Survivor: Marquesas is the fourth installment of the reality television show Survivor. It premiered on February 28, 2002 and ended May 19, 2002. The season was filmed from November 12 to December 20, 2001 on the island of Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia.

Vecepia Towery beat Neleh Dennis in a 4-3 vote to become the winner of this season, and received the $1,000,000 prize.


Originally, Jordan was supposed to be the location of the fourth season. Mark Burnett wrote in his autobiography "Jump In" that the Survivor team were in pre-production of Survivor: Arabia - the outline for the opening involved the castaways boarding a train, then riding on camels to their campsites. Eventually, as a result of the September 11 attacks and the political situation in the Middle East, CBS was forced to use another place for the show. The Marquesas Islands were chosen as the backup location.[2]


  • Tribe Composition: The sixteen castaways were divided into two tribes of eight.
  • Meager Supplies: The castaways were not given any food rations. The tribes' supply crates were drastically reduced to only a magnifying glass, three pans, a fillet knife, and two water containers.
  • Camps with Pros and Cons: The Maraamu camp was a white sand beach with relatively more fruit-bearing trees than Rotu, but only had a small stream for a water source. The Rotu camp on the other hand had a rocky beach with very little food sources, but had a waterfall as a water source.
  • Tribe Switch: A luck of a draw sent three members from both tribes to join the rival tribe.
  • Merged Tribe Composition: The merged tribe was composed of ten members.
  • Transferable Immunity Necklace: Beginning from this season, the winner of the Immunity Challenge reserved the right to transfer the Immunity Necklace to another player, keeping the recipient safe instead and leaving the original wearer vulnerable.
  • Purple Rock Tiebreaker: In case of a deadlocked tie and there is no consensus as to how the vote will go, everyone, including people who did not receive votes except the owner of the Immunity Necklace, will pick a rock from a bag. Inside the bag, there is one purple rock, and the contestant who gets it will be automatically eliminated from the game.
  • Final Tribal Council Format: Two finalists faced a jury of seven. The jurors individually addressed the finalists.


Contestant Tribe Affiliation Finish Votes
Original Tribe Switched Tribe Merged Tribe
S4 peter t Peter Harkey
45, Millis, MA
Bowling Alley Owner
Maraamu 1st Voted Out
Day 3
S4 patricia t Patricia Jackson
49, Lugoff, SC
Truck Assembler
Maraamu 2nd Voted Out
Day 6
S4 hunter t Hunter Ellis
33, La Jolla, CA
Ex-Navy Fighter Pilot
Maraamu 3rd Voted Out
Day 9
S4 sarah t Sarah Jones
24, Newport Beach, CA
Account Manager
Maraamu Maraamu 4th Voted Out
Day 12
S4 gabriel t Gabriel Cade
23, Los Angeles, CA
Rotu Rotu 5th Voted Out
Day 15
S4 gina t Gina Crews
28, Gainesville, FL
Nature Guide
Maraamu Maraamu 6th Voted Out
Day 18
S4 rob t Rob Mariano
25, Canton, MA
Construction Worker
Maraamu Rotu Soliantu 7th Voted Out
Day 21
S4 john t John Carroll
36, Omaha, NE
Rotu Rotu 8th Voted Out
1st Jury Member
Day 24
S4 zoe t Zoe Zanidakis
35, Monhegan Island, ME
Fishing Boat Captain
Rotu Rotu 9th Voted Out
2nd Jury Member
Day 27
S4 tammy t Tammy Leitner
29, Mesa, AZ
Crime Reporter
Rotu Rotu 10th Voted Out
3rd Jury Member
Day 30
S4 robert t Robert DeCanio
38, College Point, NY
Limousine Driver
Rotu Rotu 11th Voted Out
4th Jury Member
Day 33
S4 sean t Sean Rector
30, Los Angeles, CA
Maraamu Rotu 12th Voted Out
5th Jury Member
Day 36
S4 paschal t Paschal English
56, Thomaston, GA
Rotu Maraamu Eliminated
6th Jury Member
Day 37
S4 kathy t Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien
46, Burlington, VT
Real Estate Agent
Rotu Maraamu 13th Voted Out
7th Jury Member
Day 38
S4 neleh t Neleh Dennis
21, Layton, UT
Rotu Maraamu Runner-Up 4
S4 vecepia t Vecepia Towery
36, Hayward, CA
Office Manager
Maraamu Rotu Sole Survivor 2

Season Summary

The two tribes, Maraamu and Rotu, as in previous seasons, were assembled before the game. From the beginning, Rotu prospered as a unified, hard-working tribe, while the Maraamu tribe quickly became divided between the leaders and the workers. These differences heavily reflected in the first few Immunity Challenges, as Maraamu lost five challenges in a row. These losses sent Maraamu to Tribal Council on three consecutive occasions. There, the alliance made between Rob Mariano, Sarah Jones, Sean Rector, and Vecepia Towery soon took action eliminating their rivals.

