Earl Cole
S14 Earl Cole
Contestant Profile
Born: April 9, 1971 (1971-04-09) (age 46)
Hometown: Santa Monica, California
Occupation: Ad Executive
Survivor Career
Version: United States
Tribe(s): Ravu
► Moto
Bula Bula
Finish: Winner
Alliance(s): Syndicate Alliance
Challenge Wins: 6
Votes Against: 1
Days Lasted: 39

Earl Cole is the Sole Survivor of Survivor: Fiji.

Though a member of the winless and destitute Ravu tribe, Earl built a lasting alliance, most notably including Yau-Man Chan. His charisma, likability and natural leadership skills earned him the title of Sole Survivor, as he became the first person to win the jury vote unanimously and the second African-American to win Survivor.


Retrieved from

Earl attended business school at the University of Washington in Seattle and received a National Scholastic Achievement Award before moving to Southern California. He is currently a Senior Advertising Executive who creates and manages new media strategies, brand marketing and advertising budgets for major accounts. He formerly worked as a marketing manager at a cable company, a sales analyst for a film company and a writer's assistant for a television comedy series.

In addition, Cole also works as a composer and is an accomplished musician. He plays multiple instruments (piano, saxophone, guitar, violin… and a little bit of drums). He also enjoys playing chess, hiking, watching movies, billiards and playing basketball. He considers himself to be very intelligent, creative, athletic and confident, with a witty sense of humor. He is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Earl currently resides in Santa Monica, California. His birth date is April 9, 1971.[1]


Earl started on dysfunctional Ravu. While Ravu constantly lost challenges, Earl managed to form a close alliance with Yau-Man Chan. He was switched to Moto after the Tribe Switch. On Moto, Earl formed the Syndicate Alliance. Moto won the remaining immunity challenges and a reward challenge before the merge.

At the merge, Earl's alliance initially had a 5 to 4 majority over the the rival Four Horsemen alliance, but Four Horsemen alliance member Dreamz Herd flipped to Earl alliance so this gave Earl's alliance a 6 to 3 majority. Earl and his alliance then eliminated the remaining loyal members of the Four Horsemen alliance. On Day 36, Earl managed to find a Hidden Immunity Idol. That night Earl and Yau-Man voted for Stacy Kimball, and Yau-Man used his idol to blindside Stacy. On night 37, Earl played his idol but received no votes and Boo Bernis was unanimously voted out. On night 38, Earl joined Dreamz and Cassandra Franklin in voting out Yau-Man.

At the Final Tribal Council, Earl was confronted for voting out Yau-Man, but Earl argued that he had to get rid of Yau-Man or else he would have won. Earl ultimately became the sole Survivor in a unanimous 9-0-0 vote, thus making him the first winner to win by a unanimous jury vote.

Voting History

Earl's Voting History
Episode Earl's
Voted Against
1 Jessica -
2 On Exile Island1
3 Sylvia Rita
4 Ravu Tribe Immune
5 Rita -
6 Moto Tribe Immune
7 Moto Tribe Immune
8 Moto Tribe Immune
9 Ineligible
10 Edgardo -
11 Alex -
12 Alex -
13 Stacy -
14 Boo -2
Yau-Man -
Jury Votes
for Earl
Alex, Boo, Edgardo, Lisi, Michelle,
Mookie, Rocky, Stacy, Yau-Man
Sole Survivor, Day 39

^1 In Snakes Are Misunderstood... We Have an Understanding Now, Moto sent Earl to Exile Island, granting him immunity from Ravu's Tribal Council.
^2 In You've Got That Puzzled Look, Earl used a Hidden Immunity Idol, but did not negate any votes against him.


  • In September of 2007, Earl hosted a special preview on the TV Guide Network for the upcoming season Survivor: China.[2]
  • Cole had an endowment with the University of Kansas Medical Center, where he established the Earl Cole Fund, which is a charitable foundation for children with Legg–Calvé–Perthes disease, a hip bone disease Cole suffered from as a child.
  • In Summer of 2009, Earl, along with the other first eighteen Survivor winners, appeared on a TVGuide special "Survivor Millionaires: Where Are They Now?"[3]
  • On January 9, 2010, Earl attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party.
  • In May 29, 2010, Earl married his fiancee, Los Angeles-based pharmacist, Shelley Lee.[4]
  • Earl and Shelley announced that they are having a baby that is due in November 2017.[5]
    • They welcomed a daughter, Kaia JoAnn, on November 10, 2017.[6]


  • Earl never saw Survivor and hardly knew what it was when he got recruited to be on Survivor: Fiji, only two days prior to filming.
  • Earl is the second player to play a Hidden Immunity Idol when it was not necessary, following Alex Angarita, who had done so earlier in the season.
    • Earl is the first person to play a Hidden Immunity Idol "by default" at the last time idols could be played.
  • Earl is the first person to win a unanimous jury vote, and the first person to receive more than six jury votes.
  • At the Fiji Reunion Show, Jeff Probst mistakenly stated that Earl never received a vote. In fact, he had received a single vote from Rita Verreos in "This Is Not Survival... It's a Thrival".
  • Earl is the first African-American male to win the title of Sole Survivor and the second African-American overall, following Vecepia Towery, who won Survivor: Marquesas.
  • Earl was asked to compete on The Amazing Race with his eventual wife, Shelley. However, Shelley didn't want to compete.[7]


Preceded by
Cook Islands
S13 yul t
Yul Kwon
Sole Survivor Titleholder
S14 earl t
Earl Cole
Succeeded by
S15 todd t
Todd Herzog