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Survivor: Philippines

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This article is about the 25th season of the American version of Survivor. For the Philippine version of the series, see Survivor Philippines.

Survivor: Philippines
Philippines NB
Season 25
Filming Location Caramoan, Camarines Sur,
Bicol Region, Philippines
Season Run September 19, 2012 - December 16, 2012
Filming Dates March 17, 2012 - April 25, 2012
Survivors 18
Winner Denise Stapley
Runner(s)-up Lisa Whelchel
Michael Skupin
Tribes Kalabaw
Returnees Malcolm Freberg (26)
Philippines Cast
Opening Sequence
Survivor 25 Philippines Intro ( FULL HD )01:04

Survivor 25 Philippines Intro ( FULL HD )

Series Chronology
Previous Season One World
Next Season Caramoan

Survivor: Philippines is the 25th season of Survivor. It premiered on September 19, 2012, with a 90-minute premiere.

The winner was Denise Stapley after she garnered more Jury votes than returning contestant Michael Skupin and former child star Lisa Whelchel in a 6-1-1 vote.


In an interview, Jeff Probst revealed that filming of this season wrapped up while Survivor: One World was still airing. Furthermore, the 26th season will also be filmed in the Philippines, where the Survivor Production Team will stay up until August.[1] Probst also said that more than 400 locals were hired during shooting.[2]

The Production's Marine Department used 30 boats for water transport, with 15 from the Production Team, and another 15 were boats hired from locals.


  • Three Tribes: For the first time since Survivor: All-Stars, three tribes will compete starting at the beginning of the season. Also, for the first time since Survivor: Cook Islands, the season starts out with more than two rival tribes.
  • Returning Players: Three returning players are going to return to compete with a new batch of castaways. These returnees are former contestants who were medically evacuated from their respective seasons.[3][4][5]
  • Hidden Immunity Idols: Similar to Survivor: China, the idols will be "hidden" in plain sight, with a clue hidden in the bottom of each tribe's rice container. For the first time in Survivor history, three idols would be in play at the same time. There will be three idols, one at each camp. The idol is resting on top of the rice lid, disguised as a handle. 
  • More water challenges: While most recent season locations' waters were deemed unsafe for conducting challenges which would require the Survivors to swim in open water, Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer claims that the Philippines' beaches are safer and conducive for swimming, diving and boating challenges.
  • Tribe Absorption: On Day 11, the two remaining members of the Matsing tribe were absorbed in to the other two tribes.
  • Merge at 11: For the first time in Survivor history, the Merge commenced with eleven players remaining, unlike the usual 10 or 12.
  • New Jury/Final Few Composition: This season is the first time to feature a Final Three with an eight-person Jury.


Contestant Tribe Affiliation Finish Votes
Original Tribe Absorbed Tribe Merged Tribe
S25 zane t Zane Knight
28, Danville, VA
Matsing 1st Voted Out
Day 3
S25 roxanne t Roxanne Morris
28, Brooklyn, NY
Matsing 2nd Voted Out
Day 6
S25 angie t Angie Layton
20, Provo, UT
Matsing 3rd Voted Out
Day 8
S25 russell t Russell Swan
45, Glenside, PA
Matsing 4th Voted Out
Day 10
S25 dana t Dana Lambert
32, Winston-Salem, NC
Kalabaw Kalabaw Quit
Day 12
S25 dawson t Sarah Dawson
28, Silver Spring, MD
Kalabaw Kalabaw 5th Voted Out
Day 13
S25 katie t Katie Hanson
22, Newark, DE
Kalabaw Kalabaw 6th Voted Out
Day 16
S25 rc t R.C. Saint-Amour
27, New York City, NY
Tandang Tandang Dangrayne 7th Voted Out
1st Jury Member
Day 19
S25 jeff t Jeff Kent
44, Austin, TX
Kalabaw Kalabaw 8th Voted Out
2nd Jury Member
Day 22
S25 artis t Artis Silvester
53, Terry Town, LA
Tandang Tandang 9th Voted Out
3rd Jury Member
Day 25
S25 pete t Pete Yurkowski
24, Holmdel, NJ
Tandang Tandang 10th Voted Out
4th Jury Member
Day 27
S25 jonathan t Jonathan Penner
50, Los Angeles, CA
Cook Islands & Micronesia
Kalabaw Kalabaw 11th Voted Out
5th Jury Member
Day 30
S25 carter t Carter Williams
24, Shawnee, KS
Kalabaw Kalabaw 12th Voted Out
6th Jury Member
Day 33
S25 abimaria t Abi-Maria Gomes
32, Los Angeles, CA
Tandang Tandang 13th Voted Out
7th Jury Member
Day 36
S25 malcolm t Malcolm Freberg
25, Hermosa Beach, CA
Matsing Tandang 14th Voted Out
8th Jury Member
Day 38
S25 michael t Michael Skupin
50, White Lake, MI
The Australian Outback
Tandang Tandang Runner-Ups 0
S25 lisa t Lisa Whelchel
49, Dallas, TX
Tandang Tandang 0
S25 denise t Denise Stapley
41, Cedar Rapids, IA
Matsing Kalabaw Sole Survivor 6

