Michael "Mike" Zahalsky is a contestant from Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers.
While initially on the outs on the Soko tribe after being caught looking for a Hidden Immunity Idol by Joe Mena on Day 1, Mike managed to salvage his social game come the Tribe Switch. He, along with Cole Medders and Jessica Johnston, would then go on to tie the record for most consecutive challenge wins and successfully reach the merge without attending a single Tribal Council. Again, Mike found himself on the outs, but used his general likability and neurotic behavior to survive the Pagonging of his original tribe and the eventual cannibalism of the majority alliance. At the final five, Mike finally seemed to be in a somewhat comfortable position until Ben Driebergen played a Hidden Immunity Idol for an unprecedented third time in a row, and Devon Pinto cast a stray vote against him, which caused a tie between himself and Devon. At the revote, Mike found himself eliminated 2-1.
Retrieved from CBS.com
Hometown: Parkland, Fla.
Current residence: Parkland, Fla.
Hobbies: Archery, watching Game of Thrones, and fishing.
Pet peeves: Double dipping because I am a germaphobe.
Three words to describe you: Intelligent, enthusiastic, and determined.
Who or what is your inspiration in life? My wife and my children inspire me to be a better version of myself every day.
If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? A photo of my kids because I love them, a deck of cards to play with, and an extra pair of underwear.
Survivor contestant you're most like: Boston Rob—because he was smart and socially strategic.
What's your reason for being on Survivor: To teach my kids to follow their dreams wherever they take you. When opportunity comes knocking, answer the door.
Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor? I've been a fan since Season 1 so I understand how the game has changed. I am smart, I am strategic, and I am social. People will be hugging me as I vote them off.
Mike was placed on the Soko tribe. On Day 1, he attempted to search for the Hidden Immunity Idol, but was caught by Joe Mena. Joe then put a target on Mikes back. Mike appeared to be on the bottom of the tribe although the tribe grew more suspicious of Joe over time. However, the Healers remained in tact as they didn't face Tribal Council during the original tribe phase. He was switched to Yawa after a Tribe Switch where he found an idol with the help of Jessica Johnston, formed a friendship with Ben Driebergen, and grew annoyed with Cole Medders antics. He appeared the be the swing vote between the newer Soko members and his original tribemates, but those developments were left untested as Yawa won the next three challenges.
Mike reached the merge where he regrouped with his fellow Soko tribemates and became a part of the Soko Alliance. However, the former Yawa and Levu members formed a coalition to take out Mike and his allies, leaving Mike in the minority. Mike saw his allies leave one by one, though he remained temporarily safe due to his connections with Lauren and Ben. He tried to use his idol to get Ben out at final 10 but it proved to be an idol wasted. However, at the final 9 the majority alliance began to crack and at that Tribal Council Mike and his last ally Joe were spared as Ben, Lauren Rimmer, Ashley Nolan, and Devon Pinto sided with them and blindsided JP Hilsabeck, though Joe was blindsided at the following Tribal Council leaving Mike as the last former Soko remaining.
Despite being the last outsider remaining, he was not the main target as Ben and Chrissy Hofbeck became bigger threats. He met his wife Bari at the loved ones. When Chrissy won the Loved Ones Challenge she shared the reward with Mike, Ryan Ulrich and Ashley. On Day 33, Lauren gave him her second half of the idol to build trust, but he threw it in the fire at Tribal Council. Mike tried to help the majority in voting out Ben, but his plan was thwarted by Ben's idol plays. On Day 37, Mike along with Chrissy and Devon planned to use her super idol which was powerless to convince Ben that she found the idol which would prevent him from looking for another idol though unaware that Ben already had the real one. At Tribal Council, Chrissy gave the idol to Mike, but Ben shocked everyone by playing the real idol, negating the 3 votes cast against him, resulting in a 1-1 tie between Mike and Devon. In the revote, Mike was voted out in a 2-1 vote.
During the Final Tribal Council, Mike told Ben he played one of the best games in Survivor history, he would be a legend of the game, and asked him to explain why he believed he should win. He voted for Chrissy which allowed her to become the runner up as Ben won the title of Sole Survivor with five votes.
|Mike's Voting History|
| Voted Against|
|1||Soko Tribe Immune|
|2||Soko Tribe Immune|
|3||Soko Tribe Immune|
|4||Yawa Tribe Immune|
|5||Yawa Tribe Immune|
|6||Yawa Tribe Immune|
|10||JP||Ben, JP, Ryan|
|Voted Out, Day 37|
| Voted For|
^1 In Playing with the Devil, the vote ended with a 4-4 tie between Desi and Joe, forcing a revote. Mike did not change his vote on the revote.
^2 In Fear of the Unknown, Mike used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating 2 votes against him.
^3 In Buy One, Get One Free, Ryan used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating Mike's vote against him.
^4 In Not Going to Roll Over and Die, Ben used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating Mike's vote against him.
^5 In Million Dollar Night, Ben used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating Mike's vote against him. Also, the vote ended with a 1-1-0 tie between Mike and Devon, forcing a revote. Chrissy and Ryan changed their votes to Mike on the revote, eliminating him from the game.
- On February 14, 2018, Mike was one of the doctors who imminently rushed to the scene to help shooting victims after the Florida School Shooting incident.
- Mike is the oldest member of the original Soko tribe and the oldest male to compete on Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers.
- Mike, along with Cole Medders and Jessica Johnston, are the first contestants to win every pre-merge challenge.
- Mike is the highest-ranking member of the original Soko tribe.
- Mike lost 17 lbs. during his time on Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers.
|Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers Castaways|