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Survivor: Gabon - Earth's Last Eden

Updated on May 16, 2013

Watch out! Who will outwit, outplay and outlast this time!

Survivor: Gabon - Earth's Last Eden is the 17th season of the popular CBS reality television show Survivor. The airing starts September 25, 2008 in many countries around the world. Like the previous season, the 18 castaways are sent into an isolated island in the wilderness to compete for cash and other prizes as the "Sole Survivor".

This season the players are sent into Exile island will have a choice of receiving a clue to the location of a Hidden Immunity Idol or a comfort item.

The show was filmed along the coastal towns of Nyonie and Ekwata in the Wonga-Wongue Presidential Reserve. On April 13, 2008 at the annual National Association of Broadcasters's NAB Show, it was announced that the 17th season would be the first to be shot in high definition, using Sony XDCAMs.

The format of the show Survivor was created in 1992 by Charlie Parsons and the first production of it was the Swedish show Expedition: Robinson in 1997.

Gabon on the Map

Gabon on the Map
Gabon on the Map

Survivor: Gabon 18 Castaways

Survivor: Gabon 18 Castaways
Survivor: Gabon 18 Castaways

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Meet the Kota Tribe

Meet the Kota Tribe
Meet the Kota Tribe

Ace Gordon

Ace Gordon (27)

Occupation: Jewelry Sales & Photographer

Hometown: Naples, Florida

Ace Gordon is a self-proclaimed charmer in every sense of the word. With an English accent and a shaved head, he is an absolute fan of the game and 100% confident in his manipulation skills. Born in New York but raised in London, Ace attended the prestigious Hill House School in Knightsbridge. His privileged background and world travels lead Gordon to mockingly state, "I'm probably better than you and highly more [sic] educated."

He has also run the gambit in terms of jobs and he's only 27. Over the years, he's sold cars for Porsche, been a massage therapist and cooked at an eco- resort in Hawaii. Currently, Ace splits his time between working for Cartier and running his own fashion photography studio.

One of Ace's biggest personality traits is his ability to flirt, almost without realizing it. Described as a natural salesman, Ace can cross the line between arrogant and elegant in whatever country he lives. He has actively sought to be immersed in new surroundings and experiences, be it martial arts or meditation. In fact, Gordon has lived in Hawaii, India, Thailand, and all over the U.S. studying religion, spirituality and alternatives to traditional Western Medicine.

Ace is single and currently resides in Naples, Florida. His birth date is September 3, 1980.

Robert "Bob" Crowley

Robert "Bob" Crowley (58)

Occupation: Physics Teacher

Hometown: Portland, Maine

Robert Crowley considers himself a hybrid of Indiana Jones and Robinson Crusoe. He loves the outdoors and is always ready for his next adventure.

Robert is a high school physics teacher in Gorham, Maine and holds both Associate and Bachelor degrees in forestry from the University of Maine - Orono and a Masters of Education degree from the University of Southern Maine. However, after the school bell rings, Robert becomes an entrepreneur. His wide range of jobs span from being a first mate on a research boat for the Smithsonian Institution in Canada to an entomologist for the USDA, to a skunk relocater, as well as President, Vice President and Chief Negotiator for his local Teacher's Union.

When not on an adventure, Robert interests include journal writing, story telling, photography, bone collecting, archeology and camping.

This tree climbing scientist, who describes himself as honest, adventurous, resourceful and witty, built his truly "green" summer cabin back when green was only referred to as the color. His "green" cabin was completely built with recycled material and requires a fraction of the energy of the average U.S. home. He's built numerous structures from recycled material including wharfs, saunas, a chicken house and a hunting cabin.

Robert strategy is to be a provider and to fly under the radar on SURVIVOR. He's out to prove that nice guys can make it to the end of the game.

Robert and his wife Peggy reside in Portland, Maine. They have two sons, David and John, one daughter, Page, and a high maintenance cat named William. Robert's birth date is February 25, 1951.

