Mike Chiesl is a contestant from Survivor: Redemption Island.
Mike was initially part of the Zapatera Six alliance, which allowed him to reach the merge. There, he found the alliance in the minority, and overthrown by the opposing 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.
Mike was initially placed on the Zapatera tribe, and was not pleased to learn that returning players Rob Mariano and Russell Hantz would also be playing, especially after Russell became a member of Zapatera. He, along with David Murphy, Julie Wolfe, Ralph Kiser, Sarita White, and Steve Wright, formed a six-person alliance with the common goal of eliminating Russell the first chance they got. After having won the first two Immunity Challenges, the Zapatera Six agreed that it was time for Russell to go, with Mike saying that "There's some fat on this tribe that we need to trim." After throwing the third Immunity Challenge, Mike went his alliance's plan to split their votes between Russell and his ally Stephanie Valencia in case Russell had a Hidden Immunity Idol. At Tribal Council, their plan was successful and Russell was sent to Redemption Island.
Although Zapatera won the next Immunity Challenge, they would critically lose the next three after that. Mike's alliance stayed strong to vote out Russell's other ally Krista Klumpp, though the next vote exposed some division within their alliance, particularly between David and Sarita, which made Mike unsure on whether to vote Sarita or Stephanie, though he ultimately joined the majority in voting out Stephanie for being untrustworthy and being the last remaining member of Russell's Zapatera Alliance. At the tribe's fourth Tribal Council, the Zapatera Six were forced to turn on each other as there were no more outsiders remaining. The division between David and Sarita lingered, and the tribe chose to eliminate Sarita for being the weaker of the two.
When the tribes merged into the Murlonio tribe on Day 19, the Zapatera contingent found themselves in a 7-5 minority to the original Ometepe tribe. Mike tried to get Ometepe outsiders Andrea Boehlke and Matt Elrod to flip over to Zapatera. Mike barely lost the first individual Immunity Challenge to Natalie Tenerelli and felt like he was a target. With Andrea and Matt refusing to commit to Zapatera, Ralph used his Hidden Immunity Idol on Mike, but the Stealth R Us alliance, led by Rob, decided to blindside Matt, wasting Ralph's idol and sending Matt back to Redemption Island. After Grant Mattos won the next Immunity Challenge, Mike and his allies tried to get Phillip Sheppard to flip on the Stealth R Us alliance, telling him that he was the lowest on their pecking order. Phillip, however, refused to budge, joining his alliance in sending Mike to Redemption Island.
Mike would stay on Redemption Island for the until Day 36, outlasting his former allies David, Julie, and Steve, who had all been systematically eliminated after him. After finishing the duel on Day 31 in first place, Mike had to choose between having the Redemption Island inhabitants (himself, Matt, and Ralph) spend time with their loved ones or allowing the remaining members of Murlonio to spend time with their loved ones instead. Mike decided to give the most to the most people, choosing to let the members of Murlonio spend time with their loved ones. Matt was a bit bummed, but felt like it was the right thing to do, but Ralph felt that Mike made a dumb move. Host Jeff Probst stated that if Mike were to return to the game, he would benefit a lot from that decision. Ralph would be eliminated in the next duel, leaving Mike as the last Zapatera member standing. In the final duel between him, Andrea, Grant, and Matt on Day 36 to determine who would re-enter the game, Mike ultimately lost out to Andrea, finishing the game in 6th place and becoming the 7th member of the jury.
At the Final Tribal Council, Mike voted for Rob to win over Phillip and Natalie, giving him the win in an 8-1-0 vote.
|Mike's Voting History|
|1||Zapatera Tribe Immune|
|2||Zapatera Tribe Immune|
|4||Zapatera Tribe Immune|
|9||Phillip||Andrea, Ashley, Grant,|
Natalie, Phillip, Rob
|Voted Out, Day 22|
|10||On Redemption Island|
|Eliminated, Day 36|
^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 currently have three children. Mike is now a part of Sentry Residential, a veteran focused real estate company.
- Mike is the youngest male member of Zapatera.
- Mike is the only member of Zapatera to make the merge without sitting out of any challenge. The other four members 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.
- Mike and his wife, Molly, were invited to compete on Blood vs. Water, but were unable to do so as she was pregnant at the time.
- Ross, Dalton (August 27, 2020). "Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire: Mike Chiesl regrets throwing a challenge on Redemption Island". Reality TV World. https://ew.com/tv/survivor-redemption-island-mike-chiesl-quarantine-questionnaire/. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
|Survivor: Redemption Island Castaways|