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Monica Culpepper

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Monica Culpepper

S27 Monica Culpepper

S24 Monica Culpepper

Contestant Profile
Born: June 15, 1970 (1970-06-15) (age 46)
Hometown: Tampa, Florida
Occupation: Ex-NFL Player's wife;
Survivor Career
Version: United States
One World
Tribe(s): Salani
► Manono
Finish: 14/18
Challenge Wins: 3
Votes Against: 5
Days Lasted: 14
Blood vs. Water
Tribe(s): Galang
Finish: Runner-Up (2/20)
Alliance(s): Galang Alliance
Singles Alliance
Challenge Wins: 7
Votes Against: 6
Days Lasted: 39

Monica Culpepper (née Frakes)[1] is a contestant from Survivor: One World and Survivor: Blood vs. Water.

Known as the wife of former NFL defensive lineman Brad Culpepper, as well as being a physical powerhouse in her second season, being the first person to refuse a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol, and referring to herself in third person on several occasions. In One World, Monica found herself on the outside from Day 1 of her tribe because of the Salani Alliance outnumbering her and the older women, but she manages to evade elimination long enough to the tribe switch. There she allianed herself with Colton Cumbie and Christina Cha but is blindsided by the former because of her being a potential threat in his eyes.

Monica returned with her husband Brad in Blood vs. Water where she allianed herself with former player Colton Cumbie until he quit the show. After her husband was eliminated, Monica had a bumpy road with her other allias making fun of her behind her back such as comparing her to a puppy dog, coattail rider, and a lap dog which drove her into an emotional state. She relied on her alliance with Tyson Apostol and Gervase Peterson, winning three individual immunities, and her own personal optimism to make it to the Final Tribal Council where she lost to Tyson and only earned a single vote.


Retrieved from

Name (Age): Monica Culpepper (41)
Tribe Designation: Salani
Current Residence: Tampa, Fla.
Occupation: Physical Therapist
Personal Claim to Fame: Homecoming Queen at University of Florida in 1991, University of Florida Outstanding Female Leader Graduate in 1991, Graduated with Honors from University of Minnesota Physical Therapy School, Wife of University of Florida and nine year NFL Defensive Tackle, Brad Culpepper, and mother of three straight "A" students.
Inspiration in Life: My husband without a doubt! He is the hardest working person I know. He was not only an All-American Football player at University of Florida, an Academic All-American, a Southeastern Conference Hall of Famer, and Vice President of the UF student body, but also finished with a Masters degree. He won the prestigious Campbell Award, making him the number one scholar athlete in the nation. Then he went on to the NFL where he played for nine seasons with the Vikings, Buccaneers, and Bears. He was All-Madden and the NFL's Unsung Hero Award winner. While playing in the NFL, he earned his law degree in the "off- seasons." Now, he has his own law firm and truly is a role model and a coach to me and many kids in our community. Best part is… I helped build him!
Hobbies: Kickboxing, hiking, skeet shooting, riding four wheelers, snowboarding, wakeboarding, running, reading and volunteering in my community.
Pet Peeves: People who are two-faced, unappreciative and lazy. Also, messy cars!
3 Words to Describe You: Loyal, tenacious and gritty.
SURVIVOR Contestant You Are Most Like: I can relate to Tina Wesson, the first female winner in 2001, because she was 40, had a career in the medical field and was happily married.
Reason for Being on SURVIVOR: I gave up my medical school and career dreams when I met my husband in college and have devoted the rest of my time to my family as a mother and a supportive spouse. It is my time to "step out" and see what grit I am made of…I'm ready to show I'm a Survivor!
Why You Think You'll "Survive" SURVIVOR: I am enthusiastic, pleasant to be around and a great motivator. I'm like a chameleon; I can get along with all kinds of people. Being great at multi-tasking, I am able to process and calculate clearly under stress.
Why You Think You Will Be the Sole Survivor: I'm never afraid to go out on a limb when it comes to getting something I want.[2]

Name (Age): Monica Culpepper (42)
Tribe Designation: Galang
Relationship to Significant Castaway: Brad's Wife
Previous Season: "Survivor: One World" – fifth person eliminated
Current Residence: Tampa, Florida
Occupation: Former NFL Wife, Homemaker

Why Did She Want to Play "Survivor" with Her Loved One?: I wanted the chance to redeem myself from my early exit on One World and there is no better way to do that than with the love of my life and lifelong tribemate, Brad. He's my guy and having my "shield" out there is an adventure in itself.[3]

Survivor: One World

Monica was originally placed at the all-women Salani tribe and found herself immediately on the outs. Alicia Rosa created a five-person alliance with Sabrina Thompson, Kim Spradlin, Chelsea Meissner, and Kat Edorsson. Despite not being in the majority alliance, she was not targeted for elimination due to her strength needed for challenges, even with Salani's three-challenge losing streak. Monica remained safe for the next two cycles when Salani won their first Immunity Challenge, and after a controversial move by the enemy Manono tribe of going to Tribal Council after winning an Immunity Challenge.

