Survivor Wiki

Sean Thomas Kenniff is a contestant from Survivor: Borneo.

Sean is known for his odd "alphabet strategy", basing his vote from the alphabetical arrangement of his fellow cast members' names, which accidentally helped the Tagi Alliance in eliminating the competition from the rival Pagong tribe. When the intended target Kelly Wiglesworth won immunity at the final five, Sean was voted out for being the alliance outsider.


Retrieved from

The middle child of three, Sean was born in Massapequa, New York. His father worked as a firefighter for New York City while his mother maintained her work as a homemaker. Graduating from Massapequa High School, Sean immediately began his studies the following fall at the State University of New York at Binghamton where he eventually received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology.

While other kids opted for spring break in college, Sean stayed behind to save his money in order to get through medical school. He attained his M.D. through New York Medical College. Upon graduation, he then spent four years with the Long Island Jewish Medical Center (a division of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine), serving his last year as their Chief Resident.

As a neurologist, Sean maintained a private practice that allotted him the privileges to work for the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, the North Shore University Hospital (an affiliate of Cornell University) and St. Francis University Hospital (an affiliate of Columbia University). At age 30, with full intentions of resuming his profession at a later date, he's taken a break to explore other avenues of interest.

An amateur writer, Sean wrote a yet-to-be published psychological thriller which he hopes to someday develop into a television show. He's also written the sequel. He indulges his artistic impulses through sketching and writing poetry. He also finds time for boxing at the Westbury Police Athletic League.

Sean currently lives in Carle Place, New York. His birth date is Nov. 27, 1969.[1]


Sean's claim to fame was initially creating a ridiculously long (not to mention heavy) fishing pole he called "Superpole 2000." His invention became useless when Richard Hatch revealed to be an experienced fisherman, duping Sean in the process. Despite being one of the stronger members of Tagi, he and Dirk Been were often unsuccessful in camp life, and Sean even spent time making a bowling alley much to Sue's annoyance. He was uncomfortable with the voting element of the game, which meant Richard, Rudy Boesch, Susan Hawk, and Kelly Wiglesworth excluded him from their alliance, and they voted out Dirk without him knowing about it.

He became more famous for his "alphabet voting" strategy, in which he cast his votes based on the order of contestants' names in the alphabet. He later claimed that he chose the system as a way to vote off members of the opposing Pagong tribe, whose names were all earlier alphabetically than his own tribe, while appearing to do so in a non-deliberate manner. Sean accidentally eliminated Greg Buis and Jenna Lewis in the game using his strategy. With this, the five Tagi members who entered the merge became the final five. With the intended target, Kelly winning immunity and being the only outsider of the core Tagi alliance, Sean was unanimously eliminated.

As a juror, Sean cast his vote for Richard, believing he was the least objectionable between him and Kelly.

Voting History

Sean's Voting History
Episode Sean's
Voted Against
1 Sonja -
2 Tagi Tribe Immune
3 Stacey -
4 Tagi Tribe Immune
5 Rudy -
6 Tagi Tribe Immune
7 Colleen -
8 Greg -
9 Jenna Kelly
10 Gervase Colleen, Gervase
11 Colleen Colleen, Kelly
12 Susan Kelly, Richard,
Rudy, Susan
Voted Out, Day 36
Voted for
Sole Survivor


  • After appearing on Survivor, he has made acting appearances on Guiding Light and has appeared as a medical correspondent on various news programs.[2]
  • Sean was also a CBS Healthwatch Network Medical Correspondent from 2004-2008. Sean began the Dr. Sean Show in 2009, a weekly Saturday medical call-in show on WFTL 850 AM Radio in South Florida.
  • In 2001, Sean appeared on a Survivor edition of The Weakest Link along with Borneo castaways Richard Hatch, Susan Hawk, Gretchen Cordy, Joel Klug, and Ramona Gray. He was the third voted out. He received a house minimum of $10,000 for his charity.[3]
  • In May 2010, Sean's novel, Être the Cow, was released.[4]


  • Sean's luxury item was a razor.
    • He and The Australian Outback contestant Kel Gleason (who also brought a razor) are the only male contestants to continuously shave their facial hair during their time on the show.
  • Sean is the first contestant from the state of New York.
  • Sean's alphabet strategy was referenced during a challenge in All-Stars, where the castaways were to answer questions about the preceding seven seasons. This left All-Stars contestant Jenna Lewis smirking, being a victim of the strategy herself.
    • Despite his seemingly random way of voting, only three of his ten votes were in the minority.
  • Sean is one of the two non-immune players that were present at the Tribal Council in "The Merger" but didn't receive any votes against them. The other is Kelly Wiglesworth.
  • Sean is the first player to have his loved one visit the camp.
  • Sean is the first person to be voted out of a tribe unanimously.
  • Sean is the first contestant ever to enter the Tribal Council area.
  • Sean is the first Tagi member to be voted out of Rattana.
  • Sean is the only person from Tagi who made the merge that hasn't returned for a future season.
  • Sean is the only male member of Rattana who did not win individual immunity.


Survivor: Borneo Castaways
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