Season SummaryEdit

This season, there were three tribes of new contestants. Each of the three tribes were joined by one former contestant, all of whom left their earlier seasons due to medical reasons. Michael Skupin joined the yellow Tandang tribe, Russell Swan joined the blue Matsing tribe, and Jonathan Penner joined the red Kalabaw tribe.

Early on, Matsing was clearly the weakest of the three tribes, losing the first four Immunity Challenges, quickly decimating their roster down to two, Denise Stapley and Malcolm Freberg. While Matsing dwindled, the undefeated Kalabaw and Tandang tribes also manifested signs of disunity, mostly regarding their Hidden Immunity Idols. At Kalabaw, Jeff Kent, who had a distaste towards the returning players, rallied the tribe against Jonathan, who had their Idol, but quickly aligned with him on a short-term basis. At Tandang, an alliance made by R.C. Saint-Amour and Abi-Maria Gomes imploded quickly because Abi-Maria had misguided trust issues towards R.C., enlisting the outsiders Lisa Whelchel and Artis Silvester in her alliance with Pete Yurkowski.

After Malcolm found Matsing's Hidden Immunity Idol, he and Denise were split apart. Malcolm joined Tandang, and was warmly welcomed by the tribe. He then led the tribe to win the remaining Immunity Challenges, helping them enter the merge unscathed with six members complete. Denise joined Kalabaw, and she was proven to be a hot commodity, as she was the swing vote between two conflicting, gender-defined alliances. Denise ultimately sided with the men, and Kalabaw's remaining women were disposed due to their weakness at challenges. 

The eleven castaways remaining merged, with Tandang having a 7-4 number advantage over Kalabaw. However, Penner had a plan to convince outsiders Michael and R.C. to flip and pick Tandang off one by one, to gain a 6-5 advantage. On the other hand, Jeff believed that this was the time to betray Penner and vote him out. He was allied with Carter Williams and Denise, the latter of whom was allied with Malcolm who was allied with the Tandang alliance (consisting of himself, Abi-Maria, Pete, Artis, Lisa and Michael). Together, they split the vote; five for Penner and four for R.C. That way if Penner played the idol, R.C. would go. At Tribal Council, the vote went as planned. Penner played the Idol, and R.C. went in a 4-2-0 vote. With ten left, Penner saved himself by winning immunity and he let the former Tandang to vote out Jeff Kent in a 5-4-1 vote in retaliation for being targeted multiple times by the former baseball star. That same Tribal Council, Malcolm and Abi exposed their possession of the other Hidden Immunity Idols. 

The Kalabaw-Matsing alliance were outnumbered by Tandang, 5-4. The minority attempted to persuade Skupin and Lisa, who were both antagonized by Abi-Maria, to vote Artis, whom they thought were the least likely people that Abi-Maria would share her Idol with. Lisa stayed with Tandang, but Skupin's defection was enough to blindside Artis in a 5-4 vote. Lisa soon joined the alliance after Abi-Maria's continued abrasiveness. Lisa's change of allegiance got the new majority alliance to split the vote between Pete and Abi-Maria to defuse the power of the latter's Idol. Abi chose to use her Idol for herself, sending her only remaining ally Pete home.

