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Survivor: Gabon, also known as Survivor: Gabon — Earth's Last Eden, is the seventeenth season of Survivor. The winner of this season, Bob Crowley, the oldest winner in Survivor history, defeated Susie Smith and Sugar Kiper in a 4-3-0 final vote. To date, it has produced three returning players (Corinne Kaplan, Randy Bailey, and Sugar Kiper) for subsequent seasons.


On April 13, 2008, at the National Association of Broadcasters's annual show, Sony announced that the 17th season of Survivor would be the first to be shot in high definition, using Sony XDCAMs.

Survivor: Gabon began filming in late June. It marked the second season of the series that was filmed in Africa, as Survivor: Africa had been filmed seven years earlier in Kenya. Reports from Gabon indicate the show was filmed around the coastal towns of Nyonie and Ekwata in the Wonga-Wongue Presidential Reserve. Production struggled in transportation because of animals constantly obstructing them.


  • Tribe Selection: Like Survivor: Thailand, the oldest male and female players will choose their tribemates.
  • Individual Immunity Idols: Similar to Survivor: Micronesia, the players competed for individual immunity for their first visit to Tribal Council.
  • Exile Island: Exile Island returns this season, with some new tweaks. The banished player will pick one of two bottles, one will grant idle comfort (referring to a semi-lavish shelter with a fruit basket inside), while the other will provide idol protection (a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol somewhere around the vicinity). If the player chose to look for the idol, he/she must rest outside of the shelter. If that player chose to enjoy the comforts of the shelter, the player in question cannot look out for the idol.
  • Hidden Immunity Idol: Two Hidden Immunity Idols were available this season, one during the tribal phase of the game hidden on Exile Island, and another during the second tribe switch.
  • Double Tribal Council: On Day 21, both tribes must go to Tribal Council to eliminate one of their own.
  • Two Tribe Switches: There were two tribe swaps in this season, the first one on Day 10, and the other on Day 22.
    • Fake Merge: On Day 22, the tribes convened for a feast and were led to believe that they were merging. However, after finishing the feast, they discovered that they would be switching tribes instead.
  • Delayed Merge: Due to the surprise second tribe switch, the merge was delayed for three days, merging with nine remaining contestants.
  • Final Three: The finale returned to the Final Three, albeit with a seven-person jury format, similar to Survivor: China.


Contestant Tribe Affiliation Finish Votes
Original Tribe First
Switched Tribe
Switched Tribe
Merged Tribe
S17 michelle t.png Michelle Chase
24, Los Angeles, CA
Music Producer
Fang 1st Voted Out
Day 3
S17 gillian t.png Gillian Larson
61, Temecula, CA
Retired Nurse
Fang 2nd Voted Out
Day 6
S17 paloma t.png Paloma Soto-Castillo
23, Downey, CA
Kota 3rd Voted Out
Day 9
S17 jacquie t.png Jacquie Berg
25, Santa Barbara, CA
Medical Saleswoman
Kota Fang 4th Voted Out
Day 12
S17 gc t.png GC Brown
25, Portland, OR
Maintenance Man
Fang Fang 5th Voted Out
Day 15
S17 kelly t.png Kelly Czarnecki
22, Buffalo Grove, IL
Retail Saleswoman
Kota Fang 6th Voted Out
Day 18
S17 ace t.png Ace Gordon
27, Naples, FL
Jewelry Salesman/Photographer
Kota Fang 7th Voted Out
Day 21
S17 dan t.png Dan Kay
31, Boston, MA
Fang Kota 8th Voted Out
Day 21
S17 marcus t.png Marcus Lehman
28, Atlanta, GA
Kota Kota Kota 9th Voted Out
1st Jury Member
Day 24
S17 charlie t.png Charlie Herschel
29, New York City, NY
Kota Kota Fang Nobag 10th Voted Out
2nd Jury Member
Day 27
S17 randy t.png Randy Bailey
49, Eagle Rock, MO
Wedding Videographer
Fang Kota Fang 11th Voted Out
3rd Jury Member
Day 30
S17 corinne t.png Corinne Kaplan
29, Los Angeles, CA
Pharmaceutical Saleswoman
Kota Kota Fang 12th Voted Out
4th Jury Member
Day 33
S17 crystal t.png Crystal Cox
29, Durham, NC
Olympic Gold Medalist
Fang Fang Kota 13th Voted Out
5th Jury Member
Day 36
S17 ken t.png Ken Hoang
22, Westminster, CA
Professional Gamer
Fang Fang Kota 14th Voted Out
6th Jury Member
Day 37
S17 matty t.png Matty Whitmore
29, Pacific Palisades, CA
Personal Trainer
Fang Fang Fang 15th Voted Out
7th Jury Member
Day 38
S17 sugar t.png Sugar Kiper
29, Brooklyn, NY
Pin-up Model
Kota Fang Fang Second
S17 susie t.png Susie Smith
47, Charles City, IA
Fang Kota Kota Runner-Up 7
S17 bob t.png Bob Crowley
57, Portland, ME
Physics Teacher
Kota Kota Kota Sole Survivor 2

