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Survivor: Palau is the tenth season of Survivor. It was filmed in the island-country of Palau in the Micronesia subregion of Oceania. The main theme of the season was the Pacific Theatre of World War II.

This season ended with New York City fire lieutenant Tom Westman defeating advertising executive Katie Gallagher in a 6-1 vote. It would ultimately feature one quit, and has to date produced three returning players (Bobby Jon Drinkard, Stephenie LaGrossa, and Tom Westman) for subsequent seasons.

Survivor's 10th season earned the show a Primetime Emmy Award nomination in 2005.


Applications were due June 22, 2004. Around 800 applicants were selected for an interview between the latter part of July and August. Out of these 800, 48 were chosen as semi-finalists for an interview in Los Angeles during September. From these semi-finalists, 20 were chosen to participate the show between October to December 2004.

The season's Tribal Council set was decorated with actual World War II relics such as fallen aircraft, weapons, bags of cement, and barbed wires. The set took eight weeks to build, took 25 tons of cement, 14 tons of rubble, and a thousand bags of sand.[2][3]


  • Expanded Cast: This is the first season to feature twenty contestants.
  • Schoolyard Pick/Day 2 Eliminations: On Day 1, the survivors, still unsorted into tribes, raced to shore for two Immunity Necklaces, one for a man and another for a woman. The next day, the winners, Ian and Jolanda, were tasked to select 16 of the 18 remaining players to be on their tribes. The last man and woman respectively, Jonathan and Wanda, were eliminated on the spot.
  • Tribe Composition: Following the elimination of two contestants on Day 2, two tribes of nine were formed.
  • Double Tribal Council: On Day 12, both tribes went to Tribal Council to vote one out of their own.
    • Immunity Vote: The tribe that won the Day 12 Reward Challenge, Koror, voted one member from the rival tribe to have individual immunity from their Tribal Council.
  • Fire-Making Immunity Challenge: With only two members remaining, Ulong competed in an individual Immunity Challenge at Tribal Council where the loser, Bobby Jon, was eliminated from the game, leaving the winner, Stephenie to return back to camp alone.
  • No Merge: Having outlasted her entire tribe, Stephenie was absorbed by the Koror tribe, thus no merge occurred.
  • Exile Island: A one-off twist used as punishment for the first person to bail out from the Day 26 Immunity Challenge. The exiled contestant, Janu, was sent to live on a remote location with minimum supplies until the next day.
  • Tiebreaker Challenge: Facing a deadlock tie vote on Day 37, Ian and Jenn competed in a fire-making contest.
  • Verbal Vote: Due to the Final Immunity Challenge concluding late at night, it was impossible to conduct a formal Tribal Council. The winner, Tom, was asked to verbally say his vote, which was Ian.
  • Final Tribal Council Format: Two finalists faced a jury of seven. The jurors individually addressed the finalists.


Contestant Tribe Affiliation Finish Votes
Original Tribe Absorbed Tribe
S10 jonathan t Jonathan Libby
23, Dallas, TX
Sales & Marketing Associate
Day 2
S10 wanda t Wanda Shirk
55, Ulysses, PA
English Teacher
Day 2
S10 jolanda t Jolanda Jones
38, Houston, TX
Ulong 1st Voted Out
Day 3
S10 ashlee t Ashlee Ashby
22, Easley, SC
Ulong 2nd Voted Out
Day 6
S10 jeff t Jeff Wilson
21, Ventura, CA
Personal Trainer
Ulong 3rd Voted Out
Day 8
S10 kim t Kim Mullen
25, Huber Heights, OH
Graduate Student
Ulong 4th Voted Out
Day 11
S10 willard t Willard Smith
56, Bellevue, WA
Koror 5th Voted Out
Day 12
S10 angie t Angie Jakusz
24, New Orleans, LA
Ulong 6th Voted Out
Day 12
S10 james t James Miller
33, Mobile, AL
Ulong 7th Voted Out
Day 15
S10 ibrehem t Ibrehem Rahman
27, Birmingham, AL
Ulong 8th Voted Out
Day 18
S10 bobbyjon t Bobby Jon Drinkard
27, Los Angeles, CA
Ulong Eliminated
Day 21
S10 coby t Coby Archa
32, Athens, TX
Koror Koror 9th Voted Out
1st Jury Member
Day 24
S10 janu t Janu Tornell
39, Las Vegas, NV
Vegas Showgirl
Koror Quit
2nd Jury Member
Day 27
S10 stephenie t Stephenie LaGrossa
24, Toms River, NJ
Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
Ulong 10th Voted Out
3rd Jury Member
Day 30
S10 gregg t Gregg Carey
27, Chicago, IL
Business Consultant
Koror 11th Voted Out
4th Jury Member
Day 33
S10 caryn t Caryn Groedel
46, Solon, OH
Civil Rights Lawyer
Koror 12th Voted Out
5th Jury Member
Day 36
S10 jenn t Jenn Lyon
32, Encino, CA
Koror Eliminated
6th Jury Member
Day 37
S10 ian t Ian Rosenberger
23, Ambridge, PA
Dolphin Trainer
Koror 13th Voted Out
7th Jury Member
Day 38
S10 katie t Katie Gallagher
29, Merced, CA
Advertising Executive
Koror Runner-Up 1
S10 tom t Tom Westman
40, Sayville, NY
Koror Sole Survivor 0

