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Colby Donaldson

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Colby Donaldson

S20 Colby Donaldson

S8 Colby Donaldson

S2 Colby Donaldson

Contestant Profile
Birth Date April 1, 1974 (1974-04-01) (age 40)
Hometown Dallas, Texas;
Christoval, Texas
Occupation Auto Customizer
TV Host

The Australian Outback

Tribe(s) ██ Ogakor
██ Barramundi
Placement Runner-Up (2/16)
Alliance(s) Ogakor Alliance
Challenge(s) Won 12
Vote(s) Against 9
Day(s) Lasted 42


Tribe(s) ██ Mogo Mogo
Placement 12/18
Challenge(s) Won 6
Vote(s) Against 4
Day(s) Lasted 19

Heroes vs Villains

Tribe(s) ██ Heroes
██ Yin Yang
Placement 5/20
Alliance(s) Heroes Alliance
Challenge(s) Won 8
Vote(s) Against 7
Day(s) Lasted 37

Colby Donaldson is a contestant from Survivor: The Australian Outback, Survivor: All-Stars and Survivor: Heroes vs Villains.

Considered the series' first "hero", Colby was regarded for his strength and continuous winning streak when it came to Individual Immunity. However in subsequent appearances he has failed to live up to his original performance being, even being likened to a "Superman in a Fat Suit" by James Clement.


Originally from Christoval, Texas, Colby Donaldson is a successful, self-employed custom auto designer and builder currently living in Dallas, Texas. He graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in business marketing and began working as a sales representative at an HMO carrier until he decided to leave the security of a successful corporate job to pursue a passion and start his own company.

Donaldson describes himself as imaginative, dedicated and flexible. A competitive athlete, he enjoys water skiing and mountain biking before gathering with friends for a barbecue. When not customizing cars, Donaldson enjoys designing and building furniture. His favorite sport to watch is football, however he prefers to play sand volleyball.

His birth date is April 1, 1974.

Survivor: The Australian OutbackEdit

In the beginning, Colby quipped that the trip to find their camp 'fired him up', because it was a good way to see what his tribemates were made of. He took on an early leadership role of the tribe, making a plan with Keith that he would keep the tribe moving along the creek bed while Keith scouted ahead to see how much farther the camp was.

He was a physical asset to his tribe, and helped his tribe win the first Immunity Challenge. However, the second Immunity Challenge was not strength based and Ogakor lost. Colby voted with the other Ogakors in unison to unanimously vote off Kel Gleason.

Initially, Colby and Jerri began some chemistry between each other, being mutually attracted to one another, though there was suspicion that the latter had ulterior motives. After Maralyn's poor performance at the third Immunity Challenge, Colby voted with the rest of his tribe to eliminate her. After losing their third consecutive Immunity Challenge, Jerri boldly alienated Tina and Keith by stating that Colby, Amber, and Mitchell are her friends. This gesture made Tina to ask Colby his opinions on Jerri, slowly broaching the subject of voting with them. Colby did not want to vote for Keith, who was the main target next Tribal Council. He bonded with Keith and saw him as a valuable ally to have later on in the game.That night, Colby voted with Tina and Keith to force a tie in Ogakor. Since Mitchell had received a previous vote at the last Tribal Council, he was eliminated. After Ogakor's three-time Immunity winning streak, all five remaining Ogakors remained intact until the merge. He became one of ten castaways who comprised the merged Barramundi tribe.

Due to Ogakor's plan to make Kucha believe he had received past votes cast against him, the rival Kucha tribe cast their five votes for him at the merge. Colby got the back of his Ogakor comrades and all of them voted for Kucha member Jeff Varner. After a deadlocked tie, previous votes were taken into account. While Colby had no previous votes, Varner already had two (from Debb Eaton and Kimmi Kappenberg), this caused Varner's ouster. Donaldson would later become a force to be reckoned with, winning eight of the final ten challenges, while his core alliance of Tina and Keith had voted the competition off, thus leaving the threesome as the final three castaways. Colby's winning streak not only spared him from elimination, but also made a critical decision of taking either Tina or Keith to the Final Tribal Council. Although he thought Keith would be easier to beat, he felt that Tina was more deserving, sending Keith to the Jury.

