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Jonathan Penner

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Jonathan Penner

S25 Jonathan Penner

S16 Jonathan Penner

S13 Jonathan Penner

Contestant Profile
Birth Date March 5, 1962 (1962-03-05) (age 52)
Hometown Los Angeles, California
Occupation Writer

Cook Islands

Tribe(s) ██ Rarotonga
██ Aitutonga
Placement 7/20
Alliance(s) Raro Alliance
Aitu Four (affiliated)
Challenge(s) Won 7
Vote(s) Against 15
Day(s) Lasted 33


Tribe(s) ██ Malakal
Placement 15/20
Challenge(s) Won 7
Vote(s) Against 0
Day(s) Lasted 15


Tribe(s) ██ Kalabaw
██ Dangrayne
Placement 7/18
Alliance(s) Kalabaw Alliance
Challenge(s) Won 8
Vote(s) Against 14
Day(s) Lasted 30

Jonathan Lindsay Penner (also known as 'Penner' in Philippines) is a contestant from Survivor: Cook Islands, Survivor: Micronesia, and Survivor: Philippines.

Charismatic and witty with a blunt disposition, Penner became the primary antagonist during his time on Cook Islands, being described as a cancer within his tribe. In Micronesia, he appeared to be more competitive and fun-loving before his adventure was cut short by an injured leg, although at some points he would snap back at Jeff Probst's commentaries during crucial challenge moments. This "improved-attitude" would also be carried over to his third season, Survivor: Philippines. Probst states that Jonathan is one of his favorite contestants. He is known for flipping from the Raro Alliance to the Aitu Four, causing the former's demise.


Cook IslandsEdit

A native of New York, Jonathan Penner is a writer/producer for film and television. He and his wife, Stacy, have developed numerous projects including "The Last Supper," "The Lone Ranger," "Let the Devil Wear Black" and the 1994 Oscar-nominated for Best Short Film, Live Action, "Down On The Waterfront" (which he co-produced, co-wrote and starred in with Jason Alexander, Ed Asner and Mike Starr). He also worked as an actor and had a series regular role on "Grapevine," on CBS, "The Naked Truth" and "Rude Awakening." He also made guest-starring appearances in various series including CSI: and "The Nanny," both on CBS, as well as "Seinfeld" and "Arrested Development." Additionally, he is a producer/writer/director.

Penner attended the prestigious Phillips Andover prep school in Andover, Massachusetts, and went on to receive his Bachelor of Arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York.

Penner enjoys reading, traveling, cooking, theater, moves and track/field.

Penner currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife of 16 years, director Stacy Title, and their two children, Cooper and Ava. They have one bunny, Angel Cake, and two lizards, Mozilla and Luna. His birth date is March 5, 1962.


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Name (Age): Jonathan Penner (50)
Previous Seasons: “Survivor: Cook Islands” and “Survivor: Micronesia”
Previous Finishes: “Survivor: Cook Island” – 14th out, 6th jury member. “Survivor: Micronesia” – medical evacuation due to knee infection.
Tribe Designation: Kalabaw, Dangrayne
Current Residence: Los Angeles, Calif.
Occupation: Writer
Personal Claim to Fame: My Oscar nomination for Best Live Action Short Film for “Down on the Waterfront” which I co-wrote and co-produced with my wife, and also co-starred with Jason Alexander and Edward Asner.
Inspiration in Life: My kids. My daughter is hilarious and actually looks up to me, and my son is smarter and more athletic than I am already. Wanting to make them proud is why I always do my best.
Pet Peeves: Stupidity, meanness and slow drivers in the passing lanes.
3 Words to Describe You: Happy, prickly and funny.
If You Could Have 3 Things on The Island What Would They Be and Why?: A good book to read, a blank book to write in and if I can count her as a thing, my wife. If not, I’ll bring a pen.
Reason for Being on SURVIVOR: The money. I have nothing more to prove or accomplish but winning.
Why You Think You’ll “Survive” SURVIVOR: Experience is the biggie, but I also bring humor and I’m a team player.
Why You Think You Will Be the Sole SURVIVOR: Third time is a charm! If I can get past the first three or four votes I’m going all the way. Seriously!

Survivor: Cook IslandsEdit

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Voting HistoryEdit

Jonathan's Voting History
Episode Jonathan's
Voted Against
1 Rarotonga Tribe Immune
2 Rarotonga Tribe Immune
3 Cecilia -
4 Aitutaki Tribe Immune
5 Aitutaki Tribe Immune
6 Cao Boi Jessica
8 Jessica Jessica
9 Brad Brad
10 Rebecca Rebecca
Jenny Jenny, Nate
11 Nate -
12 Candice Adam, Candice,
13 Adam Adam, Becky, Ozzy,
Parvati, Sundra, Yul
Voted Off, Day 33
Voted for
Sole Survivor

Survivor: MicronesiaEdit

Jonathan returned as one of ten returning contestants who competed against ten Survivor "superfans."

Jonathan formed an alliance with Eliza OrlinsYau-Man Chan and Ami Cusack to usurp the budding Malakal Couples Alliance which consisted of Amanda Kimmel, Ozzy Lusth, James Clement and Parvati Shallow. While both voting blocs were vying for Jon Dalton's and Cirie Fields' votes, all plans were put on hold when Jon suddenly decided that he wanted to go home to be with his expectant girlfriend; and by winning the next Immunity Challenge.

