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John Kenney

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John Kenney
S9 John Kenney
Contestant Profile
Born: September 26, 1981 (1981-09-26) (age 35)
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Occupation: Mechanical Bull Operator
Survivor Career
Version: United States
Tribe(s): Lopevi
Finish: 11/18
Challenge Wins: 7
Votes Against: 5
Days Lasted: 18

John Kenney, Jr. [1] is a contestant from Survivor: Vanuatu.


Retrieved from

Originally from Branford, Connecticut, John Kenney attended Branford High School, where he played basketball, lacrosse and baseball. He then attended college for two years at Northeastern University in Boston, where he studied Media Arts and Design.

After college, Kenney moved to Manhattan, New York to pursue a modeling career. While there, he also modeled in Paris, Milan, Korea and Miami. Approximately two years ago, Kenney relocated to Los Angels and most recently worked as a mechanical bull operator at a saddle ranch bar. He aspires to teach art and film and considers himself an artist, particularly with computer graphic design. He has previously worked as a construction worker and an x-ray technician.

Kenney describes himself as friendly, warm and a people person who at the same time is very competitive. John enjoys playing basketball and hiking and is most proud of the fact that he has traveled so much and met so many people in his young age. His hero is his mom because she works hard and enjoys what she does. His primary motivation for being on Survivor: Vanuatu is to win the money but also "the experience of doing all this crazy intense challenge stuff that although may not be enjoyable while I'm doing it, will be amazing to look back on." He also believes that he can be the Sole Survivor because he has the ability to read people well.

Kenney splits his time between New York and Los Angeles. His birth date is September 26, 1981.[2]

Survivor: Vanuatu

After the welcoming ceremony, the tribes were divided by gender. John was on the tribe called Lopevi. On the way to the camp, Rory Freeman wanted to separate to have a better chance to find the camp flag. Everyone made camp life comfortable, but the men were unable to make fire. At the first challenge of the season, the men had a the initial lead. The Yasur women was able to win because because Chris Daugherty couldn't cross the balance beam. After the humiliating loss, John aligned when the other athletic men: John PalyokBrook Geraghty, and Brady Finta. John K., John P., and Brook felt that Chris was the weakest for costing them the challenge. Brady felt that Rory would be a problem for being an individualist. The younger men ask Lea "Sarge" Masters to vote out Chris. However, Lea felt that once Chris is gone, the athletic men will pick everyone else one-by-one, including him. Lea recruited the other men on the tribe and they voted out Brook in a 5-3-1.

The men was miserable because without fire, they were unable to boil water or keep warm at nights. The men lost the chance to earn flint, once again due to a balance beam. Thankfully, Lea paved the way to victory at the Immunity Challenge. Noticing that Rory's independent personality was annoying Sarge, John K. and his allies lobbied against him. When they saw the women next, they were shocked that Dolly Neely was voted out. The next challenge was for both reward and immunity. However, immunity was individual as both tribes was going to Tribal Council. Lopevi won the reward part of the challenge and John won the individual immunity. In one final twist, John would stay at Yasur camp to decide who would be immunity at the women's Tribal Council. He ask the women to divide into two groups to discover who voted out Dolly and expose alliances. Eliza Orlins talked to John, saying that she voted out Dolly to only save herself. At the Lopevi Tribal Council, he was praised for his strategic thinking in dealing with Yasur. The main alliance stayed strong and John P. was voted out. He gave individual immunity to Ami Cusack to avoid altering the original plans. John was by the shape of the tribe, angered that "Five fat dudes" was running the camp. Lopevi lost the Reward Challenge again, costing them the expertise of a Local bushman. John and Brady tried to sway Sarge to vote out Rory. Yasur won the Immunity Challenge. When the vote came, John was forced to vote against Brady to save himself. 

Two local Ni-Vanuatu men came to the camp, asking for a chief. Sarge volunteered and they gave him a chief staff. At the next challenge, everyone had to drop their buffs due to a tribe switch. John was assigned by Scout Cloud Lee to the group which had Chris, Julie BerryChad Crittenden, and Twila Tanner. Sarge selected John's group to be the new Lopevi. A challenge was held immediately, and Lopevi barely beat the new Yasur. The reward was for Pringles and Beer at a local waterfall. Lopevi won the next three challenges, winning the tribe immunity twice and Steak and Eggs. John was bored and tired, while everyone worked at camp chores. Noticing this, Chad and Chris viewed John as coasting throughout the game. Yasur made a comeback and won the next two challenges. John lead a campaign to eliminate Chad for being under the radar and being the biggest jury threat because of his artificial limb. He tried to sway Chris and the women. In the end, John was unanimously vote out.

Voting History

John K.'s Voting History
Episode John K.'s
Voted Against
John K.
1 Chris -
2 Lopevi Tribe Immune
3 Rory Individual Immunity
4 Brady -
5 Lopevi Tribe Immune
6 Lopevi Tribe Immune
7 Chad Chad, Chris,
Julie, Lea, Twila
Voted Off, Day 18


  • John has since married and has three kids.
  • After being voted out, Kenney returned to modeling. His career since the show has only risen as he's appeared in DNA, Men's Health, and modeled in Paris, Milan, Korea, Miami, and NYC. He now pursues a film making career and now has a son.
  • On January 9, 2010, John attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party along with all of his Vanuatu cast mates.



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