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Survivor: China

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Survivor: China
Season 15
Filming Location Zhelin Reservoir,
Jiujiang, Jiangxi,
People's Republic of China
Season Run September 20, 2007 – December 16, 2007
Filming Dates June 25, 2007 – August 2, 2007
Survivors 16
Winner Todd Herzog
Runner(s)-up Courtney Yates
Amanda Kimmel
Tribes Fei Long
Zhan Hu
Hae Da Fung
Returnees Amanda Kimmel (16, 20)
Courtney Yates (20)
James Clement (16, 20)
Peih-Gee Law (31)
China Cast
Opening Sequence
Survivor China (Intro)00:59

Survivor China (Intro)

Series Chronology
Previous Season Fiji
Next Season Micronesia

Survivor: China is the fifteenth season of Survivor. It originally aired in fall 2007. It was the first American television show to ever be filmed or produced in the People's Republic of China. The "Outwit, Outplay, Outlast" slogan used in previous season's logos was replaced by Chinese characters. The characters translate to "compete in intelligence" (比智慧, bĭ zhìhuì), "compete in skill" (比技巧, bĭ jìqiǎo), and "compete in endurance" (比耐力, bĭ nàilì).

This season returned to 16 contestants on two initial tribes, Fei Long (飞龙) and Zhan Hu (战虎), meaning Flying Dragon and Fighting Tiger respectively. On Day 13 each tribe switched two contestants. On Day 19 the tribes merged into Hae Da Fung (黑大风), which means Black Fighting Wind, a name proposed by Peih-Gee Law (who happened to be Chinese herself).

This season was dominated by the Fei Long Alliance, who used their numbers to eliminate any castaways aligned with Zhan Hu.

In the end, there was a final three. However, there was only a jury of seven. All three final contestants received votes, but Todd Herzog was crowned Sole Survivor after garnering four votes, as opposed to Courtney Yates's two and Amanda Kimmel's one.


Producers were given an "unprecedented access" to several Chinese monuments and landmarks, and they incorporated many aspects of China's vast culture into the game (design of campsites, challenge concepts, Tribal Council set, etc.). Before they made it to their camps, the contestants took part in a non-religious Buddhist ceremony. After the ceremony, both tribes received a copy of Sun Tzu's The Art of War which would help them in winning challenges and conquering the other tribe.

The season was said to be the first US show to be entirely shot in China.


  • Kidnapping: The kidnapping twist from Survivor: Pearl Islands and Survivor: All-Stars returned. However, unlike the two former seasons, the kidnapped player was not granted immunity. Starting with the episode “My Mom Is Going to Kill Me!”, whichever tribe won the Reward Challenge would kidnap a member from the losing tribe to stay at their camp until the next Immunity Challenge. The kidnapped player would give a tube containing clues to the Hidden Immunity Idol to a tribe member from the opposing side for an idol at their camp.
  • Final Three: For the third consecutive season, three castaways would face the jury instead of the usual two.
    • New Jury/Finals Configuration: This is the first Final Three season to use the traditional seven-member Jury instead of the nine-member Jury used during Survivor: Cook Islands and Survivor: Fiji.


Contestant Tribe Affiliation Finish Votes
Original Tribe Switched Tribe Merged Tribe
S15 chicken t Chicken Morris
47, Marion, VA
Zhan Hu 1st Voted Out
Day 3
S15 ashley t Ashley Massaro
28, East Northport, NY
Zhan Hu 2nd Voted Out
Day 6
S15 leslie t Leslie Nease
38, Tega Cay, SC
Fei Long 3rd Voted Out
Day 9
S15 dave t Dave Cruser
37, Simi Valley, CA
Zhan Hu 4th Voted Out
Day 12
S15 aaron t Aaron Reisberger
32, Venice, CA
Fei Long Zhan Hu 5th Voted Out
Day 15
S15 sherea t Sherea Lloyd
26, Atlanta, GA
Zhan Hu Fei Long 6th Voted Out
Day 18
S15 jaime t Jaime Dugan
22, Columbia, SC
Zhan Hu Zhan Hu Hae Da Fung 7th Voted Out
1st Jury Member
Day 21
S15 jeanrobert t Jean-Robert Bellande
36, Las Vegas, NV
Fei Long Fei Long 8th Voted Out
2nd Jury Member
Day 24
S15 frosti t Frosti Zernow
20, Chicago, IL
Zhan Hu Fei Long 9th Voted Out
3rd Jury Member
Day 27
S15 james t James Clement
30, Lafayette, LA
Fei Long Zhan Hu 10th Voted Out
4th Jury Member
Day 30
S15 erik t Erik Huffman
26, Nashville, TN
Zhan Hu Zhan Hu 11th Voted Out
5th Jury Member
Day 33
S15 peihgee t Peih-Gee Law
29, Marina del Rey, CA
Zhan Hu Zhan Hu 12th Voted Out
6th Jury Member
Day 36
S15 denise t Denise Martin
40, Douglas, MA
Fei Long Fei Long 13th Voted Out
7th Jury Member
Day 38
S15 amanda t Amanda Kimmel
23, Kalispell, MT
Fei Long Fei Long Second
S15 courtney t Courtney Yates
26, New York City, NY
Fei Long Fei Long Runner-Up 0
S15 todd t Todd Herzog
22, Pleasant Grove, UT
Fei Long Fei Long Sole Survivor 5

