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Ken Hoang

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Ken Hoang
S17 Ken Hoang
Contestant Profile
Born: October 10, 1985 (1985-10-10) (age 31)
Hometown: Westminster, California
Occupation: Professional Gamer
Survivor Career
Version: United States
Tribe(s): Fang
► Kota
Finish: 5/18
Alliance(s): Fang Alliance
Challenge Wins: 3
Votes Against: 7
Days Lasted: 37

Ken "Kenny" Hoang is a contestant from Survivor: Gabon.

Affectionately known as "Kenny" throughout his time in the game, he is best remembered for successfully eliminating multiple power players who he viewed as threatening and his close friendship and alliance with Crystal Cox.


Retrieved from

Ken Hoang gives a new meaning to the term "gamer." Known to the gaming community as "the King of Smash," Hoang is no longer a professional at his craft. As the guy who used to be the best player in Nintendo's Super Smash Brothers Melee video game, Ken has traveled the world from Japan to Australia to prove his dominance.

Hoang uses his tournament winnings to help support his family. He and his siblings still live at home to help pay the mortgage. It has also led to a strong bond among his brothers and sisters. In fact it was his sister that started his addiction to SURVIVOR.

While he may seem like an interesting choice for a game based in the outdoors, this gamer sees it as an amazing opportunity. Ken is very creative, and has a strong passion for art, a skill he is currently going to college to fine tune. When not playing videogames or brushing up on his art, Hoang enjoys playing with his pets, a Maincoon cat named Kinski and a Husky named Monster.

He loves the fact that he will be considered an underdog because everyone will underestimate his prowess at playing mind games. Nobody would look at him and believe he climbed Mt. Fuji at the age of 20. Ready to exploit his slight physical stature, Ken will trick his fellow players into seeing him as a non-threat, only to smash them if they get in his way.

Ken is single and currently resides in Westminster, Calif. His birth date is October 10, 1985.[1]

Survivor: Gabon

Ken arrived to Survivor: Gabon and was quickly placed on the Fang tribe. Early on, he befriended Michelle Chase and the two frequently would talk with each other. However, after losing the first Immunity Challenge on Day 3, he and the tribe unanimously voted out Michelle for her negativity. He later voted out Gillian Larson for her perceived weakness, and received his first vote from her. After winning their first two challenges ever, Fang would go on a losing streak. Although, because of this Ken would begin his rise of power along with follow tribe mate and close friend, Crystal Cox.

On Day 10, after G.C. Brown resigned his title as tribe leader, Randy Bailey began targeting him along with his allies. While Randy's alliance strategized in the jungle, Ken formed his own alliance with G.C. and Crystal. Later that day, a tribe switch occurred and Ken stayed on Fang along with his allies and Matty, but also gained Ace Gordon, Jacquie Berg, Kelly Czarnecki and later Sugar Kiper. Shortly after arriving to camp, Kelly expressed her dislike of her former Kota tribemates to Crystal, who quickly recruited her into Ken's alliance. When Fang lost the Immunity Challenge on Day 12, Ken's majority alliance (now including Matty) debated over eliminating Jacquie and Ace but after Kelly informed them of Jacquie's strong relationships with her former tribe, they eliminated her in a 5-2 vote. As Fang began losing challenge after challenge, his power in the game increased. However, because of G.C. asking the tribe to vote him out and Kelly being perceived as the weakest member on the tribe, he voted them out with the majority in unanimous votes.

After being announced that both tribes would attend Tribal Council, Ken and Crystal targeted Sugar for her poor performance in the previous challenge. However, she was granted immunity prompting Ken to target Fang's strongest member, Ace Gordon. In an attempt to solidify a majority vote against Ace, Ken approached Sugar and lied to her, exclaiming how Ace was only using Sugar for her possession of the Hidden Immunity Idol. Despite some skepticism, Sugar ultimately believed Ken's lie, and joined Ken and Crystal in blindsiding Ace with a 3-2 vote. Once another tribe switch occurred on Day 22, Ken moved over to Kota, this time only with Crystal. Kota lost the Day 24 Immunity Challenge and Marcus Lehman targeted Ken for his weakness. However, Crystal was reluctant to betray Ken due to their strong friendship. Thus, she told Ken of Marcus' plan and the two decided to vote against him. At Tribal Council, Ken voted against Marcus along with his alliance after Crystal managed to successfully convince Susie to side with them.

