Survivor: Guatemala — The Maya Empire (commonly referred to as Survivor: Guatemala) is the eleventh season of the American CBS competitive reality television series Survivor. Filming took place from June 27, 2005 through August 4, 2005 and the season premiered on September 15, 2005. It was filmed in the Yaxhá-Nakúm-Naranjo National Park near the more popular Tikal National Park, located in northern Guatemala. Originally, the season was scheduled to be filmed in a location on the Indian Ocean, with scouting taking place in Madagascar, Southern India and Sri Lanka. However, due to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, the plans were scrapped.
|Presented by||Jeff Probst|
|No. of days||39|
|No. of castaways||18|
|Location||Yaxhá-Nakúm-Naranjo National Park, Petén, Guatemala|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||14|
|Original release||September 15 –|
December 11, 2005
|Filming dates||June 27, 2005– August 4, 2005|
Hosted by Jeff Probst, it consisted of the usual 39 days of gameplay with 18 competitors.
This season also featured the return of Survivor: Palau contestants Stephenie LaGrossa and Bobby Jon Drinkard. (All returning players from Survivor: Palau are from the Ulong tribe.) Aside from the staple twists such as the double Tribal Council and the tribe switch, a new twist called the hidden immunity idol was introduced. The tribes merged with ten remaining players, naming their tribe Xhakúm. After the merge, they received news that an immunity idol was hidden somewhere at camp. Whoever possessed the idol had to use it before the tribe voted. After usage, the idol would be discarded. The idol was only valid until there were four remaining contestants. Danni Boatwright won the title of Sole Survivor by defeating LaGrossa in a 6–1 jury vote.
The complete season was released on DVD exclusively through Amazon.com on May 22, 2012.
While the plan for the season always included two former castaways returning for a second chance, there were several discarded concepts and themes for these returnees. Rodger Bingham and Michael Skupin, both from Survivor: The Australian Outback, were in talks to be the returnees, as were Jonathan Libby and Wanda Shirk, both eliminated on Day 2 of Survivor: Palau after not being selected to join a tribe. Skupin eventually returned in Survivor: Philippines. Additionally, Hunter Ellis from Marquesas allegedly turned down an offer to return.
Notable cast members include former Survivor: Palau castaways, Stephenie LaGrossa and Bobby Jon Drinkard, former beauty queen and model-turned radio announcer Danni Boatwright, ex-NFL quarterback Gary Hogeboom, and film and television writer Rafe Judkins.
|Contestant||Original tribe||Switched tribe||Merged tribe||Finish|
63, Northglenn, Colorado
|Nakúm||1st voted out|
21, Decatur, Illinois
|Yaxhá||2nd voted out|
21, Edmonds, Washington
|Yaxhá||3rd voted out|
25, Hood River, Oregon
|Nakúm||Nakúm||4th voted out|
24, Dallas, Texas
|Nakúm||Yaxhá||5th voted out|
43, Chardon, Ohio
|Nakúm||Nakúm||6th voted out|
22, New York City, New York
|Yaxhá||Yaxhá||7th voted out|
39, Revere, Massachusetts
|Yaxhá||Yaxhá||8th voted out|
22, Manhattan, Kansas
|Nakúm||Yaxhá||Xhakúm||9th voted out|
|Bobby Jon Drinkard
28, Los Angeles, California
|Nakúm||Yaxhá||10th voted out|
1st jury member
24, North Hollywood, California
|Yaxhá||Nakúm||11th voted out|
2nd jury member
46, Grand Haven, Michigan
|Yaxhá||Yaxhá||12th voted out|
3rd jury member
34, Ridgefield, New Jersey
|Nakúm||Nakúm||13th voted out|
4th jury member
31, Naples, Florida
|Nakúm||Nakúm||14th voted out|
5th jury member
42, Lakewood, Washington
|Yaxhá||Nakúm||15th voted out|
6th jury member
22, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
|Yaxhá||Nakúm||16th voted out|
7th jury member
25, Toms River, New Jersey
29, Tonganoxie, Kansas
Sixteen of the 18 players in the game were already split into two tribes, Nakúm and Yaxhá; both tribes received one additional tribe member, Bobby Jon and Stephenie, respectively, both who had previously appeared on Survivor: Palau; Probst described these players as resources to help either tribe, but had otherwise no safety against being voted out. The first challenge began immediately, requiring both tribes to trek 11 miles overnight through the jungle to one of the camps near Mayan ruins, along with any available supplies that they wished to carry. The trek left many of the players exhausted and dehydrated for several days following.
