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This article is about the 25th season of the American version of Survivor. For the Philippine version of the series, see Survivor Philippines.

Survivor: Philippines is the twenty-fifth season of Survivor. It premiered on September 19, 2012, with a 90-minute premiere. The season featured fifteen new players and three returning players who had been medically evacuated in previous seasons. It would ultimately feature one quit, and has to date produced three returning players (Abi-Maria Gomes, Denise Stapley, and Malcolm Freberg) for subsequent seasons.

The most significant early-game development was the almost unprecedented futility of the Matsing tribe, which lost the first four straight Immunity Challenges. The only two players to survive the annihilation of Matsing were Denise and Malcolm, both of whom would go on to skillfully navigate the post-merge power struggle between the former Kalabaw and Tandang tribes in order to stave off elimination. Key power players from Kalabaw (including Jeff Kent and Jonathan Penner) and from Tandang (Pete Yurkowski and Abi-Maria) all failed to make the final four, which was instead occupied by Malcolm, Denise, and Tandang defectors Michael Skupin and Lisa Whelchel. Denise would ultimately become the Sole Survivor in a 6-1-1 vote over Lisa and Michael.


In an interview, Jeff Probst revealed that filming of this season wrapped up while Survivor: One World was still airing. Furthermore, the 26th season will also be filmed in the Philippines, where the Survivor Production Team will stay up until August.[2] Probst also said that more than 400 locals were hired during shooting.[3]

The Production's Marine Department used 30 boats for water transport, with 15 from the Production Team, and another 15 were boats hired from locals.


  • Three Tribes: For the first time since Survivor: All-Stars, three tribes will compete starting at the beginning of the season. Also, for the first time since Survivor: Cook Islands, the season starts out with more than two rival tribes.
  • Returning Players: Three returning players are going to return to compete with a new batch of castaways. These returnees are former contestants who were medically evacuated from their respective seasons.[4][5][6]
  • Hidden Immunity Idol: Similar to Survivor: China, the idols will be "hidden" in plain sight, with a clue hidden in the bottom of each tribe's rice. For the first time in Survivor history, three idols would be in play at the same time. There will be three idols, one at each camp. The idol is resting on top of the rice lid, disguised as a handle.
  • Tribe Absorption: On Day 11, the two remaining members of the Matsing tribe were absorbed in to the other two tribes.
  • Merge at 11: For the first time in Survivor history, the merge commenced with eleven players remaining, unlike the usual 10 or 12.
  • New Jury/Final Few Composition: This season is the first time to feature a Final Three with an eight-person jury.


Contestant Tribe Affiliation Finish Votes
Original Tribe Absorbed Tribe Merged Tribe
S25 zane t Zane Knight
28, Danville, VA
Tire Repairman
Matsing 1st Voted Out
Day 3
S25 roxy t Roxy Morris
27, Brooklyn, NY
Seminary Student
Matsing 2nd Voted Out
Day 6
S25 angie t Angie Layton
20, Provo, UT
Matsing 3rd Voted Out
Day 8
S25 russell t Russell Swan
45, Glenside, PA
Matsing 4th Voted Out
Day 10
S25 dana t Dana Lambert
32, Winston-Salem, NC
Kalabaw Kalabaw Quit
Day 12
S25 dawson t Sarah Dawson
28, Silver Spring, MD
Insurance Saleswoman
Kalabaw Kalabaw 5th Voted Out
Day 13
S25 katie t Katie Hanson
22, Newark, DE
Former Miss Delaware
Kalabaw Kalabaw 6th Voted Out
Day 16
S25 rc t RC Saint-Amour
26, New York City, NY
Investment Banker
Tandang Tandang Dangrayne 7th Voted Out
1st Jury Member
Day 19
S25 jeff t Jeff Kent
44, Austin, TX
Retired MLB Player
Kalabaw Kalabaw 8th Voted Out
2nd Jury Member
Day 22
S25 artis t Artis Silvester
52, Terrytown, LA
Computer Engineer
Tandang Tandang 9th Voted Out
3rd Jury Member
Day 25
S25 pete t Pete Yurkowski
24, Holmdel, NJ
Engineering Graduate
Tandang Tandang 10th Voted Out
4th Jury Member
Day 27
S25 jonathan t Jonathan Penner
50, Los Angeles, CA
Cook Islands & Micronesia
Kalabaw Kalabaw 11th Voted Out
5th Jury Member
Day 30
S25 carter t Carter Williams
24, Shawnee, KS
Track Coach
Kalabaw Kalabaw 12th Voted Out
6th Jury Member
Day 33
S25 abimaria t Abi-Maria Gomes
32, Los Angeles, CA
Business Student
Tandang Tandang 13th Voted Out
7th Jury Member
Day 36
S25 malcolm t Malcolm Freberg
24, Hermosa Beach, CA
Matsing Tandang 14th Voted Out
8th Jury Member
Day 38
S25 lisa t Lisa Whelchel
48, Dallas, TX
Former TV Teen Star
Tandang Tandang Runners-Up 0
S25 michael t Michael Skupin
50, White Lake, MI
The Australian Outback
Tandang Tandang 0
S25 denise t Denise Stapley
41, Cedar Rapids, IA
Sex Therapist
Matsing Kalabaw Sole Survivor 6

