Stephenie LaGrossa is a contestant from Survivor: Palau, Survivor: Guatemala, and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains.

Regarded as one of the strongest women to ever play the game, Stephenie would soon suffer at the hands of the ill-fated Ulong tribe, where she would become the sole surviving member of her team and be subsequently absorbed by the rival Koror tribe. Her determination and willpower were seen as too threatening and she was quickly taken out.

Returning for the second time in Guatemala, Stephenie took a more strategically aggressive approach to the game, being more deceptive and ruthless, earning the ire of her allies. Her cutthroat gameplay caused her to lose to Danni Boatwright in a 6-1 vote.

Despite her villainy in her second outing, she was still primarily remembered for her participation in Palau, landing her a spot on the Heroes tribe in Heroes vs. Villains. However, she was relegated to the bottom early on. This, combined with her heated rivalry with James Clement, led to her being the second person voted out.

Profile

Retrieved from CBS.com

One of five siblings born to Stephen and Marguerite, Stephenie LaGrossa is the youngest and only girl of the family to grow up in Briarcliff, Glenolden, a suburb of Philadelphia. She graduated from Archbishop Prendergast High School, where she played varsity lacrosse, field hockey and swimming. After graduating, she attended Temple University in Philadelphia before transferring to Monmouth University in Long Branch, New Jersey. She played Division One Lacrosse at both universities and was a four-year starter. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with concentrations in marketing and management. She currently works as a territory sales representative for a pharmaceutical sales company and bartends part-time. LaGrossa enjoys yoga, Pilates, water sports and going to the beach. She describes herself as relentless, persuasive, extremely competitive, dramatic and friendly. She is most proud of being offered athletic and academic scholarships to two different universities and purchasing her own home when she was 23 years old. An avid lacrosse player in college, LaGrossa won many awards signifying her outstanding athleticism and leadership. At Monmouth University, she was the team captain her senior year, made the NEC Academic Honor Roll and the Dean's List. In addition, LaGrossa was a three-time NEC All-Conference selection, NEC Scholar/Athlete Award recipient and Female Athlete of the Year Nominee. LaGrossa is currently an active member of the Monmouth University Blue and White Club and continually involves herself with local high schools and Monmouth University to help coach local clinics. LaGrossa has been dating her boyfriend, Michael, for six years. She lives in Tom's River, New Jersey. Her birth date is December 6, 1979.[1]

One of five siblings born to Stephen and Marguerite, Stephenie LaGrossa is the youngest and only girl of the family to grow up in Briarcliff, Glenolden, a suburb of Philadelphia. She graduated from Archbishop Prendergast High School, where she played varsity lacrosse, field hockey and swimming. After graduating, she attended Temple University in Philadelphia before transferring to Monmouth University in Long Branch, New Jersey. She played Division One Lacrosse at both universities and was a four-year starter. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with concentrations in marketing and management. She currently works as a territory sales representative for a pharmaceutical sales company and bartends part-time. LaGrossa enjoys yoga, Pilates, water sports and going to the beach. She describes herself as relentless, persuasive, extremely competitive, dramatic and friendly. She is most proud of being offered athletic and academic scholarships to two different universities and purchasing her own home when she was 23 years old. An avid lacrosse player in college, LaGrossa won many awards signifying her outstanding athleticism and leadership. At Monmouth University, she was the team captain her senior year, made the NEC Academic Honor Roll and the Dean's List. In addition, LaGrossa was a three-time NEC All-Conference selection, NEC Scholar/Athlete Award recipient and Female Athlete of the Year Nominee. LaGrossa is currently an active member of the Monmouth University Blue and White Club and continually involves herself with local high schools and Monmouth University to help coach local clinics. LaGrossa has been dating her boyfriend, Michael, for six years. She lives in Tom's River, New Jersey. Her birth date is December 6, 1979.[2]