Season Summary[]

The survivors, still undivided into tribes, raced from a rowboat to shore for two Immunity Necklaces, one for each gender. With no tribes formed nor any further information given to them, the castaways temporarily lived as one big group. The following day, those who won immunity, Ian and Jolanda were tasked to spread 16 of the 18 remaining players into two tribes of nine, with Ian choosing for Koror and Jolanda for Ulong. Those who were not picked, Jonathan and Wanda, were eliminated on the spot.

On paper, it seemed that the younger and more athletic Ulong tribe had an advantage over the older and slower Koror tribe, but Ulong's lack of teamwork resulted in them losing every Immunity Challenge in the first 21 days, decimating them to a paltry tribe of two: Bobby Jon and Stephenie, who faced each other off in a fire-making challenge. Stephenie, while having won the challenge, was forced to return to camp alone, but absorbed by the Koror tribe the next day, beginning the individual portion of the game without a merge.

Leaving a strong impression on Koror, Stephenie was a clear target, but Coby informed her about Koror's majority alliance: Ian, Gregg, Jenn, Katie, and Tom. For his loose lips, Coby was promptly voted out. While it would seem Stephenie was going next, Janu, fed up by her tribe and contented with her experience altogether, stalled the majority alliance's plans by quitting the game. After a long and hard battle however, Stephenie succumbed to the Koror Alliance on Day 30.

With only Koror members remaining, they were forced to turn on each other, with Ian and Tom taking over the game. Ian later considered betraying Tom, but was thwarted by the latter's Immunity Challenge winning streak. Tom realized Ian was plotting against him, prompting him to force a tie vote between Ian and Jenn. Ian won the fire-making tiebreaker challenge against Jenn, but was overwhelmed with guilt after being caught. During the Final Immunity Challenge, Ian stepped down and asked Tom to vote him out to make up for his betrayal.

At the Final Tribal Council, Tom was lauded for his leadership that led Koror to a clean Immunity Challenge sweep, but was barbed for his machismo. Katie, on the other hand, was appreciated for her honesty, but was more heavily berated for her poor challenge performances and accused of being mean to others besides Tom and Ian. In the end, Tom won the title of Sole Survivor in a 6-1 vote.

Episode Air date Challenges Eliminated
Finish Viewers
(in millions)[4]
Reward Immunity
1 "This Has Never Happened Before!" February 17, 2005 None Ian Jonathan
(no vote)1
Day 2
23.66 9.1/23
Jolanda Wanda
(no vote)1
Day 2
Koror2 Jolanda
1st Voted Out
Day 3
2 "Love Is in the Air, Rats Are Everywhere" February 24, 2005 Ulong Koror Ashlee
2nd Voted Out
Day 6
21.64 7.9/20
3 "Dangerous Creatures and Horrible Setbacks" March 3, 2005 Ulong Koror Jeff
3rd Voted Out
Day 8
21.80 8.5/N/A
4 "Sumo at Sea" March 10, 2005 Koror Koror Kim
4th Voted Out
Day 11
21.80 8.1/22
5 "The Best and Worst Reward Ever" March 16, 2005 Koror Willard
5th Voted Out
Day 12
18.42 6.9/19
[Ibrehem]3 Angie
6th Voted Out
Day 12
6 "Jellyfish 'n Chips" March 23, 2005 Ulong Koror James
7th Voted Out
Day 15
19.15 7.3/19
7 "The Great White Shark Hunter" March 31, 2005 Koror Koror Ibrehem
8th Voted Out
Day 18
20.89 7.7/21
8 "Neanderthal Man" April 7, 2005 Koror Koror Bobby Jon
(no vote)5
Day 21
19.75 7.0/20
9 "I Will Not Give Up" April 14, 2005 None Tom Coby
9th Voted Out
1st Jury Member
Day 24
20.0 7.4/23
10 "Exile Island" April 21, 2005 Caryn,
Janu, Tom
Tom Janu
(no vote)
2nd Jury Member
Day 27
18.66 6.8/20
11 "I'll Show You How Threatening I Am" April 28, 2005 Survivor
Ian Stephenie
10th Voted Out
3rd Jury Member
Day 30
21.21 7.8/20
12 "We'll Make You Pay" May 5, 2005 Gregg
Ian Gregg
11th Voted Out
4th Jury Member
Day 33
20.07 7.1/21
13 "It Could All Backfire" May 12, 2005 Ian
Tom Caryn
12th Voted Out
5th Jury Member
Day 36
19.3 7.1/21
14 "The Ultimate Shock" May 15, 2005 None Tom Jenn
6th Jury Member
Day 37
20.80 7.8/18
Tom Ian
13th Voted Out
7th Jury Member
Day 38
Jury Vote Katie
Sole Survivor
15 "Reunion" 16.72 6.5/16
^1 Due to not being picked by the initial tribes, Jonathan and Wanda were automatically eliminated.
^2 Combined Reward and Immunity Challenge.
^3 The Koror tribe voted to give individual immunity to a member of Ulong. Ibrehem was granted immunity in a 3-2-2-1 vote.
^4 The vote resulted in a tie. Per Survivor rules, a revote would commence.
^5 With Ulong having only two members, a fire-making challenge was held to determine the elimination, which Bobby Jon lost.
^6 Per Survivor rules, in case of a deadlock tie at the final four, a fire-making challenge would be held between the tied players.