Season Summary[]

The fifteen new castaways were split into three tribes and then introduced to their final tribe members, three returning castaways that had been medically evacuated from their previous seasons: Michael was assigned to Tandang, Jonathan to Kalabaw, and Russell to Matsing. Matsing lost the first four Immunity Challenges, leaving only Malcolm, who had the tribe's Hidden Immunity Idol, and Denise, his closest ally since the start of the game.

After Matsing's dissolution, Malcolm was sent to Tandang and Denise to Kalabaw. Malcolm quickly integrated himself with Tandang's dominant alliance, led by Pete, while Denise aligned with an alliance led by Jeff at Kalabaw, strained by Jeff's desire to eliminate returning players. Jonathan had found Kalabaw's Hidden Immunity Idol, using it as leverage to align with Jeff, while Abi-Maria had located Tandang's.

The tribes merged with Tandang holding the majority. Lisa accidentally discovered Malcolm's Hidden Immunity Idol, and promised to keep it a secret if he agreed to take her to the end of the game. At the start of the merge, Pete's alliance took control and targeted the returning players, but Jonathan used his Idol to save himself. Lisa revealed the existence of Malcolm's idol to the others in an attempt to blindside him. However, after Malcolm successfully convinced the Tandang alliance that he was planning on playing his Idol, they voted out Jeff instead.

Lisa and Michael, on the bottom of the Tandang alliance, eventually flipped sides, working with the remnants of Kalabaw and Matsing to eliminate the other former Tandang members. Soon after, a core alliance of Michael, Lisa, Malcolm, and Denise had formed, systematically eliminating the others. Despite winning an advantage in the Final Immunity Challenge, Malcolm failed to win immunity and he was subsequently voted out for being the largest jury threat.

All three finalists were berated by the jury at the Final Tribal Council: Lisa for claiming that she could not handle the pressures of the game, Michael for being strategically and socially inept and Denise for being condescending at times. However, Denise's argument, coupled with the fact that she was the first player in Survivor history to attend and survive every Tribal Council in the season proved to be the most convincing, which earned her the title of Sole Survivor by a 6-1-1 vote.