Colby's decision of bringing Tina was considered by fans as a big mistake, and which was widely believed to have cost him the competition, because four of the seven Jury members gave their votes to Tina, making her the second Sole Survivor.

Voting HistoryEdit

Colby's Voting History
Episode Colby's
Voted Against
1 Ogakor Tribe Immune
2 Kel -
3 Maralyn -
4 Mitchell;
5 Ogakor Tribe Immune
6 No Tribal Council
7 Jeff;
Alicia, Elisabeth,
Jeff, Nick, Rodger;
Alicia, Elisabeth,
Nick, Rodger
8 Alicia -
10 Jerri -
11 Nick Individual Immunity
12 Rodger Individual Immunity
13 Rodger Individual Immunity
14 Elisabeth Individual Immunity
15 Keith Individual Immunity
Jury Votes
for Colby
Amber, Nick, Rodger
Runner-Up, Day 42

^1 In The Killing Fields, the vote ended with a 3-3 tie between Keith and Mitchell, forcing a revote. Colby did not change his vote at the revote.
^2 In The Merge, the vote ended with a 5-5 tie between Jeff and Colby, forcing a revote. Nobody changed their votes at the revote.

Survivor: All-StarsEdit

Colby was chosen to participate in Survivor: All Stars, where he was on the Mogo Mogo tribe and was the 7th person voted out. At the Survivor: All Stars televised second reunion show, Survivor: America's Tribal Council, Donaldson was voted by an online poll as the sexiest male castaway of all the first 8 seasons.

Voting HistoryEdit

Colby's Voting History
Episode Colby's
Voted Against
1 Mogo Mogo Tribe Immune
2 Mogo Mogo Tribe Immune
3 No Tribal Council
4 Mogo Mogo Tribe Immune
5 Richard Richard
6 No Tribal Council
7 Jerri Jerri, Lex,
Shii Ann
Voted Off, Day 19

Survivor: Heroes vs. VillainsEdit

Statistics of Colby Donaldson
Seasons competed 3
Total number of days 98
Challenge Wins
Tribal wins 17
Individual wins 9
Total 26
Tribal Council
Total votes received 20
Exile Island
Times exiled N/A
Redemption Island
Days spent at Redemption Island N/A
Duels won N/A

Donaldson returned to play for a third time in the 20th installment/10th anniversary season Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains. Due to his "heroic" (yet deemed by some fans as a dumb move) move of taking Jury vote threat Tina over the despised Keith Famie and his legendary challenge performances, he earned a place on the Heroes tribe.

Colby initially became an alliance outsider, along with ex-Palau players Tom Westman and Stephenie LaGrossa. Together with the stress of the competition, he surprisingly performed weak in challenges, with James Clement (who visibly idolized him) even calling him, "Superman in a fatsuit." Despite being an outsider, he and the rest of the Heroes won the next three Immunity Challenges, securing that the Heroes and the Villains would enter the merge with five members each. But after a bold move done by Villain Parvati Shallow of giving two Hidden Immunity Idols to be used by Sandra Diaz-Twine and Jerri Manthey (Colby's Outback arch-nemesis), the Heroes were systematically eliminated, one by one. After fellow former Hero Candice Woodcock voted along with the former Villains to vote out Amanda Kimmel, he claimed that he and Rupert Boneham were the only remaining heroes. After losing the Final 5 Immunity Challenge, Colby ultimately gave up and admitted defeat to the remaining Villains. However, a short time later, Colby attempted to strategize with Russell Hantz, who criticized Colby for giving up and then attempting to make a move. Colby was the last of the Heroes to be eliminated, being voted out on Day 37. In the final tribal council, Colby viewed Russell as delusional for saying he had no luck in getting to the final tribal council and felt that Parvati was riding Russell's coattails and voted for Sandra to win.