Stephenie LaGrossa (29) Tribe: Heroes
Hometown: Briarcliff, Glenolden, PA
Current Residence: Philadelphia, PA
Personal Claim To Fame: "Being a three-time NEC (North East Conference) All-Conference selection, NEC Scholar/Athlete Award recipient and Female Athlete of the Year Nominee in lacrosse at Monmouth University."
Inspiration in Life: "My Mother has always been an inspiration in life. She is my best friend and I tell her everything! I wouldn't be where I am today without my mother's unconditional love and support."
Previous Finishes: Palau; 10th out, 3rd Jury Member; Guatemala: Runner-Up
Favorite Past Moment: "Outlasting my entire tribe and being the sole Ulong member left standing."
Previous Survivor She Respects Most: Jenn Lyon (Palau)
Previous Survivor She Respects Least: "Any female who plays the game for the wrong reasons."
Why Did She Come Back? : "I came back for the love of the game and because I'm such a serious competitor! I came very close to winning 2x but still never won so I came back a 3rd time to try to win it all this time."[3]

Survivor

Palau

Stephenie started Survivor: Palau with a bang when herself and Jonathan Libby jumped off the boat before any other castaway and tried swimming to win an Immunity Necklace. Unfortunately, Stephenie and her fellow swimmer jumped the gun and were the last ones to the beach. Her obvious athleticism caused her to be picked early in the Schoolyard Pick by Bobby Jon Drinkard, putting her on the Ulong tribe.

Stephenie continued to hold her own in challenges, being one of the more athletic members of her tribe. However, Ulong's lack of teamwork caused them to suffer an abysmal losing streak. Stephenie and Ulong first voted out Jolanda Jones for her difficult personality, Ashlee Ashby due to illness and weakness in challenges, Jeff Wilson due to an injured ankle, and Kim Mullen for her uselessness in challenges and at camp.

At the next Reward Challenge, Ulong lost again, however, both tribes would vote out a member. As part of their reward, the opposing tribe, Koror, granted Ibrehem Rahman with an Immunity Necklace at the vote. Stephenie and her ally Angie Jakusz voted for Bobby Jon which forced a tie between Angie and Bobby Jon. Seeing no other way, Steph was forced to vote out Angie in the revote. Ulong lost yet another challenge and at Tribal Council, Stephenie stuck by James Miller and voted for Ibrehem, causing a tie. Bobby Jon then promised Stephenie that if she switched her vote he wouldn't vote for her at the next Tribal Council. Stephenie trusted him and voted out James. Ulong then lost their sixth straight Immunity Challenge. Thankfully for Stephenie, Bobby Jon stuck to his word and they voted out Ibrehem.

Koror now outnumbered Ulong with eight members to Ulong's two. In a close challenge, Ulong lost for the seventh time. At Tribal Council, Stephenie and Bobby Jon were confused as to how their fate would be decided. Jeff Probst announced that a fire-making challenge would decide which of the two would go on. Stephenie defeated Bobby Jon, eliminating him, and sending her back to camp, alone. The next day, Stephenie got Tree Mail telling her to pack up her things and move to the Koror beach. Ulong had officially been conquered.

Stephenie was the obvious outcast at Koror. Coby Archa quickly took her under his wing and informed her of the majority alliance of the tribe. Stephenie came close to winning the first individual Immunity Challenge, but lost to Tom Westman. Fortunately for her, the dominant alliance instead targeted their long-time enemy and threatening player, Coby, voting him out 7-1-1.

The following Immunity Challenge revealed a weakness in Janu Tornell as she was put on Exile Island for her poor performance. Stephenie's loss seemed to seal her fate, however at Tribal Council Janu announced to Jeff Probst and the tribe that she would be willing to quit in order to spare Stephenie, who showed a greater will to remain in the game. With Ian Rosenberger winning the next Immunity Challenge, Stephenie made a plea to him, Tom, and Caryn Groedel to stay, however, it appeared that Stephenie's time was finally up. Stephenie was voted out unanimously, making her the third member of the jury.

At Final Tribal Council, Steph cast her vote for Tom to win the game over Katie Gallagher due to his superior strategy and dominance in challenges. Tom won Survivor: Palau in a 6-1 vote.

