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Fabio Birza

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Fabio Birza
S21 Fabio Birza
Contestant Profile
Birth Date June 12, 1989 (1989-06-12) (age 26)
Hometown Lake Saint Louis, Missouri;
Venice, California
Occupation Student;
Fashion model


Tribe(s) La Flor
Placement Winner
Alliance(s) Espada Alliance (affiliated)
Challenge(s) Won 11
Vote(s) Against 2
Day(s) Lasted 39

Judson John "Fabio" Birza is the Sole Survivor of Survivor: Nicaragua.

Known to his tribemates as a goofball, Fabio was not taken seriously by his competition for the large part of the game, leaving him in the dark strategically. While his votes rarely aligned with the majority, Fabio proved to be secretly perceptive and aware of his surroundings, letting the more cunning players take each other down. With no real allies, he relied on his general likability and winning individual immunity. His unusual strategy won him the million dollar prize and the title of Sole Survivor.


Retrieved from
Name: Jud Birza (21)
Tribe: La Flor, Libertad
Current Residence: Venice, Calif.
Occupation: Student
Personal Claim to Fame: Being a rad older brother.
Inspiration in Life: My dad. Despite growing up under-privileged, he put himself through college and flight school. He is now a pilot, which is sick! We have a very strong relationship.
Hobbies: Surfing, skating and bike riding. I also enjoy jamming all night with buddies.
Pet Peeves: Inconsiderate people.
3 Words to Describe You: Intelligent, sexy and goofy.
SURVIVOR Contestant You Are Most Like: Ozzy Lusth because he surfs. Although, I'm younger, goofier and probably a better swimmer.
Reason for being on SURVIVOR: I could do a lot with a million dollars! Plus, camping on a tropical island with a bunch of cute girls sounds like the best vacation ever.
Why you think you will be the Sole Survivor: I'm young and seem innocent enough. Although I take very careful notes on behavior and will follow my instincts until the end.

Survivor: Nicaragua

Being the second youngest contestant of season, he was placed at the "young" La Flor tribe. He became the tribe's resident goofball, sending his tribemates to endless laughter at every opportunity, with the exception of NaOnka Mixon, whom Fabio had a conflict with after the former lost their socks. This led to a tirade from NaOnka during their first Tribal Council, outright stating that she hated him and his antics. Fabio then stated that it was his real personality, though he would use it as a strategy.

Early on, Fabio was an alliance outsider. He initially sided with Shannon Elkins, Alina Wilson, Kelly Bruno, and Benry Henry. Shannon wanted Brenda Lowe eliminated because her perceived deviousness. But due to Elkins' loudmouthing at their first Tribal Council about Sash Lenahan's sexuality, two of their allies (Benry and Kelly B.) voted against him, sending Shannon home. After Shannon's elimination, his remaining alliance partners were in line for elimination, but Fabio remained indispensable because of his strength in challenges, though strategically, he was left in the open, remaining somewhat clueless. This reflected in his voting history, where his votes were rarely for the eliminated players at that Tribal Council.

After a Day 12 tribe swap, Fabio, along with Kelly S., Kelly B., Brenda, and Sash Lenahan remained on the La Flor tribe. There, he became friends with the new members, Jane Bright, Marty Piombo, and Jill Behm; however, like the rest of the tribe, he remained against Marty and Jill voting-wise. At the Day 15 Double Tribal Council twist, Jill (the next intended target) won individual immunity. Sash and Brenda shifted their plan shifted to a split vote between Marty, who had a Hidden Immunity Idol, and Kelly B., who was a Jury threat because of her athleticism despite her prosthetic leg, and also due to the fact that she'd probably win the jury's votes should she make it to the final 3. Fabio nearly endangered the plan when gaining Marty's trust when Marty fabricated a story of him being a chess grandmaster. But Fabio stuck to the plan, although Marty's story was his incentive for voting off Kelly B.. Three days later, Fabio and eleven others would comprise the merged Libertad tribe.

Fabio would then either join several (albeit failed) alliances, or cast his votes against random people, and would continue to be clueless about voting dynamics. After Alina's elimination (where Fabio won Immunity), there was an all-male rebellion led by Marty, which was eventually thwarted after Sash and Chase sided with the women. Though was deemed socially clueless for the most part, he was kept for a longer time. But when the remaining castaways (mainly Sash, Holly, and Chase) realized that this strategy would backfire because Fabio did not hurt anybody's feelings (among them or any of the jury members), winning Immunity Challenges became Fabio's last resort. Fabio went on winning the remaining three Immunity Challenges, keeping himself safe from the vote, while the formed alliance turned on each other. After winning the Day 38 Immunity Challenge, Fabio, along with Sash and Chase, made it to the Final Tribal Council. Whilst Chase and Sash were lambasted for being indecisive and "spineless" respectively, Fabio was seen as strategically clueless, though he rebutted that he nevertheless betrayed no one and winning several challenges proved him worthy of winning. In the end, it was Fabio's unconventional thinking who made him the 21st Sole Survivor in a 5-4-0 vote, gaining the votes of Marty, NaOnka, Kelly S. (nicknamed Purple Kelly), Benry, and Dan Lembo.

Voting History

Fabio's Voting History
Episode Fabio's
Voted Against
1 La Flor Tribe Immune
2 Brenda -
3 La Flor Tribe Immune
4 La Flor Tribe Immune
5 La Flor Tribe Immune
6 Kelly B.;
Kelly B.
7 Marty -
8 Alina Individual Immunity
9 Jane -
10 Brenda -
12 No Vote
13 Holly Benry, Dan
14 Jane Individual Immunity
15 Dan Individual Immunity
Holly Individual Immunity
Jury Votes
For Fabio
Benry, Dan, Kelly S.,
Marty, NaOnka
Sole Survivor, Day 39

^1 In Worst Case Scenario, the vote ended with a 3-3 tie between Kelly B. and Marty, forcing a revote. Fabio did not change his vote on the revote.


COLS cover Fabio

Fabio on the cover of "City of Lost Souls".

  • Barely two months after winning Survivor, Birza was arrested for skateboarding in the streets, which was illegal in Santa Monica, California. Police reports also stated that he might be under the influence of illegal drugs. Birza was apparently also hit for an unrelated DUI warrant and a probation violation.[1]
  • Birza returned to Nicaragua as a visitor and got a surprise visit back to the beach, where he camped during the filming of Survivor.[2]
  • Fabio is featured on the cover and trailer of the fifth book of "The Mortal Instruments" series, "City of Lost Souls."[3]
  • Fabio became the drummer for a band called Space Funk Odyssey, an electro-dance/rock band from Venice, California.[5]
  • Fabio has since married and had a daughter.[6]
  • In 2014, Fabio starred in the Sc-Fi TV movie "90210 Shark Attack".[7]


  • Fabio currently ties with Jenna Morasca for the record of youngest winner, winning the game at age 21.
  • Fabio is the first person to have his name changed in the opening intro, where his name was changed from "Jud" in the first episode to "Fabio" in the second.
  • It was Shannon Elkins who nicknamed Jud to "Fabio," after Italian fashion model Fabio Lanzoni.
  • If NaOnka and Kelly S. had not been permitted to join the jury as per the revisions in the rule book regarding their voluntary exits, and the same vote took place, Fabio would have lost the game to Chase Rice in a 4-3-0 vote.


Preceded by
Heroes vs. Villains
S20 sandra t
Sandra Diaz-Twine
Sole Survivor Titleholder
S21 fabio t
Fabio Birza
Succeeded by
Redemption Island
S22 rob t
Rob Mariano

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