Season Summary

The players were divided into tribes by a Schoolyard Pick started by the oldest players, Bob Crowley and Gillian Larson. It became evident that Gillian's tribe, Fang, was weaker, losing many of the Reward and Immunity Challenges, even after a Tribe Switch; however, a core alliance between Matty Whitmore, Ken Hoang, and Crystal Cox developed. On Bob's tribe, Kota, a series of alliances were formed, strengthened after the swap with the addition of Randy Bailey. Both the Hidden Immunity Idol and Exile Island twists were in play; the winning tribe on Reward Challenges was able to send one of the losing tribe's members to the latter. At Exile, that player had the option of a clue to the Immunity Idol hidden near Exile (ultimately leading to a string of hidden clues to the Idol), or to relax in a small shack, latter dubbed the Sugar Shack, with a provision of fruit and a hammock. Sugar Kiper was the second player to visit Exile and found the idol on her first visit. Sugar's Idol was eventually discovered by Matty, Ken, and Crystal, and they decided to bring her into their alliance.

On Day 22, both tribes were given clues suggesting a tribal merge, but then discovered they were still separate tribes, mixed by random draw, and returned to their camps. This development proved crucial for the minority Fang alliance, who successfully convinced Susie Smith that she was on the bottom of her alliance, resulting in her jumping ship. The tribes were then merged with the former Kota alliance in the minority. The Fang alliance, now with Susie, dominated the game, eliminating the former Kota alliance until only Bob was left. Bob won three consecutive Immunity Challenges, forcing the Fang alliance to turn on themselves. This resulted in the eliminations of Crystal and Ken due to their strong strategic prowess. At the final four, Susie won the Final Immunity Challenge, ending Bob's immunity streak. Sugar decided to vote with Bob due to their social bond, forcing a tie between him and Matty; Bob won the fire-making tiebreaker challenge.

At the Final Tribal Council, the jury was critical of Sugar's backstabbing and of Susie's less-dominant strategic game. Split between the two warring alliances, the jury narrowly voted Bob as the Sole Survivor with four votes to Susie's three, and Sugar receiving none.

Episode Air date Challenges Exiled Eliminated
Finish Viewership (in millions)[2] Rating/Share (18-49)[2]
Reward Immunity
1 "Want to See the Elephant Dung?" September 25, 2008 Kota GC None Michelle
1st Voted Out
Day 3
13.06 4.5/11
Kota1 Dan Gillian
2nd Voted Out
Day 6
2 "She Obviously Is Post-Op!" October 2, 2008 Fang Fang Sugar Paloma
3rd Voted Out
Day 9
13.08 4.5/12
3 "It Was Like Christmas Morning!" October 9, 2008 None Kota Sugar2 Jacquie
4th Voted Out
Day 12
13.28 4.4/12
4 "This Camp Is Cursed" October 16, 2008 Kota Kota Sugar GC
5th Voted Out
Day 15
12.81 4.2/12
5 "He's a Snake, but He's My Snake" October 23, 2008 Kota Kota Sugar Kelly
6th Voted Out
Day 18
13.31 4.4/12
6 "It All Depends on the Pin-Up Girl" October 30, 2008 Kota Marcus Sugar Ace
7th Voted Out
Day 21
13.02 4.1/12
[Sugar]3 Dan
8th Voted Out
Day 21
7 "Apple in the Garden of Eden" November 6, 2008 None Fang None Marcus
9th Voted Out
1st Jury Member
Day 24
12.01 3.8/10
8 "The Brains Behind Everything" November 13, 2008 Fang Susie Bob Charlie
10th Voted Out
2nd Jury Member
Day 27
12.88 4.1/11
9 "Nothing Tastes Better than Five Hundred Dollars" November 20, 2008 Survivor
Ken Bob Randy
11th Voted Out
3rd Jury Member
Day 30
12.50 4.0/11
10 "I Was Put on the Planet for This Show" November 27, 2008 Recap Episode N/A N/A
11 "The Good Things in Life Aren't Easy" December 4, 2008 Bob Bob None Corinne
12th Voted Out
4th Jury Member
Day 33
12.73 3.9/11
12 "The Good Guys Should Win in the End" December 11, 2008 Bob
Bob Susie Crystal
13th Voted Out
5th Jury Member
Day 36
13.05 4.0/11
13 "Say Goodbye to Gabon" December 14, 2008 None Bob None Ken
14th Voted Out
6th Jury Member
Day 37
13.77 4.4/10
Susie Matty
15th Voted Out
7th Jury Member
Day 38
Jury Vote Sugar
Sole Survivor
14 "Reunion" 11.74 3.8/10