Episode Air date Challenges Eliminated
Finish Viewership
(in millions)[7]
Reward Immunity
1 "Survivor Smacked Me in the Chops" September 19, 2012 Kalabaw1 Zane
1st Voted Out
Day 3
11.37 3.2/10
2 "Don't Be Blinded by the Headlights" September 26, 2012 Tandang1 Roxy
2nd Voted Out
Day 6
10.31 3.1/9
3 "This Isn't a 'We' Game" October 3, 2012 Kalabaw1 Angie
3rd Voted Out
Day 8
10.38 3.0/9
4 "Create a Little Chaos" October 10, 2012 Tandang1 Russell
4th Voted Out
Day 10
9.82 2.8/8
5 "Got My Swag Back" October 17, 2012 Tandang Tandang Dana
(no vote)
Day 12
10.43 2.8/8
5th Voted Out
Day 13
6 "Down and Dirty" October 24, 2012 Kalabaw2 Tandang Katie
6th Voted Out
Day 16
10.23 2.8/8
7 "Not the Only Actor on This Island" October 31, 2012 None Denise RC
7th Voted Out
1st Jury Member
Day 19
9.83 2.5/8
8 "Dead Man Walking" November 7, 2012 Denise,
Jonathan Jeff
8th Voted Out
2nd Jury Member
Day 22
10.31 2.8/8
9 "Little Miss Perfect" November 14, 2012 Carter,
Michael Artis
9th Voted Out
3rd Jury Member
Day 25
10.06 2.6/8
10 "Whiners Are Wieners" November 21, 2012 Abi-Maria,
Carter Pete
10th Voted Out
4th Jury Member
Day 27
9.37 2.3/8
11 "Hell Hath Frozen Over" November 28, 2012 Survivor
Abi-Maria Jonathan
11th Voted Out
5th Jury Member
Day 30
10.37 2.7/8
12 "Shot into Smithereens" December 5, 2012 Malcolm
Malcolm Carter
12th Voted Out
6th Jury Member
Day 33
10.64 2.9/8
13 "Gouge My Eyes Out" December 12, 2012 Michael
Malcolm Abi-Maria
13th Voted Out
7th Jury Member
Day 36
10.37 2.8/8
14 "Million Dollar Question" December 16, 2012 Malcolm Michael Malcolm
14th Voted Out
8th Jury Member
Day 38
11.46 3.2/8
Jury Vote Michael
Sole Survivor
15 "Reunion" 8.77[8] 2.3/N/A
^1 Combined Reward and Immunity Challenge.
^2 Tandang forfeited the challenge in exchange for Kalabaw's rice.
^3 A Hidden Immunity Idol was played, negating all votes against its user.

Voting History[]

Original Tribes Absorbed Tribes Merged Tribe
Episode 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Voted Out S25 zane t
S25 roxy t
S25 angie t
S25 russell t
S25 dana t
S25 dawson t
S25 katie t
S25 rc t
S25 jeff t
S25 artis t
S25 pete t
S25 jonathan t
S25 carter t
S25 abimaria t
S25 malcolm t
S25 michael t
S25 lisa t
S25 denise t
Vote 5-1 4-1 3-1 2-1 No vote1 5-1 4-1 4-2-02 5-4-1 5-4 3-2-02 4-3 5-1 4-1 3-1 6-1-1
Denise Zane Roxy Angie Russell Dawson Katie Jonathan Pete Artis Abi-Maria Jonathan Carter Abi-Maria Malcolm Jury Vote
Lisa Jonathan Jeff Jonathan Abi-Maria Jonathan Carter Abi-Maria Malcolm
Michael Jonathan Jeff Artis Abi-Maria Jonathan Carter Abi-Maria Malcolm
Malcolm Zane Roxy Angie Russell Jonathan Pete Artis Pete Jonathan Carter Abi-Maria Denise Denise
Abi-Maria Jonathan Jeff Jonathan Malcolm Denise Carter Denise Denise
Carter Dawson Katie RC Pete Artis Pete Denise Abi-Maria Michael
Jonathan Dawson Katie Pete Abi-Maria Artis Pete Denise Denise
Pete RC Jeff Jonathan Malcolm Denise
Artis RC Jeff Jonathan Denise
Jeff Dawson Katie RC Pete Denise
RC Pete Lisa
Katie Dawson Jonathan
Dawson Denise
Dana Quit
Russell Zane Roxy Angie Malcolm
Angie Zane Roxy Russell
Roxy Zane Angie
Zane Russell
^1 Dana quit the game due to illness. No vote occurred for her removal.
^2 A Hidden Immunity Idol was played, negating all votes against its user.


