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Rory Freeman is a contestant from Survivor: Vanuatu.

As a member of the Fat Five alliance, Rory managed to get to the merge, despite being sent to the Yasur tribe after a tribe swap. However, Rory became the first victim of the gender war at the merge after Twila Tanner and Julie Berry flipped on the Lopevi tribe and turned on the men. As Lea Masters had immunity, the girls targeted Rory instead.


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Rory Freeman was born in Des Moines, Iowa. He has three brothers, Richard, James and Olabanji (OJ), and one sister, Dahomey.

Freeman attended boarding school in Connecticut before graduating from Washington High School in Kansas City. He went on to attend Georgetown University School of Foreign Services, where he studied African government and history. He left college before graduation in order to accept a position as a television reporter for the Nigerian Television Authority. He remained in Nigeria for 18 months prior to returning to the U.S. to work for an inner-city social service agency back in Des Moines. He remained there for seven years as a counselor specializing in substance abuse, mental health evaluations and drug testing. Most of his professional career has been spent working in adult and adolescent corrections and detention centers. He is currently employed by the City of Des Moines as an S8 housing case manager.

Freeman's hobbies include reading, golf, hiking, camping, traveling and attending professional sporting events (he's a huge fan of the Kansas City Chiefs). He collects Negro League Baseball memorabilia and jerseys. He enjoys reggae, Afro-Caribbean, hip-hop and gospel music.

Freeman lives with his wife of six years, Simone, their three-year-old son, Zion, and their two dogs. They are members of Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church. His birth date is October 30, 1968.[1]


After stepping on Vanuatu, everyone but Rory had a spear jabbed in their face by the local tribesmen at the welcoming ceremony. After the ceremony, the tribes were divided by gender. The men's tribe was called Lopevi. On the walk to the new beach, Rory felt that the men should split up to find the camp. The men ignored this and they eventually found the camp site. The men made the camp somewhat comfortable but failed to make fire. Brady Finta viewed Rory as an individualistic person and his personality will hinder the tribe. At the first challenge, Chris Daugherty couldn't cross the balance beam which lead to the Yasur women winning easily. After the challenge, Rory accepted Lea Masters' offer to join his and Chris' alliance. The alliance made Brook Geraghty their first victim. Without fire, camp life was miserable because they were cold and couldn't boil water. At the Reward Challenge, the men lost due to the balance beam. Rory was particularly annoyed because Mia Galeotalanza moon-walked her way to victory. At the Immunity Challenge, Sarge (aka Lea) was chosen to be Lopevi's eyes. At some point, Rory was yelling Lopevi to help the remaining tribe members to find their way back. Sarge had to tell Rory to shut up because it was messing him up. Lopevi won immunity and flint. The tribe quickly made fire and camp was much better.

However, Rory was getting fed with Sarge telling him what to do. The outsiders tried to lobby against Rory. Both tribes had to go to Tribal Council and would compete for tribal reward and Individual Immunity. Lopevi won reward and fishing gear. John Kenney won Individual Immunity and would stay with the women to give one of them immunity. At Tribal Council, the alliance remained loyal and John Palyok got the boot. Rory wasn't disturbed that he received three votes against him. Lopevi lost the next two challenges, costing the men the help of a local bushmen and immunity. The alliance stayed true to each other and Brady was voted out.

The next day, instead of Tree Mail, the tribe got a visit from two local Vanuatu tribesmen. They asked for the chief, Sarge was deemed the chief of the tribe. The tribes headed to the challenge. Before the challenge, a Tribe Switch occurred. Rory was assigned by Scout Cloud Lee to be with Travis Sampson, Eliza Orlins, Leann Slaby, and Ami Cusack to become the new Yasur tribe. Sarge made the other group the new Lopevi, meaning that Bubba and Rory was switch to Yasur. Lisa Keiffer joined Yasur by her own choice. Yasur barely lost the Reward Challenge. At camp, most of the women were very welcoming. Ami was concerned about the women's bond. Yasur lost the next challenge badly, which Rory sat out of. Eliza tried to lobby to campaign for the men, but it was futile. Rory and Bubba prayed before the Tribal Council. At Tribal Council, Ami revealed that had Bubba not tried to give a signal to Chris during the Immunity Challenge, Rory would have been voted out. Rory and Bubba voted against each other to save themselves, but Bubba was the one who got the shaft. At the next Reward Challenge, Yasur lost again. Eliza became emotional because she felt that she cost Yasur the win. Rory felt that he was breaking up the women's alliance. Yasur lost the Immunity Challenge again. Although Rory was the initially target, Ami started to view Lisa as untrustworthy and that gave Rory new life. Rory made a speech, which he viewed as so cheesy, none of the women brought it. At the next Reward Challenge, Lopevi was dumbfounded that they eliminated Lisa instead of Rory. Yasur finally won a challenge, earning them a trip to a coffee with photos and letters from their loved ones. Despite all of the love and bonding, Rory didn't forget where Ami put him in terms of the tribe pecking order. Rory was the one who won immunity for Yasur. Ami asked Rory about his loyalties. He said he can't go back with the men for voting out Bubba. In reality, he was targeting Ami for not eliminating him or befriending him.

The next morning, Rory and Scout was the only ones doing camp chores. Rory was especially annoyed that Ami was acting like a queen and just sitting on her butt. He was also annoyed with Eliza's inability to make fire, despite teaching her repeatedly. Yasur lost the Reward Challenge again. Rory wanted to get off Yasur and rejoin his old tribe. His wish was granted when the tribes merged at the next Immunity Challenge. Rory made it to the final round but lost immunity to Sarge. Rory returned to the men's side and informed them that Ami is running the show. Chris assured Rory that they have Julie Berry and Twila Tanner. Rory wasn't sure because he hadn't interacted with Julie and Twila. This was confirmed because Julie and Twila wanted Rory gone before Ami. Ultimately, Julie and Twila jumped ship to Yasur. Rory became a victim of the gender war as he was voted out in a 6-4 vote.

Voting History

Episode Rory's
Voted Against
1 Brook Brady
2 Lopevi Tribe Immune
3 John P. Brady, John K.,
John P.
4 Brady Brady
5 Travis Travis
6 Lisa Lisa, Scout
7 Yasur Tribe Immune
8 Ami Ami, Eliza, Julie,
Leann, Scout, Twila
Voted Out, Day 21


  • On January 9, 2010, Rory attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party along with all of his Vanuatu cast mates.


  • Rory is the first contestant from Iowa.
    • Fellow Vanuatu contestant, Twila Tanner, was also born in Iowa, but did not live there at the time of filming.
  • Rory accidentally broke the Tribal Immunity Idol while sticking it into the ground.
  • In the season premiere of Vanuatu, when the local tribesman surround the castaways with spears, Rory noted that he was the only one who didn't have a spear pointed at him.
  • Rory was the only male contestant on Vanuatu to be on all three tribes.
  • Rory received votes at every Tribal Council he attended. He also holds the record for the number of straight Tribal Councils attended and receiving votes with 6. 
  • Rory received 14 votes against him during Vanuatu, breaking the former record of most votes cast against someone in a single season of 12, set by Jerri Manthey in The Australian Outback and tied by Lindsey Richter and Clarence Black in Africa.


Survivor: Vanuatu Castaways
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 John P.
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