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Wendell F. Holland II is the Sole Survivor of Survivor: Ghost Island. He would later compete on Survivor: Winners at War.

A strong social player in Ghost Island, Wendell formed a long-term alliance with Domenick Abbate on the original Naviti tribe. After the Tribe Switch, they linked up with Malolo members Donathan Hurley and Laurel Johnson, and the four would gain control of the game shortly after the merge. After Domenick chose to bring Laurel to the Final Three, Wendell defeated Angela Perkins at the final four fire-making challenge to secure himself a spot at the Final Tribal Council, where both he and Domenick ended up tied with five jury votes each, marking the first time in Survivor history that the jury vote ended in a tie. The second runner-up, Laurel, then cast the deciding vote in Wendell's favor, making him the Sole Survivor.

Wendell started Winners at War in a powerful coalition that controlled the Dakal tribe with Nick Wilson, Sophie Clarke, and Yul Kwon. After a Tribe Switch, however, Wendell found himself on the same tribe as his ex-girlfriend Michele Fitzgerald, bringing out a more abrasive attitude that caused him to be targeted, though he would be kept safe due to his strong relationships with Michele and Nick. After the merge, Wendell looked to work with Jeremy Collins, causing Sophie to fear their budding relationship and prompting her to lead the charge to blindside him. Despite nearly winning the second Edge of Extinction re-entry duel, he ultimately narrowly lost to Natalie Anderson, finishing in 13th place.

Profile

Retrieved from CBS.com

Age: 33
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Current residence: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Occupation: Furniture Company Owner
Hobbies: Playing basketball, traveling, creating something from nothing.
Pet peeves: People who aren't open-minded despite facts/logic/new information, people that overuse the word "honestly," and not being in control of my destiny.
Three words to describe you: Witty, intelligent, and competitive.
What's your personal claim to fame? I left a comfortable job in the legal field to pursue my dreams.
Who or what is your inspiration in life? My family. I'd do anything for them or to make their lives better.
If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? First, my brush to take care of my beautiful beard and fro. Second, a chainsaw so I can make building things a lot easier, and finally, a sketchbook so I can doodle, draw, and write.
Which Survivor contestant are you most like? I think I'd play the game like Jeremy Collins because I'll always keep my heart in the right place, but I'll still be a serious competitor and threat.
What's your reason for being on Survivor? I've been a big fan for a while, and I've always wanted to push myself to the limits and see if I can really survive. Oh yeah, I'm playing for the million bucks, too. That would really help things.
Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor? I'm good with people and likable. I'm very diplomatic and can connect with people from different walks of life. I'm also not the biggest and strongest looking person, though I can compete with the best of them. That will get me past the first few votes. Then, my athleticism and skill at puzzles will help me win challenges when it becomes an individual game. Finally, my persuasive skills in front of a jury will win me the million. Boom.[2]

Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Current residence: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Previous season: Winner of Survivor: Ghost Island (Season 36)
Occupation: Furniture Designer
Hobbies: Playing basketball, traveling, and playing with my niece and nephew.
Three words to describe you: Determined, inspirational, and loving.
When did you first watch Survivor? Season 18 – Survivor: Tocantins.
Do you still watch Survivor? Yes.
Who is your inspiration in life? My parents are my inspiration.
What does Survivor mean to you and your family? To me, it is a decade-long dream turned into reality. My family saw it as one of those crazy dreams of mine, and they supported it with curiosity. When they realized how serious I took Survivor, and that I was pretty good at it, they threw their full support behind me. For that, I'm super grateful.
What is one way playing Survivor changed your life? It made me much busier. I give more talks, travel more, and give back more than I had before. Before I made lots of custom furniture for Beve Unlimited and traveled a little for deliveries. Now I still make lots of furniture, but I'm traveling globally for other sorts of opportunities, as well.
As Survivor approaches Season 40 and celebrates 20 years on television, what does it mean to be a part of the legacy? The best season ever was the 10 year anniversary: Season 20, Heroes vs. Villains. This will be yet another huge season: Season 40, Winners at War, the first all-winners season. To be a part of it, I'm part of the Survivor legacy, and that's something that I've always wanted to accomplish. So I'm just humbled, honored, and grateful to be out here again.
How will you play differently than you did in your past season? Last time I was playing for a lot of people back home. I wanted to play it safe to represent well for my family, community, and loved ones back home. I wanted to leave something my little cousins and my niece and nephew could see and be proud of. They have that; I did that. This time I want to loosen up a bit and have some fun out there. Backstab a little bit, and talk even more trash. Shoot at some big dogs, and pull some tricks out. Maybe even do some things that are out of character. Let's see who's out here to really play the game.[3]

