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The Marooning

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"The Marooning"
Episode Information
Version: United States
Season: Borneo
Episode Number: 1/14 (001)
Original Release: May 31, 2000
Viewership (in millions): 15.51[1]
Ratings/Share (18-49): 6.1/20 Summary: Link
Episode Chronology
Next: "The Generation Gap"

The Marooning is the first episode of Survivor: Borneo and the American Survivor television series.


Day 1

16 Americans from different walks of life were sent to a remote fishing village to board a small boat. In the middle of the ocean, the cast were instructed to salvage all supplies that they can get, jump overboard to their tribe rafts on the small uncharted deserted island of Pulau Tiga in the South China Sea off the Malaysian coast of Borneo.

The sixteen castaways were divided into two competing tribes. They must survive the elements and each other for the next 39 days, or they will be voted off the island. In the end only one will claim the $1,000,000 prize and the title of Sole Survivor.

Early on, sickness among castaways started to set in. The paddle from the boat took place under a hot equatorial sun. Pagong was fighting the current, and their journey took almost two hours longer than Tagi's. Both Ramona and Gretchen swallowed salt water en route, with Ramona vomiting over the side of the raft before reaching shore, and Gretchen heaving on the fringe of the jungle once they'd made land. While approaching their beach, Jenna of Pagong haplessly breast-stroked to their camp, without even knowing that Pulau Tiga has one of the highest concentration of sea snakes.

I don't like being on the water all that much. So, I mean, the whole motion like this, (imitates raft motion) and we're rowing, and we have like 100 pounds of stuff on the raft, I just, I just started heaving. I'm used to being in a lab with my lab coat on, in the air-conditioning. But this is, like, outdoors, 24-7, and you're exerting energy, like, almost all of that time.

Ramona Gray

Upon reaching camp, Tagi immediately began working on shelter and fire, except Richard, who sat on a tree while watching his tribemates work. Sue called him up to help them, but he refused, leading to a conflict, but he demanded that the tribe must work in unison or they would fail.

Rich, um, I appreciate what he's trying to do as far as bringing the team together and stuff, 'cause that's one thing that needs to happen. I think he's got some good skills in that area. And, unfortunately, people like that annoy me.

Dirk Been

I'm good to go survival wise. People wise, it'll be a little, a little more challenging. But I've got the million dollar check written already. I mean, I'm the winner. And it's that kind of cocky attitude that makes people really hate your guts. So that's the kind of thing, I've really got to keep, uh... under wraps. But, uh, it's just, how do I get there from here?

Richard Hatch

The difference between the two tribes was that Ramona couldn't shake the nausea for several days, and was branded as lazy by B.B.; others including Gervase, sympathized with her situation. B.B. and Ramona later found their water hole containing brackish water, covered with leaves.

Friendships among players started to form a bond. The two African-Americans Gervase and Ramona, clicked instantly and promised each other that they will never vote against one another; while Greg entertained Jenna and Colleen with his funny antics.

As day turned to night, neither tribe was entirely settled (though Tagi had constructed a magnificent makeshift outhouse) and neither had fire for cooking a hot meal. With rats and snakes beginning their nocturnal beach invasion, the sixteen brave men and women settled down for a night of fitful rest.

Day 2

The Tagi tribe woke up early, and Kelly led the tribe to a yoga session. Rudy admitted he was secretly struggling to get along with his much-younger tribemates. Later, Sonja injured her left foot. Sean tended to her medicals needs. However, due to meager supply of bandages, Sean was forced to use the same sponge for every injury. Richard made an attempt to catch food, albeit fruitless.

The hardest part is hanging around with all these young kids. I don't even know what MTV means, you know. And I'm used to being in the military and one guy stands up, he gives an order and there's no back talk. You know, like yesterday, everybody's trying to run the show and if they'd let one person do it, we'd be much better off. But trying to keep 'em all shut up is hard. If they'd listen to me, they'd all have haircuts and everything else, you know. We'd be in formation in the morning and all that kind of stuff, but they're not going to do that. I gotta fit in, not them. You know, there's more of them than there is of me.

Rudy Boesch

I've been thrashing around like I'm 35, instead of acting my age, but we have a doctor in our tribe − uh, Sean − and he did a wonderful job of bandaging me up. I think one of the problems with aging is the thinning of the skin, darn it, and so I think I'm maybe getting a little more banged up than some of the younger ones.

