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Survivor: Cook Islands is the thirteenth season of Survivor.

The season initially generated much controversy due to the decision to split tribes by ethnicity. The season also saw drastic format changes in the game's format, such as an expanded jury and a 3-finalist Final Tribal Council. In the end, Yul Kwon won in a 5-4-0 vote over Ozzy Lusth and Becky Lee in the first Final Tribal Council to deviate from the original Final Two format. To date, it has produced five returning players (Candice Woodcock, Jonathan Penner, Ozzy Lusth, Parvati Shallow, and Yul Kwon) for subsequent seasons.


The tribal camps, Exile Island, and many challenges of Survivor: Cook Islands were filmed on small "motu" (Polynesian word for "islet") in the Aitutaki lagoon. The Rarotonga (later Aitutonga) tribe's camp was on Moturakau. The Aitutaki tribe lived on Motukitiu. The short-lived tribes of Manihiki and Puka Puka lived on Rapota and Muritapua, respectively. Most challenges were filmed on Tekopua and Tapuaetai (One Foot Island). Exile Island, a small sand cay south of Tapuaetai, is called "Nude Island" by locals in reference to its lack of vegetation. Akaiami hosted challenges and also the loser's lounge, where eliminated contestants were sequestered until the end of the game. Tribal Council, the production camp, and a few challenges were located on the main island of Aitutaki. There were three reward trips to the neighboring islands of Atiu, Mitiaro, and Rarotonga.

The season was themed around sailors and explorers, specifically James Cook and his expeditions of the Pacific Ocean. The tribal council set was a British-styled shipwreck adorned with maps and sailors' items.


  • Four Tribes: For the second time, the castaways are divided into four tribes, containing five members each.
  • Tribes Divided by Ethnicity: This season featured twenty contestants that were divided into four tribes divided by race, despite controversy.
  • Exile Island: Returning from the previous season, after a Reward Challenge, players may banish a player from the rival tribe to Exile Island. This island (entirely separate from the existing camps) will force the banished player to fend for him/herself until the upcoming Immunity Challenge (unless stated otherwise). The player would not be left in despair, for he/she will be given clues to a Hidden Immunity Idol that is hidden somewhere on the island.
  • Hidden Immunity Idol: During this season, the Hidden Immunity Idol is hidden somewhere on Exile Island.
  • Tribe Switch: On Day 7, the four tribes became two. Puka Puka and Manihiki were dissolved, with the 18 remaining contestants spread into the new Rarotonga and Aitutaki tribes with nine members each.
  • Double Tribal Council: On Day 15, both the Aitutaki and Rarotonga tribes were forced to visit Tribal Council to eliminate one of their own.
  • Mutiny: On Day 19, the tribes were offered to switch tribe affiliations.
  • Message in a Bottle: After losing the Day 24 Immunity Challenge, the Rarotonga tribe received a sealed bottle with a note that can only be read after the Tribal Council elimination. The tribe assumed it was a note about instructions about the upcoming merge. But much to their shock, the note instructed them to vote out another member of the tribe.
  • Delayed Merge: Because of the sealed message in a bottle twist, the tribes were merged with nine members.
  • Final Three and Expanded Jury: Unlike the first twelve seasons where the usual Final Two facing a seven-player jury is featured, this season featured a Final Tribal Council with three remaining finalists facing a nine-person jury.