Survivor

Ghost Island

Wendell was initially placed on the Naviti tribe where he proved to be an asset to the tribe early on with his background as a furniture designer as he used his building skills to help build the shelter. He also built a strong bond with Domenick Abbate. At camp, when Sebastian Noel told Wendell that he wanted Domenick out, Wendell notified Domenick about it, leading to him stating that Chris Noble was the ringleader of the tribe mainly because of a rivalry between them that started after the opening Reward Challenge. Naviti however won the first two Immunity Challenges.

When a Tribe Switch occurred on Day 7, Wendell stayed on Naviti along with Chris, Domenick, Angela Perkins, and Morgan Ricke. Domenick, Morgan, and Wendell still targeted Chris and were also wary of Angela since she never worked with them until the switch. However, after losing the Day 9 Immunity Challenge, their plan was foiled when Chris was sent to Ghost Island via rock draw, causing a 4-4 split between the former Naviti and Malolo members. Domenick tried to build trust with the Malolo's to vote out Angela by showing them a fake Hidden Immunity Idol, but this caused James Lim to distrust him and targeted one of the trio of Wendell, Domenick, and Morgan. At Tribal Council, Wendell, Morgan, and Domenick targeted Angela for being Chris's right-hand man, but Morgan was blindsided by the former Malolos. Back at camp following Morgan's blindside, Domenick and Wendell were left in the minority, but they had hope when Domenick told Wendell that he found a real idol and also when Donathan Hurley and Laurel Johnson talked to them about forming a Final Four Alliance. However, any strategy was put on hold as Naviti won the next two Immunity Challenges.

A second Tribe Switch occurred on Day 15. Wendell, along with Chris and Laurel, were switched to the new Yanuya tribe. Yanuya won the next Immunity Challenge after Wendell led them from behind. After Yanuya won the Day 18 Reward Challenge, Wendell found an idol that was revealed to be the Immunity Necklace that Erik Reichenbach gave to Natalie Bolton in Survivor: Micronesia. Yanuya won the last challenge before the merge.

When the tribes merged into the Lavita tribe on Day 20, the Naviti Alliance initially planned to use their 8-5 numbers advantage to pick off the former Malolos. However, Chris and Domenick's rivalry reached a boiling point. Domenick and Wendell approached Chris about the three of them working together, but were unsuccessful. At Tribal Council, Wendell joined almost the entire tribe in blindsiding Chris. The following morning, Wendell and Domenick reaffirmed their alliance with Donathan and Laurel. After the Day 25 Immunity Challenge, Michael Yerger wanted to target Wendell for his social game and tried to rally the former Malolos to vote against him. When the Naviti Alliance planned to split the vote between Michael and Libby Vincek, Libby was worried, but Wendell assured her that she was safe. At Tribal Council, Wendell joined the rest of the tribe in the split vote plan, with Libby being voted out after Michael played a Hidden Immunity Idol. The foursome of Wendell, Domenick, Donathan, and Laurel then took control of the game by voting out Desiree Afuye for trying to flip on the Naviti Alliance, then took out Michael during the Double Elimination twist.