Voting HistoryEdit

Colby's Voting History
Episode Colby's
Voted Against
1 Sugar -
2 Amanda -
3 Heroes Tribe Immune
4 Cirie James, Rupert
5 James -
6 James James
7 Heroes Tribe Immune
8 Heroes Tribe Immune
9 Heroes Tribe Immune
10 Jerri -
11 Parvati -
12 Candice -
Danielle -
13 Sandra -
14 Sandra Jerri, Parvati,
Russell, Sandra
Voted Off, Day 37
Voted for
Sole Survivor


After his stint on reality television, Donaldson turned to acting, appearing on such shows as Curb Your Enthusiasm (2004), Reba (2002), 8 Simple Rules (2005), Joey (2004-2005), and Bones (2006). He starred in several commercials as the spokesman for Schick razors, had a minor role as a secret service agent in Wes Craven's Red Eye (2005).

He was on The Rachael Ray Show as one of Rachael's "buddies" (2007-2010). He's also been on various celebrity/news shows, often in relation to his Survivor stints. See the Internet Movie Database for details.

Currently, Donaldson is the host of Top Shot, a History Channel TV competition where 16 sharp shooters compete in teams and then individually using historic and contemporary weapons, until only one survives. The first season aired in June 2010. Season five, the All-Stars season is currently being aired. (June 2013)

At the Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains Reunion Show, Colby was nominated for the Dumbest Move in Survivor History for taking Jury favorite Tina Wesson to the Final 2 over the despised chef Keith Famie in Survivor: The Australian Outback. Colby lost to his fellow Heroes tribemate J.T. Thomas. He owns a hot rod restoration business. He divides his time between California and the family ranch in Texas.


  • Colby was the first player in Survivor history to fall victim to the Survivor Car Curse.
  • Colby's luxury item in Australia was the flag of Texas.
    • He is the first contestant from Texas, together with Kel Gleason.
  • Colby is the only player to vote for Sandra Diaz-Twine and to have his vote count.
  • Colby was the only male representative of Survivor: The Australian Outback to appear in Survivor: All-Stars, as well as the only runner-up to appear in this season.
  • Colby is one of three players (along with Russell Hantz and Coach Wade) to compete in three seasons and not participate in a Tribe Shuffle.
    • A Tribe Shuffle did happen in All-Stars, but Colby was voted out 4 days before it happened.
  • Along with fellow contestants Amber Mariano and Tina Wesson, Colby is the only other The Australian Outback contestant to appear in finale episodes of Survivor as both a finalist and a Jury member.
  • Colby is one of six contestants to play the game three times, but become a Jury member only once (the others are Stephenie LaGrossa, Amanda Kimmel, Parvati Shallow, Tina Wesson and Tyson Apostol).
  • At the Survivor: All Star reunion show he earned the title of "Sexiest Survivor Male" in America's Tribal Council.
  • Survivor: Caramoan contestant Sherri Biethman has an autistic son named after Colby.
  • Colby had his torch snuffed after Tina was announced the winner of Survivor: The Australian Outback.
  • Colby has played all three seasons with rival and friend Jerri Manthey.
    • Jerri made it further in two of the three seasons, but Colby has played more days overall.
    • Colby voted for Jerri in all three seasons.
  • Colby was born on April Fools Day. 
  • On Survivor: All-Stars, Colby received votes against him at both Tribal Councils he attended. 
  • Colby is one of four people to compete in both Survivor: All-Stars and Survivor: Heroes vs Villains. The others are Jerri Manthey, Rob Mariano, and Rupert Boneham.
  • Colby has won the most individual challenges in a single season Survivor history with 7 individual challenge wins in Survivor: The Australian Outback.
  • Colby is one of the few contestants to play in seasons with 16, 18, and 20 contestants.
    • The others are Tina, Jerri, Rob Mariano, Rupert and Coach.
  • Colby is the only person to vote for Rodger Bingham more than once.
  • Colby holds the record for most confessionals in a season, delivering 96 in Australia.


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