Pagonging is a fan-made term used to describe a post-merge strategy in which one tribe systematically eliminates members of the rival tribe one at a time. The term was coined in reference to the Tagi Alliance's elimination of all members of the Pagong tribe in Survivor: Borneo.
The term applies to situations in which one tribe or alliance purposefully eliminates the other in rapid succession. It does not refer to situations where all members of one tribe or alliance happened to be voted out one after the other due to plain coincidence.
This is similar to, but not the same as, Ulonging where a tribe is decimated before the merge, not after.
In The Australian Outback, the Ogakor Alliance began pagonging the Kucha members after Jeff Varner lost the tiebreaker. The pagonging was interrupted by the eliminations of Ogakor members Jerri Manthey and Amber Brkich. However, the alliance completed the pagonging by voting out the last remaining members of the Kucha Alliance, Rodger Bingham and Elisabeth Filarski.
In Marquesas, after Rob Mariano was voted out at the final ten, there were five remaining contestants who had been on the Maraamu tribe at some point in the game, and four who had only been on Rotu. The so-called Outsiders Alliance turned on the previous majority Rotu Four and voted them in succession until only the "outsiders" were left.
In All-Stars, the post-absorption (pre-switch) Mogo Mogo Alliance was pagonged by the Chapera Alliance. The last standing Mogo Mogo, Shii Ann Huang, managed to outlast one Chapera member by winning immunity before being voted out herself.
In Guatemala, the post-switch Nakúm Alliance had a significant 6-4 numbers advantage entering the merge, over the less successful opposite tribe's Yaxhá Alliance, whose members were largely eliminated in succession, with the exception of Danni Boatwright, who won immunity as the last Yaxhá standing and ultimately won the season.
In Panama, the post-dissolve La Mina Alliance was pagonged by the Casaya Alliance. The last standing La Mina, Terry Deitz, won five consecutive immunities and possessed the Hidden Immunity Idol, but was voted out by Danielle DiLorenzo the next time he was vulnerable.
In Cook Islands, the minority four-person Aitu Four alliance managed to systematically eliminate all members of the five-person Rarotonga tribe after the merge, with the help of Jonathan Penner who reneged on the Raro Alliance. Once Jonathan's vote was no longer necessary, the Aitu Four voted him out, followed by the last remaining Rarotonga members.
In China, the Zhan Hu Alliance was pagonged by the Fei Long Alliance, though the pagonging was temporarily halted at the final nine for a blindside of Jean-Robert Bellande, and for James Clement at the final seven. Following their eliminations, the remaining Fei Long members still held the majority and completed the pagonging.
In Gabon, the once-dominant Onion Alliance was pagonged by the Fang Alliance after the second swap. However, due to the last standing Kota Bob Crowley winning three consecutive Immunity Challenges and Sugar Kiper turning on the alliance, Bob managed to overcome the pagonging and advance to the Final Three, and won in a 4-3-0 vote.
The minority Foa Foa Four alliance of Samoa managed to overcome an 8-4 numbers disadvantage to pagong the entire Galu tribe, thanks to a strategic use of a Hidden Immunity Idol and their exploitation of the distrust within Galu. The pagonging was briefly halted when Brett Clouser won immunity at the final five, forcing the Foa Foa Four to eliminate Jaison Robinson. However, Brett was eliminated at the next Tribal Council to complete the pagonging.
In Heroes vs. Villains, the tribes merged with five Heroes and five Villains. After J.T. Thomas, a member of the Heroes Alliance, was eliminated, the Villains Alliance gained a 5-4 majority which they never relinquished. There was one blindside in the middle of the pagonging, at the final seven, when Jerri Manthey and Russell Hantz temporarily teamed up with the remaining Heroes to vote out Danielle DiLorenzo for her closeness with fellow Villains tribemate Parvati Shallow.
In Redemption Island, the dominant Stealth R Us alliance eliminated the remaining members of the Zapatera Six after first booting swing vote Matt Elrod. The Redemption Island twist allowed Mike Chiesl to outlast two former Ometepe members, but he fell short of returning to the game.