^1 Combined Reward and Immunity Challenge.
^2 Due to an odd number of contestants at the tribe switch, Sugar, the odd person, out was exiled to Exile Island until after the proceeding Tribal Council where that player joined the tribe that lost a member.
^3 A Double Tribal Council occurred on Day 21, subjecting the tribes to an individual Immunity Challenge. The winner of the challenge, Marcus from Kota, was given the right to assign immunity to a member from the Fang tribe. He chose Sugar.
^4 A Hidden Immunity Idol was played, negating all votes against its user.
^5 Per Survivor rules, a fire-making challenge would be held between the tied players in case of a deadlock tie in the final four Tribal Council.

Voting History

Survivor: Gabon Voting History
Original Tribes First Switched Tribes Second Switched Tribes Merged Tribe
Episode #: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 11 12 13
Voted out: S17 michelle t.png
S17 gillian t.png
S17 paloma t.png
S17 jacquie t.png
S17 gc t.png
S17 kelly t.png
S17 ace t.png
S17 dan t.png
S17 marcus t.png
S17 charlie t.png
S17 randy t.png
S17 corinne t.png
S17 crystal t.png
S17 ken t.png
Tie S17 matty t.png
S17 sugar t.png
S17 susie t.png
S17 bob t.png
Vote: 8-1 7-1 7-2 5-2 6-1 5-1 3-2 4-3 3-2 5-4 5-3 4-3 4-02 4-1 2-23 Tiebreaker 4-3-0
Bob Paloma Dan Ken Crystal Susie Matty Crystal Ken Matty Jury Vote
Susie Michelle Gillian Dan Marcus Charlie Randy Corinne Crystal Ken Bob
Sugar Paloma Exiled1 GC Kelly Ace Charlie Randy Corinne Crystal Ken Matty
Matty Michelle Gillian Jacquie GC Kelly Crystal Charlie Randy Corinne Crystal Ken Bob Voted out Susie
Ken Michelle Gillian Jacquie GC Kelly Ace Marcus Charlie Randy Matty Matty Susie Susie
Crystal Michelle Gillian Jacquie GC Kelly Ace Marcus Charlie Randy Corinne Matty Susie
Corinne Paloma Dan Crystal Susie Matty Bob
Randy Michelle Gillian Susie Crystal Susie Bob
Charlie Paloma Dan Crystal Bob
Marcus Paloma Susie Ken Bob
Dan Michelle Gillian Susie
Ace Paloma Kelly GC Kelly Crystal
Kelly Ace Jacquie GC Crystal
GC Michelle Gillian Jacquie Kelly
Jacquie Paloma Kelly
Paloma Ace
Gillian Michelle Ken
Michelle Gillian

^1 Due to the odd number of players at the time of the tribe switch, Sugar, the odd person out, was sent to Exile Island, and rejoined the game as a member of Fang, replacing Jacquie and evening the tribes at 7-7.
^2 A Hidden Immunity Idol was played, negating all votes against its user.
^3 Per Survivor rules, a fire-making challenge would be held between the tied players in case of a deadlock tie in the final four Tribal Council.


  • This is the only season to have only two pre-merge tribes, yet have two Tribe Switches.
  • This is the first season since Survivor: China to feature a seven-member jury with a final three. After this season, every season that had a final three would feature a jury of at least eight members, though the Juror Removal twist in Survivor: Kaôh Rōng would reduce that season to an eventual seven-member jury.
  • This is the first season with an 18-player cast where the jury began before the merge.


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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