On Day 10, a random Tribe Switch occurred. With her entire alliance sent to Rotu, Sarah was on the outs and voted out after Maraamu's fourth immunity loss. After Sarah's elimination, the new Maraamu tribe, now a paltry tribe of four, went on to win three consecutive challenges. Maraamu came together. On Rotu, an alliance of four led by John Carroll formed.

Before the two tribes merged on Day 19, Rob and Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien were sent to a summit in which they had to decide on a name, flag, and location for their new tribe. They came up with Soliantu - a word they coined to mean "Sacred Allegiance to the Sun". During the meeting, Rob convinced Kathy that the Rotu tribe intended to vote her out first, and she decided her only option was to prevail in the first individual Immunity Challenge. With this, Kathy persevered and won, resulting in her receiving the individual Immunity Necklace. The newly merged tribe then eliminated Rob due to him being a great threat and causing a great deal of stress in the camp. After Rob's elimination, the Rotu Four alliance became arrogant and careless. They ganged up against the other five castaways in the next Immunity Challenge, showing them the exact order in which they would be sent home. With their fates seemingly obvious, the remaining five decided to act while they still had the numbers advantage, and at the evening's Tribal Council, John was blindsided. Outnumbered by the new Outsiders Alliance, the remaining members of the Rotu Four were subsequently eliminated. With the Rotu Four gone and in the jury, the final five resumed their previous factions: Neleh Dennis and Paschal English against Sean and Vecepia, with each pair vying for Kathy's vote. After a heated discussion at Tribal Council, Kathy sided with Neleh and Paschal and voted out Sean.

Vecepia, the odd person out in the tribe, went on to win the next Immunity Challenge; and at Tribal Council, Kathy publicly approached Vecepia to form a voting bloc to take them both to the Final Two as she knew that Neleh and Paschal would never turn on each other. Vecepia agreed to the deal, and they both voted for Neleh, resulting in a tie between her and Kathy. With the vote being deadlocked, a draw of rocks would decide who will go next. Oddly, Paschal, the only other person than Vecepia who did not receive votes, drew the purple rock and was eliminated. When Kathy dropped out at the Final Immunity Challenge, Vecepia went back on her word and offered Neleh to step down if she took her to the final. Neleh agreed, and Kathy became the final member of the jury.

At the Final Tribal Council, Neleh and Vecepia were met with a bitter jury as they were grilled for hiding behind religion to use a form of guilt-free deception. Neleh was castigated by the former Rotu Four alliance for initially accepting that she would have been contented by reaching the jury phase only to turn on her word, while Vecepia was chastised for constantly shifting from alliance to alliance and was met with heavy disdain for betraying Kathy after publicly aligning with her. Ultimately, it was Vecepia who was crowned Sole Survivor after a close 4-3 vote, becoming the first African-American victor.

Episode Air date Challenges Eliminated
Finish Viewers
(in millions)[3]
Reward Immunity
1 "Back to the Beach" February 28, 2002 None Rotu Peter
1st Voted Out
Day 3
23.19 9.1/22
2 "Nacho Momma" March 7, 2002 Rotu Rotu Patricia
2nd Voted Out
Day 6
23.40 9.4/23
3 "No Pain, No Gain" March 13, 2002 Rotu Rotu Hunter
3rd Voted Out
Day 9
20.10 8.9/24
4 "The Winds Twist" March 20, 2002 None Rotu Sarah
4th Voted Out
Day 12
5 "The End of Innocence" March 28, 2002 Maraamu Maraamu Gabriel
5th Voted Out
Day 15
N/A 8.2/22
6 "The Underdogs" April 4, 2002 Maraamu Rotu Gina
6th Voted Out
Day 18
7 "True Lies" April 11, 2002 None Kathy Rob
7th Voted Out
Day 21
N/A 7.7/N/A
8 "Jury's Out" April 18, 2002 Kathy Tammy John
8th Voted Out
1st Jury Member
Day 24
19.88 8.0/23
9 "Look Closer: The First 24 Days" April 24, 2002 Recap Episode N/A N/A
10 "Two Peas in a Pod" April 25, 2002 Paschal,
Tammy Zoe
9th Voted Out
2nd Jury Member
Day 27
19.42 7.8/20
11 "The Princess" May 2, 2002 Paschal
Robert Tammy
10th Voted Out
3rd Jury Member
Day 30
19.60 7.8/21
12 "Marquesan Vacation" May 9, 2002 Kathy Vecepia Robert
11th Voted Out
4th Jury Member
Day 33
20.83 8.1/22
13 "A Tale of Two Cities" May 16, 2002 Sean Kathy Sean
12th Voted Out
5th Jury Member
Day 36
19.15 7.5/20
14 "The Sole Survivor" May 19, 2002 None Vecepia Paschal
6th Jury Member
Day 37
25.87 10.4/23
Neleh Kathy
13th Voted Out
7th Jury Member
Day 38
Jury Vote Neleh
Sole Survivor
15 "Reunion" 18.30 8.3/N/A

