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Earl Cole

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Earl Cole
S14 Earl Cole
Contestant Profile
Born: April 9, 1971 (1971-04-09) (age 45)
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]


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Earl started on the ill fated Ravu Tribe. Ravu lost all the challenges before the tribe switch. Despite the losing streak, Earl managed to align with Yau-Man Chan and form the Syndicate Alliance. At the tribe switch, Earl switched to the Moto tribe which would win all the remaining challenges except one Reward challenge. This allowed Earl to reach the merge.

At the merge the alliance was initially up in numbers 5-4 over the rival Four Horsemen alliance. However, fellow Four Horsemen member Dreamz Herd flipped to Earl's alliance which then gave the alliance a 6 to 3 advantage. Then Earl and his allies systematically eliminated the remaining loyal members of the Four Horsemen. On day 36, Earl find a Hidden Immunity Idol. That night, Earl and Yau-Man voted for Stacy Kimball while the rest voted for Yau man, and Yau-Man use his Hidden Immunity Idol to blindside Stacy. Earl played his idol on day 37 (the last time you could play an idol) but it was unneeded as he received no votes and Boo Bernis was unanimously voted out. At the Final Immunity Challenge, Earl was the second person to drop out. At the final four tribal council, Dreamz broke his deal with Yau -Man and kept the Immunity Necklace. Earl then joined Dreamz and Cassandra Franklin in voting out Yau-Man because he was the largest threat to the jury.

At the Final Tribal Council, Dreamz was blasted for his numerous betrayals, Cassandra was heavily criticized for being greedy and a user, and Earl did receive some criticism for voting out Yau-Man. However, Earl argued that he had to get rid of Yau-Man because he was the biggest threat to win. Ultimately the nine jurors gave their votes to Earl, making him the 14th Sole Survivor and 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.


  • 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?"[2]
  • 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.[3]


  • 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.
    • Coincidentally, the second to do so (Jeremy Collins) also won in a unanimous jury vote.
  • Earl was asked to compete on The Amazing Race with his eventual wife, Shelley. However, Shelley didn't want to compete.[4]


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

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