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Monica Padilla

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Monica Padilla

S31 Monica Padilla

S19 Monica Padilla

Contestant Profile
Birth Date July 14, 1984 (1984-07-14) (age 31)
Hometown San Diego, California
Occupation Law Student


Tribe(s) Galu
Placement 7/20
Alliance(s) Galu Alliance
Challenge(s) Won 9
Vote(s) Against 7
Day(s) Lasted 33


Tribe(s) Bayon
Placement 16/20
Challenge(s) Won 4
Vote(s) Against 3
Day(s) Lasted 13

Monica Padilla is a contestant from Survivor: Samoa and Survivor: Cambodia.



Monica Padilla is the first in her family to not only complete her undergraduate degree, but also obtain a Juris Doctor. Recently, she graduated from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, where she perfected, what she describes as, her power of persuasion. She fully intends to use her beauty and the fact that she “can sell ice cubes to an Eskimo” to her advantage in the game.

Exotic looks, in addition to intellect, have landed her a wide range of jobs, such as a clerk position at a well-known investment firm, as well as a position playing a theme park Pocahontas. With the keen ability to change from bookworm to party girl in a matter of moments, she is sure she will be able to adapt to anything she comes across on the island. She says that while in the Samoan wilderness, she will miss partying, clubbing and lunch with friends the most, which was exactly what she did in her free time even as she was in the home-stretch of obtaining her degree.

Much like Parvati and Amanda (from Survivor: Micronesia), she plans to be as “sweet as pie,” while subtly using the “flirt card,” in order to come off as endearing rather than overbearing. In addition to killing her fellow castaways with kindness, she has every intention of pulling her own weight around camp while studying their words and actions meticulously to “learn about her enemies before she chooses her weapon.” Confident that she can win the title of Sole Survivor, Monica plans to buy a designer purse as her first selfish purchase.

Monica resides in San Diego, Calif., and her birthday is July 14.


Season: Survivor: Samoa
Previous Finish: 7th place
What will you do differently this time around? "Last time I played in Survivor: Samoa, I was young and fresh out of law school. I didn't truly see the big picture. I am going into this season older and wiser —ready to prioritize my end game from Day 1, always keeping Day 39 in sight! In Samoa I made it to Day 33, but I was worried about how I was perceived and not hurting anyone's feelings. This time I am going ALL in, and holding NOTHING back. I was the only one who wasn't afraid to step up to Russell before anyone even knew who he was! If you vote for me to play again, I won't wait until my head is on the chopping block to make my million dollar threats!"

Survivor: Samoa

Monica was placed on the Galu tribe at the beginning of the season. Despite Galu's lengthy winning streak, at the Day 11 Immunity Challenge, Monica slowed down the tribe during the ropes course portion of the challenge. This allowed for Foa Foa to catch up and ultimately win their first Immunity Challenge. Due to Monica's role in losing the challenge, she was targeted by several members of Galu. Luckily for her, she was deemed more of an asset than Yasmin Giles, who was voted off instead.

On Day 15, it was announced that both tribes would go to Tribal Council. Monica, along with Laura Morett and Kelly Sharbaugh decided to vote out Shambo Waters because of the latter's inability to connect with the rest of tribe and possible connections to the rival tribe. Unbeknownst to Monica, The men of Galu conspired to use Shambo to join them in blindsiding Monica, hoping to separate her from Laura. However, Monica was spared after Russell Swan was medically evacuated, cancelling the vote.

Monica was among the contestants to make the merge on Day 19, becoming a member of the new Aiga tribe. Almost immediately, Russell Hantz approached Monica about an alliance and showed her his Hidden Immunity Idol. While she told Russell she'd align with him, Monica's true loyalty remained to Laura. Prior to the first merged Tribal Council, Kelly informed Monica that Erik Cardona had told the former Foa Foa members to vote out Monica. This caused almost everyone to turn against Erik and blindside him in a 10-2 vote. At this Tribal Council, Russell H. played his Idol but didn't garner any votes against him. Believing Russell did not posses another Idol, Monica and the other former Galu members cast their votes against him at the following Tribal Council. Surprisingly, Russell H. found the re-hidden Idol and played it, negating Monica's alliances votes against him and blindsiding her ally Kelly.

The next day, Monica was approached by Mick Trimming and Jaison Robinson, who told Monica that the former Foa Foa's now held a five person alliance and wanted her to be the sixth. Monica immediately told this development to Laura, and hypothesized that Shambo had allied with the Foa Foas. The two soon realized that the upcoming vote would end with a 5-5 deadlock between the former Galus and the former Foa Foas and Shambo. Unwilling to vote out Laura, Monica concocted a plan to bluff the Foa Foas into voting John Fincher to avert the tie. However, John refused to go along with Monica's idea. At Tribal Council, the vote ended in a 5-5 tie between Laura and Natalie White. However on the revote, John changed his vote to Laura, eliminating her.

Monica was upset with John for his lack of loyalty toward the Galu tribe. John would further upset Monica at the Survivor Auction when he choose to eat a whole pie for himself instead of sharing his pie between four people. At the next Tribal Council, Monica voted against John in retaliation for voting out Laura and he was voted and he became the fourth member of the jury in a 7-1-1.

