Overshadowed by the explosive personalities in Gabon, Susie kept her silence and flew under-the-radar strategically for most of the game. She made a game-changing move by flipping over to her eventual permanent alliance. Despite being physically weaker than most of the castaways, Susie managed to win two critical individual Immunity Challenges - the first and the last - to secure a seat in the Final Tribal Council. However, she lost to Bob Crowley in a close 4-3-0 vote, receiving three votes to win.
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Susie Smith (47)
Hometown: Charles City, Iowa
Susie Smith, a Mexican American mother of one, has always allowed others to dictate her life and she's ready for a change. Born into a Mexican immigrant family of crop field workers, Susie and five of her siblings began working alongside her parents at a young age and the other three siblings were raised by Susie and her siblings. She has struggled ever since, but has overcome many personal challenges.
Tired of working hard and being poor, Smith vows to devote the rest of her life to her needs. After years of allowing others to influence her life, she's decided to stop and dedicate this next chapter to herself, and taking part in Survivor was the first step and second was showing her son, family, friends, and students that all it takes to change any part of your life is to just TRY.
Smith has been married for 25 years. She currently works as an assistant teacher and hairdresser. She teaches English to non-speaking English children from kindergarten to 8th grade. When Susie is not teaching, she enjoys working as a hairdresser where she has many wonderful clients. Her hobbies include photography, watching movies, eating out, sewing and gardening. She describes herself as encouraging, moody and talkative but with a big potty mouth.
Bold and brassy with a huge zest for life, Smith believes Survivor will finally be the opportunity she's needed to turn things around. She has a huge desire to win and won't let anyone get in her way.
Smith currently lives in Charles City, Iowa with her husband, Todd, son, Trent, and two dogs. She is a graduate of the Marshalltown Cosmetology School and a graduate of North Iowa Area Community College.
Her birth date is October 24, 1960.
Susie Smith was selected to be the Fang tribe by Crystal Cox, who stated that "Mamas got to stick together", a move that surprised some of the other contestants. Susie later chose Matty Whitmore to be on the tribe. Fang turned out to be the weaker tribe, losing the first three challenges. At their first two Tribal Councils, Susie agreed to vote out Michelle Chase for her negativity and Gillian Larson for physical weakness. Fang won the next two challenges, earning various comfort items and for the first time in the season, immunity.
On Day 10, the tribes were asked to rank their members from most important to least important. Susie was deemed the least important member of the Fang tribe. After a Tribe Switch occurred, Susie was selected by Corinne Kaplan to be on the new Kota tribe, as the latter did not want to be the only woman on the tribe. Susie finished out the tribe by picking Bob Crowley over Sugar Kiper. Susie planned to work hard to prove her worth so she wouldn't be voted out when the tribe went to Tribal Council. Susie didn't have to worry as the new Kota tribe dominated challenges and she enjoyed the luxuries of the multiple Reward Challenges won. The next challenge on Day 21 was an individual competition with both tribes going to Tribal Council. Susie lost to Randy Bailey in the first round and was in danger of elimination for being a challenge liability. Susie made things worse by angering Corinne by telling her she wanted to vote her out for lack of upper body strength and thinking she was more valuable than Corinne. Despite all of that, she was kept over Dan Kay, who was deemed too much of a threat in the merge for his physical strength and possibly having the Hidden Immunity Idol (in reality, Sugar found the Idol and was still in possession of it.).
On Day 22, the two tribes headed to what was thought to be a merge feast. After the feast, the group opened a box revealing that the tribes had not merged, but that it was a second switch. Susie stayed on Kota with Bob and Marcus Lehman and was reunited with Crystal and Ken Hoang. Susie immediately realized that she was the swing vote and could go either way. The new Kora tribe lost the following Immunity Challenge. Susie didn't feel comfortable flipping over to Crystal and Ken. However, Crystal told Susie that Marcus had promised them both a spot in the Final Three and he had lied to her. Because of that, Susie sided with the Fang Alliance to vote out Marcus.
When the tribes finally merged into the Nobag tribe, Susie won the first post-merge Individual Immunity Challenge and the former Fang tribe members eliminated the Onion Alliance systematically. When Corinne was voted out, Ken voted against Matty as a fail-safe in case she had a real Hidden Immunity Idol. This would cause the dissolution of the Fang Alliance and Crystal and Ken's subsequent eliminations. Susie knew that because Bob, Matty, and Sugar bonded well, that she had to win the Final Immunity Challenge. Susie beat out Matty for the final immunity. Viewing Bob as the biggest threat, Susie tried to vote him out, although she had much respect for him. Bob saved himself by convincing Sugar to vote with him and won a fire making tiebreaker that sent Matty to the jury.
At Final Tribal Council, certain jurors berated Susie, most notably Corinne who asked her if she was willing to remove her vocal chords if she had won the $1 million, which Susie laughed off and said no. In the end, Susie lost to Bob in a 4-3-0 vote. Susie had earned the votes of the last three jurors, Crystal, Ken, and Matty, who had been her allies during the game.
|Susie's Voting History|
| Voted Against|
|2||Fang Tribe Immune|
|3||Kota Tribe Immune|
|4||Kota Tribe Immune|
|5||Kota Tribe Immune|
|6||Dan|| Dan, Marcus,|
|9||Randy|| Bob, Corinne,|
| Jury Votes|
|Crystal, Ken, Matty|
|Runner-Up, Day 39|
- On January 9, 2010, Susie attended the Survivor 10-year anniversary party along with all of her Gabon cast mates.
- On August 11, 2016, Susie's son died in a car accident.
- Susie is the first woman who resided in Iowa at the time of filming.
- Susie is the only woman to win individual immunity in Gabon.
- Susie is the highest placing member of the original Fang tribe.
- Susie is the second of three castaways who won the Final Immunity Challenge, and the person they voted against survived as a result of fire-making tiebreaker. The first was Ozzy Lusth in Cook Islands and the third was Michele Fitzgerald in Kaôh Rōng.
|Survivor: Gabon Castaways|