|Filming Location|| Laguna Yaxhá,|
Yaxhá-Nakúm-Naranjo National Park,
El Petén, Guatemala
|Season Run||September 15, 2005 – December 11, 2005|
|Filming Dates||June 27, 2005 – August 4, 2005|
|Tribes|| ██ Nakúm|
|Returnees||Stephenie LaGrossa (20)|
Survivor: Guatemala - The Mayan Empire (known simply as Survivor: Guatemala) is the eleventh season of the US reality show Survivor.
Applications were due January 14, 2005. Around March, 800 applicants were selected for an interview by CBS. Out of these 800, 48 semi-finalists were selected to go to Los Angeles sometime around April 2005. There, 16 of the nominees were chosen to participate on the show. Shooting began in June and ended in August.
This season also features the return of Survivor: Palau fan favorites Stephenie LaGrossa and Bobby Jon Drinkard, raising the number of contestants to 18. Other notable contestants include former beauty queen and model-turned radio announcer Danni Boatwright and ex-NFL quarterback Gary Hogeboom.
Alternates include Survivor: The Australian Outback contestants Michael Skupin and Rodger Bingham, Survivor: Palau contestants Jonathan Libby and Wanda Shirk, and Survivor: Marquesas contestant Hunter Ellis. But, Hunter declined and Michael, Rodger, Jonathan, and Wanda were cut.
- One returnee per tribe: Two former contestants return for another chance to win, one for each tribe.
- Tribe Switch: On Day 10, a tribe switch occurred.
- Double Tribal Council: On one occasion, both tribes have to attend Tribal Council. They play for reward, with the winners competing for individual immunity and the opportunity to observe the losing tribe's Tribal Council, and vote for one person to receive immunity.
- Hidden Immunity Idol: Located around the Xhakúm campsite is a small wooden totem that can be used as a form of individual immunity. Clues are given to winners of challenges. The Idol is played before the vote to detract particular voting blocs from targeting the player in question. Once the idol is played, it is discarded.
|Original Tribe||Switched Tribe||Merged Tribe|
63, Northglenn, CO
|Nakúm|| 1st Voted Out|
21, Decatur, IL
|Yaxhá|| 2nd Voted Out|
21, Edmonds, WA
|Yaxhá|| 3rd Voted Out|
25, Hood River, OR
|Nakúm||Nakúm|| 4th Voted Out|
24, Dallas, TX
|Nakúm||Yaxhá|| 5th Voted Out|
43, Chardon, OH
|Nakúm||Nakúm|| 6th Voted Out|
22, New York City, NY
|Yaxhá||Yaxhá|| 7th Voted Out|
39, Revere, MA
|Yaxhá||Yaxhá|| 8th Voted Out|
22, Manhattan, KS
|Nakúm||Yaxhá||Xhakúm|| 9th Voted Out|
|Bobby Jon Drinkard|
28, Troy, AL
|Nakúm||Yaxhá|| 10th Voted Out|
1st Jury Member
24, North Hollywood, CA
|Yaxhá||Nakúm|| 11th Voted Out|
2nd Jury Member
46, Grand Haven, MI
|Yaxhá||Yaxhá|| 12th Voted Out|
3rd Jury Member
34, Ridgefield, NJ
|Nakúm||Nakúm|| 13th Voted Out|
4th Jury Member
31, Naples, FL
|Nakúm||Nakúm|| 14th Voted Out|
5th Jury Member
42, Lakewood, WA
|Yaxhá||Nakúm|| 15th Voted Out|
6th Jury Member
22, Providence, RI
|Yaxhá||Nakúm|| 16th Voted Out|
7th Jury Member
25, Philadelphia, PA
30, Tonganoxie, KS
Sixteen players were split into two tribes named Nakúm and Yaxhá after two Mayan cities. Each tribe was joined by a contestant from Survivor: Palau, Bobby Jon Drinkard (Nakúm) and Stephenie LaGrossa (Yaxhá).
The first challenge was an 11 mile overnight trek through the jungle to the Mayan ruins, with the tribe to get there first winning additional supplies and the right to to stay at the site, while the losers have to travel to another location to establish their camp. The long trek was hard on both tribes, and continued to affect the contestants' health for the following days. The men of Nakúm were affected the most: Judd Sergeant was nauseous, Jim Lynch tore his biceps, Blake Towsley embedded needles of a poisonous plant, and Bobby Jon collapsed from dehydration and fatigue. Despite all the setbacks, Nakúm was more successful at the challenges in the first nine days, losing only one tribe member (Jim), while Yaxhá went to Tribal Council twice, where they eliminated the least productive members - Morgan McDevitt and Brianna Varela.
Meanwhile, Gary Hogeboom of the Yaxhá tribe was trying to hide his true identity. He knew that he might get voted off if the others find out he was a former NFL player. During one challenge, however, Danni Boatwright, being a sportscaster, identified him. Gary continued to deny it, and claim he was a landscaper, and that his last name is Hawkins, not Hogeboom.
A Tribe Switch occurred on Day 10, leaving Bobby Jon, Danni, Blake, and Brandon Bellinger in the majority at their new tribe - Yaxhá. The new Nakúm had four original members left, and they were joined by four Yaxhá. Immediately after the swap, Stephenie and Jamie Newton formed an alliance with Judd to take control of Nakúm. Rafe Judkins, Cindy Hall, and Lydia Morales also joined this new group. Though the two tribes performances were fairly even in wins and losses, a crucial Immunity Challenge won by Nakúm put them in a decisive 6-4 lead going into the merge. It occurred on Day 18, right after the last pre-merge Tribal Council. The merged tribe's name was Xhakúm a portmanteau of the original tribes' names. Upon merging, the new tribe was informed that a Hidden Immunity Idol was located in the jungle. The advantage Stephenie's alliance had helped them eliminate two of their rivals - Brandon and Bobby Jon - at the first post-merge Tribal Councils.
