On their first day in China, fellow castaway Jean-Robert Bellande labeled Todd a strategic threat. His observation proved correct as Todd was able to use his social skills to bring together tribemates James Clement, Amanda Kimmel, Denise Martin and Courtney Yates to form an alliance that dominated the season. In addition to masterminding the Fei Long tribe's demolition of Zhan Hu after the merge, he was also a key element in the eventual blindsides of Jean-Robert and James. His conniving ways earned him the ire of the jury, but after arguably one of the best Final Tribal Council performances in Survivor history, he seized the title of Sole Survivor in a 4-2-1 vote.
Retrieved from CBS.com
Todd Herzog is an openly gay Mormon who came out shortly after high school and won the hearts of everyone at his school. He attended Pleasant Grove High School in Utah and then two years of college at Utah Valley State College. He currently works as a flight attendant. He previously worked as a manager at a movie theater and at a major theme park.
Herzog has previously lived in Seattle, Orlando and Denver. His hobbies include traveling, shopping and drinking coffee. He enjoys surfing, biking and boating. He's allergic to cats, rabbits and shrimp. He describes himself as fantastic, amazing, awesome and super-original. He believes he will do well on Survivor because he claims he is very positive, great at social skills and strategizing, and he's willing to "gather wood and sh*t." He thinks the Spice Girls are the most significant historical event of the past 100 years and is unbelievably stoked that they are going on a reunion tour this winter.
Herzog currently lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah. He has one brother, Tyler, and three sisters, Brandy, Kimmi and Tori. His birth date is January 29, 1985.
After the welcoming ceremony was completed, Todd was placed on the Fei Long. Upon reaching camp, Jean-Robert Bellande identified him as a strategic player and decided to let Todd be the schemer. Todd decided to place the leadership position on Aaron Reisberger. Fei Long won the first challenge, earning the flint. Over the next few days, Todd aligned himself with Amanda Kimmel and Aaron. Todd was generally chosen to sit out of challenges because of his small stature. Fei Long won the next Reward Challenge and in addition to fishing gear, Fei Long earned the right to kidnap a member of Zhan Hu. They decided on Jaime Dugan because Zhan Hu would be demoralized without her sunny personality. He also bonded with Leslie Nease as her referred her as "Mom" and her noting him as a sharp kid. Fei Long continued its dominance by winning immunity.
Fei Long's winning streak ended when Zhan Hu won the Day 7 Reward Challenge, and kidnapped Leslie. When Leslie returned, she told everyone she had fun and told some secrets to Zhan Hu, such as Aaron being the leader of Fei Long. Aaron, alarmed by this deemed Leslie untrustworthy. Fei Long lost the challenge miserably because of Courtney Yates's physical weakness. While gathering materials for the materials for fire, Todd and Courtney heard the loud Jean-Robert and James Clement discussing to vote out Leslie or Courtney. Todd was shocked by them carelessly talking in front of the people they wanted gone. Todd considered his options of getting rid or Leslie or Jean-Robert. Ultimately, Leslie was voted out. Fei Long won the next Reward Challenge, which was a visit from a local Chinese fisherman and his family and a meal. Fei Long kidnapped Dave Cruser, who got on everyone's nerves. At the Immunity Challenge, Todd was paired up with James. Both scored points, contributing to Fei Long's victory.
