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Survivor: Borneo is the first season of Survivor. It was originally broadcast under the name Survivor, but its official title has been changed to Survivor: Borneo to distinguish it from its future seasons. Prior to the change to Survivor: Borneo, the season was retroactively known as Survivor: Pulau Tiga. The change of name became official in Survivor: All-Stars.

Richard Hatch became the very first Sole Survivor, defeating Kelly Wiglesworth in a 4-3 vote. Among Survivor fans, the term "Pagonging" has been used to describe the systematic elimination of the other tribe.

The show was released on DVD on May 11, 2004.


Due to overwhelming interest in the show's format, more than 6,000 people applied for it. Eight hundred of them were interviewed in 16 cities. Forty-eight made it to the shortlist, which was whittled down to the final 16 players and 2 replacements.[2]


  • Tribe Composition: The sixteen castaways were divided into two tribes of eight.
  • Summit: On Day 19, both tribes were tasked with selecting an ambassador to attend a summit. The ambassadors would have to choose which camp the merged tribe would live at, along with giving it a name.
  • Merge: The merged tribe was composed of ten members.
  • Final Tribal Council Format: Two finalists faced a jury of seven. The jurors individually addressed the finalists.


Contestant Tribe Affiliation Finish Votes
Original Tribe Merged Tribe
S1 sonja t.png Sonja Christopher
63, Walnut Creek, CA
Tagi 1st Voted Out
Day 3
S1 bb t.png B.B. Andersen
64, Mission Hills, KS
Real Estate Developer
Pagong 2nd Voted Out
Day 6
S1 stacey t.png Stacey Stillman
27, San Francisco, CA
Tagi 3rd Voted Out
Day 9
S1 ramona t.png Ramona Gray
29, Edison, NJ
Pagong 4th Voted Out
Day 12
S1 dirk t.png Dirk Been
23, Spring Green, WI
Dairy Farmer
Tagi 5th Voted Out
Day 15
S1 joel t.png Joel Klug
27, Sherwood, AR
Health Club Consultant
Pagong 6th Voted Out
Day 18
S1 gretchen t.png Gretchen Cordy
38, Clarksville, TN
Pagong Rattana 7th Voted Out
Day 21
S1 greg t.png Greg Buis
24, Gold Hill, CO
Ivy League Graduate
Pagong 8th Voted Out
1st Jury Member
Day 24
S1 jenna t.png Jenna Lewis
22, Franklin, NH
Pagong 9th Voted Out
2nd Jury Member
Day 27
S1 gervase t.png Gervase Peterson
30, Willingboro, NJ
YMCA Basketball Coach
Pagong 10th Voted Out
3rd Jury Member
Day 30
S1 colleen t.png Colleen Haskell
23, Miami Beach, FL
Pagong 11th Voted Out
4th Jury Member
Day 33
S1 sean t.png Sean Kenniff
30, Carle Place, NY
Tagi 12th Voted Out
5th Jury Member
Day 36
S1 susan t.png Susan Hawk
38, Palmyra, WI
Truck Driver
Tagi 13th Voted Out
6th Jury Member
Day 37
S1 rudy t.png Rudy Boesch
72, Virginia Beach, VA
Retired Navy SEAL
Tagi 14th Voted Out
7th Jury Member
Day 38
S1 kelly t.png Kelly Wiglesworth
22, Kernville, CA
River Rafting Guide
Tagi Runner-Up 0
S1 richard t.png Richard Hatch
38, Newport, RI
Corporate Trainer
Tagi Sole Survivor 6

Season Summary

The series premiere began with sixteen people divided into two tribes, Pagong and Tagi. After 18 days of competition, the tribes found themselves alternating visits to Tribal Council. Initially, voting targets were chosen when tribe members established themselves as weak links or unable to fit in. On Tagi, Richard Hatch formed a voting alliance with Rudy Boesch, Kelly Wiglesworth, and Susan Hawk, taking the docile voting climate to a new level.

By Day 20, the ten remaining castaways were merged into one tribe, Rattana, and began competing as individuals. Richard's alliance took control by ousting the de facto Pagong leader Gretchen in a chaotic plurality vote. This was the start of the "Pagonging", or systematic elimination of the remaining Pagong members and Sean Kenniff, the only Tagi member who was not a member of the alliance. As the group of four neared victory, Richard, Rudy, and Susan saw Kelly as trying to look more favorable in front of the jury, which seats were filled by mostly former Pagong members. However, Kelly dominated in the Immunity Challenges, denying the three of any chance to vote her out.

