|Filming Location|| Wonga-Wongue Presidential Reserve,|
|Season Run||September 25, 2008 - December 14, 2008|
|Filming Dates||June 23, 2008 – July 31, 2008|
|Runner(s)-up|| Susie Smith|
|Returnees|| Corinne Kaplan (26)|
Randy Bailey (20)
Sugar Kiper (20)
Survivor: Gabon - Earth's Last Eden is the seventeenth season of Survivor. The winner of this season, Bob Crowley, the oldest winner in Survivor history, defeated Susie Smith and Sugar Kiper in a final vote of 4-3-0.
On April 13, 2008, at the National Association of Broadcasters's annual show, Sony announced that the 17th season of Survivor would be the first to be shot in high definition, using Sony XDCAMs.
Survivor: Gabon began filming in late June. It marked the second season of the series that was filmed in Africa (Survivor: Africa had been filmed seven years earlier in Kenya). Reports from Gabon indicate the show was filmed around the coastal towns of Nyonie and Ekwata in the Wonga-Wongue Presidential Reserve.
- Tribe Selection: Like Survivor: Thailand, the oldest male and female players will choose their tribemates.
- Disposable Immunity Idols: Similar to Survivor: Micronesia, the players competed for individual immunity for their first visit to Tribal Council.
- Exile Island: Exile Island returns this season, with some new tweaks. The banished player will pick one of two bottles, one will grant idle comfort (referring to a semi-lavish shelter with a fruit basket inside), while the other will provide idol protection (a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol somewhere around the vicinity). If the player chose to look for the idol, he/she must rest outside of the shelter. If that player chose to enjoy the comforts of the shelter, the player in question cannot look out for the idol.
- Hidden Immunity Idols: Two Hidden Immunity Idols were available this season, one during the tribal phase of the game, and another during the second tribe switch.
- Double Tribal Council: On Day 21, both tribes must go to Tribal Council to eliminate one of their own.
- Two Tribe Switches: There were two tribe swaps in this season, the first one on Day 10, and the other on Day 22.
- Delayed Merge: Due to the surprise second Tribe Switch, the merge was delayed for three days, merging with nine remaining contestants
- Final Tribal Council: The finale returned to the Final Three, seven-person Jury format, similar to Survivor: China.
|Original Tribe||Switched Tribe #1||Switched Tribe #2||Merged Tribe|
24, Los Angeles, CA
|Fang|| 1st Voted Out|
61, Temecula, CA
|Fang|| 2nd Voted Out|
23, Downey, CA
|Kota|| 3rd Voted Out|
25, Santa Barbara, CA
|Kota||Fang|| 4th Voted Out|
25, Portland, OR
|Fang||Fang|| 5th Voted Out|
22, Buffalo Grove, IL
|Kota||Fang|| 6th Voted Out|
27, Naples, FL
|Kota||Fang|| 7th Voted Out|
32, Boston, MA
|Fang||Kota|| 8th Voted Out|
28, Atlanta, GA
|Kota||Kota||Kota|| 9th Voted Out|
1st Jury Member
29, New York City, NY
|Kota||Kota||Fang||Nobag|| 10th Voted Out|
2nd Jury Member
49, Eagle Rock, MO
|Fang||Kota||Fang|| 11th Voted Out|
3rd Jury Member
29, Los Angeles, CA
|Kota||Kota||Fang|| 12th Voted Out|
4th Jury Member
29, Durham, NC
|Fang||Fang||Kota|| 13th Voted Out|
5th Jury Member
22, Westminster, CA
|Fang||Fang||Kota|| 14th Voted Out|
6th Jury Member
29, Pacific Palisades, CA
|Fang||Fang||Fang|| 15th Voted Out|
7th Jury Member
29, Brooklyn, NY
47, Charles City, IA
57, South Portland, ME
The players were divided into tribes by a schoolyard pick started by the oldest players, Bob Crowley and Gillian Larson. It became evident that Gillian's tribe, Fang, was weaker, losing many of the Reward and Immunity challenges, even after a Tribe Switch; however, a core alliance between Matty Whitmore, Ken Hoang, and Crystal Cox developed. On Bob's tribe, Kota, a series of alliances were formed, strengthened after the swap with the addition of Randy Bailey. Both the Hidden Immunity Idol and Exile Island twists were in play; the winning tribe on Reward Challenges was able to send one of the losing tribe's members to the latter. At Exile, that player had the option of a clue to the Immunity Idol hidden near Exile (ultimately leading to a string of hidden clues to the Idol), or to relax in a small shack, latter dubbed the Sugar Shack, with a provision of fruit and a hammock. Sugar Kiper was the second player to visit Exile and found the idol on her first visit; she was repeatedly sent back to Exile, where, isolated from both tribes, she relaxed most of the time. Sugar's Idol was eventually discovered by Matty, Ken, and Crystal, and they decided to bring her into their alliance, with Ken convincing her to vote off her closest ally Ace Gordon whom he claimed was using her for the idol.
On Day 22, both tribes were given clues suggesting a tribal merge; they enjoyed a celebratory meal, and discovered an Immunity Idol nearby. Unanimously, the players agreed to throw the Idol away into the ocean. They then discovered they were still separate tribes, mixed by random draw, and returned to their camps. This development proved crucial for the minority Fang alliance, who successfully convinced Susie Smith that she was on the bottom of her alliance, resulting in the elimination of Kota alliance leader Marcus Lehman. The tribes were then merged with the former Kota alliance in the minority. The Fang alliance, now with Susie, dominated the game, eliminating the former Kota alliance until only Bob was left. Bob won three consecutive Immunity Challenges, forcing the Fang alliance to turn on themselves. This resulted in the eliminations of Crystal and Ken due to their strong strategic prowess.