On Day 13, a local Chinese fisherman came to camp, giving them a note. The note explained to select Zhan Hu's two strongest warriors that will benefit the tribe most. After a long deliberation, the tribe decided on Frosti Zernow and Sherea Lloyd. Todd was confused by this but anticipated a Tribe Switch. He was right as Zhan Hu got a similar note and chose James and Aaron. When Frosti and Sherea arrived, the tribe was given a fruit basket. Jean-Robert proposed that Sherea was voted out first, then Frosti next, however the rest of the tribe was unsure about it. Fei Long won the Immunity Challenge because Jaime and Peih-Gee Law threw the challenge. Todd planned on kidnapping the remaining Fei Long member on Zhan Hu to get another clue to the idol if the won the next challenge. After winning the Reward Challenge to a local bathouse, they kidnapped James. After finding the Hidden Immunity Idol with the help of Amanda and the clue, Todd gave the idol and the location of the second idol to James with the intent of him throwing the challenge and blindsiding Jaime. Todd told his alliance, which now included Denise Martin, about the idol and to try and win the next Immunity Challenge. However, Fei Long had a hard time stomaching the food, particularly Denise. Zhan Hu won the challenge, destroying Todd's plan. Todd and Amanda discussed whether to vote out Sherea or Jean-Robert. Courtney pleaded with them to vote out the annoying Jean-Robert as Courtney liked Sherea more. However, Sherea was deemed untrustworthy and eliminated instead.
The tribes merged and enjoyed a huge celebration with food and entertainment. The first individual Immunity Challenge was about the events of the celebration. Frosti won the challenge, beating out Jaime. The former Fei Long members decided the former Zhan Hu tribe should go first. With that, Jaime became the first member of the jury. At the next Reward Challenge, Todd's team won. Todd, Amanda, Jean-Robert, and James, went to a local Chinese village. They enjoyed food and received a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol, both of which was found by James. Todd and Amanda enjoyed the fact the Jean-Robert was the last person to find out about the idols. Because James hadn't offered him an Idol, Todd flirted with the idea of blindsiding James. Jean-Robert came to Todd, hoping to blindside James, after securing Peih-Gee and Erik Huffman's votes for the bold move. Disturbed by the fact that Jean-Robert was coming up with the same ideas as himself, Todd deemed the poker player as the biggest threat to him. Todd blindsided Jean-Robert by garnering James, Amanda, Courtney, and Frosti's votes.
Todd was concerned about Courtney's budding friendship with Frosti. At the Reward Challenge, Todd was selected to be on the red team. They lost badly, costing them a trip down the river and food. He was really irritated with Peih-Gee when she accused James for not trying his best at the challenge, viewing her as the new Jean-Robert. At the Immunity Challenge, given the choice of competing or eating hamburgers, Todd chose the food while Peih-Gee beat out Frosti for immunity. After the challenge, Todd decided that Frosti and Courtney needed to be broken up over eliminating Erik, who was well liked by everybody. Frosti was unanimously voted out. After Frosti's boot, a Reward Challenge was held about Chinese trivia. Peih-Gee won and elected to take Erik and Denise with her. While they were away, James declared the four remaining people to be the final four but Amanda wasn't comfortable with going to the Final Tribal Council with any of them. After Erik won immunity, Amanda wanted James out of the game as he still had both Idols and was the biggest physical threat. Todd complied and James was blindsided without using either of his idols. The next Reward Challenge was a Loved Ones Challenge. Todd was paired with his sister, Brandi, who informed everyone that their younger sister had a miscarriage. Many of the tribe members, most notably Courtney, wondered whether they were lying about the miscarriage to gain sympathy, with Courtney drawing parallels between Todd's situation and Jon Dalton's controversial lie in Survivor: Pearl Islands. Denise and her husband won the challenge, she selected Todd, Amanda, and their loved ones to join them. At the Immunity Challenge, Todd came very close to winning but faltered at the end. Because of Todd's mistake, Peih-Gee won immunity. The former Zhan-Hu members tried to convinced Denise that her best chance of going to the end was with them but she stayed loyal, voting out Erik in a 4-2 vote.