On Day 37, Richard and Susan received two votes each, forcing a revote. As Kelly and Rudy voted again, Kelly switched her vote from Richard to Susan, and Susan became the sixth member of the jury. At the Final Immunity Challenge on Day 38, Richard voluntarily stepped out of the challenge on the assumption that whoever was to win would take him to the Final Tribal Council. After Kelly won immunity yet again, Richard's assumptions were proven correct when she voted Rudy to be the seventh and final member of the jury.

At the Final Tribal Council, Kelly was accused of being two-faced and manipulative, while Richard was barbed for his perceived arrogance and duplicitous gameplay for establishing an alliance. Susan delivered her "snakes and rats" speech which shed light on Richard's superior gameplay. With four votes to three, Richard's strategy won him the very first Sole Survivor title.

Episode Air date Challenges Eliminated
Finish Viewers
(in millions)[3]
Reward Immunity
1 "The Marooning" May 31, 2000 Pagong1 Sonja
1st Voted Out
Day 3
15.51 6.1/20
2 "The Generation Gap" June 7, 2000 Pagong2 Tagi B.B.
2nd Voted Out
Day 6
18.10 7.5/25
3 "Quest for Food" June 14, 2000 Tagi Pagong Stacey
3rd Voted Out
Day 9
23.25 9.4/29
4 "Too Little, Too Late?" June 21, 2000 Tagi Tagi Ramona
4th Voted Out
Day 12
24.20 9.8/33
5 "Pulling Your Own Weight" June 28, 2000 Pagong Pagong Dirk
5th Voted Out
Day 15
23.98 9.6/31
6 "Udder Revenge" July 5, 2000 Pagong Tagi Joel
6th Voted Out
Day 18
24.50 10.6/33
7 "The Merger" July 12, 2000 None Greg Gretchen
7th Voted Out
Day 21
24.50 10.4/34
8 "Thy Name Is Duplicity" July 19, 2000 Greg Gervase Greg
8th Voted Out
1st Jury Member
Day 24
26.15 11.4/35
9 "Old and New Bonds" July 26, 2000 Colleen
Rudy Jenna
9th Voted Out
2nd Jury Member
Day 27
27.18 11.9/36
10 "Crack in the Alliance" August 2, 2000 Gervase Richard Gervase
10th Voted Out
3rd Jury Member
Day 30
24.41 11.9/38
11 "Long Hard Days" August 9, 2000 Sean
Kelly Colleen 11th Voted Out
4th Jury Member
Day 33
28.00 12.1/38
[Kelly, Richard,
Rudy, Sean,
12 "Death of an Alliance" August 16, 2000 Kelly Kelly Sean
12th Voted Out
5th Jury Member
Day 36
22.67 12.7/38
13 "The Final Four" August 23, 2000 None Kelly Susan
13th Voted Out
6th Jury Member
Day 37
51.69 22.8/54
Kelly Rudy
14th Voted Out
7th Jury Member
Day 38
Jury Vote Kelly
Sole Survivor
14 "Survivor: The Reunion" N/A N/A
^1 Combined Reward and Immunity Challenge.
^2 An unaired Reward Challenge was held sometime between Days 4 and 5 where the tribes competed for a map to a closer water hole.
^3 According to the season's DVD release, an unaired Reward Challenge was held on Day 32. The winner, Colleen, shared her reward to the rest of the tribe.
^4 The vote resulted in a tie. Per Survivor rules, a revote would commence.