Abi, now the odd woman out, bought an immunity advantage from the Survivor Auction. With the said advantage, the once-challenge benchwarmer won immunity, forcing the three tribes' alliance to turn on each other. Knowing her advantage would only last until that Immunity Challenge, Abi fabricated a lie regarding her advantage, saying that it also contained a clue to an inexistent fourth Hidden Immunity Idol. No one bought her lie, but Penner discovered a conspiracy against him, and got Carter and Abi's support in voting Denise out. However, Malcolm, Denise, Lisa and Michael formed a final four pact, and they voted out Penner, Carter, and Abi at the next three votes.

With no more common enemies, the core alliance were forced to cannibalize. Lisa and Skupin were tight-knit while Malcolm and Denise turned on each other, viewing each other as Jury threats. Lisa and Skupin deemed Malcolm as more likable than Denise, and was voted off in a 3-1 vote. At the Final Tribal Council, Denise won the respect from the Jury by overcoming huge odds and her masterful social game, winning her the title of Sole Survivor and the million dollar prize in a landslide 6-1-1 vote.

Episode GuideEdit

Episode Air date Challenges Eliminated Vote Finish Viewership (in millions)[6] Rating/Share (18-49)
Reward Immunity
1 Survivor Smacked Me in the Chops September 19, 2012 Kalabaw1 Zane 5-1 1st Voted Out
Day 3
11.37 3.2/10
2 Don't Be Blinded by the Headlights September 26, 2012 Tandang1 Roxanne 4-1 2nd Voted Out
Day 6
10.31 3.1/9
3 This Isn't a 'We' Game October 3, 2012 Kalabaw1 Angie 3-1 3rd Voted Out
Day 8
10.38 3.0/9
4 Create a Little Chaos October 10, 2012 Tandang1 Russell 2-1 4th Voted Out
Day 10
9.82 2.8/8
5 Got My Swag Back October 17, 2012 Tandang Tandang Dana No Vote Quit
Day 12
10.43 2.8/8
Dawson 5-1 5th Voted Out
Day 13
6 Down and Dirty October 24, 2012 Kalabaw2 Tandang Katie 4-1 6th Voted Out
Day 16
10.23 2.8/8
7 Not the Only Actor on This Island October 31, 2012 None Denise R.C. 4-2-03 7th Voted Out
1st Jury Member
Day 19
9.83 2.5/8
8 Dead Man Walking November 7, 2012 Denise, Jeff, Jonathan, Lisa, Malcolm Jonathan Jeff 5-4-1 8th Voted Out
2nd Jury Member
Day 22
10.31 2.8/8
9 Little Miss Perfect November 14, 2012 Carter, Denise, Malcolm, Jonathan Michael Artis 5-4 9th Voted Out
3rd Jury Member
Day 25
10.06 2.6/8
10 Whiners Are Wieners November 21, 2012 Abi-Maria, Carter, Malcolm, Pete Carter Pete 3-2-04 10th Voted Out
4th Jury Member
Day 27
9.37 2.3/8
11 Hell Hath Frozen Over November 28, 2012 Survivor
Abi-Maria Jonathan 4-3 11th Voted Out
5th Jury Member
Day 30
10.37 2.7/8
12 Shot into Smithereens December 5, 2012 Malcolm
[Lisa, Michael]
Malcolm Carter 5-1 12th Voted Out
6th Jury Member
Day 33
10.64 2.9/8
13 Gouge My Eyes Out December 12, 2012 Michael
[Lisa, Malcolm]
Malcolm Abi-Maria 4-1 13th Voted Out
7th Jury Member
Day 36
10.37 2.8/8
14 Million Dollar Question December 16, 2012 Malcolm Michael Malcolm 3-1 14th Voted Out
8th Jury Member
Day 38
11.46 3.2/8
Reunion Show Jury Vote Michael 6-1-1 Runners-Up N/A N/A
Denise Sole Survivor


^1 Combined Reward and Immunity Challenge.
^2 Tandang forfeited the challenge in exchange for Kalabaw's rice
^3 Jonathan used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating 5 votes against him.
^4 Abi-Maria used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating 3 votes against her.