Now in the minority, Monica talked to Russell H., hoping to convince him to vote out Shambo over the intended target, Dave Ball. Although Russell H. considered this, Dave was still voted out that night. At the Day 33 Immunity Challenge, Monica's remaining ally Brett Clouser won, putting the target on Monica. Monica approached Russell again, insisting that he should be voting out people that would vote for him to win. Monica also said that she knew that he was a millionaire, having been informed of this by Jaison several days earlier and that she would give her jury vote to whomever needed the money, angering Russell. Despite her scrambling, Russell's alliance followed through with their plan and Monica was voted out in a 5-2 vote. She became the 6th member of the jury.

At Final Tribal Council, Monica started her speech by congratulating the finalists. For her question, Monica asked Mick and Natalie why the other two didn't deserve to win. Mick said that Natalie was undeserving because of doing nothing more than riding Russell's coattails and that Russell was undeserving because of his ego and pitting people against one other. Russell interjected and pointed out that Mick had no problem with what he was doing throughout the game.Satisfied with the answers, Monica voted for Natalie to be the Sole Survivor.

Voting History

Monica's Voting History
Episode Monica's
Voted Against
1 Galu Tribe Immune
2 Galu Tribe Immune
3 Galu Tribe Immune
4 Yasmin Shambo, Yasmin
5 Galu Tribe Immune
6 No Vote
7 Galu Tribe Immune
8 Erik -
9 Russell H.1 -
10 Natalie;
12 John -
13 Dave -
Russell H. Jaison, Mick, Natalie,
Russell H., Shambo
Voted Off, Day 33
Voted for
Sole Survivor

^1 In Tastes Like Chicken, Russell H. used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating Monica's vote against him.
^2 In The Day of Reckoning, the vote ended with a 5-5 tie between Laura and Natalie, forcing a revote. Monica did not change her vote on the revote.

Survivor: Cambodia

Statistics of Monica Padilla
Seasons competed 2
Total number of days 46
Challenge Wins
Tribal wins 13
Individual wins 0
Total 13
Tribal Council
Total votes received 10
Exile Island
Times exiled N/A
Redemption Island
Days spent at Redemption Island N/A
Duels won N/A

Monica was one of the twenty castaways chosen to compete on the second chance season, Survivor: Cambodia. At the beginning of the game, Monica was placed on the Bayon tribe. While Bayon gather many supplies during the initial marooning, they ultimately lost out on a large Bag of rice. The Bayon tribe nonetheless thrived at camp. Bayon ultimately ended up winning the first two Immunity Challenges of the season.

On Day 7, A Tribe Switch occurred. However, The castaways were caught off-guard by when it was announced that a third tribe would be introduced into the game. In a random draw of buffs, Monica was placed on the new Bayon tribe with Kimmi KappenbergStephen FishbachJeremy Collins & former Ta Keo members Kelly Wiglesworth & Spencer Bledsoe. Bayon won the first two Immunity Challenges after the switch, keeping Monica away from Tribal Council. However, Bayon lost the Immunity Challenge on Day 13. Monica wanted Spencer voted out so that she could keep the women's numbers up and possibly form a women's alliance in the future, mentioning this to Kimmi. However, Kimmi was bothered by Monica playing an individual game before the merge and alerted Jeremy & Stephen which stunned them. At Tribal Council, Monica would abandon her plan to vote for Spencer and voted against Kelly, as her alliance wanted. However, Monica was blindsided in a 3-2-1 vote over Kelly for being untrustworthy. 

Voting History

Monica's Voting History
Episode Monica's
Voted Against
1 Bayon Tribe Immune
2 Bayon Tribe Immune
3 Bayon Tribe Immune
4 Bayon Tribe Immune
5 Kelly Jeremy, Kimmi,
Voted Off, Day 13


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


  • Monica was the youngest female member of Galu.
  • When asked on a Reddit AMA thread how she came on the show, Monica revealed she was recruited to compete on Survivor.[1]
  • Monica is left-handed.
  • Monica is the only member of Galu to enter the merge with votes cast against her.
  • Monica lost sixteen pounds during her stint in Samoa.[2]
  • Both times Monica played, she played with one of the Morett women. A similar coincidence happened with Terry Deitz, playing with one of the Baskauskas brothers.
  • Every season Monica competed in had a total of 20 castaways. Monica was one of nine castaways to do this, the other eight being Parvati ShallowCandice CodyErik ReichenbachLaura MorettTom Westman, Brenda LoweVytas Baskauskas and Ciera Eastin.
  • Monica was shocked that Teresa Cooper and Mikayla Wingle were ultimately not included in the final cast of Cambodia, viewing them as strong women. She was surprised that Shane Powers was not in the final cast as well.[3]
    • Ironically, Monica was frequently mentioned as the most surprising castaway who made the final cast.[4]
  • In both of her seasons, Monica received at least two votes at the first Tribal Council she attended.
  • Monica is the lowest-placing member of the original Bayon tribe, the only original Bayon member to not reach the merge.


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