Charlie Herschel

Charlie Herschel (29)

Occupation: Lawyer

Hometown: New York, New York

Charlie Herschel has been a fan of SURVIVOR since the first season and has been training for it ever since. A lawyer for one of the top 10 most prestigious law firms in the world, Herschel is ready to try his persuasion skills on a different type of jury.

This 29-year-old, marathon-running attorney and University of Pennsylvania graduate says he is above nothing when he gets to the island. Charlie's strategy is to be authentic but with a twist. "With high risks, come high rewards, but the risks must be calculated." The middle son of three boys and a native New Yorker, the Ivy Leaguer is not afraid to claw his way to the top.

In his free time, Herschel trains to race in marathons around the country. He credits this passion for helping him stay in shape. Through his training, Charlie dropped 60 pounds and continues to be at fighting weight.

Charlie is a gay, single man and currently resides in New York City. His birth date is May 12, 1979.

Corinne Kaplan (29)

Occupation: Pharmaceutical Sales

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Corinne Kaplan takes great pride in being able to manipulate the people around her. As a pharmaceutical sales rep, this smart and sexy, self-described bitch, is in it purely for the money. At work, Corinne must convince physicians to prescribe her products. Now, Corinne is looking to convince her fellow tribe mates that she's trustworthy, while ready to sell them out behind their backs.

This catty former sorority girl uses her wit and sex appeal to further her goals. Aside from working out in the gym almost every day, Corinne keeps fit by hiking and running. Corinne will tell it like it is and couldn't care less what people think of her for it. Her outgoing personality is a trait that seems to work well on the men in her life. Corinne basically has no filter and is often hilarious in her directness, saying what everyone else only thinks.

Corinne is single and currently resides in Los Angeles. Her birth date is January 17, 1979.

Jacquie Berg

Jacquie Berg (25)

Occupation: Medical Sales

Hometown: Santa Barbara, California

4th Voted Out - Day 12/5 Votes

Jacquie Berg always plays to win and will settle for nothing less than number one. She's trained her whole life to play a game like SURVIVOR. Competing in several sports such as gymnastics, water polo, crew, track and swimming, she's proven herself a leader.

Berg thrives off pressure and has gone as far as competing against sales executives with 10 years experience to land her dream job as a medical device sales representative. Berg, one of the youngest people in her industry, is also a writer and charity organizer.

Constantly on the go, Jacque admits she doesn't like to sit still and is full of life. Her hobbies include running, swimming, surfing and boating. She describes herself as enthusiastic, adventurous, sweet and extremely positive. Her biggest pet peeve is people who talk about their big dreams but do nothing about it. She believes we all have control over our own destiny.

Berg confesses that she performs her best when in extreme situations and can't wait to overcome the physical and mental challenges SURVIVOR will offer.

Berg grew up in Minnesota and is currently single and lives in Santa Barbara, California. She has a B.S. in business administration from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Her birth date is September 10, 1982.

Jessica "Sugar" Kiper (29)

Occupation: Pin-Up Model

Hometown: Brooklyn, New York

Jessica Kiper prides herself on being flirty and fun. When she is not acting, this 29 year old works as a waitress named "Sugar" at '50s diners and enjoys singing and making music. Friends describe this single, free-spirit as crazy, funny and cool. Currently, this blonde pin-up model lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. with her dog, "Major P. Pants," but has spent time living in various places throughout the country including Florida, Rhode Island, Louisiana, and San Francisco and Los Angeles, California.

Jessica can be a bit of a goofball and her laugh is contagious. Although at first glance she may not look tough, despite being adorned with several tattoos, Kiper has been through a lot in her life, including the recent death of her father, whom she called her hero. Despite the struggles she's faced, Kiper has always come out on top. She is ready to bring her spunk, positive attitude and bubbly personality into the game of SURVIVOR and hopes to grow as a person after the experience and win enough money to "get off people's couches."