Voting History

Stephenie's Voting History
Episode Stephenie's
Votes
Voted Against
Stephenie
1 Jolanda -
2 Ashlee -
3 Jeff -
4 Kim -
5 Bobby Jon;
Angie1
-
6 Ibrehem;
James2
-
7 Ibrehem Ibrehem
8 No Vote3
9 Coby Janu
10 No Vote
11 Caryn Caryn, Gregg, Ian,
Jenn, Katie, Tom
Voted Out, Day 30
Voted for
Sole Survivor
Tom

^1 In "The Best and Worst Reward Ever", the vote ended with a 2-2 tie between Angie and Bobby Jon, forcing a revote. Stephenie voted for Angie on the revote.
^2 In "Jellyfish 'n Chips", the vote ended with a 2-2 tie between Ibrehem and James, forcing a revote. Stephenie voted for James on the revote.


^3 In "Neanderthal Man", there was a fire-making challenge instead of a vote at Tribal Council between Stephenie and Bobby Jon. Stephenie won the challenge and remained in the game.

Guatemala

Stephenie started the game on the Yaxhá tribe, which started a short losing streak. She was immediately afraid of her past Survivor experience recurring, but Yaxhá won the next Immunity Challenge. Stephenie built strong bonds with Rafe Judkins and Jamie Newton. During a surprise tribe switch, her, Rafe, Jamie, and Lydia Morales were switched to Nakúm, which also consisted of four original Nakúm members. Stephenie and Jamie convinced Judd Sergeant to flip on his former tribe and vote out Brooke Struck. Stephenie's new tribe continued to win immunity, only going to Tribal Council and eliminating Margaret Bobonich because of a double Tribal Council twist.

Stephenie's alliance, which consisted of her, Rafe, Jamie, Lydia, Judd, and Cindy Hall entered the merge with numbers over the new Yaxhá tribe. After promising Bobby Jon Drinkard a spot on the jury, Stephenie and her alliance voted out Brandon Bellinger and then Bobby Jon himself after Gary Hogeboom played a Hidden Immunity Idol. Instead of continuing to eliminate the rival alliance, Rafe wanted to blindside Jamie for being paranoid and wanting to go the Final Two with Judd. Stephenie reluctantly agreed and aided in voting her close ally out. Judd was shocked but maintained his loyalty. The alliance was then back on track and voted out Gary, leaving Danni Boatwright as the only remaining alliance member left.

After a Survivor Auction where Danni bought an advantage to the Immunity Challenge, Judd bought the family reward and invited Stephenie, Cindy, and their respective loved ones on it. Stephenie promised Judd's wife that she would go to the Final Two with him. Danni won individual immunity, forcing Stephenie to eliminate another member of her own alliance. She decided to vote off Judd, citing his multiple lies as justification. After he was blindsided, he was clearly angry, and another ally Stephenie burned.

Cindy was not informed of the Judd blindside and felt vulnerable. After she kept a car reward for herself rather than giving a car to Stephenie, Rafe, Lydia, and Danni and then picking Stephenie to go on reward with her, Rafe was angry. He made a pact with Danni to go to the final three with her, and when Stephenie returned from the reward, Rafe informed her that he wanted to eliminate Cindy. Cindy was then voted out, and Stephenie took most of the heat again.

At the final four, Rafe wanted to stay true to his bond with Danni and eliminate Lydia. Stephenie thought Danni was a bigger threat, but did not want to upset her closest ally, Rafe, and helped him in voting her out. Danni won the Final Immunity Challenge, and Rafe released her of her promise to bring him to the Final Two. Danni brought Stephenie, which angered Rafe. Stephenie only received Rafe's vote and was named runner-up to Danni.

Voting History

Stephenie's Voting History
Episode Stephenie's
Votes
Voted Against
Stephenie
1 Yaxhá Tribe Immune
2 Morgan -
3 Brianna -
4 Brooke -
5 Nakúm Tribe Immune
6 Margaret -
7 Nakúm Tribe Immune
8 Brandon -
9 Bobby Jon Bobby Jon, Danni
10 Jamie -
11 Gary -
12 Judd -
13 Cindy Individual Immunity
14 Lydia -
Ineligible -
Jury Votes
for Stephenie
Rafe
Runner-Up, Day 39

Heroes vs. Villains

Despite her more cutthroat approach in Guatemala, Stephenie was still more memorable for her underdog showing in Palau, returning in the 10th anniversary/20th season, Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, as one of the ten returning Heroes. Seconds after winning the first round of the first Reward Challenge, Stephenie accidentally dislocated her shoulder, but was quickly remedied by the medics.

