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.

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.


  • Expanded Cast: This is the first season to feature twenty contestants.
  • Schoolyard Pick and Day 2 Elimination: The contestants start the game by competing for two individual Immunity Necklaces awarded to the first male and the first female to reach them. The winners then pick one member of the opposite sex to join their tribe and add another contestant to it. The last male and the last female who are not picked are eliminated from the game.
  • Double Tribal Council: On Day 12, both tribes have to vote somebody out of the game following a Reward Challenge.
  • Tiebreaker Challenge: A fire-making contest is held in case of a tie at the final four or if there are only two people left on a tribe.
  • No Merge: Ulong was absorbed into its rival tribe, Koror, after being reduced to one member following an unprecedented losing streak.
  • Exile Island: Exile Island is introduced for the first time. Used only once as punishment for the first one out of an Immunity Challenge, the exiled contestant is sent to a remote location with minimum supplies to live there for a certain period of time.


Contestant Tribe Affiliation Finish Votes
Original Tribe Absorbed Tribe
S10 jonathan t Jonathan Libby
23, Dallas, TX
Sales & Marketing Associate
None Eliminated
Day 2
S10 wanda t Wanda Shirk
55, Ulysses, PA
English Teacher
None Eliminated
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, Tom's 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 13th Voted Out
6th Jury Member
Day 37
S10 ian t Ian Rosenberger
23, Ambridge, PA
Dolphin Trainer
Koror 14th 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 twenty castaways began the game by rowing to the beach they would live on, with the first player of each gender to reach shore winning immunity. However, once ashore, they received no additional instructions nor were they divided into tribes, and began to work on a common shelter. The next day, host Jeff Probst announced that they would now pick tribes via a Schoolyard Pick, with those who had won immunity, Ian Rosenberger and Jolanda Jones, getting to choose first. The last male and female remaining would immediately leave the game. Eventually, Jonathan Libby and Wanda Shirk did not get picked, and were sent home. The two tribes, Koror and Ulong, then participated in the first Reward/Immunity Challenge, with the winner, Koror, deciding to leave their present beach to another one they had not seen.

On paper, it seemed that the young and athletic Ulong tribe had an advantage over the old 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 Drinkard and Stephenie LaGrossa, who faced each other off in a fire-making challenge, with the latter emerging victorious. After spending the night alone, Stephenie was absorbed by Koror, thus having no merge.

Koror developed a core group of five: Ian, Gregg Carey, Jenn Lyon, Katie Gallagher, and Tom Westman, and those on the outside saw them as a threat but were not able to break them. Despite making an immediate strong impression on her new tribe, Stephenie was targeted due to her strength and tenacity. She was able to buy herself some time when the Koror Alliance briefly turned on each other, and when Janu Tornell quit, but was eventually voted out.

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 run. At the final four, Tom realized Ian was targeting him, which caused him to turn on Ian, though Ian won the fire-making tiebreaker challenge against Jenn. At the Final Immunity Challenge, which ran for almost 12 hours, Ian decided to step down after being burdened by his numerous deceptions and gave Tom the win. He asked Tom to vote him out, making him the final member of the jury

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, being gossipy and mean towards others besides Tom and Ian. In the end, Tom won the title of Sole Survivor in a 6-1 landslide vote.

Episode Air date Challenges Eliminated
Finish Viewers
(in millions)[2]
Reward Immunity
1 "This Has Never Happened Before!" February 17, 2005 None Ian Jonathan
(no vote)2
Day 2
23.66 9.1/23
Koror1 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 (Ibrehem) Willard
5th Voted Out
Day 12
18.42 6.9/19
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
13th Voted Out
6th Jury Member
Day 37
20.80 7.8/18
Tom Ian
14th Voted Out
7th Jury Member
Day 38
Jury Vote Katie
Sole Survivor
15 "Reunion" 16.72 6.5/16


^1 Combined Reward and Immunity Challenge.
^2 Due to not being picked by the initial tribes, Jonathan and Wanda were automatically eliminated.
^3 A tie between Bobby Jon and Angie forced a re-vote; Stephenie and Ibrehem switched their votes to Angie, eliminating her.
^4 A tie between Ibrehem and James forced a re-vote; Stephenie switched her vote from Ibrehem to James, eliminating him.
^5 With Ulong having only two members, a fire-making challenge was held to determine the elimination, which Bobby Jon lost.
^6 With a deadlock tie between Ian and Jenn, a fire-making challenge was held to determine the elimination, which Jenn lost.

Voting History

Survivor: Palau Voting History
Tribe Selection Original Tribes Tribe Absorption
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 Tiebreaker6 1-07 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 Voted out Tom
Caryn Willard Coby Stephenie Gregg Ian A6a6a6 A6a6a6 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 A6a6a6
Willard Katie
Kim Jolanda Ashlee Jeff James
Jeff Jolanda Ashlee James
Ashlee Jolanda Jeff
Jolanda Angie
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 the rules, a second vote 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 Job lost, eliminating him from the game.
^4 Janu quit the game at Tribal Council, therefore the supposed vote that night was cancelled.
^5 Per the rules of Survivor at the time, a fire-making challenge was held in case of a deadlock tie in the final four Tribal Council. As of the current season, re-votes during the final four Tribal Council are considered obsolete.
^6 Jenn lost the fire-making challenge, eliminating her from the game.
^7 Ian and Katie did not vote as they could only vote for were each other. By virtue of winning the final Immunity Challenge, only Tom voted. Moreover, Tom's vote was verbally cast immediately after the Immunity Challenge as it was too late in the evening when the challenge ended to hold a traditional Tribal Council.


Palau unused

The unused merge buff.

  • The font used for the tribes and Palau subtitle is "Stencil".
  • This is the only season where the pre-jury boots outnumbered those who reached the jury phase.
  • This is the first season of US version of Survivor to have a cast of twenty.
  • Palau is the first season to eliminate three castaways (excluding losing finalists) in one episode. Jonathan Libby and Wanda Shirk were eliminated in the Schoolyard Pick, while Jolanda Jones was voted out the day after in a standard Tribal Council scenario.
  • Palau is the first season where contestants were eliminated before Day 3.
  • 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.
    • With this season having no merged tribe, Palau has the fewest number of tribes, with two.
  • This season marks the first tie vote since Marquesas due to the players' concern regarding the controversial rock drawing tiebreaker. In Samoa, host Jeff Probst confirmed that the rock drawing tiebreaker only applies to votes outside the final four, whereas in a final four situation, the contestants are to compete in a fire-making challenge.
  • This season ties with Caramoan and Kaôh Rōng for having the most tie votes, with three.
  • Palau is the only season to have two fire-making challenges occur.
  • 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.
  • The season's Tribal Council set was a 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.[3][4]
  • Ulong and Koror's camps would be used by the Malakal and Airai tribes respectively three years later, in Micronesia.[5]