Mike Chiesl is a contestant from Survivor: Redemption Island.

Mike started off as part of the Zapatera Six, which he used to reach the merge. There, he found the alliance in the minority, and overthrown by the Stealth R Us alliance. His physical abilities led to him being their second casualty, and although he was able to remain in the game through Redemption Island, he had to defeat his fellow alliance members along the way. He would eventually be eliminated at the final duel, placing 6th.


Retrieved from CBS.com

Name (Age): Mike Chiesl (31)
Tribe Designation: Zapatera
Current Residence: Del Mar, Calif.
Occupation: Iraq War Veteran
Personal Claim to Fame: Bringing all my Marines home after my first deployment to Iraq.
Inspiration in Life: My grandfather. He was a B-17 Navigator during World War II and spent two years in a POW Camp.
Hobbies: Scuba-diving, football and golf.
Pet Peeves: Selfishness and laziness.
3 Words to Describe You: Determined, disciplined and outgoing/outspoken.
Survivor Contestant You Are Most Like: Rudy. Nobody was intimidated by him, so he wasn't voted out early and he had the ability to tough it out.
Reason for being on Survivor: Winning the competition and earning the million dollar prize.
Why you think you'll survive Survivor: The mental toughness I've developed from serving in the Marines and playing college football at the US Naval Academy.
Why you think you will be the Sole Survivor: I like to think outside of the box, and I am socially aware and strong athletically.[1]


Mike, in the beginning of the game, was part of the majority Zapatera Alliance along with David, Sarita, Ralph, Steve, and Julie, who all had the common goal of eliminating Russell the first chance they got. After having won the first two Immunity Challenges, Mike and the others agreed that it was time for Russell to go, and Mike himself stated that "There's some fat on this tribe that we need to trim." After throwing the third Immunity Challenge, Mike went with the split vote plan, which got Russell voted off on Day 8. Mike felt it important to win the next Immunity Challenge to avoid karma, and that's what happened. But unfortunately after that, Zapatera would lose the next 3 Immunity Challenges. Mike's alliance stayed strong to vote off Kritsa, but then after that some division became apparent between David and Sarita which made Mike unsure at first on whether to vote off Stephanie or Sarita, but in the end he voted for Stephanie for being untrustworthy and being the last remaining member of Russell's alliance. At the next Tribal Council, Mike, Julie, Steve, and Ralph were stuck between David and Sarita, and they voted off Sarita (except for Ralph) for being weaker.

When teams merged, Mike tried to get Andrea and Matt to flip over to Zapatera. Mike barely lost the first Immunity Challenge to Natalie and felt like he was a target. So Ralph used his Hidden Immunity Idol on Mike, but Boston Rob's plan was to blindside his ally Matt, wasting the Idol and Matt was voted out in a 6-5-1. Mike would be voted off at the next Tribal Council by a vote of 6-5.

Mike would stay on Redemption Island for 2 weeks, outlasting former Zapatera tribe members David, Julie, and Steve. In the duel following Steve's elimination, Mike had to chose between having the Redemption Island inhabitants (himself, Ralph, and Matt) spend time with their loved ones or the players still in the game (Rob, Phillip, Grant, Ashley, Natalie, and Andrea) spend time with their loved ones, and Mike decided to give the most to the most people in letting the final 6 in the main game spend time with their loved ones. Matt was a bit bummed but felt like it was the right thing to do, but Ralph said that Mike made a dumb move. Jeff stated that if Mike were to return, he would benefit a lot from that decision. Ralph would be eliminated in the next duel, making Mike the last Zapatera member left in the game and the only one to make the finale. In the final duel between him, Grant, Matt, and Andrea, Mike lost out to Andrea in the end, finishing the game in 6th place and becoming the 7th member of the jury.

At Final Tribal Council, Mike voted for Boston Rob to win.

Voting History

Mike's Voting History
Episode Mike's
Voted Against
1 Zapatera Tribe Immune
2 Zapatera Tribe Immune
3 Russell;
4 Zapatera Tribe Immune
5 Krista -
6 Stephanie -
7 Sarita -
8 Grant -2
9 Phillip Andrea, Ashley, Grant,
Natalie, Phillip, Rob
Voted Out, Day 22
10 On Redemption Island
Eliminated, Day 36
Voted for
Sole Survivor

^1 In "Keep Hope Alive", the vote ended with a 3-3-3 tie between Ralph, Russell, and Stephanie, forcing a revote. Mike did not change his vote on the revote.
^2 In "This Game Respects Big Moves", Ralph used a Hidden Immunity Idol on Mike, but did not negate any votes against him.


  • Mike and his wife Molly have two children.[2]


  • Mike is the youngest male member of Zapatera.
  • Mike is the only member of Zapatera to make the merge without sitting out for any challenge. The other four Zapateras who made it to the merge sat out for at least one challenge.
  • Mike's 31st birthday was on Day 31 of Redemption Island.
  • Mike is the highest-placing Zapatera member from Redemption Island.
  • Mike is the only member of Zapatera to outlast more than two Ometepe members after the merge.
  • Mike lost 27 lbs. during his time on Redemption Island.[3]


Survivor: Redemption Island Castaways
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