An immediate outsider, Stephenie was in the minority alliance with Colby Donaldson and fellow Palau castmate Tom Westman, though the three were kept around over Sugar Kiper who was perceived as a liability in challenges. The majority alliance consisting of James Clement, Rupert Boneham, Amanda Kimmel, J.T. Thomas, Cirie Fields, and Candice Woodcock was formed.

During the second Immunity Challenge, Stephenie caught the ire of James, who was frustrated by her during the puzzle-solving portion, attributing to their second loss. James later accused Stephenie of being the reason that any tribe she was on was sure to lose, bringing up Ulong's infamous losing streak. The debacle between James and Stephenie carried over at camp and at Tribal Council with Tom and Colby being the only ones to come to her defense. In the end, the Heroes majority alliance eliminated her in a 6-3 vote. On her way out, Stephenie suggested to her tribe to bicker less, but James shot her down.

Voting History

Stephenie's Voting History
Episode Stephenie's
Votes
Voted Against
Stephenie
1 Sugar -
2 Amanda Amanda, Candice, Cirie,
J.T., James, Rupert
Voted Out, Day 6

Post-Survivor

  • Stephenie married high school history teacher Michael Ward on July 7, 2006. 8 other Survivor castaways attended their wedding, including Palau castmates Tom, Ian, Gregg, Jenn, Katie, and Caryn, and Guatemala castmates Amy and Rafe.[4] The two divorced within a year of marriage.
  • In Summer of 2009, Stephenie appeared on the TV Guide special "Survivor Millionaires: Where Are They Now?" in a segment focused on non-winners.[5]
  • On January 9, 2010, Stephenie attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party along with all of her Heroes vs. Villains castmates.
  • In February 2010, Stephenie appeared on Late Show with David Letterman as Top Ten List Presenter #8 along with nine of her Heroes vs. Villains castmates.[6]
  • On November 13, 2010, Stephenie married again, this time to Philadelphia Phillies pitcher, Kyle Kendrick.[7] Stephenie and Kyle have three children: Sophia Marguerite (born 2011), Kyle Jr. (born 2013) and Sloane Danielle (born 2018).[8]
  • Sometime after Heroes vs. Villains, Stephenie became a co-owner of "GiGi Restaurant & Lounge" in Old City Philadelphia. The establishment closed down and was replaced with a new food establishment.[9]

Trivia

  • Stephenie is the first player to contribute to the elimination of all of her original tribemates in a single season. During Palau, she successfully voted out 7 of her Ulong tribemates and defeated Bobby Jon Drinkard in a tiebreaker.
    • Stephenie later voted out Bobby Jon during Guatemala, making her also the first player to vote out all of the other players on one of their starting tribes (over multiple seasons). In South Pacific, John Cochran became the first player to vote out all of their starting tribemates during a single season.
  • Stephenie is the only contestant in Palau to be on more than one tribe during the season.
  • Stephenie set the record for the lowest-placing contestant to be the highest-placing member of their original tribe, at 7th place in Palau. This would later be tied by Jefra Bland in Cagayan.
  • Stephenie is the only member of the Ulong tribe to be a jury member in Palau.
    • She is the first woman to be the sole representative of her starting tribe on the jury.
  • Stephenie and Bobby Jon are the first returning players to be placed with a tribe of first-time players on their subsequent attempt at Survivor.
    • She is the only female returnee to compete in a "one returnee per tribe" format.
  • Stephenie is the first woman to compete in two consecutive seasons.
  • Stephenie is the first returning contestant to participate in the Survivor Auction more than once. She did so in Palau and Guatemala.
  • Stephenie is the first player to be the highest-placing member of their original tribe in two separate seasons. She would be followed by Sandra Diaz-Twine, Ozzy Lusth, Tony Vlachos, and Natalie Anderson.
  • Stephenie is the first returning player to make it to Final Tribal Council on their subsequent attempt and be defeated by a first-time player. She would be followed by Coach Wade in South Pacific and Michael Skupin in Philippines.
  • Stephenie has the worst challenge win-loss ratio (10:39) of any contestant to play in multiple seasons.
  • Stephenie is the first castaway to experience all three phases of the game: being voted out pre-jury, serving on the jury, and becoming a finalist. She became a jury member in Palau, made it to the Final Tribal Council in Guatemala, and was voted out pre-jury in Heroes vs. Villains.
  • Stephenie is the first person to be voted out on their third time playing the game.
  • Stephenie is the first person to play three times and never start on the same tribe as the eventual winner. She would be followed by Jeff Varner and Aubry Bracco.