Contestant Tribe Affiliation Finish Votes
Original Tribe Shuffled Tribe Post-Mutiny Merged Tribe
S13 sekou t Sekou Bunch
45, Los Angeles, CA
Jazz Musician
Manihiki 1st Voted Out
Day 3
S13 billy t Billy Garcia
36, New York City, NY
Heavy Metal Musician
Aitutaki 2nd Voted Out
Day 6
S13 cecilia t Cecilia Mansilla
29, Oakland, CA
Risk Consultant
Aitutaki Aitutaki 3rd Voted Out
Day 8
S13 jp t J.P. Calderon
30, Long Beach, CA
Professional Volleyball Player
Aitutaki Rarotonga 4th Voted Out
Day 11
S13 stephannie t Stephannie Favor
35, Columbia, SC
Nursing Student
Manihiki Rarotonga 5th Voted Out
Day 14
S13 caoboi t Cao Boi Bui
42, Christiansburg, VA
Nail Salon Manager
Puka Puka Aitutaki 6th Voted Out
Day 15
S13 cristina t Cristina Coria
35, Los Angeles, CA
Police Officer
Aitutaki Rarotonga 7th Voted Out
Day 15
S13 jessica t Jessica Smith
27, Chico, CA
Roller Girl
Rarotonga Aitutaki 8th Voted Out
Day 18
S13 brad t Brad Virata
29, Santa Monica, CA
Fashion Director
Puka Puka Rarotonga Rarotonga 9th Voted Out
1st Jury Member
Day 21
S13 rebecca t Rebecca Borman
34, Laurelton, NY
Makeup Artist
Manihiki Rarotonga Rarotonga 10th Voted Out
2nd Jury Member
Day 24
S13 jenny t Jenny Guzon-Bae
36, Lake Forest, IL
Real Estate Agent
Puka Puka Rarotonga Rarotonga 11th Voted Out
3rd Jury Member
Day 24
S13 nate t Nate Gonzalez
25, Playa del Rey, CA
Shoe Salesman
Manihiki Rarotonga Rarotonga Aitutonga 12th Voted Out
4th Jury Member
Day 27
S13 candice t Candice Woodcock
23, Washington, DC
Pre-Med Student
Rarotonga Aitutaki Rarotonga 13th Voted Out
5th Jury Member
Day 30
S13 jonathan t Jonathan Penner
44, Los Angeles, CA
Rarotonga Aitutaki Rarotonga 14th Voted Out
6th Jury Member
Day 33
S13 parvati t Parvati Shallow
23, West Hollywood, CA
Rarotonga Rarotonga Rarotonga 15th Voted Out
7th Jury Member
Day 36
S13 adam t Adam Gentry
27, San Diego, CA
Copier Sales Executive
Rarotonga Rarotonga Rarotonga 16th Voted Out
8th Jury Member
Day 37
S13 sundra t Sundra Oakley
31, Los Angeles, CA
Manihiki Aitutaki Aitutaki Eliminated
9th Jury Member
Day 38
S13 becky t Becky Lee
28, Washington, DC
Puka Puka Aitutaki Aitutaki Second
S13 ozzy t Ozzy Lusth
24, Venice, CA
Aitutaki Aitutaki Aitutaki Runner-Up 1
S13 yul t Yul Kwon
31, San Mateo, CA
Management Consultant
Puka Puka Aitutaki Aitutaki Sole Survivor 5

Season Summary[]

The 20 players were initially divided into four tribes based on race. On Day 7 of the competition, two of the four tribes were dissolved and the remaining members were split up and joined the two remaining tribes. An early visit to Exile Island resulted in Yul discovering the Hidden Immunity Idol. With the tribes having six members each on Day 19, Probst announced that any tribe member may mutiny and join the other tribe; Candice and Jonathan opted for this move, leaving the Aitutaki tribe at four members, consisting of Yul, Ozzy, Becky, and Sundra, and an eight-strong Rarotonga tribe.

However, this betrayal served to only increase the determination of the Aitutaki tribe. Between strong teamwork skills, Yul's intelligence, and Ozzy's physical skills, Aitutaki remained strong and continued to win both tribal and individual challenges, sending the Rarotonga tribe to Tribal Council three times in a row. Additionally, they would continuously send Candice to Exile as payback for her mutiny.

The tribes merged with 9 players remaining: 5 Raros and 4 Aitus. Yul cemented his Aitutaki alliance by showing them the Hidden Immunity Idol, and convinced Jonathan, a former Aitutaki member who had accepted the mutiny offer, to vote along with them in order to give the former Aitutaki tribe the majority and eliminate Nate.

The Aitutaki 4 would eventually pagong the remaining Rarotonga members and become the final four. With Yul holding the Hidden Immunity Idol and Ozzy winning the Final Immunity Challenge, the four agreed to let a fire-making challenge decide who would join them at the Final Three. Despite this taking more than an hour to complete, Becky emerged victoriously.

At the Final Tribal Council, Becky was criticized for her perceived coat-tailing of Yul and poor performance at the fire-making challenge, Yul was respected for his strategic mind, while Ozzy was commended for his challenge performance. Ultimately, Yul defeated Ozzy and Becky in a 5-4-0 vote.