In I Should Be Carried on the Chariot-Type Thing!, both alliances again battled for Cirie's crucial swing vote, but Cirie eventually joined Parvati's alliance on the condition that Yau-Man would be the first eliminated despite the alliance's desire to eliminate Eliza (for her weak challenge performances) because she made an argument that if Yau-Man went to Exile Island once, he would definitely find the Hidden Immunity Idol. Parvati's alliance agreed, sending Yau-Man home in a 6-2-1 vote. Jonathan tried to save Yau-Man, but was unsuccessful.

After one week safe, an unexpected tribe switch moved Jonathan to Airai. Jonathan, along with James, Jason Siska, and Eliza, led Airai to several victories before his knee injury started slowly getting worse and worse; eventually, Jonathan was forced to evacuate, and he shared an emotional goodbye with his tribe before leaving.

Voting HistoryEdit

Jonathan's Voting History
Episode Jonathan's
Voted Against
1 Jon -
2 Malakal Tribe Immune
3 Parvati -
4 Malakal Tribe Immune
5 Airai Tribe Immune
6 No Tribal Council
Evacuated, Day 15

Survivor: PhilippinesEdit

Jonathan was a member of the Kalabaw tribe, consisting of himself, Katie Hanson, Sarah Dawson, Jeff Kent, Carter Williams, and Dana Lambert. Jonathan was immediately targeted by Jeff and the other castaways on his tribe, as they (mainly Jeff) did not want a returning player to win the game. However, Jonathan managed to stay safe when Kalabaw won the first Immunity Challenge. On Day 4, Jonathan managed to find Kalabaw's Hidden Immunity Idol from the top of the rice box. Things began to look up for Jonathan, as he formed a three-person alliance with Carter and Jeff, quickly turning Kalabaw into a men vs. women scenario. However, votes never had to happen, as Kalabaw continued their winning streak. On Day 11, Matsing was dissolved, and Kalabaw gained Denise Stapley, who joined the alliance of Dawson, Dana, and Katie. However, that same day, Kalabaw lost their first original member after Dana became ill and quit. Kalabaw lost the next two Immunity Challenges, and Jonathan helped to vote out Dawson and Katie.

When the two tribes merged on Day 17, Jeff and Carter quickly flipped over to the Tandang tribe members to target Jonathan. Jonathan attempted to talk Tandang members R.C. Saint-Amour and Michael Skupin into flipping, however Michael decided to vote Jonathan when Jeff approached him. At Tribal Council, Jonathan played his Hidden Immunity Idol out of nervousness that his allies had turned on him. R.C. received the next highest number of votes with 4, due to a split vote plan organized by Malcolm Freberg. After the Tribal Council, Jonathan was furious his allies had betrayed him and considered himself alone on the island. Jonathan managed to pull out a come-from-behind victory at the Immunity Challenge, throwing plans to vote him out into a tailspin. At Tribal Council, the votes were split between Jeff and Pete Yurkowski, with Jeff leaving 5-4-1 (Jonathan threw a vote to Abi-Maria Gomes in an effort to spook her; had Jonathan voted with Carter, Denise, Jeff, and Malcolm, the votes would have tied).

After Jeff's boot, the non-Tandang members realized that they needed to get rid of the 3-person alliance of Abi-Maria, Pete, and Artis Silvester. However, they managed to get Skupin to flip over and boot Artis in a 5-4 vote (Jonathan received votes from the other Tandang members). At the next Tribal, Lisa Whelchel joined the non-Tandangs, plus Skupin, and helped split votes between Abi-Maria and Pete. Abi-Maria played her Idol, sending Pete home in a 3-2-0 vote.

Lisa and Michael approached Jonathan with a Final 4 deal, feeling skeptic about working with Denise and Malcolm. Jonathan turned down their offer as he thought it was too early to make suballiances. At the Immunity Challenge, Abi-Maria shocked everyone when she won a crucial Immunity Challenge after receiving an advantage at the Auction. At Tribal Council, Jonathan campaigned for Denise and Malcolm to leave, saying that if either of them get to the end, they would win. However, Jonathan faced the consequences of rejecting the Final 4 Deal as Lisa and Michael joined Denise and Malcolm in voting out Jonathan in a 4-3 vote (only Abi-Maria and Carter voted with him).

At the Final Tribal Council, Jonathan addressed Michael, Lisa, and Denise, berating them all and even exposing Lisa's past as a teen star to the jury and other finalists, although he kept her secret while playing. In the end, Jonathan voted for Denise to win.

Statistics of Jonathan Penner
Seasons competed 3
Total number of days 78
Challenge Wins
Tribal wins 19
Individual wins 3
Total 22
Tribal Council
Total votes received 29
Exile Island
Times exiled 3
Redemption Island
Days spent at Redemption Island N/A
Duels won N/A

Voting HistoryEdit

Jonathan's Voting History
Episode Jonathan's
Voted Against
1 Kalabaw Tribe Immune
2 Kalabaw Tribe Immune
3 Kalabaw Tribe Immune
4 Kalabaw Tribe Immune
5 No Tribal Council
Dawson -
6 Katie Katie
7 Pete Abi-Maria, Denise,
Lisa, Malcolm, Michael
8 Abi-Maria Individual Immunity
9 Artis Abi-Maria, Artis,
Lisa, Pete
10 Pete -
11 Denise Denise, Lisa,
Malcolm, Michael
Voted Off, Day 30
Voted for
Sole Survivor


  • Jonathan Penner has written about his life-long love of horror films and what it means in the Los Angeles Review of Books.
  • On January 9, 2010, Jonathan attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party.



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