References

Survivor: Palau Castaways
 Angie
Ulong
S10 angie t.png
 Ashlee
Ulong
S10 ashlee t.png
 Bobby Jon
Ulong
S10 bobbyjon t.png
 Caryn
Koror
S10 caryn t.png
 Coby
Koror
S10 coby t.png
 Gregg
Koror
S10 gregg t.png
 Ian
Koror
S10 ian t.png
 Ibrehem
Ulong
S10 ibrehem t.png
 James
Ulong
S10 james t.png
 Janu
Koror
S10 janu t.png
 Jeff
Ulong
S10 jeff t.png
 Jenn
Koror
S10 jenn t.png
 Jolanda
Ulong
S10 jolanda t.png
 Jonathan
No tribe
S10 jonathan t.png
 Katie
Koror
S10 katie t.png
 Kim
Ulong
S10 kim t.png
 Stephenie
Ulong
S10 stephenie t.png
 Tom
Koror
S10 tom t.png
 Wanda
No tribe
S10 wanda t.png
 Willard
Koror
S10 willard t.png
Survivor: Guatemala Castaways
 Amy
Yaxhá
S11 amy t.png
 Blake
Nakúm
S11 blake t.png
 Bobby Jon
Nakúm
S11 bobbyjon t.png
 Brandon
Nakúm
S11 brandon t.png
 Brian
Yaxhá
S11 brian t.png
 Brianna
Yaxhá
S11 brianna t.png
 Brooke
Nakúm
S11 brooke t.png
 Cindy
Nakúm
S11 cindy t.png
 Danni
Nakúm
S11 danni t.png
 Gary
Yaxhá
S11 gary t.png
 Jamie
Yaxhá
S11 jamie t.png
 Jim
Nakúm
S11 jim t.png
 Judd
Nakúm
S11 judd t.png
 Lydia
Yaxhá
S11 lydia t.png
 Margaret
Nakúm
S11 margaret t.png
 Morgan
Yaxhá
S11 morgan t.png
 Rafe
Yaxhá
S11 rafe t.png
 Stephenie
Yaxhá
S11 stephenie t.png
Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains Castaways
 Amanda
Heroes
S20 amanda t.png
 Candice
Heroes
S20 candice t.png
 Cirie
Heroes
S20 cirie t.png
 Coach
Villains
S20 coach t.png
 Colby
Heroes
S20 colby t.png
 Courtney
Villains
S20 courtney t.png
 Danielle
Villains
S20 danielle t.png
 J.T.
Heroes
S20 jt t.png
 James
Heroes
S20 james t.png
 Jerri
Villains
S20 jerri t.png
 Parvati
Villains
S20 parvati t.png
 Randy
Villains
S20 randy t.png
 Rob
Villains
S20 rob t.png
 Rupert
Heroes
S20 rupert t.png
 Russell
Villains
S20 russell t.png
 Sandra
Villains
S20 sandra t.png
 Stephenie
Heroes
S20 stephenie t.png
 Sugar
Heroes
S20 sugar t.png
 Tom
Heroes
S20 tom t.png
 Tyson
Villains
S20 tyson t.png
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