Jessica was born on February 22, 1979.

Kelly Czarnecki

Kelly Czarnecki (29)

Occupation: Retail Sales

Hometown: Buffalo Grove, Illinois

6th Voted Out - Day 18/ 8 Votes

Kelly Czarnecki describes herself as a leader by nature. And though she has worked for everything she has, she'll also be the first tell you that "she gets what she wants and does what she wants." Don't be fooled by her girl-next-door looks Czarnecki is a mid-western spitfire who loves the outdoors. Called adventurous and ambitious by her friends, this one-time cheerleader always finishes what she starts because to her there's always a reward at the end.

Hailing from Buffalo Grove, Ill., Kelly has three brothers who have helped make her both physically and mentally tough. In her free time, Czarnecki loves to camp, hike and canoe. She describes herself as an energetic strong minded achiever for which self-confidence is not a issue. This fashionista can be found at the gym at least five times a week and is skilled in kickboxing, yoga and Pilates. Although most of Kelly's time is spent focusing on her career goals, she is a self-proclaimed "denim expert," and hopes to one day open her own clothing store.

Aside from studying fashion marketing at the Illinois Institute of Art, Kelly is also the sales manager at one of the top retail boutiques in Chicago. Czarnecki claims "she is a hell of a salesperson and can talk anyone into anything," although she also wants them to feel good about their purchase. She believes it is those leadership skills she's received from her job and schooling that has prepared her for SURVIVOR.

Kelly resides in Buffalo Grove, Ill. and her birth date is April 4, 1986.

Marcus Lehman

Marcus Lehman (28)

Occupation: Doctor

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Marcus Lehman, a young doctor from Jacksonville, Fla. considers himself mentally and physically prepared to compete for his chance to be the sole SURVIVOR.

Recognized as the state of Georgia's hottest bachelor by Cosmopolitan Magazine in 2006, Lehman strives to achieve the highest levels in all areas of life.

A rower and graduate of Harvard University, Marcus went on to finish medical school at Emory University while developing his interest in triathlons. The single resident physician of Cuban-American descent will eventually work as an anesthesiologist after he completes specialty training, but also continues to develop his interest in medical reporting and acts as a spokesman for preventative medicine.

Marcus describes himself as a romantic who enjoys exercising, playing music, cooking and fine wine, not to mention doing some flirting on his way to finding the perfect girl. Marcus hopes he will be able to use his charm and physical prowess to make it far in the game.

Lehman's birthday is October 3, 1979.

Paloma Soto-Castillo (24)

Occupation: Student

Hometown: Downey, California

3rd Voted Out - Day 9/7 Votes

Paloma Soto-Castillo has been playing the social game her entire life, one of the skills necessary to succeed in the game of SURVIVOR. Her parents were both missionaries, causing her to move around a lot during her childhood. Growing up with this lifestyle taught her to adapt to any environment and she became a stronger person as a result.

Soto-Castillo was born in Chile and lived there for a large part of her life before moving to Tennessee, Virginia and then settling in California. One day, on a whim, she decided to leave everything behind and move to Kenya alone, without any group or organization. She lived among the natives and wild animals for three months without any support from family and friends or any modern conveniences. After witnessing the people's suffering first-hand, she says it changed her life and she's certain she'll go back and help change their lives. Soto-Castillo is motivated to win SURVIVOR so she can open an orphanage or elementary school for the children of Kenya.

Soto-Catillo has a B.A. in communication studies from California State University, Long Beach and continues to go to school. She is currently working on her single subject teaching credential and works part time as a waitress. Her hobbies include traveling, camping and reading. In her free time, Paloma loves staying competitive and keeping her mind sharp by playing Texas Hold 'Em.

Soto-Castillo is single. She currently lives in Downey, California with her Shitzu, Sam. Her birth date is August 24, 1984.

