Sonja Eve Christopher is a contestant from Survivor: Borneo.

Despite being well-liked by her tribemates, her continuous stumbling in the first Immunity Challenge caused Tagi to lose. At the first Tribal Council, Sonja was voted out after being viewed as the tribe's weakest member. She has the distinction of being the first person ever voted out in the American Survivor franchise.


Retrieved from

Sonja was born and raised in Olympia, Washington. Her studies at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, the University of Oslo in Norway, the University of Washington in Seattle and the University of California, Berkeley, produced a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, along with a teaching credential.

Before retiring, Sonja worked as an investment counselor, tennis teacher and elementary school teacher. She currently works part-time as a music therapist, playing the banjo as she leads sing-alongs at Alzheimer's centers. She also enjoys performing in local community theater. Her favorite sport is swimming, although it used to be tennis, which she played competitively for a number of years. She also enjoys playing Bridge.

In December 1997, Sonja was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. She underwent pre-surgical chemotherapy, followed by lumpectomy and radiation and has resumed a full, healthy life.

Sonja describes herself as courageous, open and fun-loving. In describing her perfect day, Sonja would wake up feeling good and counting her blessings. She would enjoy a cup of coffee while reading the paper before heading out to exercise (walk, bike, swimming or yoga). Afterwards, she would connect with a friend by phone or over lunch before or after performing at a nursing home. At some point in her day, she would discover a new interest, "be there" for someone in need, have a new idea or fix something around the house and find that all the desk work which requires a good deal of her time would miraculously get done by itself. Capping off her perfect day would be an evening at the theatre or movies with a dear friend, after which she would crawl into bed with a good book.

Sonja currently resides in Walnut Creek, California, about 45 minutes from her son, Dan. She is on the Board of Directors at her the Unitarian Universalist Church and was instrumental as a fundraiser in the building of the Regional Center for the Arts. She is also is a member of the Diable Light Opera Company and Contra Costa Musical Theatre, and also participates in local video and computer clubs. Her birth date is Jan. 28, 1937.[1]


Sonja was placed on the Tagi tribe at the beginning. To bring up tribe spirits, she played a solo on her ukulele which Richard Hatch enjoyed. Although she was well-liked by all of her tribemates, as well as being very popular within the tribe, she continuously stumbled in the Day 3 Immunity Challenge, causing her tribe to lose.

Sonja received some minor injuries during the Immunity Challenge which Sean Kenniff, a doctor, tended to. At the very first Tribal Council of Survivor, she made history by being the first person voted out of Survivor in a 4-3-1 vote, as she was viewed as the weakest member of the tribe.

Voting History

Sonja's Voting History
Episode Sonja's
Voted Against
1 Rudy Dirk, Rudy,
Sean, Susan
Voted Out, Day 3


  • Sonja used her $2,500 consolation prize into a cache large enough to finance the expansion of a Walnut Creek church. Seven years after the show, Sonja's funds raised to more than a million dollars.[2]
  • Sonja appeared in an episode of the medical crime drama TV series Diagnosis: Murder.[3]
  • On January 9, 2010, Sonja attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party.
  • In 2019, Sonja and a few other Survivor: Borneo pre-jury castaways met up in Clarksville.[4]


  • Sonja's luxury item was a ukulele.
  • Sonja, Kelly Wiglesworth, and Stacey Stillman are the first contestants from California.
  • Sonja is the first lesbian Survivor contestant.
  • Sonja is the oldest woman to play Survivor.
    • Sonja is one of two women over the age of 60 years old to play Survivor. The other is Gillian Larson in Gabon.
  • Sonja and B.B. Andersen are the only castaways to be born in the 1930s.
  • Sonja is the first ever Survivor contestant to be voted out.
    • She also is the first Survivor contestant to receive a vote against them (from Susan Hawk).
    • Sonja is tied with Jim Lynch for being the oldest first boot of a season.
  • Sonja won $2,500 for her time on Borneo.
  • After the death of Rudy Boesch in 2019, Sonja is currently the oldest living contestant.


Survivor: Borneo Castaways
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