During the first nine days, the Nakúm tribe proved more successful at the challenges losing only one immunity challenge, sending Yaxhá to Tribal Council twice. During one challenge, Danni, a sportscaster, identified Gary as a former professional quarterback, though Gary would maintain that he was just a landscaper through most of the rest of the game. A tribal switch occurred on Day 10 that left Bobby Jon, Danni, Blake, and Brandon in the majority at Yaxhá, outnumbering Brian, Amy, and Gary. At Nakúm, the tribe was split 4-4 with Margaret, Judd, Cindy, and Brooke from the original Nakúm and Stephenie, Rafe, Jamie, and Lydia from the original Yaxhá. Immediately after the swap, Stephenie and Jamie formed an alliance with Judd to take control of Nakúm, which later included Rafe, Cindy, and Lydia. 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 into the merge over Yaxhá. On night 18, directly after the Yaxhá tribe had voted off Amy, they left for the Nakúm campsite where the two tribes merged into the Xhákúm tribe. Upon merging, the new tribe was informed of a hidden immunity idol located in the jungle, that could be used before the votes were cast to save themselves. However, the Nakúm alliance of six held strong initially as they voted off Brandon.
As a reward for winning a reward challenge, Judd received a clue to the hidden idol. To distract the other players, Judd lied about the clue's contents, which Gary was able to pick up on, locating the idol himself and using it to save himself from being eliminated at the next Tribal Council, where Bobby Jon was voted off in his place. Judd's lie became a focal point for Gary to attempt to break the original Nakúm voting block; though Gary was soon voted off, Stephenie and the other former Nakúm members felt Judd was no longer trustworthy and voted him out. At the reward challenge for the final five, a car was the reward prize. Cindy won the challenge, but was given an option by Probst as a means to break the Survivor "car curse" (that no player that has won a car continued on to win the game) by exchanging her prize to give a car to each of the other four players. Cindy ultimately rejected the option, and was voted off at the next Tribal Council.
After Lydia's elimination, Stephenie became concerned on an earlier deal made by Rafe and Danni to take each other to the Final Tribal Council; though she struggled to remain in the final immunity challenge and outlast Danni, she ultimately lost, becoming emotional over her failure. Rafe informed Danni that she did not have to stay true to their previous deal, and at the following Tribal Council, Danni eliminated Rafe. The jury at the Final Tribal Council considered that Stephenie has played a more devious game than Danni and had backstabbed several of them, and ultimately gave Danni's more social play the win, six votes to one.
|No.||Title||Original air date||Reward||Immunity|
|1||"Big Trek, Big Trouble, Big Surprise"||September 15, 2005||Nakúm||Yaxhá||Jim||1st voted out|
|2||"Man Down"||September 22, 2005||Nakúm||Nakúm||Morgan||2nd voted out|
|3||"The Brave May Not Live Long, but the Cautious Don't Live at All"||September 29, 2005||Nakúm||Nakúm||Brianna||3rd voted out|
|4||"To Betray, or Not to Betray"||October 6, 2005||None[a]||Yaxhá||Brooke||4th voted out|
|5||"Crocs, Cowboys and City Slickers"||October 13, 2005||Yaxhá||Nakúm||Blake||5th voted out|
|6||"Big Ball, Big Mouth, Big Trouble"||October 20, 2005||Nakúm||Rafe||Margaret||6th voted out|
|[Gary][b]||Brian||7th voted out|
|7||"Surprise Enemy Visit"||October 27, 2005||Yaxhá||Nakúm||Amy||8th voted out|
|8||"The Hidden Immunity Idol"||November 3, 2005||None[c]||Gary||Brandon||9th voted out|
|9||"Secrets and Lies and an Idol Surprise"||November 10, 2005||Judd,
|Jamie[e]||Bobby Jon||10th voted out|
1st jury member
|10||"Eating and Sleeping With the Enemy"||November 17, 2005||Danni,
|Rafe||Jamie||11th voted out|
2nd jury member
|11||"Everything Is Personal"||November 24, 2005||Cindy,
|Rafe||Gary||12th voted out|
3rd jury member
|12||"Price for Immunity"||December 1, 2005||Survivor
|Danni||Judd||13th voted out|
4th jury member
|13||"Big Win, Big Decision, Big Mistake?"||December 8, 2005||Cindy,
|Stephenie||Cindy||14th voted out|
5th jury member
|14||"Thunder Storms & Sacrifice"||December 11, 2005||None||Rafe||Lydia||15th voted out|
6th jury member
|Danni||Rafe||16th voted out|
7th jury member
|15||"The Reunion"||Jury vote|
- In the case of multiple tribes or castaways who win reward or immunity, they are listed in order of finish, or alphabetically where it was a team effort; where one castaway won and invited others, the invitees are in brackets.