Voting History

Original Tribes Merged Tribe
Episode 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Voted Out S1 sonja t.png
S1 bb t.png
S1 stacey t.png
S1 ramona t.png
S1 dirk t.png
S1 joel t.png
S1 gretchen t.png
S1 greg t.png
S1 jenna t.png
S1 gervase t.png
S1 colleen t.png
S1 sean t.png
Tie S1 susan t.png
S1 rudy t.png
S1 kelly t.png
S1 richard t.png
Vote 4-3-1 6-2 5-2 4-2-1 4-1-1 4-2 4-1-1-1-1-1-1 6-3 4-3-1 5-2 4-2 4-1 2-21 2-0 1-02 4-3
Richard Stacey Stacey Dirk Gretchen Greg Jenna Gervase Colleen Sean Susan None None Jury Vote
Kelly Rudy Rudy Dirk Gretchen Greg Sean Gervase Sean Sean Richard Susan Rudy
Rudy Sonja Stacey Dirk Gretchen Greg Jenna Gervase Colleen Sean Susan Susan None Richard
Susan Sonja Stacey Dirk Gretchen Greg Jenna Gervase Colleen Sean Richard None Richard
Sean Sonja Stacey Rudy Colleen Greg Jenna Gervase Colleen Susan Richard
Colleen B.B. Ramona Joel Richard Jenna Richard Sean Sean Kelly
Gervase B.B. Colleen Jenna Susan Jenna Richard Sean Kelly
Jenna B.B. Ramona Joel Gervase Greg Richard Kelly
Greg Ramona Jenna Joel Jenna Jenna Richard
Gretchen B.B. Ramona Joel Rudy
Joel B.B. Ramona Jenna
Dirk Sonja Stacey Susan
Ramona B.B. Colleen
Stacey Rudy Rudy
B.B. Ramona
Sonja Rudy
^1 Tribal Council resulted in a tie. Per Survivor rules, a revote was held where the castaways involved in the tie would not vote and the remaining castaways could only vote for those involved in the tie.
^2 Richard and Rudy did not vote as they could only vote for were each other. By virtue of winning the Final Immunity Challenge, only Kelly voted.


  • This is the first season in which both tribes alternated winning immunity before the merge. This would later happen in The Amazon and South Pacific.
  • This was the first season in which the entire final jury votes were revealed immediately after being cast, rather than months later in front of a live television studio audience. This was done again in Survivor 41 and Survivor 42.
    • However, in Ghost Island, all of the original ten jury votes were revealed immediately after being cast but resulted in a tie. Laurel Johnson's tiebreaker jury vote was revealed months later, in front of a live television studio audience.
  • Borneo was the only season to air on Wednesdays until Nicaragua.
  • In 2006, Richard Hatch was found guilty of tax evasion connected with his $1,000,000 prize and sentenced to 51 months in prison. Because of this, he was unable to participate in seasons such as Micronesia, Heroes vs. Villains, and Redemption Island for which he was considered.
  • The Borneo finale received the highest ratings of any Survivor episode to date, with more than 50 million viewers.[4]
  • This season is tied with Worlds Apart for the record of the fewest eliminations by a unanimous vote, with one. Coincidentally, in both seasons, the only unanimous vote happened at the final five Tribal Council.
  • This is the only season to have castaways who were born in the 1930s (B.B. Andersen and Sonja Christopher).
    • It is also the only season to have a first-time castaway who was born in the 1920s (Rudy Boesch).
  • In a poll that was taken during the Reunion Show asking viewers who they would've voted for to win, 45% of the people said Rudy, 42% said Kelly Wiglesworth, 11% said Richard, and 2% said Susan Hawk.
  • The font used for the tribe flags is "Template Gothic."[5]
  • Borneo was referenced numerous times in the Disney show Lizzie McGuire. In one episode, the tribe names Pagong and Tagi were used as team names at an outdoor camp. In another episode, Lizzie's mother claims she knew Richard Hatch would win the series.[6]
  • After Kelly was voted out on Cambodia, all of the castaways from Borneo have been voted out at some point.
    • It is the first season to gain this distinction. It would be followed by Cambodia, Heroes vs. Villains, Game Changers, and Guatemala.
  • This season is one of three to have all final four contestants return in future seasons. The other two are Panama and Cagayan.
  • This season is the first season to have two of its castaways pass away (B.B. in 2013 and Rudy in 2019).


Survivor (US) Seasons
BorneoThe Australian OutbackAfricaMarquesasThailandThe AmazonPearl IslandsAll-StarsVanuatuPalauGuatemalaPanamaCook IslandsFijiChinaMicronesiaGabonTocantinsSamoaHeroes vs. VillainsNicaraguaRedemption IslandSouth PacificOne WorldPhilippinesCaramoanBlood vs. WaterCagayanSan Juan del SurWorlds ApartCambodiaKaôh RōngMillennials vs. Gen XGame ChangersHeroes vs. Healers vs. HustlersGhost IslandDavid vs. GoliathEdge of ExtinctionIsland of the IdolsWinners at WarSurvivor 41Survivor 42Survivor 43