^1 With a deadlock tie between Kathy and Neleh, the Purple Rock tiebreaker was used, forcing all the non-immune contestants to draw rocks. The player with the odd-colored rock was eliminated, which was Paschal.

Voting History

Survivor: Marquesas Voting History
Original Tribes Switched Tribes Merged Tribe
Episode #: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 11 12 13 14
Voted out: S4 peter t
S4 patricia t
S4 hunter t
S4 sarah t
S4 gabriel t
S4 gina t
S4 rob t
S4 john t
S4 zoe t
S4 tammy t
S4 robert t
S4 sean t
Tie S4 paschal t
S4 kathy t
S4 neleh t
S4 vecepia t
Vote: 5-2-1 4-3 4-2 4-1 7-1 3-1 7-2-1 6-3 7-1 5-2 5-1 3-2 2-21 Lottery 1-02 4-3
Vecepia Sarah Patricia Hunter Gabriel Rob John Zoe Tammy Robert Neleh Neleh None Jury Vote
Neleh Sarah Gina Rob John Zoe Tammy Robert Sean Kathy Kathy
Kathy Sarah Gina Zoe John Zoe Tammy Robert Sean Neleh None Neleh
Paschal Sarah Gina Rob John Zoe Tammy Robert Sean Kathy Eliminated Neleh
Sean Sarah Patricia Hunter Gabriel John John Zoe Tammy Robert Neleh A6a6a6 Vecepia
Robert Gabriel Rob Sean Zoe Vecepia Sean Vecepia
Tammy Gabriel Rob Sean Zoe Vecepia Vecepia
Zoe Gabriel Rob John Robert Neleh
John Gabriel Rob Sean Vecepia
Rob Peter Patricia Hunter Gabriel John
Gina Peter Sarah Sarah Sarah Kathy
Gabriel Rob
Sarah Peter Patricia Hunter Kathy
Hunter Peter Sarah Sarah
Patricia Peter Sarah
Peter Patricia


^1 Per Survivor rules at the time, if there is a deadlock tie, all non-immune players will have to draw rocks, with the player drawing the purple rock will be eliminated. Paschal drew the said rock, eliminating him from the game.
^2 Kathy and Vecepia did not vote as they could only vote for were each other. By virtue of winning the final Immunity Challenge, only Neleh voted.


  • This was the first season in which the finalists were of the same gender.
  • Host Jeff Probst has stated that Survivor will never use the Marquesas as a location again, solely because of the painful bites from the native no-no sandflies.
  • For the first time, the loved ones of castaways were on location during the loved ones Reward Challenge (in Survivor: Borneo and Survivor: The Australian Outback only the winner's loved one visited the castaways).
  • This is the only season to not have aired in Australia.
  • For the first time, two different contestants won the penultimate and final Immunity Challenges.
  • This is the first season to utilize the rock drawing tiebreaker.
  • This is the first time that both original tribes were represented in the Final Tribal Council.
  • This is the first season in which both finalists had votes against them during the game.
  • This is the first season to have a male as the first person voted out.
  • This was the first season where Tribal Council had a roof.
  • This is the first season to have a castaway that was born in the 1980s: Neleh Dennis.
  • This is the first season where at no point during the season did the male castaways outnumber the female castaways. This would next happen in Survivor: Vanuatu and later in Survivor: Micronesia.
  • This was the final season to feature the Reebok logo on the tribe's buffs.


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