Monica's fate took a turn for the worst after a Day 12 tribe switch, where she, along with Alicia and Christina Cha, were transferred to the new Manono tribe, who fared dismally in challenges against an athletic, new Salani tribe. Losing the next Immunity Challenge, Monica lobbied to vote out the oldest male on the tribe, Tarzan Smith, by commissioning Colton Cumbie, who bonded with the original Salani, to help her in her effort. Unknown to Monica, Colton and Alicia were plotting against her, and with the help of Colton's "misfit alliance", Monica and Christina were both shocked when Monica was blindsided in a 5-2 vote in an effort to rid the game of a potential threat as opposed to a weak link.

Voting History

Monica's Voting History
Episode Monica's
Voted Against
1 No Vote
2 Christina -
3 Salani Tribe Immune
4 Salani Tribe Immune
5 Tarzan Alicia, Colton,
Jonas, Leif, Tarzan
Voted Off, Day 14

Survivor: Blood vs. Water

Statistics of Monica Culpepper
Seasons competed: 2
Days lasted: 53
Challenge Wins
Tribal wins: 7
Individual wins: 3
Total wins: 10
Tribal Council
Total votes received: 11
Exile Island
Times exiled: N/A
Redemption Island
Duels won: 0
Days spent on Redemption Island: 0

Monica returned with her husband, former football player Brad Culpepper. However, the pair was not to play together. Monica was placed on the Galang tribe. In the first Impressions vote, Monica voted against Candice Cody for not knowing much against her. Candice was the first voted out and Rupert Boneham switched places with his wife, Laura Boneham. Galang would generally win challenges over Tadhana. However, all was not peaceful at Galang. Colton Cumbie was trying to create chaos to rule the game and Monica said she didn't know if she could trust him again after he blindsided her in their pervious season. The tribe didn't play in to his attempts. This would lead him to quitting at the second Redemption Island duel. Candice told her husband, John Cody to give the clue to Monica. Brad urged Monica to burn the clue, which she obliged. At this point, Monica was in a alliance with Gervase Peterson, Tina WessonAras Baskauskas, and Tyson Apostol. The tribe won the next challenge, but Brad was voted out. Tadhana won their first challenge, sending Galang to Tribal Council. Laura Boneham was the initial target as no one felt comfortable around her. However, Aras wanted to vote out Laura Morett instead knowing she could defeat Brad so Monica's Loyalty would be to the alliance. When Laura Morett's name came out as being the one voted out, Monica was worried as she could beat Brad. None the less, Monica joined in voting out Laura M. over Laura B.

Monica's fears was confirmed as Laura M. defeated Brad and he was eliminated. After Brad's elimination, there was a Tribe Switch. Monica stayed on Galang with Tina, Laura B. and Kat Edorsson. Tina's Daugther, Katie Collins and Aras' brother, Vytas Baskauskas came to Galang while Gervase, Aras and Tyson gone to Tadhana. Galang lost both challenges. Kat was annoyed with Monica's strategizing and talked to Tina about getting her out. Tina alerted Monica and Kat gotten voted out over Vytas. After the second loss, Laura told Vytas that he was next to go. Shocked by her decision, the tribe voted out Laura B. for her unpredictably. After Tribal Council, Monica told she was number five in the alliance. This worried her.

At the re-entrance duel, Laura M. returned to the game and burned the clue to the idol. After enjoying the merge feast, Aras decided to target Laura M. again. Meanwhile, Tyson offered Monica to join the Singles Alliance. At the Immunity Challenge, Monica was the first out. Vytas would defeat Aras for immunity. Aras wanted to split the votes between Laura and her daughter, Ciera Eastin. However, Monica would join in the blindside of Aras and he was next to go in a 7-2-2 vote. Monica would defeat Gervase at the next Immunity Challenge. Monica was still paranoid, despite the immunity win. Laura M. scolded Monica for being paranoid telling her she had immunity and not to worry about being voted out. Monica was assigned with voting against Katie at the next Tribal Council. However, she voted against Vytas, viewing him responsible for Brad being voted out. Neither person had the idol and Vytas was voted out in a 8-1-1 vote. Katie would win the next challenge, however, complicating the next Tribal Council. Tina and Katie told Monica that she was the bottom of the alliance. Tina was voted out in a 7-1-1 without a idol to save her. 