Episode Air date Challenges Exiled Eliminated
Finish Viewers
(in millions)[2]
Reward Immunity
1 "I Can Forgive Her but I Don't Have to Because She Screwed with My Chickens" September 14, 2006 Puka Puka1 Jonathan Sekou
1st Voted Out
Day 3
18.00 6.5/20
2 "Dire Strengths and Dead Weight" September 21, 2006 Puka Puka1,2 Yul Billy
2nd Voted Out
Day 6
17.43 6.5/18
3 "Flirting and Frustration" September 28, 2006 None Rarotonga Candice Cecilia
3rd Voted Out
Day 8
16.85 5.9/16
4 "Ruling the Roost" October 5, 2006 Aitutaki Aitutaki Adam J.P.
4th Voted Out
Day 11
15.83 5.6/16
5 "Don't Cry Over Spilled Octopus" October 12, 2006 Rarotonga Aitutaki Jonathan Stephannie
5th Voted Out
Day 14
15.84 5.5/15
6 "Plan Voodoo" October 19, 2006 Aitutaki None Cao Boi
6th Voted Out
Day 15
15.02 5.3/14
[Nate]3 Cristina
7th Voted Out
Day 15
7 "A Closer Look" October 26, 2006 Recap Episode N/A N/A
8 "Why Aren't You Swimming?!" November 2, 2006 Aitutaki Rarotonga Adam Jessica
8th Voted Out
Day 18
15.30 5.4/14
9 "Mutiny" November 9, 2006 Aitutaki Aitutaki Candice Brad
9th Voted Out
1st Jury Member
Day 21
14.39 4.8/13
10 "People That You Like Want to See You Suffer" November 16, 2006 Aitutaki Aitutaki Candice Rebecca
10th Voted Out
2nd Jury Member
Day 24
15.35 5.3/14
11th Voted Out
3rd Jury Member
Day 24
11 "Why Would You Trust Me?" November 23, 2006 None Ozzy None Nate
12th Voted Out
4th Jury Member
Day 27
12.67 4.3/13
12 "You're a Rat..." November 30, 2006 Survivor
Adam Candice Candice
13th Voted Out
5th Jury Member
Day 30
15.63 5.4/14
13 "Arranging a Hit" December 7, 2006 Parvati
Ozzy Jonathan Jonathan
14th Voted Out
6th Jury Member
Day 33
15.72 5.3/15
14 "I Have the Advantage... for Once" December 14, 2006 Ozzy Ozzy Adam Parvati
15th Voted Out
7th Jury Member
Day 36
14.55 5.0/14
15 "This Tribe Will Self-Destruct in 5, 4, 3..." December 17, 2006 None Ozzy None Adam
16th Voted Out
8th Jury Member
Day 37
16.42 5.7/14
Ozzy Sundra
9th Jury Member
Day 38
Jury Vote Becky
Second Runner-Up
Sole Survivor
16 "Reunion" 13.53 5.1/13
^1 Combined Reward and Immunity Challenge.
^2 Rarotonga was initially declared the sole winner of the reward, but after reviewing challenge footage, it was found that Puka Puka also finished at the exact same time as Rarotonga. Thus, both tribes shared the reward reserved only for the first-placing tribe.
^3 Aitutaki was instructed to kidnap a member of Rarotonga, allowing them to share in their reward and abstain from the vote at Tribal Council.
^4 Per Survivor rules, a fire-making challenge would be held between the tied players in case of a tie at the final four Tribal Council.

Voting History[]