Voting HistoryEdit

Survivor: Philippines Voting History
Original Tribes Absorbed Tribes Merged Tribe
Episode # 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Eliminated: S25 zane t
S25 roxanne t
S25 angie t
S25 russell t
S25 dana t
S25 dawson t
S25 katie t
S25 rc t
S25 jeff t
S25 artis t
S25 pete t
S25 jonathan t
S25 carter t
S25 abimaria t
S25 malcolm t
S25 michael t
S25 lisa t
S25 denise t
Vote: 5-1 4-1 3-1 2-1 No Vote 5-1 4-1 4-2-0 5-4-1 5-4 3-2-0 4-3 5-1 4-1 3-1 6-1-1
Denise Zane Roxanne Angie Russell Dawson Katie Jonathan Pete Artis Abi-Maria Jonathan Carter Abi-Maria Malcolm Jury Vote
Lisa Jonathan Jeff Jonathan Abi-Maria Jonathan Carter Abi-Maria Malcolm
Michael Jonathan Jeff Artis Abi-Maria Jonathan Carter Abi-Maria Malcolm
Malcolm Zane Roxanne Angie Russell Jonathan Pete Artis Pete Jonathan Carter Abi-Maria Denise Denise
Abi-Maria Jonathan Jeff Jonathan Malcolm Denise Carter Denise Denise
Carter Dawson Katie R.C. Pete Artis Pete Denise Abi-Maria Michael
Jonathan Dawson Katie Pete Abi-Maria Artis Pete Denise Denise
Pete R.C. Jeff Jonathan Malcolm Denise
Artis R.C. Jeff Jonathan Denise
Jeff Dawson Katie R.C. Pete Denise
R.C. Pete Lisa
Katie Dawson Jonathan
Dawson Denise
Dana Quit
Russell Zane Roxanne Angie Malcolm
Angie Zane Roxanne Russell
Roxanne Zane Angie
Zane Russell


  • In Episode 5, Dana elected to quit the game. No vote occurred for her removal.
  • In Episode 7, Jonathan used a Hidden Immunity Idol, therefore any votes cast against him were nullified.
  • In Episode 10, Abi-Maria used a Hidden Immunity Idol, therefore any votes cast against her were nullified.