At the final four, Susie won the final immunity challenge, ending Bob's immunity streak. Sugar decided to vote with Bob due to their social bond, forcing a tie between him and Matty; Bob won the fire-making tiebreaker challenge. At the Final Tribal Council, the Jury was critical of Sugar's backstabbing and of Susie's less-dominant strategic game. They ultimately voted Bob as the Sole Survivor with four votes to Susie's three, and Sugar receiving none.
|Episode||Air date||Challenges||Exiled||Eliminated||Vote||Finish||Viewership (in millions)||Rating/Share (18-49)|
|1||“Want to See the Elephant Dung? (Part 1)”||September 25, 2008||Kota||G.C.||None||Michelle||8-1|| 1st Voted Out|
|2||“Want to See the Elephant Dung? (Part 2)”||Kota1||Dan||Gillian||7-1|| 2nd Voted Out|
|3||“She Obviously Is Post-Op!”||October 2, 2008||Fang||Marcus||Sugar||Paloma||7-2|| 3rd Voted Out|
|4||“It Was Like Christmas Morning!”||October 9, 2008||None||Kota||Sugar||Jacquie||5-2|| 4th Voted Out|
|5||“This Camp Is Cursed”||October 16, 2008||Kota||Kota||Sugar||G.C.||6-1|| 5th Voted Out|
|6||“He's a Snake, but He's My Snake”||October 23, 2008||Kota||Kota||Sugar||Kelly||5-1|| 6th Voted Out|
|7||“It All Depends on the Pin-Up Girl”||October 30, 2008||Kota||Marcus||Sugar||Ace||3-2|| 7th Voted Out|
|(Sugar)||Dan||4-3|| 8th Voted Out|
|8||“Apple in the Garden of Eden”||November 6, 2008||None||Fang||None||Marcus||3-2|| 9th Voted Out|
1st Jury Member
|9||“The Brains Behind Everything”||November 13, 2008||Fang||Susie||Bob||Charlie||5-4|| 10th Voted Out|
2nd Jury Member
|10||“Nothing Tastes Better than Five Hundred Dollars”||November 20, 2008|| Survivor|
|Ken||Bob||Randy||5-3|| 11th Voted Out|
3rd Jury Member
|11||“I Was Put on the Planet for This Show”||November 27, 2008||Recap Episode||N/A||N/A|
|12||“The Good Things in Life Aren't Easy”||December 4, 2008||Bob||Bob||None||Corinne||4-3|| 12th Voted Out|
4th Jury Member
|13||“The Good Guys Should Win in the End”||December 11, 2008|| Bob|
|Bob||Susie||Crystal||4-02|| 13th Voted Out|
5th Jury Member
|14||“Say Goodbye to Gabon”||December 14, 2008||None||Bob||None||Ken||4-1|| 14th Voted Out|
6th Jury Member
| 15th Voted Out|
7th Jury Member
|Reunion Show||Jury Vote||Sugar||4-3-0||Second Runner-Up||11.74||3.8/10|
^1 Combined Reward and Immunity Challenge.
^2 Matty used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating 2 votes against him.
^3 With a deadlock tie between Bob and Matty, a fire-making challenge was held to determine the elimination, which Matty lost.
|Survivor: Gabon Voting History|
|Original Tribes||Swapped Tribes (Day 10)|| Swapped|
- In Episode 4, Sugar was sent to Exile Island. However, she was immune from Tribal Council.
- In Episode 13, Sugar used a Hidden Immunity Idol on Matty, therefore any votes cast against him were nullified.
- In Episode 14, Tribal Council resulted in a tie. Per the rules, a fire-making challenge was held to determine the elimination.
- This is the only season to have two involuntary Tribe Switches.
- This is also the first season to feature two pre-merge individual immunity challenges
- This is the first season since Survivor: China to feature a seven-member Jury with a Final Three. After this season, every season that had a final three would feature a jury of at least eight members.
- This is the first season with an 18 player cast where the Jury began before the Merge.
- All the members of the second iteration of Fang were voted out in two groups of four.
- Currently, the contestants from Gabon who have returned to compete on another season have never reached the jury.
- Coincidentally, they were each voted out first of a tribe at some point (Heroes for Sugar, Villains for Randy, and Enil Edam for Corinne).
- Corinne is the only one to not be voted out unanimously and as well as the only one to make the merge.
- Corinne is the only one of the three not to return in Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, although she was offered.
- Five castaways were twenty nine years of age during filming, Matty Whitmore, Sugar Kiper, Charlie Herschel, Crystal Cox, and Corinne Kaplan.
- All of these castaways made the merge.
- This season is tied with Survivor: Guatemala for the most contestants associated with every tribe at 7. It is notable, however, that Guatemala merged with 10, and Gabon merged with 9. Coincidentally, they are the only seasons starting with the letter "G".
- However, it does not hold the record for the most switched contestants to make the merge, as Survivor: All-Stars (a three-tribe season) had eight contestants switch tribes and make the merge.
- This season has the latest merge chronologically, on Day 27.
- Kota only voted out one member during each iteration of the tribe.
- Only 5 contestants from this season were not in their 20s at the time of filming: Gillian Larson, Dan Kay, Randy Bailey, Susie Smith, and Bob Crowley.
|Survivor (US) Seasons|
Borneo · The Australian Outback · Africa · Marquesas · Thailand · The Amazon · Pearl Islands · All-Stars · Vanuatu · Palau · Guatemala · Panama · Cook Islands · Fiji · China · Micronesia · Gabon · Tocantins · Samoa · Heroes vs. Villains · Nicaragua · Redemption Island · South Pacific · One World · Philippines · Caramoan · Blood vs. Water · Cagayan · San Juan del Sur · Worlds Apart