Survivor Wiki
Survivor Wiki

Michael Lawrence "Mike" Gabler is the Sole Survivor of Survivor 43.

Though he struggled to maintain a good position with some of his Baka tribemates pre-merge, Gabler was able to corral a coalition from all three tribes to vote out his rival Elie Scott. From there, he played a low-key game, juggling multiple alliances without ever being targeted by any of them. After winning the fire-making challenge against Jesse Lopez, Gabler delivered a strong case at the Final Tribal Council that emphasized his strategy of hiding in plain sight. His strong social game and ability to flip alliances without being caught ultimately won him the title of Sole Survivor in a 7-1-0 vote.


Retrieved from

Age: 52
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Current Residence: Meridian, Idaho
Occupation: Heart Valve Specialist
Favorite Hobbies: Camping, hunting, fishing, skiing
3 Words to Describe You: Intense, energetic, fun
Pet Peeve(s): Unfairness and men in skinny jeans!
What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? My family. It has not been easy. Life is busy; life is hard. But through hard work, dedication and love, we have stayed together, overcome obstacles and are strong!
What is something we would never know from looking at you? As social as I am, I enjoy time alone. I am also more sensitive than most think.
Who is your hero and why? My father. He's always there for us. He was also a Green Beret and is a patriot.
Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? If I can only pick one, then I'd say Sandra. She was always in the right place at the right time. She had phenomenal strategies and game play.
Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? Yes!![2]


Gabler started the season as a member of Baka, where he was 20 to 30 years older than the rest of his tribemates. Despite this age gap, he was able to form bonds with Sami Layadi, who was the youngest contestant of the season, and Owen Knight, who promised to let him know if his name had come up. This alliance became known as the "Baka Boys." After attending the Day 2 Summit, Gabler received a Hidden Immunity Idol that was valid at his next two Tribal Councils. When his tribe lost the first Immunity Challenge, despite the fact that he admitted he would not play his idol, his relations with the two other men in the tribe as well as Elie Scott helped contribute to Morriah Young being the first person voted out.

In the following days, Gabler's age started to get the better of him, and he started needing to rest for extended periods of time. As a result of this, Elie and her ally Jeanine Zheng went through his bag to confirm how long his idol was valid for, feeling he should be the next to go if their tribe lost once more. In addition, Elie and Jeanine were able to convince Gabler to give her a bead from his bag (with Gabler being unaware of the fact that this would allow Jeanine to activate her Hidden Immunity Idol). Unfortunately for the girls, Sami countered this by explicitly telling Gabler of both the bag search and the true purpose of the bead, causing Gabler to not trust Elie. However, this lack of trust was never tested as Baka would win the remaining Immunity Challenges.

On Day 13, Coco and Vesi moved to the Baka camp, signaling the start of the post-tribal stage of the game. At the Earn the Merge twist later that day, Gabler was placed on the blue team, who won the challenge, earning Gabler a spot at the merge. Gabler began campaigning against Elie due to his lack of trust with her, which led to a heated argument at camp after Elie learned of this and Elie attempting to unite the original Baka tribe. At Tribal Council that night, Gabler got his way as Elie was voted out. As she left, she warned the players not to trust Gabler. The following day, Gabler explained his plan of hiding down below like a "AliGabler" after his big move, and drifting along again. Gabler won the following Immunity Challenge over Cody Assenmacher, Owen, and Dwight Moore. Unfortunately, Gabler was left in the dark that night as Dwight was voted out, with Gabler voting against Ryan Medrano.

In the following challenge, fellow alliance member Owen won individual immunity, and Jeanine became the final woman eliminated from the original Baka tribe, and the first member of the jury. Following this, a Double Elimination twist occurred in which the Gaia tribe was split into two groups of five, with Gabler being part of the red team alongside Ryan, Cody, Jesse, and Cassidy Clark. Despite still being excluded from the majority Coco Alliance, Gabler was able to make a new alliance with Cody and Jesse Lopez, known as the Ride or Die alliance, and they plotted to take power from the Coco Alliance by voting out either Cassidy or Ryan depending on whether or not James Jones was voted off of the blue team. At Tribal Council, the group learned that James had indeed been voted off, causing them to follow through with their plan to vote out Ryan.

At the following Reward Challenge, Noelle Lambert won. However, her likability and the strategic threat that she posed caused Jesse, Cody, and Gabler to view her as the biggest threat to win. When she failed to win immunity the following challenge, they blindsided her to become the fourth member of the jury, though Sami was left out of the vote and was placed on the bottom of the tribe. With Gabler having made connections alliance with everybody left in the game, he was safe at the next Tribal Council, despite three people being immune. Gabler ultimately did not play his Shot in the Dark due to his connections, although Sami did so due to being likely to go. The shot failed, and Sami was eliminated unanimously, becoming the fifth member of the jury.