  • The United States is the seventh country to host a Survivor season in Caramoan, following India, Serbia, Bulgaria, Israel, Sweden and France.[7]
  • This season shares many similarities with Survivor: China:
    • Both are two of the only three seasons (the other being Survivor: San Juan del Sur) to have their respective members of the Final Three all receive Jury votes.
    • Both are the only seasons with more than one castaway in the Final Three never receiving a vote against them. (In both cases, the two castaways with no votes against them did not win.)
    • Both seasons' finales aired on December 16, had a Final 4 Reward Challenge, and had only one eliminated castaway.
    • Both seasons preceded a Fans. vs. Favorites season.
    • Both seasons preceded a season featuring Erik Reichenbach.
    • Both seasons are the first seasons to have their respective Jury configurations (8-person and 7-person Jury, respectively with both having a Final Three finale).
    • Both seasons have a black merge tribe color, and whose tribes that were merged were colored red and yellow.
      • However, Philippines also had a blue tribe, but it was dissolved before the Merge.
    • Both seasons have four eliminations before a Tribe Switch (Absorption for Philippines and Swap for China) and two episodes between the Switch and the Merge.
    • Both seasons have a castaway named Denise (Denise Stapley in Philippines and Denise Martin in China), both women over 40 that reached at least Day 38 (Stapley however reached Day 39 and won).
    • Both seasons currently hold records concerning the average age of the Final Three, as Philippines has the oldest while China has the youngest.  
    • Both seasons had "hidden in plain sight" Hidden Immunity Idols that are both plaque-shaped.
  • According to Coby Archa, this season was originally going to be a season featuring Redemption Island (twist) with female returnees, but due to one of the returnees not being able to participate, the idea was scrapped.
  • The tribe colors, red, blue and yellow appeared to be a reference to the colors of the Philippine flag. Furthermore, several promotional clips feature the eight-rayed sun which prominently featured in the flag.
  • This season is the first season since Survivor: Cook Islands to feature more than 2 starting tribes.
  • This season's Buffs are the first to sport the new Buff logo.
  • This season's starting tribes, Matsing, Kalabaw, and Tandang, are named after animals; namely, the monkey, the water buffalo, and the rooster, respectively.
  • Coincidentally, all three returning players were evacuated in their respective season's sixth episodes.
  • This is the first season to have a male voted off first since Jon Dalton was voted off first in Survivor: Micronesia.
    • Oddly, Zane and Jon are both from Danville, Virginia.
  • This is the first season with more than two tribes with two independent tribal Immunity Idols. Previous seasons with the same format (Survivor: All-Stars, Survivor: Panama and Survivor: Cook Islands) had tribes sharing one idol, which was split into multiple parts.
  • This season's theme is inspired by the Maranao, a predominantly Muslim region in the southern Philippines. The Tribal Council set is inspired by the Maranao people's elaborate wooden houses.
    • This season's Immunity Idol is the Sarimanok, a multicolored fowl in Filipino mythology (sari, an item of clothing, and manok meaning "chicken"), and an ubiquitous symbol of the Maranao people's arts and culture.
  • This season's Hidden Immunity Idol is actually the handle of the tribes' rice box, while its clue is nestled inside the rice box.
  • The Filipino version of Survivor is also named Survivor Philippines (sans colon).
  • Like Survivor: All-Stars, the only other season to begin with three tribes, the first two people eliminated from the season are from the same tribe, which was later dissolved.
  • This season is the first season with exactly three returning players.
  • This season marks only the second time in Survivor history that a tribe dwindled to two members, the other time being Survivor: Palau.
  • Matsing became the first tribe to win zero challenges.
  • This is the first season to feature a castaway who quit the game due to medical reasons.
  • This season's three returning players have reached different stages in the game:
  • This is the first season since Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains where the Merged tribe didn't start at 12 members.
  • This is the first season to ever have tribes merge at 11.
  • This is the first time a tribe (Tandang) made it all the way to the Merge without going to Tribal Council.
    • As such, the six original members of Tandang broke the record of days played before attending their first Tribal Council that had stood since Marquesas.
  • This is the first, and so far only, season in which every pre-Merge vote was unanimous.
  • This season has more unanimous tribal council votes than any other season, with 9.
  • The three returning players did not have votes cast against them in the season they were evacuated.
    • Jonathan Penner had votes against him in Cook Islands, not Micronesia.
  • This is the seventh season to feature red and yellow starting tribes following Survivor: Africa, Survivor: All-Stars, Survivor: Vanuatu, Survivor: Cook Islands, Survivor: China, and Survivor: Gabon.
    • This makes red and yellow the most common starting tribe color.
  • This is the first season in which the first member of the Jury finished in 11th place.
  • This is the first season since Survivor: Gabon where the finalists aren't all from the same original tribe.
  • This is the second season where all members of the Final Three received votes. The first being Survivor: China.
    • This is also the second season since Survivor: Fiji where two members of the Final Three received the same amount of Jury votes.
  • This season has the oldest Final Two/Three out of any season, with an average age of 46.67, the youngest being 41 (Denise), the oldest being 50 (Skupin) and the middle being 49 (Lisa).
  • This season is the first season in which no castaway received more than 5 votes against them at a single Tribal Council.
    • However, Denise received 6 votes to win at the Final Tribal Council.
  • During the reunion show, Russell and Angie were not seated in the order of their elimination. 
  • This is the first time that both Runners-Up both had zero votes against them and the same amount of Jury votes.
  • This is the third season in a row to feature a female winner from a blue tribe (following Upolu's Sophie Clarke from Survivor: South Pacific and Salani's Kim Spradlin from Survivor: One World).
  • Had Matsing not lost all the immunity challenges, it was revealed that Kalabaw would have been the tribe dismantled, as the challenge crew had set up the two tribe challenges for Tandang and Matsing.
  • The font used for this season's tribe names is Nuku Nuku.
  • No one was ever voted off by receiving more than five votes. In fact, five different players were voted off by receiving five votes at a Tribal Council: Zane, Dawson, Jeff, Artis, and Carter.
  • This is the first season since Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains where the person that won the final immunity challenge failed to win the season.
  • This is the first season featuring hidden immunity idols in which more than two of them are in play with three; one is hidden at each starting camp.
  • This is the only season filmed in the Philippines without a purple-colored tribe.
  • This is the only season where 15 contestants make their Survivor debut.
  • This is the first season with 3 tribes to have Hidden Immunity Idols.
  • This is the only season with 4 alliances (Tandang, Matsing, Kalabaw, and Fulcrum).


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