At the Family Visit, Sebastian won the challenge and chose Wendell, Domenick, and Donathan to go with him. However, Wendell decided to decline the reward to volunteer to go to Ghost Island for an advantage. This move however, left the women bitter and had Kellyn Bechtold try to orchestrate his blindside. When Wendell got to Ghost Island, he received Malcolm Freberg's Final Immunity Challenge advantage from Survivor: Philippines. At the next Immunity Challenge, Wendell got to use his advantage, but he still lost the challenge. Despite being targeted by Kellyn, the Final Four Alliance stuck together in blindsiding Chelsea Townsend for being a physical threat after she won back-to-back Immunity Challenges. At the final seven however, Donathan turned on Wendell and Domenick, as he knew he was on the bottom and that he could not beat either of them in the end. Despite this, they spared him at Tribal Council when the vote resulted in a tie and voted Kellyn out in the revote.

Wendell and Domenick then went after Donathan for trying to betray their alliance. When Wendell won the final six Reward/Immunity Challenge, he chose Angela and Sebastian to go with him. Although Wendell and Domenick wanted to blindside Sebastian next for his likability, Wendell stated he chose Sebastian to make him still feel good about him in order to win his jury vote. At Tribal Council, Donathan was spared again as Sebastian was blindsided when he did not play his Extra Vote after Domenick's bluff he made with his idol. When Wendell won the next Immunity Challenge, he wanted to make a move against Domenick and to play his idol on someone to try to gain the jury's respect. At Tribal Council, Wendell played his idol for Laurel to solidify their bond, but it only negated one vote and Donathan was finally voted out. When Domenick won the Final Immunity Challenge on Day 38, Domenick finally decided to target Wendell, but had to consider who had to go against him in the fire-making challenge. Domenick privately considered giving his Immunity Necklace to Angela and taking on Wendell himself in the fire-making challenge. At Tribal Council, however, Domenick chose to keep immunity and brought Laurel to the end, forcing Wendell to go against Angela in the fire-making challenge. Wendell ultimately won the fire-making challenge, making Angela the 10th member of the jury.

At the Final Tribal Council, Wendell explained how he used his building to help build his social game and that he also flew under-the-radar to let Domenick do most of the dirty work despite receiving votes against him a few times. While the jury praised him for his social game and laid-back strategy, they questioned his strategic moves compared to Domenick's. Following the jury voting, host Jeff Probst immediately read the votes, revealing a tie for the first time in Survivor history 5-5 between Wendell and Domenick. As the third place finalist, Laurel became the 11th and final juror and had to cast the winning vote. On the finale, it was revealed that Laurel voted for Wendell due to their bond throughout the game, making Wendell the Sole Survivor of Survivor: Ghost Island.

Voting History

Wendell's Voting History
Episode Wendell's
Votes
Voted Against
Wendell
1 Naviti Tribe Immune
Naviti Tribe Immune
2 Angela -
3 Naviti Tribe Immune
4 Naviti Tribe Immune
5 Yanuya Tribe Immune
6 Yanuya Tribe Immune
7 Chris -
8 Michael1 Michael
9 Desiree -
10 Michael;
Michael
2
Michael;
-
11 Chelsea Angela,
Chelsea, Kellyn
12 Kellyn;
Kellyn
3
-
13 Sebastian Individual Immunity
Donathan Individual Immunity
Jury Votes
for Wendell
Angela, Chelsea, Donathan,
Kellyn, Laurel,4 Sebastian
Sole Survivor, Day 39

^1 In "The Sea Slug Slugger", Michael used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating Wendell's vote against him.
^2 In "The Finish Line Is in Sight", the vote ended with a 2-2 tie between Laurel and Michael, forcing a revote. Wendell did not change his vote on the revote.
^3 In "Always Be Moving", the vote ended with a 3-3 tie between Donathan and Kellyn, forcing a revote. Wendell did not change his vote on the revote.
^4 In "It Is Game Time Kids", the jury vote ended with a 5-5-0 tie between Wendell and Domenick. Per the rules, the second runner-up, Laurel, joined the jury and cast the deciding vote.

Winners at War

Wendell's initial strategy this season was to ease up on the shelter building and simply fade into the background. He was recruited by Sophie Clarke and Yul Kwon into an alliance with Nick Wilson in order for the less connected players to protect each other. Wendell pushed for allies of Rob Mariano to be voted out from Dakal, contributing to Amber Mariano and Tyson Apostol's vote outs prior to the Tribe Switch. The switch complicated Wendell's game as he was reunited with Michele Fitzgerald, the two having a prior relationship from outside the game. Fortunately, he had the majority with allies Yul and Nick on Sele with him. Though Michele tried to be friendly, Wendell appeared to be cold toward her, perhaps in an effort to prevent them from being seen as an obvious pair. Michele wasn't happy though, and she and Parvati Shallow began to plan his vote out.