Meet the Fang Tribe

Meet the Fang Tribe
Meet the Fang Tribe

Michelle Chase

Michelle Chase (24)

Occupation: Music Producer

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

1st Voted Out- Day 3/8 Votes

Michelle Chase has been through more in her 24 years than most people have in a lifetime. Not only did she grow up poor in South Florida with a single mother, but her best friend, her father, disappeared from her life at an early age. As a result of her Dad's absence, her mom became the most influential person in her life.

Although life has been rocky for Chase, she's tough and resourceful and isn't afraid to speak her mind. She began supporting herself at the age of 16 and was married and divorced by the time she was 19.

Chase currently works as a music production assistant. She enjoys DJ-ing, boxing and surfing and describes herself as lively, bodacious and loud. When asked how her friends would describe her, she says hardcore, fun and set in her ways.

Besides being mentally strong, Chase has also run several triathlons. She is ready to bring her street smarts combined with physical fearlessness to the game of SURVIVOR.

Chase is single and currently lives in Los Angeles. Her birth date is March 7, 1984.

Gillian Larson

Gillian Larson (61)

Occupation: Retired Nurse

Hometown: Temecula, California

2nd Voted Out -Day 6/8 Votes

Retired after working as a registered nurse for 41 years, Gillian Larson has never satisfied her appetite for adventure and travel despite her wide array of experiences throughout her 61 years. She has traveled through 46 countries and all but a few U.S. states, much of it backpacking. This adventurous "granny" can climb and rappel 4,000 foot mountains and swim with the Great Whites. Not only is she versatile, but she is competitive by nature and feels as though she is an perfect fit for the game of SURVIVOR, having applied 15 times, always believing she would one day be selected.

Married 37 years to her husband, Ron, Gillian has three married daughters and four grandchildren. Born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, she was awarded several academic and athletic honors. Gillian met her husband in Germany and moved to the United States. The couple has relocated 18 times and currently resides in Temecula, Calif. since 2001. Her proudest achievement is her awesome family.

When she isn't scuba diving or hiking through the mountains, Gillian enjoys travel, writing, photography, gardening, spending time with her family and her eclectic group of friends who range from 2 to 92.

For her 60th birthday, she got a purple butterfly tattoo on her left hip. A very good swimmer, this SURVIVOR-addict feels that she has what is takes to be the oldest winner yet.

After SURVIVOR, Larson's new goal is to be a motivational speaker, focusing on "believe in yourself and you can achieve anything"

Gillian's birthday is February 24, 1947.

Crystal Cox (29)

Occupation: Former Olympic Athlete

Hometown: Durham, North Carolina

Crystal Cox, a 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist in track for the 4 X 400m Relay, is ready to tackle new challenges as a contestant on this season of SURVIVOR. As a single mother and athlete, she is the sole provider for her family and calls herself "the glue that holds the home together."

As a child, Cox's family frequently moved, forcing her to adapt. The only girl in a home with four brothers, Crystal held her own physically and became mentally tough as a result.

Cox currently works as childcare teacher, high school track coach and a professional athlete. She has a B.A. in communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

When Crystal is not training to compete, she enjoys surfing the internet, traveling and relaxing. Her hobbies include volleyball, kickball and softball. She describes herself as a leader who is outspoken and open minded. She possesses the three "Bs" required to be Sole Survivor, which are: brains, beauty and blazing speed!

Cox currently lives with her daughter, Destiny, her boyfriend Harry and his son in Durham, North Carolina. Her birth date is March 28, 1979.

Dan Kay (32)

Occupation: Lawyer

Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts

Dan Kay has come a long way from his blue-collar roots in Boston. Born and raised in Walpole, Massachusetts, he was very involved in athletics, especially football, skiing and track. While in high school, Dan played on a varsity football team, which had a long tradition of winning, a tradition that has helped shape his strong work-ethic. He graduated from The University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science & English and later would earn his law degree from Syracuse University College of Law where he was also a member of the Moot Court Honor Society.