Sonja Christopher

Pagong barely slept because of last night's rat invasion.

I didn't sleep at all. I mean, we, we closed our eyes. We kept hearing noises and, like, clicking sounds, and we're, like, okay. Um, what's his name... Uh, Joel woke up, a rat was, like, in his ear.

Ramona Gray

I heard something squeaking in my ear. Every time a rat was trying to get on the raft, or get near us or get at something. I mean, everything was moving.

Joel Klug

B.B., squabbled with his tribemates about work ethic. Gretchen had a rough few hours after arriving on the beach, then recovered and immediately went to work. Her work ethic was only matched by B.B.'s.

What we're... we're just going along the beach here and just identifying whatever we can use for the shelter, the roof. And I'm a little irritated that none of the others are down here to help carry stuff, but that's okay.

B.B. Andersen

B.B... He's a character, man. I don't think he likes me much.

Joel Klug

We got a lot of lazy people if you want to know the truth. You can't do it all yourself. You know, I asked Colleen to straighten this out for me and here it is. It's the only thing she had to do today. You can't have lazy people.

B.B. Andersen

He had been out there, you know, all morning long and, um... you know, it was hot!

Gretchen Cordy

The tribe finally had fire, thanks to B.B.'s glasses.

And the fire started because I had bought a set of glasses with me. I was going do it and Gretchen said, "Why don't I do it? I know how to do it, too." So, I said, "Great!" And she took my glasses and started the fire.

B.B. Andersen

If we get fire, it means we're going to have a hot meal in our stomach which is going to bring up team morale. That first hot meal might be rat soup, which I'm, like, looking forward to very much because there's nothing wrong with a rat. All a rat is, is a squirrel without a fuzzy tail.

Susan Hawk

We made a lot of smoke but, uh, no fire. I think that it would have been nice if we had fire, but we're not going to catch fish unless we have fire to cook it and I think that if we had fire, we could have spent a lot of time sitting around the bonfire at night maybe singing songs. We have a ukulele, you know, and, uh, that didn't happen and I wish it did.

Sean Kenniff

Throughout their time on the island, tribes will compete in a series of challenges. They'll receive messages notifying them of these competitions at their Tree Mail. Today's challenge is for both reward, in the form of fifty waterproof matches, and Immunity. Win Immunity, you stay on the island a few days longer. Lose, face Tribal Council, where you must vote one member off the island.

Jeff Probst

Later, the two teams met Jeff Probst, where he revealed that they would compete in their first challenge, where it was revealed that the winning team will receive 50 waterproof matches, as well as the Immunity Idol, which symbolizes the guarantee of staying on the island for three more days. The losing tribe will proceed to Tribal Council and vote one tribemate off the game.

It was a close race between Pagong and Tagi, but Tagi's Sonja stumbled as they reach the beach. In the end, Pagong emerged victorious.

Day 3

At Tagi, Richard targeted Stacey for being the weakest, while the others were gunning for Rudy and Sonja for being the oldest castaways. Also, Sonja's poor performance at the challenge made her a target for elimination.

Well, somebody's gone. So, it's time to think about who are they going to vote for? Why are they going to vote? I've narrowed it down to four. I'm one of them.

Richard Hatch

Well, it could mean a lot uh, either staying or being voted out. You know, last night's competition, I really feel responsible because I couldn't keep up and I was dragged totally off my feet. I do feel that that stumble probably cost us the Immunity Challenge and that's a big one.

Sonja Christopher

Up until, uh, probably last night, I never gave it a second thought about who I was going to vote off or if I got voted off, but after last night, uh... I thought about it then, and I decided then.

Rudy Boesch

Stacey conspired with the women about voting out the grumpy Rudy.

I feel pretty secure, actually, about the vote tonight. Kelly and I get along real well and we've been talking about strategy, and, you know, who's not contributing as much, and who would be best to vote off, and I think we, we've come to a mutual decision and we've talked to Sue about it.

Stacey Stillman

Sue initially said she agreed with the plan, but in a confessional, she declared she had other ideas.

Stacey came up to me, and its, like, she don't like Rudy and she's, like, "Oh, I think we're going to vote for Rudy, and vote him off 'cause he's still barking." Well, anybody's too barking and too bossy to Stacey because she doesn't move her ass. The chicks think I'm voting for one person, and I'm not.