Following an Immunity Challenge loss on Day 16, Wendell led the charge to vote out Parvati. Michele told Wendell that she would write his name down knowing there was nothing she could do to save Parvati, so that she could obtain Parvati's Fire Tokens. He was immediately hesitant because that meant if either Nick or Yul flipped, he would be voted out. Wendell also had a conversation with Parvati regarding her Fire Tokens, saying he would flip to her side if she gave them two of hers prior to Tribal Council. Not believing he was sincere, Parvati declined and instead tried to flip Nick against Wendell. That Tribal Council saw Wendell put all his cards on the table, admitting to being willing to backstab and bringing up his offer to Parvati. Parvati still declined, sealing her 3-2 vote out. Wendell's Tribal Council performance unnerved Yul, who tried to look out for Wendell. Wendell saw this feedback as a sign of Yul's fading trust in him. Wendell's talking during the Day 18 Immunity Challenge was cited as a possible reason for Sele's loss, frustrating Nick. Nick and Michele were choosing between Wendell and Yul to vote out, and ultimately felt Yul was a bigger threat, sparing Wendell in a 3-1 vote.

Following the merge, Wendell reconnected with his friend Jeremy Collins and revealed that Nick was his closest ally. Jeremy agreed to work with Wendell but secretly wanted to vote out Nick so that Wendell didn't have another option. Sophie recognized that Jeremy was trying hard to keep Wendell out of danger, so she shifted the target to Wendell. Wendell thought that the tribe would agree to vote out Adam Klein based on what he heard about his shifty gameplay so far this season. Unfortunately for him, Wendell was voted out 9-3 on Day 21. He bequeathed one Fire Token to Michele (having received one from her following the Parvati vote) and another to Nick.

Initially excluded from the core group of old-school players on the Edge of Extinction, Wendell was the sixth and final player to complete the coconut effort task and receive two Fire Tokens. Wendell proved to give Natalie Anderson some stiff competition when it came to searching for advantages, but Natalie's lengthy stay on the Edge gave her the experience needed to beat Wendell to them. Wendell came close to returning to the game on Day 35 but just came up short, ending his time as a player and officially making him a juror.

At Final Tribal Council, Wendell felt he had a good grasp on how Tony Vlachos and Natalie fulfilled the "Outwit" criteria and asked Michele to explain how she fared in that category. He also asked Natalie to list everything she found and accomplished while on the Edge of Extinction. Wendell ultimately gave Tony his jury vote, contributing to his victory in a 12-4-0 vote.

Voting History

Wendell's Voting History
Episode Wendell's
Votes
Voted Against
Wendell
1 Dakal Tribe Immune
Amber -
2 Dakal Tribe Immune
3 Dakal Tribe Immune
4 Tyson -
5 Sele Tribe Immune
6 Parvati Michele, Parvati
7 Yul Yul
8 Adam Adam, Ben, Denise,
Jeremy, Kim, Sarah,
Sophie, Tony, Tyson
Voted Out, Day 21
9 On Edge of Extinction
10
11
12
13
14
Eliminated, Day 35
Voted for
Sole Survivor
Tony

Post-Survivor

  • Wendell plans to use his prize money to further expand his furniture business and pay off his student loans.[4]
  • Wendell was nominated for the 44th People's Choice Awards for The Competition Contestant of 2018.
  • Wendell was previously in a relationship with Kaôh Rōng winner Michele Fitzgerald, though the two had ended their relationship prior to appearing on Winners at War.

Trivia

References

Preceded by
Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers
S35 ben t
Ben Driebergen
Sole Survivor
Titleholder

Ghost Island
S36 wendell t
Wendell Holland
Succeeded by
David vs. Goliath
S37 nick t
Nick Wilson
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