- There was no reward challenge due to the tribe switch.
- As an additional reward for winning individual immunity, Rafe was given a chance to award individual immunity to one member of Yaxhá; he chose Gary. Rafe's choice was revealed following the reading of the votes.
- There was no reward challenge due to the merge.
- Every contestant received a different meal depending on how they placed in the challenge. Judd shared the first place meal with Bobby Jon and Stephenie.
- Gary found the hidden immunity idol and played it at Tribal Council, earning additional immunity from the vote.
|Title||Original air date||US viewers|
|153||1||"Big Trek, Big Trouble, Big Surprise"||September 15, 2005||18.41||6.6/19|
The sixteen new castaways learned upon arriving in the Guatemalan jungle that they would be joined by Bobby Jon Drinkard and Stephenie LaGrossa from Survivor: Palau as they will also compete in the season (though on opposing teams, not as teammates as before). They were also told that their first challenge would be an 11-mile (18 km) hike to a campsite near some Mayan ruins.
After a grueling overnight hike, Bobby Jon's Nakúm tribe narrowly defeated Stephenie's Yaxhá tribe, giving them the right to live adjacently to the Mayan ruins, as the losing Yaxhá moved on to a less desirable campsite where they have to make their own shelter. Though victorious at their first challenge, the long hike left most of the Nakúm men cramped and in bad condition; Bobby Jon collapsed, Blake was sick shortly after being injured by a poisonous barbed plant, Jim had torn his biceps and, along with Judd, was endlessly vomiting. Despite this, medical practitioner Margaret tried to nurse them back to health.
In their inaugural immunity challenge, the fatigue of the Nakúm men hampered their performance, leading Yaxhá to their first victory as well as Stephenie's first win in a tribal immunity challenge. Back at Nakúm camp, the tribe decided to eliminate one of their ailing men. At tribal council, Nakúm deemed that Jim (the oldest man) was the most injured, and he was unanimously voted out.
|154||2||"Man Down"||September 22, 2005||16.98||6.1/17|
At Nakúm, Bobby Jon was disappointed losing the first immunity challenge, fearing that his Palau losing streak might happen again, while Blake's sickness grew worse. At Yaxhá, Gary decided not to divulge his past as a former NFL quarterback, fearing that Yaxhá might brand him as a threat or deem him as already wealthy; and as a solution, he introduced himself as Gary Hawkins and claimed that he works as a landscaper (actually his current job after retiring from American football).
At the reward challenge, sickly Blake managed to narrowly outrun Brian, winning fishing supplies for Nakúm. After losing the challenge, Yaxhá found themselves desperately short on food, having been reduced to eating ants, grasshoppers and minnows. While at Nakúm, Blake's physical condition took a turn for the worse as he started to hyperventilate, annoying Judd.
