3
Bret Individual Immunity
David Individual Immunity
Jury Votes
for Ken
Co-Runner-Up, Day 39

^1 In "Who's the Sucker at the Table?", David used a Hidden Immunity Idol on Jessica, negating Ken's vote against her.
^2 In "Million Dollar Gamble", David used a Hidden Immunity Idol on Ken, but did not negate any votes against him. Also, the vote ended with a 5-5 tie between Hannah and Zeke, forcing a revote. Ken did not change his vote on the revote.
^3 In "I'm Going for a Million Bucks", Ken used the Legacy Advantage, negating 1 vote against him.


  • Ken was featured on the cover of Tessa Dare's novel The Duchess Deal - Girl Meets Duke, which was released on August 29, 2017.[4]


  • Ken is the youngest member of the original Takali tribe.
  • Ken is the highest-placing member of Takali.
  • Ken is the first person to use the Legacy Advantage.
  • Ken is the first and only person from an "older" tribe to reach the Final Tribal Council.


Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X Castaways
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