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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 41)
Hometown Dallas, Texas;
Christoval, Texas
Occupation Auto Customizer
TV Host

The Australian Outback

Tribe(s) Ogakor
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.


The Australian Outback

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.


After his success on SURVIVOR: THE AUSTRALIAN OUTBACK, Colby Donaldson moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting. He has guest starred on "Reba" and "Just Shoot Me." He can soon be seen in "Curb Your Enthusiasm." He is also the face of the very popular Schick commercials. In addition to acting, Colby enjoys outdoor sports and spending time with friends.

Originally from Christoval, Texas, Colby was a successful, self-employed custom auto designer and builder living in Dallas before he was cast on SURVIVOR. He graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in business marketing.

Colby's birth date is April 1, 1974.

Heroes vs. Villains

Colby Donaldson (35)

Tribe: Heroes
Hometown: Christoval, Texas
Current Residence: Los Angeles, Calif.
Personal Claim To Fame: “I make a pretty mean potato salad.”
Inspiration in Life: “God, family & close friends.”
Previous Finishes: Australia: Runner-Up; All-Stars: 5th Out
Favorite Past Moment: “The very beginning of it all for me – stepping off the plane and into the Outback.”
Previous Survivor He Respects MostTom Westman (Palau)
Previous Survivor He Respects Least: “Those who have thrown in the towel and left the game early.”
Why Did He Come Back?: “For me, it’s all about the extreme challenge and the epic adventure.  A million bucks is a pretty good motivator as well.”

Survivor: The Australian Outback

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 in the tribe. He then made a plan with Keith to keep the tribe moving along the creek bed; Keith scouted ahead to see how much farther the camp was.

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

Initially, Colby and Jerri seemed to have some chemistry. Although there was suspicion that Jerri had ulterior motives. After Maralyn's poor performance at the third Immunity Challenge, Colby voted with the rest of his tribe and eliminated her. After losing their third consecutive Immunity Challenge, Jerri boldly alienated Tina and Keith by stating that Colby, Amber, and Mitchell were her friends. This gesture caused Tina to ask Colby his opinion of 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 and so that night Colby voted with Tina and Keith to force a tie in Ogakor. Since Mitchell had received a previous vote in the last Tribal Council, he was eliminated. After Ogakor's three-time Immunity winning streak, all five remaining Ogakors remained intact until the merge. Colby became one of ten castaways to comprise 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 and leaving Colby as the runner up.

Voting History

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 on the revote.
^2 In The Merge, the vote ended with a 5-5 tie between Colby and Jeff, forcing a revote. Nobody changed their vote on the revote, eliminating Jeff due to previous votes against him.

Survivor: All-Stars

Colby was chosen to participate in Survivor: All-Stars, where he was on the Mogo Mogo tribe. Right away, Colby told his tribe that he didn't trust anybody. The tribe came in second in the first two Immunity Challenges, but they faced a setback when Jenna Morasca quit the game after the first two Tribal Councils.

After a shocking tribe absorption, the tribe gained former Saboga members Ethan Zohn and Jerri Manthey. Colby liked the idea of having a former winner on his tribe, and he also liked being reunited with Jerri, who was a former Australia tribe mate. The tribe lost the next Immunity Challenge, and they unanimously agreed to vote out Richard Hatch, who Colby didn't agree to work with.

The tribe ultimately lost the next Immunity Challenge, and it was clear it was either Colby, Ethan, or Jerri going home next. Colby made a deal with Ethan that Jerri had to go next, and the two cast their votes for her, while the rest of the tribe considered Colby as a strong, physical asset in the possibility of a merge. As a result, he was voted out and finished in twelfth place.

At the Survivor: America's Tribal Council reunion special, Colby was in the final four for Fan Favorite Player of the season, but ultimately lost to Rupert Boneham. He did, however, win Sexiest Male of the first 8 seasons award.

Voting History

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. Villains

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." After losing three Immunity Challenges Colby was the only member of his alliance remaining. 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 Sandra Diaz-Twine and Jerri Manthey (Colby's Outback arch-nemesis), the Heroes were put in the minority and 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 to vote out Sandra, but Russell 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. At 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 History

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 Jerri1 -
11 Parvati -
12 Candice -
Danielle -
13 Sandra2 -
14 Sandra Jerri, Parvati,
Russell, Sandra
Voted Off, Day 37
Voted for
Sole Survivor

^1 In Going Down in Flames, Parvati used a Hidden Immunity Idol on Jerri, negating Colby's vote against her.
^2 In Loose Lips Sink Ships, Sandra used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating Colby's vote against her.


  • On May 13, 2001, Colby, along with Outback cast mates Elisabeth Filarski and Jeff Varner appeared on Rock & Roll Jeopardy!. Colby finished in 2nd place earning $2,500 for his charity which was for the Make a Wish foundation.[1]
Colby HollywoodSquares

Colby on Hollywood Squares

  • On May 2001, Colby appeared in two episodes of Hollywood Squares as an Panelist along with the other The Australian Outback castaways for Survivor Week.[2][3]
  • 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).[4]
  • 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.
  • In Summer of 2009, Colby appeared on the TVGuide special 'Survivor Millionaires: Where Are They Now?' in a segment focused on non-Survivor winners.[5]
  • On January 9, 2010, Colby attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party along with all of his Heroes vs. Villains cast mates.
Colby TopShot

Colby as the Host of Top Shot

  • 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's luxury item in Survivor: The Australian Outback was the flag of Texas.
  • Colby is the first contestant from Texas, together with Kel Gleason.
  • Colby is the only person to vote for Rodger Bingham more than once.
  • According to the All-Stars DVD commentary, Colby's dog Deuce ate the hat that Colby wore on The Australian Outback.
  • Colby was the first player in Survivor history to fall victim to the Survivor Car Curse.
  • Colby was the first male to win the Final Immunity Challenge.
  • Colby has the record for most confessionals in a Survivor episode. In the Australian Outback finale, he had 18 confessionals.
  • Colby has won the most individual challenges in a single season Survivor history with 7 individual challenge wins in The Australian Outback.
  • Colby holds the record for most consecutive individual Immunity Challenges won, winning five in a row in The Australian Outback.
  • Colby was the first male castaway to finish as the runner-up.
  • Colby was the only male representative of The Australian Outback to appear in Survivor: All-Stars, as well as the only finalist who did not win their first season to appear in this season.
  • Colby had his torch snuffed after Tina was announced the winner of The Australian Outback.
  • Colby received votes against him at both Tribal Councils he attended in All-Stars
  • He earned the title of "Sexiest Survivor Male" in Survivor: America's Tribal Council.
  • Colby is the only player to vote for Sandra Diaz-Twine and have his vote count.
  • 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 Brkich 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).
  • Survivor: Caramoan contestant Sherri Biethman has an autistic son named after Colby.
  • 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 against Jerri in all three seasons.
  • 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 is one of the few contestants to play in seasons with 16, 18, and 20 contestants.
    • The others are Tina Wesson, Jerri Manthey, Rob Mariano, Rupert Boneham, and Coach Wade.
  • In the three times that they played together, Survivor: All-Stars is the only time where Colby is after Jerri Manthey in the opening credits.
  • Colby is one of the five castaways that experienced all the phases of all the game, being voted out pre-merge, post-merge and making it to Final Tribal Council. He was voted out pre-merge on Survivor: All-Stars, post-merge on Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, and made it to Final Tribal Council on Survivor: The Australian Outback. His fellow Outback finalist Tina Wesson, Rob Mariano, Stephenie LaGrossa, and Tyson Apostol are the others.


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