Susan Hawk

This is Tribal Council, where each week one member will be voted off the island. Last night, in a crushing defeat Tagi lost the Immunity Challenge, so, tonight, they will come here and vote the first person off. It all begins with a dangerous hike through the jungle. With so little time to get acquainted, everyone is vulnerable. Rich's talk-versus-action approach may be more annoying than helpful. Sonja's tumble cost them dearly. One thing's for certain: At Tribal Council you are held accountable for your actions. There will be a vote. Someone is going home.

Jeff Probst

At Tribal Council, Sue joined Dirk, Sean, and Rudy in eliminating Sonja. She was first to go in 4-3-1 vote.


Reward/Immunity Challenge: Quest for Fire
Tribes must guide a raft they lit a series of torches along the way. Throughout the challenge, tribe members must have a hand touch the raft at all times. Upon reaching shore, the tribe must lit the remaining torches before setting their side of the fire spirit ablaze. First tribe to set fire on their side of the fire spirit wins the challenge.
Reward: Tribal immunity and 50 waterproof matches.
Winner: Pagong

Tribal Council

Tribal Council 1:
S1 sonja t
Sonja (4 votes)
S1 dirk tS1 rudy tS1 sean tS1 susan t
Dirk, Rudy, Sean, Susan
S1 rudy t
Rudy (3 votes)
S1 kelly tS1 sonja tS1 stacey t
Kelly, Sonja, Stacey
S1 stacey t
Stacey (1 vote)
S1 richard t
S1 sonja bw
Sonja Christopher

Voting Confessionals

Sean and Dirk's confessionals are only available on DVD.

(voting for Sonja) Got to remove the weakest link in the... crew.

Susan Hawk

(voting for Sonja) My vote really kills me because I love her, but I want to get the best opportunity for my team to survive, my other teammates. There's a lot of physical challenges, and I think that it's best if we vote for Sonja. Much to my dismay. I'm gonna miss her if she goes. It kills me. Breaks my heart. She really wants to be here. That's it.

Sean Kenniff

(voting for Stacey) Stacey. Um, tough call. (sighs) Subtle reasons... I'm not sure exactly what they are.

Richard Hatch

(voting for Rudy) He's just... He's an ornery guy... doesn't really help that much. For a Navy SEAL, he doesn't know how to start fire... and he just criticizes everything.

Stacey Stillman

(voting for Sonja) I'm picking her because I think she's the reason we lost yesterday.

Rudy Boesch

(voting for Sonja) Just physically it's too much. That's it. That's the only reason. I love her spirit, but she can't handle it. It's hurting the team.

Dirk Been

(voting for Rudy) I'll miss his, uh, skills and, um, his speaking his mind openly.

Sonja Christopher

Final Words

Well, I think this has been, uh, an awesome experience. Being the first to be voted out is a little humiliating. On the other hand, the team did the right thing. They're a terrific group of people. They're very strong physically, and I, I think in their shoes, I'd probably do the same thing.

Sonja Christopher

Still in the Running

S1 sonja bw
S1 bb t
S1 colleen t
S1 dirk t
S1 gervase t
S1 greg t
S1 gretchen t
S1 jenna t
S1 joel t
S1 kelly t
S1 ramona t
S1 richard t
S1 rudy t
S1 sean t
S1 stacey t
S1 susan t


Behind the Scenes

  • In Mark Burnett's book Survivor: The Ultimate Game, he describes a deleted scene that took place on Tagi on Night 2. The Tagi tribe were around the bonfire at night when Richard Hatch decided to came out to the tribe as a homosexual and told his tribemates about "his past and the difficulties of being a gay growing up in a conservative area." According to Burnett, that was probably the most important moment of the season and where the relationships that would later evolve to form the Tagi Alliance began.


  • Rudy Boesch was the first contestant to have a confessional.
  • Susan Hawk was the first contestant to ever cast a vote at Tribal Council.
  • Sonja Christopher was the very first castaway voted out in Survivor history.
  • This episode was voted the 7th best Survivor episode of all time in the "Top 25 Greatest Episodes of all time" poll by Survivor Oz in 2015.
  • Filming for Survivor: Cambodia began exactly 15 years later after this episode first originally aired.[2]


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