At the immunity challenge, the tribes found themselves in a stalemate, causing Jeff Probst to resort to conducting one-on-one bouts. During Judd and Gary's match, Danni (a sportscaster by profession) recognized Gary as the former quarterback Gary Hogeboom and revealed it to everyone else, giving Judd time to outsmart Gary, giving Nakúm their first point. Two rounds later, Nakúm remained undefeated, thus winning their first immunity challenge and giving Bobby Jon his first win at tribal immunity. Back at Yaxhá camp, Jamie felt threatened by Stephenie, and planned to vote her out, though Gary wanted to vote either Lydia (for being the weakest) or Morgan (for being lazy at camp). Later on, Brian turned on Gary due to Danni's revelation during the challenge, but he quickly denied the allegations. Brian later plead to Gary that they never lost a challenge because of Lydia's weakness and admitted that Lydia was more valuable for her work ethic and campaigned for Morgan to go instead for not doing much at camp, despite her athleticism in challenges. In the end, Brian's plan to save Lydia worked, and Morgan was voted out.
|155||3||"The Brave May Not Live Long, but the Cautious Don't Live at All"||September 29, 2005||17.29||5.7/16|
At Yaxhá, Brian congratulated himself about his plan of blindsiding Morgan at the last Tribal Council. The next day at Nakúm, zookeeper Cindy was fascinated about the howler monkeys waking them up every morning, but the loud noises left Judd aggravated.
During the reward challenge, Yaxhá collected their pieces first, but quickly stumbled as they build their tent, giving way to Nakúm's third consecutive win. Back at camp, Yaxhá started to be fed up with their usual corn mush meal, resorting to Gary and Rafe scouring for termites. Back at Nakúm, Judd and Bobby Jon complained about Margaret's bossiness about modifying their shelter.
During the Mesoamerican ballgame immunity challenge, Stephenie got angry when she noticed Brianna inactive during their round and decided to pass the ball to an open Lydia, but Lydia walked with the ball (a breach in the challenge rules), forcing them to give the ball to Nakúm. In the final round, Danni shot it in the hoop, giving Nakúm another victory. Back at Yaxhá, a limping Amy confessed that she sprained her ankle during the challenge, but assured everyone that she was fine. Jamie, also fuming about Brianna's dismal challenge performance, campaigned for her ouster, while Brianna talked to Stephenie about targeting Lydia. In the end, the tribe agreed that Brianna is a liability, and she was next to go.
|156||4||"To Betray, or Not to Betray"||October 6, 2005||17.92||6.3/17|
At the Reward Challenge, the tribes were asked questions to find more out about everyone else, as well as assigning rewards such as a shower and a picnic. After a question which asked who had the most tribe pride, the tribes were reshuffled; Brooke, Cindy, Jamie, Judd, Lydia, Margaret, Rafe, and Stephenie were the new Nakúm and Amy, Blake, Bobby Jon, Brandon, Brian, Danni, and Gary were the new Yaxhá. Judd was very enthusiastic about being on a new tribe because he felt he was the least vulnerable, while Amy and Margaret were upset because they felt they were out of the running. Stephenie and Jamie began thinking that the two people most on the chopping block were Lydia, who had been on the chopping block before as being questionably weak, and Brooke, who they assumed as not very physical and could easily give them the number's advantage. At Nakúm, Judd formed a friendship with the former Yaxhá members on his tribe. Danni directly questioned Gary if he had been an NFL Quarterback, but as usual, he denied it.
After the new Yaxhá tribe won the Immunity Challenge, Judd betrayed his original Nakúm teammates and helped to vote Brooke out.
|157||5||"Crocs, Cowboys and City Slickers"||October 13, 2005||17.85||6.5/18|
After Tribal Council, Margaret showed how frustrated she was with Judd for betraying Nakúm. At Yaxhá, Brian expressed how uncomfortable and annoyed he was about how religious his new tribe was.
At the Reward Challenge, Jamie for Nakúm struggled to cut the ropes with a rock and Yaxhá easily won chips, drinks and a crocodile-proof swimming cage. After the loss, Stephenie tried to hide her depression from losing so many challenges. Before immunity in Nakúm, Lydia tried to cheer up her teammates by dancing.
Nakúm won immunity. Brian was in trouble because he knew that the numbers were against him. After all, it was 4 old Yaxhá vs 3 old Nakúm. Brandon believed with sticking with the tribal lines and refused to break his bonds with former tribemates. However, Blake was wearing on everybody's nerves by telling outlandish inappropriate stories of his partying days in Texas. Brian used his cunning to "Bait Blake" into telling these stories which obviously angered his tribemates. When it came down to tribal council the "Golden Boy" Blake was voted out. Brandon stuck to his word and voted for Brian.
|158||6||"Big Balls, Big Mouth, Big Trouble"||October 20, 2005||17.78||6.1/17|
At Yaxhá the tribe talked about the twist of Blake being voted off while in Nakúm, Margaret was feeling depressed due to being with Judd.