Charismatic, hard working and goal oriented, most of Dan's traits were formed from the influence provided by his parents and a select few coaches and teachers. As a young boy, his father became disabled, leaving his mother to care for his family and, eventually, his ill grandmother, all while working as a full-time nurse. In addition, Dan credits his mother's work ethic and unselfish attitude for his strong desire to overcome any obstacles in his career and personal life.

Dan has practiced law in Boston for five years, which helped him to purchase several investment properties. However, dedicating so much of his time to his practice left him depressed and feeling less than fulfilled with his life. Prior to leaving for SURVIVOR, he sold off a number of investments and spent time away from his job, in an effort to focus more on himself and his friends and family. He believes this recent awareness, along with having an increased appreciation for the people in his life rather than material possessions, will help him succeed not only in his personal life, but on SURVIVOR.

Attractive, athletic, single and a lawyer, Dan is set to make a big impression on his competitors. Dan's hobbies include skiing, running, biking, weight training and cooking. Currently, he is training to compete in his first triathlon.

He is single and lives in Boston. His birthdate is June 30, 1976.

Danny "GC" Brown (26)

Occupation: Maintenance Man

Hometown: Portland, Oregon

5th Voted Out - Day 15/ 6 Votes

Danny Brown deems himself a true SURVIVOR, having overcome a difficult childhood including homelessness, and a mother who constantly moved both him and his brother to temporary housing. However, despite his hardships, Brown was resilient and optimistic.

As a child, Brown learned to swim and fish in the Colorado River and developed a lifelong love of the outdoors. He said he would quit his job to live outside if he could. His hobbies include producing music, fishing and traveling. He enjoys playing basketball and lifting weights whenever he gets the chance. He describes himself as adventurous, outgoing and silly, and he doesn't like dishonest people.

Brown currently works as a maintenance supervisor for the apartment complex where he lives and claims that making it through the week there is a challenge in itself. His job consists of cleaning, painting, plumbing, electrical repairs and customer service for the tenants.

He believes that his determination, hard work and social skills can get him to the end.

Brown lives in Portland, Oregon with his girlfriend, Shannan. He shares his home with his dog Chica, a cat named Scout and five snakes. His birth date is July 13, 1982.

Ken Hoang

Ken Hoang (22)

Occupation: Professional Gamer

Hometown: Westminster, California

Ken Hoang gives a new meaning to the term "gamer." Known to the gaming community as "the King of Smash," Hoang is a professional at his craft. As the current international champion of Nintendo's Super Smash Brothers Melee video game, Ken has traveled the world from Japan to Australia to prove his dominance.

Hoang uses his tournament winnings to help support his family. He and his siblings still live at home to help pay the mortgage. It has also led to a strong bond among his brothers and sisters. In fact it was his sister that started his addiction to SURVIVOR.

While he may seem like an interesting choice for a game based in the outdoors, this gamer sees it as an amazing opportunity. Ken is very creative, and has a strong passion for art, a skill he is currently going to college to fine tune. When not playing videogames or brushing up on his art, Hoang enjoys playing with his pets, a Maincoon cat named Kinski and a Husky named Monster.

He loves the fact that he will be considered an underdog because everyone will underestimate his prowess at playing mind games. Nobody would look at him and believe he climbed Mt. Fuji at the age of 20. Ready to exploit his slight physical stature, Ken will trick his fellow players into seeing him as a non-threat, only to smash them if they get in his way.

Ken is single and currently resides in Westminster, Calif. His birth date is October 10, 1985.

Matty Whitmore (29)

Occupation: Personal Trainer

Hometown: Pacific Palisades, California

Matty Whitmore knows first-hand what it's like to have a lot and what's it's like to lose it all. At the age of 18, Whitmore inherited a trust fund from his grandparents, allowing him to live a comfortable life in paradise until partying it all away. Now at the age of 29, Whitmore wants the opportunity to find out what he's capable of doing on his own and believes SURVIVOR holds the answer.