Down to six players left, Gabler talked with Jesse about his alliance with Cody and how that could lead to their games being viewed as the same as each other. He did the same with Cassidy in regards to Karla, and he explained in a confessional that this was part of his "hiding in plain sight" strategy, making a metaphor to an assassin killing the king. These conversations caused Jesse to contemplate his alliance with Cody, as Cody was the biggest left in the game. At Tribal Council, Jesse played an idol on Owen, which caused Karla to play her own idol in response, with Gabler joining Cassidy, Owen and Jesse in blindsiding Cody.

On Day 24, Owen won immunity despite Karla having an advantage, and Gabler ended up having the second half of his plan succeed, as Jesse used his second idol to be safe, and Karla was then unanimously voted out, a move that caused Karla to have a level of bitterness towards Cassidy, and Gabler escaped the move unscathed once again. On Day 25, Cassidy went on to win Final Immunity Challenge. She chose Gabler to make fire against the frontrunner Jesse, as she felt Gabler would be able to make fire more effectively, admitting she did not feel that this would be enough to win him the game. Gabler defeated Jesse in the firemaking challenge by making a fire in just over four minutes, the fastest ever made on the show, advancing to the Final Tribal Council alongside Cassidy and Owen.

Despite Cassidy and Owen's belief that Gabler had the worst chance at winning the game, Gabler was able to highlight his strategy of hiding in plain sight and using social connections to his advantage, which allowed him to get to the end without a single vote cast against him. His chances were fueled by Owen being on the wrong side of many votes and the jury's distain for Cassidy not giving up immunity to defeat Jesse in fire herself as well as Cassidy attempting to take credit for moves the jury believed she did not make such as the blindside of Ryan. In the end, Gabler was declared the Sole Survivor of Survivor 43 in a 7-1-0 vote against Cassidy and Owen respectively, receiving the votes of everyone on the jury except James. Immediately after his win, Gabler donated the entire million dollar prize to Veterans in Need in honor of his father.

Episode Tribe
Challenge Challenge Type Sit-Out Result
1 Baka Crate Wide Open Reward No Lost
Freedom of Choice Immunity No Lost
2 Serpent Turf Reward/Immunity No 1st
3 Turtle Head Reward/Immunity No 1st
4 Walk Around Reward No Lost
Brain Stew Immunity No 2nd
5 EOC Reward/Immunity Yes 2nd
Tribes Disbanded, Day 12
6 None No Quarter Reward/Immunity No Won
Tribes Merged, Night 13
7 Gaia Eve 6 Immunity Won
8 Over-Extended Immunity No Lost
9 Crocodile Rock Reward/Immunity Shared1
10 Put a Ring on It Reward Lost
Teeter Tower Immunity Lost
11 Last Gasp Immunity Lost
12 Roll With It Reward Lost
Battle of Evermore Immunity Lost
13 Draw the Line Reward/Immunity Lost
Operation Balance Build Immunity Lost
Sole Survivor, Day 26
^1 The challenge was played for team reward and individual immunity, with the last person standing winning reward for their team. Gabler did not win immunity, but was on the team that won the reward.

Episode Gabler's
Voted Against
1 Morriah -
2 Baka Tribe Immune
3 Baka Tribe Immune
4 Baka Tribe Immune
5 Baka Tribe Immune
6 Elie Individual Immunity
7 Ryan Individual Immunity
8 Jeanine -
9 Ryan -
10 Noelle -
11 Sami -
12 Cody -
13 Karla -
Jury Votes
for Gabler
Cody, Jeanine, Jesse,
Karla, Noelle, Ryan, Sami
Sole Survivor, Day 26


  • On December 11, 2023, almost a year since the Survivor 43 finale aired, Gabler announced that he had successfully donated the entire $1,000,000 prize fund to various charities.[3]



Preceded by
Survivor 42
S42 maryanne t
Maryanne Oketch
Sole Survivor Titleholder
Survivor 43
S43 gabler t
Mike Gabler
Succeeded by
Survivor 44
S44 yam yam t
Yam Yam Arocho
Survivor 43 Castaways
S43 cassidy t
S43 cody t
S43 dwight t
S43 elie t
S43 gabler t
S43 geo t
S43 james t
S43 jeanine t
S43 jesse t
S43 justine t
S43 karla t
S43 lindsay t
S43 morriah t
S43 nneka t
S43 noelle t
S43 owen t
S43 ryan t
S43 sami t