Season Summary

The two tribes, Fei Long and Zhan Hu, were predetermined prior to the start of the game. Exile Island was abandoned for this season and instead, an added bonus for winning Reward Challenges was that the winning tribe was given the opportunity to kidnap a member from the losing tribe, where they would live at the winning tribe's camp until the next Immunity Challenge. This person would receive a container with a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol that they had to give to one of the winning tribe members.

Through the first 12 days, Fei Long held a slight edge thanks to the strength of James Clement and leadership of Aaron Reisberger. A strong alliance had been formed on Fei Long between Aaron, Todd Herzog, Amanda Kimmel, and Courtney Yates. On Day 14, each tribe, separately, selected two members of the other tribe to bring into theirs; Fei Long selected Sherea Lloyd and Frosti Zernow, while Zhan Hu selected James and Aaron. Believing that James and Aaron would remain true to the other Fei Long members when the merge occurred, Jaime Dugan and Peih-Gee Law formed a plan to lose the next Immunity Challenge on purpose so that they would be able to remove the former Fei Longs from the game. Zhan Hu would end up losing the challenge, and subsequently removed Aaron from the game.

Todd had been working to find the Hidden Immunity Idol. At the next Reward Challenge on Day 16, Fei Long won, and selected to kidnap James. With the clue from James, Todd deduced the idol's location: one of two plaques on the standing pagoda gate near camp, and recovered it. He then gave this idol to James, and instructed him that the same clues would apply at the Zhan Hu camp, so that James would be able to possess both idols. Todd's plan required Fei Long to win the next Immunity Challenge, which would force Zhan Hu to Tribal Council; while the other members would target James, he would have been able to use one of the idols to deflect the vote and remove a Zhan Hu member. However, Fei Long lost the challenge, and instead voted off a former Zhan Hu member, Sherea.

The tribes merged on Day 19, with the former Fei Longs holding a 6–4 advantage. Amanda became concerned that James would not give back one of the two idols, and worked with her other tribe members to blindside him, with James leaving the game with the two idols still in his possession. The remaining Fei Long held on to their lead, comprising the final four. Todd, Amanda, and Courtney's alliance held strong and the three went to the Final Tribal Council. All three were criticized by the jury, but Todd ultimately won with four votes to Courtney's two and Amanda's one.