Original Tribes Switched Tribes Post-Mutiny Tribes Merged Tribe
Episode 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Voted Out S13 sekou t
S13 billy t
S13 cecilia t
S13 jp t
S13 stephannie t
S13 caoboi t
Cao Boi
S13 cristina t
S13 jessica t
S13 brad t
S13 rebecca t
S13 jenny t
S13 nate t
Candice Woodcock
S13 jonathan t
S13 parvati t
S13 adam t
Tie S13 sundra t
S13 becky t
S13 ozzy t
S13 yul t
Vote 3-2 4-1 5-3 7-2 7-1 6-1-1 4-2 6-1 7-1 6-1 4-2 5-4 5-3 6-1 4-2 4-1 2-23 Tiebreaker 5-4-0
Yul Cecilia Cao Boi Jessica Nate Candice Jonathan Parvati Adam Sundra Jury Vote
Ozzy Billy Becky Cao Boi Jessica Nate Candice Jonathan Parvati Adam Becky
Becky Cecilia Cao Boi Jessica Nate Candice Jonathan Parvati Adam Sundra
Sundra Sekou Becky Cao Boi Jessica Nate Candice Jonathan Parvati Adam Becky Eliminated Yul
Adam J.P. Stephannie Cristina Brad Rebecca Jenny Yul Jonathan Jonathan Sundra Yul Yul
Parvati J.P. Stephannie Cristina Brad Rebecca Jenny Yul Jonathan Jonathan Sundra Ozzy
Jonathan Cecilia Cao Boi Jessica Brad Rebecca Jenny Nate Candice Adam Yul
Candice Exiled1 Cao Boi Jessica Brad Rebecca Jenny Yul Jonathan Yul
Nate Sundra Stephannie Stephannie Kidnapped2 Brad Rebecca Jonathan Yul Ozzy
Jenny J.P. Stephannie Cristina Brad Rebecca Jonathan Ozzy
Rebecca Sekou J.P. Stephannie Cristina Brad Jonathan Ozzy
Brad J.P. Stephannie Jenny Jonathan Yul
Jessica Cecilia Jonathan Jonathan
Cristina Billy J.P. Stephannie Jenny
Cao Boi Cecilia Candice
Stephannie Sekou J.P. Cristina
J.P. Billy Stephannie
Cecilia Billy Becky
Billy Ozzy
Sekou Sundra
^1 After winning the Immunity Challenge, Rarotonga was given the opportunity to send one member of Aitutaki to Exile Island, making that player skip Tribal Council. They selected Candice.
^2 After voting out Cao Boi, Aitutaki was given the opportunity to kidnap one member of Rarotonga, making them immune from their Tribal Council and will stay at Aitutaki camp overnight. They selected Nate.
^3 Per the rules of Survivor, a fire-making challenge was held to break a tie in the final four Tribal Council.


  • Thus far, this is the only season to have one tribe accidentally stumble upon the opposing tribe's camp (Aitutaki members Jessica Smith, Ozzy Lusth, and Cao Boi Bui had accidentally ended up on the rival Rarotonga's beach while exploring the bay).
  • This season ties with Panama for the most starting tribes, with four.
  • It is the first and only season to have the tribes divided by ethnicity.
  • This is the first season to feature a Final Three at the Final Tribal Council rather than a Final Two as in previous seasons. Since Cook Islands, the only seasons to not have had a Final Three were Micronesia, Tocantins, and Cagayan.
  • Cook Islands is the only season where the mutiny offer was accepted.
  • The jury (except for the last member) consists of all former post-mutiny Rarotonga members, while the Final Three and last member of the jury consists of all former post-mutiny Aitutaki members.
  • This is the second season to have the jury phase start before the merge, following Thailand.
  • This is the second season to have only two different players (Adam Gentry and Ozzy Lusth) win individual immunity post-merge, following Palau.
  • This is the second season to have the merged tribe consist of nine members, following All-Stars.
    • Palau had its individual stage start at the final nine, but it was not a merge as the eight-member Koror tribe conquered the one-member Ulong.
  • This season had the most representatives in Micronesia, with three.
  • This is the first season in which a finalist (Becky Lee) received no jury votes, which has since become very common in seasons with Final Threes.
  • This is the first season where the first two people voted off were both men. It would be followed by Cagayan.
    • This is also the first season where the first two people eliminated were men, unless one counts The Outcasts from Pearl Islands as not being eliminated when they were voted out of their original tribes. It would be followed by Blood vs. Water and Cagayan.
  • 13 of the 20 contestants of this season were from the state of California. This is a Survivor record for the most castaways from one state in a single season.
  • This season has the most pre-merge jury members, with three.
    • Fiji has three jury members who never took part in an individual challenge, but one of them was a member of the merged tribe.
  • This is the first season since Borneo to not have the Second Chance challenge.
  • 17 out of the 20 contestants were recruited for this season.[3]
    • The ones who were not recruited were Jenny Guzon-Bae, Stephannie Favor and Cao Boi Bui.
  • This season has the most people voted out pre-merge, with 11.
  • This season ties with The Australian Outback and Pearl Islands for being represented in the most seasons with returning players, with 7.
  • This season has the most Latin-American contestants, with 6.


Survivor (U.S.) 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 43Survivor 44Survivor 45Survivor 46Survivor 47