Richard "Rick" Nelson is a contestant from Survivor: South Pacific.

A loyal member of The Family alliance, Rick seemed likely to make it to the Final Tribal Council. With Ozzy Lusth returning from Redemption Island and winning immunity, however, his allies targeted him instead and with their majority vote, blindsided him.


Retrieved from

Name (Age): Rick Nelson (51)
Tribe designation: Upolu
Current residence: Aurora, Utah
Occupation: Rancher
Personal claim to fame: My family and my ranch.
Inspiration in life: My grandfather. He built a very large ranch with his own determination and sheer willpower.
Hobbies: Team sorting, hunting, riding and playing on my horse.
Pet peeves: Quitters and lazy people who don't keep their word.
3 words to describe you: Outgoing, strong-willed and self-motivated.
Survivor contestant you are most like: J.T. He played a great game and won. He is country, strong-willed, a great competitor, good to get along with, not a quitter and true to his word in the end. I'd like to think if you put 15 years on him, he would mirror me - except I'm better.
Reason for being on Survivor: It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to prove that you can survive with next to nothing for 39 days and be one of 23 people in the world to be named "Sole Survivor." (And a million dollars would be nice).
Why you think you'll "survive" Survivor: I'm used to living out in the elements on a daily basis. I'm a hard worker. I can build a fire, shelter and I can hunt and fish. I'm easy to get along with, always have a positive attitude and a lifetime of little tricks to make life nicer while camping in the dirt.
Why you think you will be the Sole Survivor: After applying 14 times, I am driven and very determined to win the game. I will stop at nothing![1]


Rick was initially placed on the Upolu tribe where he was among the first people who vocally confirmed that he was not a fan of returning player Coach Wade. Upon Coach being added to the Upolu tribe, however, Rick agreed to an alliance with Coach, Albert Destrade, Brandon Hantz, and Sophie Clarke on Night 1. With a five-person majority, the alliance, dubbed "The Family", quickly took over the Upolu tribe.

Rick's game started relatively quietly with most of the attention received by his alliance being directed toward the bigger personalities of Brandon and Coach, and with the alliance's main enemies Christine Shields Markoski and Stacey Powell being successfully voted out. However, Rick found himself as the swing vote in when Upolu lost immunity on Day 16. The tribe was split between targeting Edna Ma or Mikayla Wingle; Edna was targeted by Albert and Sophie for her lack of strength, while Brandon and Coach targeted Mikayla since Edna was more likely to stay loyal to the core alliance. At Tribal Council, Rick cast the deciding vote against Mikayla, sending her to Redemption Island, where she would lose to Christine.

When the tribes merged into the Te Tuna tribe on Day 19, the tribe was evenly split between the original Upolu (consisting of the entire Family alliance, along with Edna) and the rival Savaii tribe. At the tribe's first Tribal Council, the Savaii Alliance targeted Rick for being the least likely to have a Hidden Immunity Idol. However, the vote still ended up being tied 6-6 between Rick and The Family's target, Savaii powerhouse Keith Tollefson. In the subsequent revote, Savaii outsider John Cochran flipped his vote towards Keith, sending Keith to Redemption Island and giving The Family the majority. In the coming days, Rick and his alliance managed to eliminate the rest of the loyal Savaii members, followed by The Family's affiliates Cochran and Edna. Cochran, in particular, attempted to drive a wedge between The Family by trying to persuade Albert, Coach, and Edna to vote Rick out, claiming that Rick did not like Albert, but was unsuccessful.

At this point, with no common enemy left, the tight alliance of five was forced to target each other. Rick was not seen as an immediate target, in fact appearing to be in almost everyone's Final Three plans. When Brandon won immunity on Day 35, he was persuaded to give it to Albert. This move shocked the rest of the alliance, who knew it was a foolish move, and took the opportunity to vote out Brandon, who was sent to Redemption Island to hopefully defeat Ozzy Lusth. The following day, Brandon was unsuccessful and Ozzy returned to the game. After Ozzy won the next Immunity Challenge, Rick was targeted since he was not seen as helpful in the campaign to beat and eliminate Ozzy. Despite this, Rick hoped that since Sophie was a threat to win, others would realize that and vote her out. With only Ozzy voting with him, Rick was voted out 3-2 and when Coach attempted to hug Rick when he was getting his torch, Rick angrily told him to sit down. At this point, Redemption Island was no longer in play so Rick immediately became the 8th member of the jury.

At the Final Tribal Council, Rick voted for Coach to win, admiring his gameplay throughout the season and ironically becoming a fan of him, despite initially disliking him. Coach, however, finished as the runner-up, losing to Sophie in a 6-3-0 vote.

Voting History

Rick's Voting History
Episode Rick's
Voted Against
1 Upolu Tribe Immune
2 Stacey -
3 Upolu Tribe Immune
4 Stacey -
5 Upolu Tribe Immune
6 Mikayla -
7 Upolu Tribe Immune
8 Keith;
Cochran, Dawn, Jim,
Keith, Ozzy, Whitney;
Dawn, Jim,
Ozzy, Whitney1
9 Ozzy -
Jim -
10 Dawn -
Whitney -
12 Cochran Cochran, Edna
13 Edna -
14 Brandon -
15 Sophie Albert, Coach, Sophie
Voted Out, Day 37
Voted for
Sole Survivor

^1 In "Double Agent", the vote ended with a 6-6 tie between Rick and Keith, forcing a revote. On the revote, Rick did not receive enough votes to send him to Redemption Island.



  • Rick is the oldest contestant on South Pacific.
  • Rick had applied 14 times before getting cast on South Pacific.[3]
  • Rick is the second person to win the Sears competition for a chance to be a Survivor contestant, the first being Jimmy Tarantino in Nicaragua.
  • Rick lost 23 lbs. during his time on South Pacific.[4]


Survivor: South Pacific Castaways
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