Monica won the next Immunity Challenge over Tyson. She also gave up the feast that came with it to her tribe. Laura was unanimously voted out at the vote. Although Katie was the target, Hayden Moss and Caleb Bankston decided to make a move and take out Tyson. Monica outlasted Hayden for her third immunity in the season. Monica would become the swing vote between Ciera and Caleb. She stayed loyal to the alliance and Caleb was sent off to Redemption Island. After the vote, Hayden told everyone that Tyson was going to win the game unless voted out. At the next challenge, Gervase barely beat Monica for the immunity win. However, Gervase picked her and Tyson to join him in the reward. Hayden used this to convince Ciera that she was on the bottom and she flipped. At Tribal Council, Monica was the one getting the votes. The votes were tied, even after a deadlock. The decision went to a rock drawing ceremony. Due to the rules of the rock, Monica was safe. Katie was the one to pick the rock and was sent to Redemption Island. At the next Tribal Council, Monica once again became the swing vote between Gervase and Hayden. After a fierce Tribal Council, the returning players voted out Hayden as Ciera was immune. 

At the final duel, Tina returned into the game. The women started working on Monica to join them. Tyson won the Immunity Challenge. Monica became the swing vote again between the men and the women. After a discussion on who would be better vote out, it was decided it would be more strategic to vote out Ciera over Tina. At Tribal Council, Monica said that she was going to vote for her own game. Tyson gave Gervase the Idol but it was not needed as Ciera was voted out 3-2. Tina was still working on Monica to force a tie. Tyson won the Final Immunity Challenge. The Men talked about how Monica could win, while Tina tried to force a between herself and Gervase. However at Tribal Council, Tina was unanimously voted out.

At Final Tribal Council, Monica in her statement said that she didn't have blood on her hands. The jury stated that they didn't know her. When confronted by this Monica gotten emotional, especially with Hayden. In the end, Monica only received one jury vote from Vytas for being a strong woman. Tyson would win in a 7-1-0 vote. 

Voting History

Monica's Voting History
Episode Monica's
Voted Against
1 Candice -
Galang Tribe Immune
2 Galang Tribe Immune
3 Galang Tribe Immune
4 Galang Tribe Immune
5 Laura M. -
6 Kat -
7 Laura B. -
8 Aras -
9 Vytas Individual Immunity
Tina Katie
10 Laura M. Individual Immunity
11 Caleb Individual Immunity
12 Hayden;
Ciera, Hayden, Katie;
Ciera, Katie
13 Hayden -
14 Ciera -
Tina -
Jury Votes
for Monica
Runner-Up, Day 39

^1 In Rustle Feathers, the vote ended with a 3-3 tie between Monica and Hayden, forcing a revote. Nobody changed their vote on the revote, forcing a rock drawing tiebreaker. Monica was immune from the tiebreaker.


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  • Monica and Brad initially applied for The Amazing Race, but its casting producers suggested they apply for Survivor. Monica explained that CBS was more interested with her than with her husband.[4]
  • Monica is the second wife of a former NFL player to be on Survivor, following Taj Johnson-George, who is married to former Tennessee Titans running back Eddie George.
    • Monica is the second person to be married to an NFL player before appearing on Survivor, following Taj. 
  • Between One World and Blood vs. Water, Monica got a matching tattoo on the right side of her body to go with Brad Culpepper's right-arm tattoo.
  • Monica is one of twelve castaways (others being Rob MarianoShii Ann HuangBobby Jon DrinkardRussell SwanMichael SkupinFrancesca HogiColton Cumbie, Jeff Varner, Kimmi Kappenberg, Andrew Savage, and Kelley Wentworth) to return for a second season despite not making the jury phase on their original season.
  • In One World, Monica was outranked by Colton Cumbie and Kat Edorsson, but in Blood vs. Water, she outranked both of them.
  • Monica was the only woman to be voted out of the Manono tribe.
  • Monica is the highest placing female of Galang, as well as Kasama.
  • Monica is the only female castaway to reach the merge without her loved one in Survivor: Blood vs. Water.
  • Monica had her 43rd birthday on Day 27 of Blood vs. Water.
  • Monica is currently tied with Kelley Wentworth for greatest day count improvement of any first time returning castaway, lasting 25 days longer in Blood vs. Water than she did in One World.
  • Monica is the first castaway to be voted off pre-merge on their original season and then reach the Final Tribal Council in a subsequent season.
  • Monica is the only One World returnee that outlasted her Loved One in Blood vs. Water.
  • In Blood vs. Water, whenever she received a vote against her, Katie Collins was one of them.
  • Monica won the most individual Immunity Challenges in Blood vs. Water with 3.
  • Despite being the fifth one out in One World, Monica appears on the season's DVD cover.[5]


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