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Matthew von Ertfelda

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Matthew von Ertfelda
S6 Matthew von Ertfelda
Contestant Profile
Born: July 24, 1969 (1969-07-24) (age 47)
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Occupation: Restaurant Designer
Survivor Career
Version: United States
The Amazon
Tribe(s): Tambaqui
► Jaburu
Finish: Runner-Up (2/16)
Alliance(s): Jaburu Alliance
Tambaqui Alliance
Challenge Wins: 8
Votes Against: 6
Days Lasted: 39

Matthew von Ertfelda (also known as Mateo) is a contestant from Survivor: The Amazon.

Known for being the "student" of skilled strategist Rob Cesternino, Matt knew little about the game but his physical strength and likability made him an asset around camp although at times his tribe mates would grow concerned about his "crazier" behaviour, such as his obsessive sharpening of the machete.


Retrieved from Born in Hong Kong, Matthew Von Ertfelda has traveled all over the world. He was raised on a horse farm in Massachusetts and attended Middlesex School where he graduated with honors and served as co-captain of the football team. He received a Bachelor of Science degree with distinction at the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University in New York. In addition, he attended the Taipei Language Institute where he studied Mandarin Chinese. He also holds a culinary diploma with honors from L'Ecole de Gastronomie Française Ritz-Escoffier in Paris. Von Ertfelda currently designs restaurants and bars for a global lodging company. He has previously worked as a restaurant and bar developer in Hong Kong, a print model in Asia and a chef's apprentice/cook in Paris.

Von Ertfelda enjoys screenwriting, foreign language study, cooking, rock and ice climbing, weight lifting and hardcore adventure. In 1994, he successfully crossed the Darien Gap, a storied stretch of jungle linking Panama and Colombia. In the summer of 1998, he organized a deep jungle trek into unmapped areas of New Guinea to track cannibals. He dove for sunken treasure off Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands and participated in Earthwatch research expeditions to St. Croix and Rarotonga in the Cook Islands. In the past, he has also competed in sprint triathlons and marathons.

In 2002, Von Ertfelda was listed as one of People Magazine's Top 50 Bachelors. He describes himself as unique, multi-faceted, hardworking, mentally and physically strong and tenacious. He credits his older brother, Eric (a bodybuilder and writer), with teaching him respect and humility at a very early age. If Von Ertfelda could hold political office, he would like to be Director of the CIA because he loves the cloak & dagger operations and the inherent risks. If he wins the $1 million, he will buy a bottle of 1929 Chateau d'Yquem to share with close family and friends. Von Ertfelda's favorite quote is "The things you regret most in life are the risks you didn't take."

Currently single, Von Ertfelda resides in Washington, D.C., with his vivacious fish, Reggie. His birth date is July 24, 1969.[1]

Survivor: The Amazon

Matthew von Eftfelda was placed on the all-male Tambaqui tribe, and lacked the self-awareness to ever find himself in the strong majority. The men quickly made fire and built and effective shelter. However, The men lost the Immunity Challenge because of Ryan Aiken and Daniel Lue's inability to cross the balance beam. Despite that, Matthew sided with them to oust the bossy Roger Sexton. However, they lost the pivotal swing vote in Rob Cesternino and Ryan was voted out. The men also lost the Reward Challenge for fish bait. However, the men did win immunity in a memory contest. Matthew bonded with Daniel when they spoke Mandarin Chinese. Matthew talked to Dave Johnson about who to vote out, which Dave still wanted Daniel out. Both agreed that Alex Bell was untrustworthy. The men lost the Reward Challenge. Daniel lobbied to the swing vote, Alex to oust Roger. However, Alex did not commit. Jaburu won immunity and Matthew had to vote out Daniel. Matthew was left out of the tribe's fishing trips, which he was fully aware of. Matthew caught a large fish, making him the provider. Tambaqui won the next two challenges, earning them fish, coca-cola and immunity.

The tribe gotten Tree Mail, asking for it's youngest member (Dave) for a night of fun. When Dave returned, he announced that Matthew, along with Alex and Rob would go to Jaburu. The men's presence revived Shawna Mitchell, who had a breakdown days earlier. The new tribe won immunity. Rob decided to make an alliance with Matthew. Matthew was thrilled because he felt that they was the next two to go. At the Reward Challenge, Matthew defeated Roger easily but lost to Butch. Both Deena Bennett and Rob decided to get rid of Matthew if he fails to get fish or becomes disobedient. Jaburu lost immunity and Alex and Shawna decided to vote off Matthew for being a threat. However, Rob turned the vote against Shawna, sending her home.