At the final five Reward Challenge, Todd proved accurate with the crossbow, just barely losing out to Denise. Denise shared the reward with Courtney and Todd. After enjoying the food, Todd and Courtney still complained. This aggravated Peih-Gee and Amanda, with the latter having been dancing with of the idea of blindsiding Todd. Todd was the first out of the Immunity Challenge, which Amanda won. The Fei Long members stayed loyal and voted out the last original Zhan-Hu, Peih-Gee. After voting out Peih-Gee, the final four were happy because they thought they would all be voted out before the merge. The next challenge was for a meal to give someone energy for the Final Immunity Challenge. Todd was neck-and-neck with Amanda, but she edged him out. Amanda shared the reward with Todd where they talked about the game. She told him that she lost trust in him, much to his shock. Todd managed to patch up their friendship and they reaffirmed their promise to go to the end together. At the Final Immunity Challenge, Todd was the first out while Amanda won immunity again. After the challenge, Todd and Denise were deemed the biggest threats to win the game. At Tribal Council, Todd acted shocked when Amanda seemingly sold Denise out, which Amanda though was a move to made her look bad in front of the jury. Despite this Denise was deemed the biggest threat and was voted out. Amanda confronted Todd about the events of Tribal Council. He claimed it was an accident, but she didn't believe him.
At Final Tribal Council, Todd opened his case by stating his friendships was separate from the game and apologized for hurting the jury's feelings. Todd was viewed as the biggest liar of the final three. However, Todd justified his actions, stated that he had played the game since the beginning, and gave satisfactory answers to the jurors that asked him questions without appearing overly apologetic for his actions. They were impressed by his responses to the jury, while Jean-Robert was left speechless. Todd became the 15th Sole Survivor in a 4-2-1 vote. He earned the votes of Jaime, Jean-Robert, Frosti, and Peih-Gee.
|Todd's Voting History|
|1||Fei Long Tribe Immune|
|2||Fei Long Tribe Immune|
|4||Fei Long Tribe Immune|
|5||Fei Long Tribe Immune|
|Sole Survivor, Day 39|
- From 2009 until an unspecified date, Todd dated Survivor: Tocantins contestant Spencer Duhm.
- In Summer of 2009, Todd, along with the other first eighteen Survivor winners, appeared on a TVGuide special "Survivor Millionaires: Where Are They Now?"
- On January 9, 2010, Todd attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party.
- Todd got engaged to his boyfriend, Jesse, in August 2019. They married on November 11, 2020.
Battle with Alcoholism
In 2013, Herzog revealed his problem with alcoholism. He appeared on Dr. Phil that November, where he had to be helped on stage because he could not walk on his own. In a preview, Todd stated he drank an entire bottle of vodka the morning before he went on set. The episode aired on November 18, 2013, ending with Todd deciding to go to rehab in the Arbor Treatment Center.  Fellow Survivor: China contestant and finalist Courtney Yates, who was known to remain close friends with Todd, expressed her concern over his well-being on social media. Fellow Survivor winner Sandra Diaz-Twine also expressed concern, and even attended the show to express her support for Todd.
After going into rehab, Todd spent at least 90 days in the Arbor Treatment Center to get him detoxified and help him work on getting rid of the things that drove his alcohol addiction. Initially Todd did not want to be there, but after seeing emails from his fans who saw the Dr. Phil previews resulted in him willingly undergoing the treatment. He had gone over 112 days sober. However, Todd's mother, Shirley Herzog Keeler, revealed he had relapsed, prompting Dr. Phil to intervene once again.
In the episode aired on November 23, 2016, Todd returned to the show where he relapsed once more and this time was having seizures.
In November 2017, Todd appeared on Rob Has a Podcast where he revealed he is sober again.
- Todd is the youngest member of Fei Long.
- Todd applied for Cook Islands and Fiji before getting accepted to be on Survivor: China.
- He and Amanda Kimmel voted for the same person at every Tribal Council they attended.
- Todd is the second LGBT contestant to make it to Final Tribal Council, following Richard Hatch, from Survivor: Borneo. They were followed by Tai Trang in Survivor: Kaôh Rōng and Mike White in Survivor: David vs. Goliath.
- Todd is the first winner to defeat two finalists who were both of the same gender at the Final Tribal Council.
- Also having a Canadian citizenship, Todd is the second contestant with dual citizenship to compete on Survivor, following fellow winner Aras Baskauskas.
|Sole Survivor Titleholder
|Survivor: China Castaways|