Whitmore currently works as a personal trainer on the westside of Los Angeles and enjoys teaching health and wellness. His idea of a perfect day includes a two-hour vigorous workout, training clients and a surf session, followed by an hour in the sauna and yoga. The remainder of his day is spent hanging out with his long-time girlfriend, Jamie, and his beloved dog, Dink. He claims that if health was wealth; he'd be considered a billionaire.

Not only does Matty have physical ability and strength, but he also possesses bravado and confidence. He brings knowledge of the outdoors and social skills to the game and can't wait to gain more self-awareness through this experience. Whitmore prides himself on helping people not take themselves too seriously and hopes to use those skills to manipulate others into doing what's best for him.

He currently lives with his girlfriend in Pacific Palisades, Calif. His birth date is December 18, 1978.

Randy Bailey

Randy Bailey(49)

Occupation: Wedding Videographer

Hometown: Eagle Rock, Missouri

Randy Bailey wants to be personally responsible for crushing the hopes and dreams of all other contestants with delusions of winning SURVIVOR. He considers himself a ruthless bully who enjoys picking on those that were not blessed with his strength or intellect.

Randy describes himself as angry, blunt, mean and sarcastic (yet charming), and admits he's a train wreck.

Bailey declares he has no living relatives besides an older brother, from whom he hasn't heard from in years. He says he has never met a person who didn't eventually disappoint him. The only "person" he has ever loved was his recently deceased black Labrador mix, Johnson, with whom he lived for 13 years.

His biggest pet peeves are cell phones and overly religious people, and he says he doesn't allow either in his home or car.

Bailey's hobbies include scuba diving, marathon running and triathlons, including competing twice in the Hawaiian Ironman. Despite having competed in over 100 triathlons, he claims that he has not been off the couch in years. Instead, he now enjoys his nightly hot tub with a scotch on the rocks. He is also a private pilot, enjoys watching football and occasionally plays golf.

Bailey's primary motivation for being on the show is to be hungry, tired, dirty and smelly. He also says he needs a long vacation where he will not be hassled with the mundane issues of his boring life. He's a SURVIVOR purist and guarantees he will win if the game is not "poisoned" with too many twists.

Bailey is currently single and lives on a lake in rural southwest Missouri. Randy recently moved from Plano, Texas where he lived for 20 years and still claims to be a Texan at heart. He plans on returning there after he wins the million. He has an engineering degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, but chooses to work as a wedding videographer where he can set his own schedule.

His birth date is March 31, 1959.

Susie Smith

Susie Smith(47)

Occupation: Hairdresser

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.

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    • SciTechEditorDave profile image

      David Gardner 4 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area, California

      Heh! I always like watching the Survivor series .... currently watching the Survivor Philippines season. Since I spent a lot of time in the islands (including the Philippines), I think I could do well with the *food finding* and the overall "living conditions improvement" -- however, with my age, physique, and health, I probably wouldn't be good in any of the competitions. Congrats on a Squidoo masterpiece!

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      PalawanHotels 6 years ago

      nice lens. =)

      Please visit my site:

      Palawan Hotels | Palawan Butterfly Garden | Palawan Underground River | Honda Bay | Palawan

    • card lady 2 profile image

      Pat 8 years ago from Midwest, USA

      Beautiful lens! I'm lensrolling it to my CBS Survivor lens. 5* & fav!

    • GramaBarb profile image

      GramaBarb 8 years ago from Vancouver

      I watch Survivor every season! I am hoping Robert Crowley goes to the final 4. But after last week - I think 'Sugar' is going to surprise everyone - I liked her on exile island. :) I'm hooked on Amazing Race too!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 8 years ago

      This is a terrific lens in how you've taken time to do great profiles on each of the survivors' contestants. Ya know, I really don't have a fav YET!