Voting History[]

Tribe Selection Original Tribes Absorbed Tribe
Episode 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Voted Out S10 jonathan t
S10 wanda t
S10 jolanda t
S10 ashlee t
S10 jeff t
S10 kim t
S10 willard t
Tie S10 angie t
Tie S10 james t
S10 ibrehem t
S10 bobbyjon t
Bobby Jon
S10 coby t
S10 janu t
S10 stephenie t
S10 gregg t
S10 caryn t
Tie Deadlock S10 jenn t
S10 ian t
S10 katie t
S10 tom t
Vote No vote1 6-3 6-1-1 4-2-1 5-1 8-1 2-2-12 3-0 2-22 2-0 2-1 No vote3 7-1-1 No vote4 6-1 4-2 4-1 2-22 1-15 Tiebreaker 1-06 6-1
Tom Willard Coby Stephenie Gregg Caryn Ian Ian Ian Jury Vote
Katie Willard Coby Stephenie Gregg Caryn Jenn Jenn None
Ian Willard Coby Stephenie Gregg Caryn Jenn None None Tom
Jenn Willard Coby Stephenie Caryn Caryn Ian None Eliminated Tom
Caryn Willard Coby Stephenie Gregg Ian Tom
Gregg Willard Coby Stephenie Caryn Tom
Stephenie Jolanda Ashlee Jeff Kim Bobby Jon Angie Ibrehem James Ibrehem Coby Caryn Tom
Janu Willard Stephenie Quit Tom
Coby Willard Janu Katie
Bobby Jon Angie Ashlee Kim Kim Angie None James James Ibrehem Eliminated
Ibrehem Angie Kim Jeff Kim James Angie James None Stephenie
James Jolanda Ashlee Kim Kim Angie Angie Ibrehem None
Angie Jolanda Ashlee Jeff Kim Bobby Jon None
Willard Katie
Kim Jolanda Ashlee Jeff James
Jeff Jolanda Ashlee James
Ashlee Jolanda Jeff
Jolanda Angie
Wanda Eliminated
Jonathan Eliminated
^1 Because they were not picked to be on a tribe, Jonathan and Wanda were automatically eliminated. No vote occurred for their removal.
^2 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.
^3 Because Ulong was down to its last two members, a fire-making challenge was held to determine the elimination. Bobby Jon lost, eliminating him from the game.
^4 Janu quit the game at Tribal Council, therefore the vote that night was cancelled.
^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.
^6 Ian and Katie did not vote as they could only vote for each other. By virtue of winning the Final Immunity Challenge, only Tom voted.


Unused Palau Merge Buff

The unused merge Buff. While never seen in the actual show, it remained commercially available on during the season's run.

  • The font used for the tribes and Palau subtitle is "Stencil".
  • Palau is the only season to have only two tribes throughout the season.
  • Palau is the only season where the pre-jury boots outnumbered those who reached the jury phase.
  • Palau is the first season of US version of Survivor to have a cast of twenty.
  • Palau is the last season to not feature Hidden Immunity Idols.
  • Palau is the first season to eliminate three castaways in one episode. Jonathan and Wanda were eliminated in the Schoolyard Pick, while Jolanda was voted out the day after at a standard Tribal Council.
  • Palau is the first season where contestants were eliminated before Day 3.
  • Palau contains the most challenges where at least one person sat out, with 13.
    • Palau also set the record for most consecutive episodes with at least one person sitting out, with 7. This was broken in Survivor 42, which had an eight-episode streak with people sitting out.
  • For the first time in the series' history, one tribe "conquered" the other by winning every single Immunity Challenge and absorbing the other tribe's last remaining member. Had Koror and Ulong merged, the merged tribe's color would have been green (see image to the right). The supposed merge Buff became a sought-after collector's item among Survivor fans.
  • Palau marks the first tie vote since Marquesas due to the players' concern regarding the rock drawing tiebreaker.
  • Palau ties with Caramoan, Kaôh Rōng and Survivor 41 for having the most tie votes, with three.
  • Palau is the only season to have two fire-making challenges.
  • Palau is the first season to have Exile Island. However, Exile Island was only used for one episode. Panama was the first season to use it as a full season twist.
  • Palau holds the record for most contestants eliminated without being voted out, with 5.
  • Ulong and Koror's camps, Mecherchar and Ulong Islands respectively, were used by the Malakal and Airai tribes respectively three years later in Micronesia.[5]


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