After Shawna's expulsion, Rob concocted a plan to make it appear the men was staying together. This was so Tambaqui would divert their votes, allowing for the blindside of Dave or Roger. The tribe was allowed to open the box that been there since day one. It said that the tribes had merged. When the new tribe arrived, a feast awaited them. Roger started aggravating the women with his rampant misogyny, while irking the men with his bossiness. At the Immunity Challenge, Heidi Strobel and Jenna Morasca stripped Naked for Peanut Butter and Chocolate. Matthew himself opted out for Buffalo wings with Dave. Deena won immunity after winning rock-paper-scissors against Christy Smith. Roger was blindsided at Tribal Council in a 7-3 vote. At this time, Matthew started sharpening the machete obsessively. This worried everyone to the point that they feared that Matthew would kill them all. Matthew assured them that the sight of blood scared him and he was a pacifist. Matthew was teamed with Jenna and Heidi at the Reward Challenge but they lost. Dave started lobbying against Matthew, siting his athleticism and strange behavior as leverage. Matthew was the first knocked out of the Immunity Challenge. Matthew was spared because Dave was considered a bigger threat.

Matthew was unaware that everyone wanted him out. However, he did worry about being a physical threat. Matthew made it to the final of the Reward Challenge, but Alex won and selected Jenna to join him. Deena was worried about Alex's threat status and wanted him out if Matthew won immunity. At the same time, Rob told Matthew to recruit Butch Lockley as a part of a chain alliance. Matthew won the eating contest for immunity. Rob swerved the vote against Deena, sending her to the jury. Matthew, along with Christy and Butch were the only ones doing camp chores, annoying them all. Realizing he was in the minority, Matthew told Butch he was planning to get Rob to flip. At the Survivor Auction, Matthew brought a mystery item for $400. It turned out to be a Burger and Fries. He also brought a protein shake. He viewed Jenna bidding against Christy for letters from home as selfish. Rob talked to Matthew and admitted that he was manipulating him and even tried to eliminate him from the game. Rob also told Matthew that Alex assumed the winner would be himself, Jenna, Heidi, or Rob and had lost trust in him. Matthew acknowledges that he has many Survival skill, but a weak strategical game. He added that Rob was the opposite. Appalled by Alex's audacity, the pair conspired to oust Alex. Matthew almost won immunity, but Rob won it instead. Rob held his end of the bargain and Alex was Blindsided.  After returning from Tribal Council, almost everyone talked about how likable and untrustworthy Alex was. Matthew beat out Rob to win a visit from his mom. However, when given an opportunity to give the other a little love from, Matthew accepted. Everyone was thankful to see their loved ones. Because of his good deed, Jeff allowed Matthew to see his mom. Jenna won immunity. Matthew was planning to vote out Heidi. Rob, however, feared Christy's status as a swing vote and convinced Matthew to vote her out instead. Matthew won the Second Chance challenge for a car. He wanted to take everyone, but Jeff said he could only take one. He picked Rob, which Rob admitted his fate was in Matthew's hands. When they returned, the camp was burned down. Matthew didn't point any fingers about who cause the blaze. Matthew won immunity and voted out Heidi for being the bigger threat.

The men planned to vote out Jenna next. Matthew assumed that they was going to the final three, to the point of saying "May the best man win". However, Jenna beat him out for immunity. Matthew and Rob agreed that Butch should go. Matthew convinced Jenna that Butch didn't play the strategic game and don't deserve to be in the final four. At the same time, he made a finals deal with Jenna. Matthew's lobbying worked and Butch was unanimously voted out. The next day, Tree Mail had a scale. Then Jeff came to camp, telling them they get to view the amazon from a seaplane. After the ride was complete, the would adorn themselves in various jewelry and paint for the Final Immunity Challenge. Matthew threw the challenge, under the assumption that the others would take him to the end. This was proven true when Jenna took him over Rob.

At Final Tribal Council, Matthew made his opening statement by saying how much he worked for the tribe and how honorably he played the game. Matthew gave poor answers to the jurors. Jenna said that he didn't play the game early on and didn't need the money. She also added that he didn't care about the people there and didn't think this was a big deal. Matthew ended his case by saying that he realized how hypocritical he was. Matthew only gotten one jury vote from Butch.

Voting History

Matthew's Voting History
Episode Matthew's
Voted Against
1 Roger -
2 Tambaqui Tribe Immune
3 Daniel -
4 Tambaqui Tribe Immune
5 Jaburu Tribe Immune
6 Shawna Alex, Shawna
7 Roger -
8 Dave Dave
9 Deena Individual Immunity
11 Alex Alex, Heidi, Jenna
12 Christy -
13 Heidi Individual Immunity
14 Butch -
Ineligible -
Jury Votes
for Matthew
Runner-Up, Day 39


  • On January 9, 2010, Matthew attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party.


  • Matthew is the first contestant from Washington, D.C.
  • Matthew is fluent in Mandarin, and, on several occasions, Matthew spoke the language with tribemate Daniel Lue.
  • Matthew is the first person to only garner a single jury vote at Final Tribal Council and Matthew is the first male finalist to gain less than three jury votes at Final Tribal Council.


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