Episode Guide

Episode Air date Challenges Kidnapped Eliminated Vote Finish Viewers (in millions)[1] Rating/Share (18-49)
Reward Immunity
1 A Chicken's a Little Bit Smarter September 20, 2007
Fei Long1
5-2-1 1st Voted Out
Day 3
15.35 5.0/N/A
2 My Mom Is Going to Kill Me! September 27, 2007
Fei Long
Fei Long
6-1 2nd Voted Out
Day 6
14.15 4.6/N/A
3 I Lost Two Hands and Possibly a Shoulder October 4, 2007
Zhan Hu
Zhan Hu
6–2 3rd Voted Out
Day 9
14.14 4.5/N/A
4 Ride the Workhorse Till the Tail Falls Off October 11, 2007 Fei Long Fei Long Dave Dave 5–1 4th Voted Out
Day 12
14.22 4.6/N/A
5 Love Is in the Air October 18, 2007 None Fei Long None Aaron 3-1-1 5th Voted Out
Day 15
14.03 4.6/N/A
6 That's Love, Baby! It Makes You Strong! October 25, 2007 Fei Long Zhan Hu James Sherea 5-2 6th Voted Out
Day 18
14.19 4.5/N/A
7 I'm Not as Dumb as I Look November 1, 2007 None Frosti Jaime 7-3 7th Voted Out
1st Jury Member
Day 21
14.44 4.9/N/A
8 High School Friend Contest November 8, 2007 Amanda,
Courtney Jean-Robert 5-3-1 8th Voted Out
2nd Jury Member
Day 24
14.86 4.8/N/A
9 Just Don't Eat the Apple November 15, 2007 Amanda,
Peih-Gee Frosti 7-1 9th Voted Out
3rd Jury Member
Day 27
14.68 4.8/N/A
10 It's Been Real and It's Been Fun November 22, 2007 Recap Episode N/A N/A
11 Ready to Bite the Apple November 29, 2007 Peih-Gee
Erik James 5-1-1 10th Voted Out
4th Jury Member
Day 30
13.57 4.5/N/A
12 Going for the Oscar December 6, 2007 Denise
Peih-Gee Erik 4-2 11th Voted Out
5th Jury Member
Day 33
13.86 4.5/N/A
13 Hello, I'm Still a Person December 13, 2007 Denise
Amanda Peih-Gee 4-1 12th Voted Out
6th Jury Member
Day 36
14.49 4.6/N/A
14 A Slippery Little Sucker December 16, 2007 Amanda
Amanda Denise 3-1 13th Voted Out
7th Jury Member
Day 38
15.18 5.2/N/A
Reunion Show Jury Vote Amanda 4-2-1 Second Runner-Up 12.26 4.5/N/A
Courtney Runner-Up
Todd Sole Survivor


^1 Combined Reward and Immunity Challenge.

Voting History

Survivor: China Voting History
Original Tribes Switched Tribes Merged Tribe
Episode #: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 11 12 13 14s
Voted out: S15 chicken t
S15 ashley t
S15 leslie t
S15 dave t
S15 aaron t
S15 sherea t
S15 jaime t
S15 jeanrobert t
S15 frosti t
S15 james t
S15 erik t
S15 peihgee t
S15 denise t
S15 amanda t
S15 courtney t
S15 todd t
Vote: 5-2-1 6-1 6-2 5-1 3-1-1 5-2 7-3 5-3-1 7-1 5-1-1 4-2 4-1 3-1 4-2-1
Todd Leslie Sherea Jaime Jean-Robert Frosti James Erik Peih-Gee Denise Jury Vote
Courtney Jean-Robert Jean-Robert Jaime Jean-Robert Frosti James Erik Peih-Gee Denise
Amanda Leslie Sherea Jaime Jean-Robert Frosti James Erik Peih-Gee Denise
Denise Leslie Sherea Jaime Peih-Gee Frosti James Erik Peih-Gee Todd Courtney
Peih-Gee Chicken Ashley Dave Aaron Jean-Robert James Frosti Todd Todd Todd Todd
Erik Chicken Ashley Dave Aaron Jean-Robert James Frosti James Todd Amanda
James Leslie Peih-Gee Jaime Jean-Robert Frosti Peih-Gee Courtney
Frosti Chicken Ashley Dave Sherea Jaime Jean-Robert Erik Todd
Jean-Robert Leslie Sherea Jaime James Todd
Jaime Chicken Ashley Dave Aaron Jean-Robert Todd
Sherea Chicken Ashley Dave Jean-Robert
Aaron Leslie James
Dave Ashley Ashley Sherea
Leslie Jean-Robert
Ashley Peih-Gee Dave
Chicken Ashley


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  • This is the only 16-castaway season to have a final three face the jury.
  • With an age average of 30.125 years among its castaways, China has the youngest age average of all seasons.
  • Both China and Survivor: Philippines had Hidden Immunity Idols "hidden in plain sight", with China's being a plaque-shaped ornament while Philippines' being the rice container handle.
  • This is the first season to use a variation on "Outwit, Outplay, Outlast". The Chinese words used in their place translate to "compete in intelligence, compete in skill, compete in endurance" as a rough translation.
  • This season had the first instance of a contestant (Jaime Dugan) trying to play an item at Tribal Council believed to be a Hidden Immunity Idol, but turning out not to be.
  • Once this season reached the jury phase, the opening introductory montage no longer showed all the contestants in the game. The montage showed the players in "the jury" first, followed by the ones in the "Merged Tribe." Prior to this, all seasons had shown all the players in the intro in all episodes.
  • This season has the smallest amount of people voted out in a season without any evacuations, quits, or eliminations.
  • CBS gave this season's Immunity Idol to celebrity Neil Patrick Harris, an avid reality TV fan, for his 37th birthday. [2]
  • This is the first season in which only castaways who switched tribes were eliminated after a tribe switch.


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