At the Reward Challenge, it was revealed that both tribes would be attending Tribal Council. Nakúm won their second challenge in a row.
As part of their reward, Nakúm competed in an individual Immunity Challenge, which was won by Rafe. He was also able to watch part of the Yaxhá tribal council. Before Tribal Council at Yaxhá, Brian lobbied his alliance to vote off Bobby Jon however Gary and Amy are unsure about it. At Nakúm, Judd's loud ego started to annoy several of his tribe mates. Nakúm went first to tribal council where Margaret and Judd faced off against each other trying to get the other voted off. In the end, Margaret, due to personality conflicts, was voted out of Nakúm, and at Yaxhá, Rafe gave Gary individual immunity and Brian was voted out, his tribemates perceiving him to be untrustworthy.
|159||7||"Surprise Enemy Visit"||October 27, 2005||17.38||6.2/17|
In Nakúm after tribal council, Judd was glad that Margaret got voted out.
Yaxhá won the reward of a jungle canopy zip-line ride and chocolate. Then, they invited Nakúm to camp for Danni's birthday. At first Nakúm was unsure, but they ended up going. They swam together in the croc-proof cage. Jamie and Cindy felt uncomfortable hanging out with Yaxhá.
Nakúm won the Immunity Challenge. Afterwards in Yaxhá, they were unsure of whether to vote out Amy who was still suffering from the ankle injury that she had sustained in the second immunity challenge, or Bobby Jon who was threat due to his past experiences in Survivor. At Tribal Council, Yaxhá decided it was best to vote Amy out. After the vote, the four remaining Yaxhá moved to the Nakúm camp for the merger.
|160||8||"The Hidden Immunity Idol"||November 3, 2005||18.28||6.6/17|
After tribal council Nakúm was shocked to see that a merge was occurring. The next day, it was revealed in tree mail that there was a Hidden Immunity Idol located near the camp of the new Xhakúm tribe (formerly of Nakúm). The tribes merged into one and took the name Xhakúm.
At the Challenge, Jeff explained that it would be both for Reward and Immunity. However, only those who didn't feel they needed immunity would partake in the food reward while the others competed for immunity. Gary ended up winning the individual immunity via the tie breaker, in effect saving himself because the former Nakúm members (Cindy, Jamie, Judd, Lydia, Rafe, and Stephenie) decided to stick together and had been targeting Gary. During the challenge, Jamie said that Judd is doing the challenge to help his alliance and that made members from both sides mad. With Gary immune from the vote, Bobby Jon and Brandon were now on the chopping block, but Stephenie convinced her allies to keep Bobby Jon in the game, allowing him to at least make the Jury. They were stuck on voting either for Brandon, who is a threat, or Jamie who brushed many people the wrong way. In the end, Brandon, arguably the strongest player of the remaining Yaxhá members, was ousted.
|161||9||"Secret and Lies and an Idol Surprise"||November 10, 2005||18.98||6.9/19|
After tribal council, Jamie and Bobby Jon made up from last episode.
Judd won the reward challenge. Jamie, who finished in fourth place in the challenge, volunteered to go last so everyone else goes up one place. At the reward, Judd's dish was lobster and steak while Jamie's was a bowl of Ramon Nuts and a glass of lake water. Judd shared some of his food with Bobby Jon and Stephenie, as well as granting them access to his free bar and dessert list. After reward, Jamie told his alliance that Gary was planning to vote him out but they weren't so sure of him.
Jamie won immunity. Gary, targeted for elimination by the dominant Nakúm alliance, surprised the tribe with the Idol at Tribal Council. With Gary safe from the vote once again, Bobby Jon was voted out instead and became the first member of the Jury.
|162||10||"Eating and Sleeping With the Enemy"||November 17, 2005||18.82||6.4/17|
At the very messy reward challenge, the team of Danni, Gary, Judd, and Stephenie won a night away from camp and videos from home.