Ken had reached the merge on Day 27 and named the merged tribe, Nobag. Knowing that because of Charlie Herschel he wasn't able to retrieve the clue to the idol, he targeted him and convinced the Fang Alliance by saying that Charlie was the "brains" behind the Onion Alliance. In an effort to gain Sugar's vote again, he told her the plan. At the following Tribal Council, Sugar joined Ken in voting against Charlie, effectively blindsiding him and decreasing the rival alliance's numbers. At the Survivor Auction on Day 28, Ken paid $340 for the reward of sending someone to Exile Island and taking all of their money. He chose Bob Crowley. He then managed to win the Immunity Challenge on Day 30 and was convinced by Sugar to vote against Randy. He later voted Randy out with his alliance at Tribal Council.

Although initially losing the Loved Ones Challenge on Day 31, Ken was still able to see his sister because of a twist. While talking to his sister, he bragged about how well in was doing in the game. Ken and his alliance then target Bob for being a physical threat. After he won immunity, they settled on voting for Corinne, but she threw a wrench in that plan when she told the lie about the Hidden Immunity Idol she had to Ken who believed it completely and decided to vote with Corinne and Bob to blindside Matty. Crystal eventually joined him after she believed the lie. Before Tribal Council, Ken started scheming again and wanted to split the vote between Matty and Corinne; in part to eliminate Matty and in part to flush out the idol. He tells Crystal to vote for Corinne soon after. At Tribal Council, Corinne didn't play her so-called idol and was voted out instead of Matty in a 4-3 vote. Upon returning back to camp, the alliance questioned Ken's scheme. Using Bob's previous betrayal at the last Tribal Council as leverage, Ken managed to make Bob feel sorry for him as he stated if he won, he'd give his necklace to Ken. After the Immunity Challenge on Day 36, Sugar realized that Ken along with Crystal were the "bad guys" after their verbal fights with Matty and rallied the other four into blindsiding Crystal. Ken and Crystal targeted Matty but were surprised when Sugar gave her idol to him, negating their votes, but it didn't matter as Crystal was voted out with their four votes. Ken, himself, ended up being blindsided by Sugar in the final five after she told her new alliance to vote him out. He became the fifth jury member in the process.

As a juror, Ken cast his vote for Susie, his previous ally, who would lose to Bob in a 4-3 vote.

Voting History

Ken's Voting History
Episode Ken's
Voted Against
1 Michelle -
2 Gillian Gillian
3 Fang Tribe Immune
4 Jacquie -
5 G.C. -
6 Kelly -
7 Ace -
8 Marcus Bob, Marcus
9 Charlie -
10 Randy Individual Immunity
12 Matty -
13 Matty1 -
14 Susie Bob, Matty,
Sugar, Susie
Voted Off, Day 37
Voted for
Sole Survivor

^1 In The Good Guys Should Win in the End, Sugar used a Hidden Immunity Idol on Matty, negating Ken's vote against him.


  • On January 9, 2010, Ken attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party along with all of his Gabon cast mates.
  • At the E3 2014 video game convention, Ken was one of 16 Super Smash Bros. players worldwide selected by Nintendo to participate in a tournament of the demo of the series' fourth installment. He selected Marth as his character and was defeated in the first round, but was put into the fan favorite bracket.
  • Ken attended the primetime Survivor edition of The Price Is Right special on May 23, 2016.[2] However, Ken himself did not compete.
  • Ken attended Coach Wade's wedding.[3]


  • Ken is the youngest male in Gabon (at 22) and the youngest on the original Fang.
  • Ken is the one who come up with the idea of naming the merged tribe "Nobag"- Gabon spelled backward. 
  • Ken is the only person in Gabon to win an individual challenge after the merge but not be a finalist.
  • Ken, along with his tribemate Crystal, were on a tribe with every castaway in her season at some point, with the exception of Paloma.
  • Ken lost 20 lbs. during his time in Gabon.[4]


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