  • The United States is the seventh country to host a Survivor season in Caramoan, following India, Serbia, Bulgaria, Israel, Sweden, and France.[9]
  • Philippines is the first season since Nicaragua where the title contains the country where the season is filmed.
  • This season's theme is inspired by the Maranao, an indigenous, predominantly Muslim indigenous community in the southern Philippines. The Tribal Council set is inspired by the Maranao people's elaborate wooden houses. This season's Immunity Idol is the Sarimanok, a multicolored fowl in Filipino mythology (sari, an item of clothing, and manok meaning "chicken"), and an ubiquitous symbol of the Maranao people's arts and culture.
  • The tribe colors of red, blue, and yellow appeared to be a reference to the colors of the Philippine flag. Furthermore, several promotional clips feature the eight-rayed sun which prominently featured in the flag.
  • The font used for the tribe names is "Nuku Nuku".
  • Philippines's Hidden Immunity Idol is actually the handle of the tribes' rice boxes, while its clue is nestled inside the rice box.
  • Philippines is the first season since Cook Islands to feature more than two starting tribes.
  • Coincidentally, all three returning players were evacuated in their respective season's sixth episodes.
  • Philippines is the first season to have a man voted off first since Jon Dalton was voted off first in Micronesia. Interestingly, Zane and Jon are both from Danville, Virginia.
  • Philippines is the first season with more than two tribes to have two independent tribal Immunity Idols. Previous seasons with the same format (All-StarsPanama, and Cook Islands) had all tribes sharing one tribal Immunity Idol.
  • Philippines is the first season with more than two tribes to have a Hidden Immunity Idol assigned to each camp.
    • All-Stars had no Hidden Immunity Idols, while Panama and Cook Islands each had only one Hidden Immunity Idol up for grabs between four tribes.
  • Philippines marks only the second time in Survivor history that a tribe dwindled to two members, the other time being Palau.
  • Matsing became the first tribe to win zero challenges.
    • Keeping in mind that immunities and rewards were combined challenges; therefore, only having 4 opportunities for victory.
  • Philippines is the first season to have a merge at the final 11.
  • Philippines is the first time a tribe (Tandang) made it all the way to the merge without going to Tribal Council. As such, the six original members of Tandang broke the record of days played before attending their first Tribal Council that had stood since Marquesas.
  • The three returning players did not have votes cast against them in the season they were evacuated. Jonathan Penner had votes against him in Cook Islands, but not Micronesia.
  • Philippines is the second season, after Marquesas, with a three-way tie for most individual Immunity Challenge victories: Carter, Malcolm, and Michael each won two challenges.
  • Philippines is the first season since Gabon where the finalists did not all start on the same tribe.
  • Philippines is the second season where all members of the Final Three received votes, the first being China.
  • Philippines is the first season since Survivor: Fiji where two members of the Final Three received the same amount of jury votes.
  • Philippines has the oldest set of finalists out of any season, with an average age of 46.67: the youngest being Denise, Lisa, and Michael were 41, 49, and 50 respectively.
  • Philippines is the first time that both runners-up had zero votes against them and the same amount of jury votes.
  • Philippines is the first season since Heroes vs. Villains where the person that won the Final Immunity Challenge failed to win the season.
  • Philippines is the most recent season with an endurance-based Final Immunity Challenge.
  • Along with One World, Philippines was the first season to be released on Blu-ray.


  2. Dehnart, Andy (March 27, 2012). "Start of filming on Survivor 25 confirmed". Reality Blurred. Retrieved May 14, 2012. 
  3. "'Survivor' host in Phl for 25th season shoot". The Philippine Star. May 19, 2012. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 
  4. "'Survivor: Philippines' announced in series finale". ABS-CBN News. May 14, 2012. Retrieved May 14, 2012. 
  5. Ross, Dalton (May 13, 2012). "'Survivor: Philippines': Jeff Probst explains the big twist for next season". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 13, 2012. 
  6. Holmes, Gordon (August 20, 2012). "What's New for 'Survivor: Philippines'?". Xfinity. Retrieved August 20, 2012. 
  7. 7.0 7.1
  9. Aguilar, Ephraim (July 5, 2008). "4th-class town well on the way to celeb status". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved May 14, 2012. 

Survivor (U.S.) Seasons
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