Rafe won Immunity, edging out Cindy, and afterwards Jamie became increasingly paranoid about being voted out. Jamie wasn't originally the intended target that night, but his paranoia ended up annoying everyone else to the point where they made his worst nightmare come true, voting him out and making him the second member of the Jury.
|163||11||"Everything Is Personal"||November 24, 2005||19.54||6.6/20|
Cindy won the reward challenge, and took Rafe with her on a reward of a feast, waterfall pool and massage. Back at camp, Stephenie took exception to Lydia targeting her for winning too many rewards, and as a result, Lydia started becoming an outcast from her alliance.
Rafe won Immunity again in a close finish against Gary, and at Tribal Council, the Nakúm alliance finally succeeded in eliminating Gary, despite his best efforts to turn the heat on Judd for lying about the whereabouts of the Hidden Immunity Idol.
|164||12||"Price for Immunity"||December 1, 2005||19.82||7.0/21|
The final six's loved ones arrived at camp after the Survivor Auction. Danni won an Immunity Challenge advantage, and Judd's wife, Cindy's twin sister and Stephenie's boyfriend were permitted to stay overnight at camp. Stephenie promised Judd's wife she would have his back the remainder of the game at the reward challenge.
As a result of using her advantage to switch places with Stephenie, Danni won the Immunity Challenge. Safe with immunity, Danni also succeeded in turning the game around for herself by convincing Lydia, Rafe, and Stephenie that Judd was untrustworthy and too much of a threat to keep around. Judd was voted out, but not before uttering a parting shot to the remaining contestants, quote: "Thanks guys. Hope you guys all get bit by a freakin' crocodile. Scumbags."
|165||13||"Big Win, Big Decision, Big Mistake?"||December 8, 2005||20.21||7.1/19|
After winning the Reward Challenge, Cindy was given the option of keeping her newly won 2006 Pontiac Torrent or giving one to each of the other remaining contestants. Cindy chose to keep the car, a decision which upset Rafe in particular. She chose to take Stephenie with her to the camp for the night on the reward, where they talked about voting out Danni next, as their alliance came into the merge with the numbers.
After Stephenie won Immunity, Rafe successfully lobbied to get Cindy voted out.
|166||14||"Thunder Storms & Sacrifice"||December 11, 2005||21.18||7.7/17|
The final four were surprised on the morning on Day 37 by a visit by a family of Mayans, who showed them an ancient Mayan ritual, culminating in them sacrificing a chicken to the Mayan gods.
At the first challenge, Rafe won his third individual immunity, and Lydia was voted out as a result of her popularity with the jury. On Day 38, the final three took part in the Rites of Passage walk, collecting images and the torches of the fallen fifteen, tossing them into the fire before proceeding to their final immunity challenge.
After two hours, 38 minutes, Danni won the final immunity challenge. She chose to vote out Rafe, because she felt she would have a better chance in the final two against Stephenie. Stephenie was ripped into by the majority of the jury members for blatant lies, double crossing many, and switching around from various alliances on her way to the finals.
|167||15||"The Reunion"||December 11, 2005||15.21||5.7/14|
|Months later, it was revealed that Danni beat Stephenie in a 6–1 vote. The castaways return to discuss the season with host, Jeff Probst.|
- Rafe and Stephenie were not eligible to vote as the only eligible players they could vote for were each other.
- Hall, Sarah (13 January 2005). ""Survivor: Palau" Cast Revealed". www.eonline.com/. E!. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
We were scouting locations in Madagascar, southern India, Sri Lanka. We had a real focus on the Indian Ocean," he told Variety. "Clearly, now, that won't be happening.
- "An interview with Rodger Bingham 10 years after Survivor: The Australian Outback". YouTube. 28 August 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
- "Hunter Ellis Interview". 8 March 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
- Meet the cast of Survivor: Winners at War Entertainment Weekly, Retrieved December 19, 2019
- Jeff Probst shares intel on Survivor: Winners at War Entertainment Weekly, Retrieved December 19, 2019
- "Survivor Guatemala ends with bang; delivers best finale ratings since Survivor All Stars". Reality TV World. 15 December 2005. Retrieved 11 September 2016.