South Pacific saw a 6-6 tribal split at the merge. To avoid picking rocks, John Cochran flipped to vote with The Family, allowing the Upolu alliance to pagong the remaining members of the Savaii Alliance, including Cochran. Redemption Island allowed Ozzy Lusth to re-enter the game at the final five and outlast three members of Upolu (plus Cochran), but after failing to win the Final Immunity Challenge, he was permanently eliminated.
In One World, the Salani Alliance gained control of the merged Tikiano tribe, eliminating every original Manono castaway one-by-one. The complete pagonging stopped one vote short when alliance member Kat Edorsson was unanimously blindsided at the final seven. However, the last remaining Manono, Tarzan Smith, was eliminated at the next Tribal Council. Both Alicia Rosa and Christina Cha, who were on Manono post Tribe Switch, were also eliminated, as the remaining post-Switch Salani members continued to pagong Manono.
In Blood vs. Water, after the Singles Alliance had to turn on each other, the original Galang tribe picked off the original Tadhana tribe when Ciera Eastin flipped against them and voted with Galang to vote out Caleb Bankston. Ciera flipped back to Tadhana and forced a rock draw, but it did not work out in her favor and sent alliance member Katie Collins home, allowing Galang to pick off the remaining Tadhana members (including Ciera) until they reached the Final Tribal Council.
Worlds Apart initially witnessed a 6-6 post tribe swap split at the merge. However, two members of the opposing tribes flipped back to their original alliances and the Escameca Alliance formed a 7-4 majority after Carolyn Rivera and Will Sims II flipped with Tyler Fredrickson. The Nagarote Alliance managed to use Jenn Brown's idol to blindside Kelly Remington, but afterwards, every member of the alliance, including affiliate Shirin Oskooi, was pagonged.
In Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, after the original Soko tribe came into the merge with five members as opposed to Levu's four and Yawa's three, both the Levu and Yawa tribe members formed The Round Table alliance with a 7-5 majority in order to eliminate all of the members of the Soko Alliance. The pagonging was halted at the final nine when four members of the majority alliance formed their own coalition, which targeted the other members of the now-minority alliance. The last Soko member, Mike Zahalsky, was voted out at the final five.
Other Consecutive Eliminations
Though not truly pagongings, there have been a few other miscellaneous cases where a tribe was voted out consecutively.
In Tocantins, the Timbira tribe entered the first post-merge Tribal Council with a 6-3 lead over rival Jalapao after Joe Dowdle's evacuation. Despite this numbers advantage, the next five people voted out were all from Timbira, with only Erinn Lobdell reaching the final four. Erinn ultimately finished in third place.
In Caramoan, the entire post-switch Gota tribe finished in consecutive spots. Malcolm Freberg through Eddie Fox finished ninth through fourth, and the final member Sherri Biethman finished joint-second with post-switch Bikal member Dawn Meehan.
In Cagayan, the final four members of the original Solana tribe (the "Beauties") finished in consecutive spots, starting with Morgan McLeod in tenth and ending with Jefra Bland in seventh, despite LJ and Jefra being in the rival alliance of Morgan and Jeremiah at the merge.
In San Juan del Sur, the post-switch Hunahpu tribe entered the merge with a 7-5 majority over rival Coyopa, but the first six people eliminated after the merge (including one quitter) were from post-switch Hunahpu. The last member standing, Natalie Anderson, won immunity at the final six and would ultimately become the Sole Survivor.
In Millennials vs. Gen X, the post-switch Ikabula tribe had a 5-2-1 majority over Takali and Vanua respectively at the final eight, but the next four people voted out were all from Ikabula. The last member standing, Hannah Shapiro, finished joint-second.
In Ghost Island, the first-switch Malolo tribe had a 6-5 majority over rival Naviti at the final eleven, but were then voted out consecutively, starting with Desiree Afuye in eleventh and ending with Sebastian Noel in sixth. Two of these six, Jenna Bowman and Michael Yerger, were part of the original Malolo tribe, and were both voted out at the Double Elimination in an attempted pagonging of original Malolo.
- The term "pagonging" came from Borneo when Tagi started eliminating members of the rival tribe, Pagong.
- Shii Ann Huang was the first contestant to have used the term, during a confessional in "A Chapera Surprise" of All-Stars.
- Candice Woodcock is the first, and so far only castaway to fall victim to Pagonging twice in two different seasons.