Judd received a clue to the whereabouts of the Hidden Immunity Idol after winning a Reward Challenge. It said that the Idol was hidden somewhere above the ground. To distract the other players, Judd told the other contestants the opposite of what the clue said. Gary, however, wasn't fooled. He followed Judd into the jungle, and saw where he was looking for the Idol. Gary then found it before Judd could, and used it to save himself from being eliminated. Meanwhile, Jamie was becoming increasingly paranoid, and the majority alliance decided to turn against him and spare Gary one more time. Using Judd's lie to his advantage, Gary tried to convince Stephenie's alliance to keep him in the game, but this time it didn't help, and he was the next out. Gary's words did convince the former Nakúm members that Judd could not be trusted. This, combined with his obnoxious behavior, got him blindsided at the next Tribal Council.
With five contestants remaining, Cindy was given an opportunity to gain everybody's favor at a car reward challenge. Jeff Probst reminded Cindy of the infamous "Car Curse", and offered her to give up the car she just won, and give a car to everybody else. Cindy refused and opted to keep her reward. This act did not sit well with Danni and Rafe, and they convinced Stephanie and Lydia to vote her out. Lydia, the most likeable of the final four, was next to go. At the final Immunity Challenge, Stephenie was unable to beat Danni, leaving Danni to decide whether to take her to the final instead of Rafe. Danni was told by Rafe that she did not have to stay true to a deal they agreed upon earlier, according to which she would take him to the Final Two. Danni decided that she would fare better against Stephenie, and eliminated Rafe. Danni, with six votes to one, was crowned the 11th Sole Survivor.
|1||"“Big Trek, Big Trouble, Big Surprise”"||September 15, 2005||Nakúm||Yaxhá||Jim||8–1|| 1st Voted Out|
|2||"“Man Down”"||September 22, 2005||Nakúm||Nakúm||Morgan||8–1|| 2nd Voted Out|
|3||"“The Brave May Not Live Long, but the Cautious Don't Live at All”"||September 29, 2005||Nakúm||Nakúm||Brianna||7–1|| 3rd Voted Out|
|4||"“To Betray or Not to Betray”"||October 6, 2005||None||Yaxhá||Brooke||5–3|| 4th Voted Out|
|5||"“Crocs, Cowboys and City Slickers”"||October 13, 2005||Yaxhá||Nakúm||Blake||5–2|| 5th Voted Out|
|6||"“Big Ball, Big Mouth, Big Trouble”"||October 20, 2005||Nakúm||Rafe||Margaret||6–1|| 6th Voted Out|
|(Gary)||Brian||5–1|| 7th Voted Out|
|7||"“Surprise Enemy Visit”"||October 27, 2005||Yaxhá||Nakúm||Amy||4–1|| 8th Voted Out|
|8||"“The Hidden Immunity Idol”"||November 3, 2005||None||Gary||Brandon||6–4|| 9th Voted Out|
|9||"“Secrets and Lies and an Idol Surprise”"||November 10, 2005||Judd||Jamie||Bobby Jon||6–2–1|| 10th Voted Out|
1st Jury Member
|10||"“Eating and Sleeping with the Enemy”"||November 17, 2005||Danni, Gary, Judd, Stephenie||Rafe||Jamie||6–2|| 11th Voted Out|
2nd Jury Member
|11||"“Everything Is Personal”"||November 24, 2005||Cindy|
|Rafe||Gary||6–1|| 12th Voted Out|
3rd Jury Member
|12||"“Price for Immunity”"||December 1, 2005|| Survivor|
|Danni||Judd||4–2|| 13th Voted Out|
4th Jury Member
|13||"“Big Win, Big Decision, Big Mistake?”"||December 8, 2005||Cindy|
|Stephenie||Cindy||4–1|| 14th Voted Out|
5th Jury Member
|14||"“Thunder Storms and Sacrifice”"||December 11, 2005||None||Rafe||Lydia||3–1|| 15th Voted Out|
6th Jury Member
|Danni||Rafe||1–0|| 16th Voted Out|
7th Jury Member
|Reunion Show||Jury Vote||Stephenie||6–1||Runner-Up|
|Survivor: Guatemala Voting History|
|Original Tribes||Switched Tribes||Merged Tribe|
- Gary became the first contestant ever to play a Hidden Immunity Idol on the tenth Tribal Council.
- This is the first season of Survivor to include both new players and returning players.
- This is the first season of the "one returnee per tribe" format.
- Guatemala is one of two seasons in which both returnees of this format made the merge (the second one is Survivor: South Pacific).
- This is the only season in which all the returning players improved upon their placements compared to their previous seasons.
- This season has the most unanimous votes at tribal council with ten.
- This is the first season of Survivor to feature the Hidden Immunity Idol.
- This is the first time someone found and played an Idol.
- Wanda Shirk, Jonathan Libby, Michael Skupin, Rodger Bingham, and Hunter Ellis were considered as returnees, before the decision was made to recall Stephenie and Bobby Jon.
- This is the only season so far with no African-American contestants.
- This is the first season where a new player defeated a returning player in the final Tribal Council.
- Currently, this season along with Survivor: Caramoan, Survivor: Blood vs Water, and Survivor: Cagayan are the only seasons to have no first-time contestants return in a future season.
- Stephenie was a returnee, having made her debut in Survivor: Palau.
|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