Survivor: The Australian Outback
Survivor: The Australian Outback (also referred to as Survivor: Australia in later seasons) is the second season of the American CBS competitive reality television series Survivor. Filming took place at Goshen Station, on the bank of the Herbert River (approximately 3 hours south-west of Cairns) in northern Queensland from October 23, 2000, through December 3, 2000, eventually premiering on January 28, 2001. Hosted by Jeff Probst, it consisted of 42 days of gameplay with 16 competitors.
|Survivor: The Australian Outback|
|Presented by||Jeff Probst|
|No. of days||42|
|No. of castaways||16|
|Location||Goshen cattle station, Herbert River, Queensland, Australia)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||15|
|Original release||January 28 –|
May 3, 2001
|Filming dates||October 23, 2000– December 3, 2000|
The sixteen contestants were initially separated into two tribes, named Kucha and Ogakor. When ten players remained, they merged into one tribe, named Barramundi. Tina Wesson won the season and was named the Sole Survivor, defeating Colby Donaldson by a jury vote of 4–3.
|Contestant||Original tribe||Merged tribe||Finish|
45, Milan, New Hampshire
|Kucha||1st voted out|
32, Fort Hood, Texas
|Ogakor||2nd voted out|
51, Wakefield, Virginia
|Ogakor||3rd voted out|
23, Union City, New Jersey
|Ogakor||4th voted out|
27, Ronkonkoma, New York
|Kucha||5th voted out|
38, White Lake, Michigan
34, Greensboro, North Carolina
|Kucha||Barramundi||6th voted out|
32, New York City, New York
|Kucha||7th voted out|
1st jury member
30, Los Angeles, California
|Ogakor||8th voted out|
2nd jury member
23, Steilacoom, Washington
|Kucha||9th voted out|
3rd jury member
22, Beaver, Pennsylvania
|Ogakor||10th voted out|
4th jury member
53, Crittenden, Kentucky
|Kucha||11th voted out|
5th jury member
23, Boston, Massachusetts
|Kucha||12th voted out|
6th jury member
40, West Bloomfield, Michigan
|Ogakor||13th voted out|
7th jury member
26, Dallas, Texas
40, Knoxville, Tennessee
Elisabeth Filarski, now Hasselbeck, went on to host on the ABC talk show The View. Tina Wesson, Colby Donaldson, Jerri Manthey, Alicia Calaway, and Amber Brkich returned to compete in Survivor: All-Stars. Brkich also competed on The Amazing Race 7 with her fiancé and fellow Survivor alumnus Rob Mariano; the couple, now married, returned for The Amazing Race 11.
Donaldson and Manthey would again return for Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains. Michael Skupin returned for Survivor: Philippines. Wesson would again return for Survivor: Blood vs. Water along with her daughter, Katie Collins (who appeared in The Australian Outback as a loved one). Jeff Varner and Kimmi Kappenberg returned for Survivor: Cambodia. Varner returned for the third time in Survivor: Game Changers.
The sixteen castaways were divided into two tribes of eight: Ogakor and Kucha, named after the words for "crocodile" and "kangaroo" in an Australian Aboriginal language respectively. Though Ogakor fared significantly worse in challenges, the tribes were merged with five members apiece after Kucha member Michael fell into the campfire and suffered third-degree burns, requiring his evacuation. As a result, the vote at the first Tribal Council after the merge ended in a tie along tribal lines. Per the rules, ties were resolved based on which player had received the most votes in all previous Tribal Councils; former Kucha Jeff was eliminated, putting the remnants of Ogakor in power.
Ogakor's majority alliance of Colby, Keith and Tina alternated between eliminating former Kucha members and betraying former tribe-mates Jerri and Amber. The three stayed together until the end, and Colby took Tina with him into the final Tribal Council. Tina's strategic plan was valued over Colby's prowess in challenges, and she was awarded the title of Sole Survivor by a jury vote of 4–3.
|Episode title||Original air date||Challenge winner(s)||Eliminated||Finish|
|"Stranded"||January 28, 2001||Ogakor||Debb||1st voted out|
|"Suspicion"||February 1, 2001||Ogakor||Kucha||Kel||2nd voted out|
|"Trust No One"||February 8, 2001||Ogakor||Kucha||Maralyn||3rd voted out|
|"The Killing Fields"||February 15, 2001||Kucha||Kucha||Mitchell||4th voted out|
|"The Gloves Come Off"||February 22, 2001||Kucha||Ogakor||Kimmi||5th voted out|
|"Trial By Fire"||March 1, 2001||Kucha||None[a]||Michael||Medically evacuated|
|"The Merge"||March 8, 2001||None[b]||Keith||Jeff||6th voted out|
|"Friends?"||March 15, 2001||Jerri,
|Keith||Alicia||7th voted out|
1st jury member
|"Honeymoon or Not?"||March 29, 2001||Colby,
|Nick||Jerri||8th voted out|
2nd jury member
|"Let's Make a Deal"||April 5, 2001||Survivor
|Colby||Nick||9th voted out|
3rd jury member
|"No Longer Just a Game"||April 12, 2001||Colby||Colby||Amber||10th voted out|
4th jury member
|"Enough Is Enough"||April 19, 2001||Tina||Colby||Rodger||11th voted out|
5th jury member
|"The Final Four"||April 26, 2001||Colby||Colby||Elisabeth||12th voted out|
6th jury member
|"The Most Deserving"||May 3, 2001||None||Colby||Keith||13th voted out|
7th jury member
|"The Reunion"||May 3, 2001||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 immunity challenge due to Michael's evacuation from the game.
- There was no reward challenge due to the merge.
|Title||CBS recap||Original air date||US viewers|
|15||1||"Stranded"||Recap||January 28, 2001||45.37||21.8/48|
16 new castaways landed in the Australian Outback to begin the adventure of a lifetime. Upon arrival, each tribe had 5 minutes to collect everything they thought necessary from a box waiting for them and immediately faced a grueling 5-mile hike to their respective camps. Nick was in charge of the compass and got the Kucha tribe lost. Debb immediately took control, which got on people's nerves. Jeff Varner began feeling sick, which he blamed on the flight in. During the Ogakor hike, some people were having problems carrying things; Colby said that was the quickest way to see what everyone is made of. Keith ran ahead to scout out how far the camp was, and Ogakor arrived at their camp first. When Kucha finally arrived at their camp, they took a celebratory jump into the river. Michael had experience in construction, so he took the lead (even though Rodger built homes for a living), which annoyed Debb, and Kimmi annoyed Jeff Varner and Debb with her incessant talking. At the Ogakor camp, Keith and Jerri argued about where to build the shelter. The next day at Kucha, Mike found a fig tree, but all the figs had bugs in the center. Mike and Debb argued about how to start a fire, and Rodger donated extra pages from his Bible to help start it but to no avail. Colby and Keith attempted to start a fire at Ogakor with no luck, and Jerri questioned where they were trying to start the fire.
At the immunity challenge, the tribes competed for Waterproof matches and immunity. Ogakor took a slight lead after the bridge and extended it on the river crossing after Rodger got his leg caught in a rope. Once Kucha got to the third section, their raft overturned on their torch, putting it out and disqualifying them. Mitchell lit the fire for Ogakor, giving them immunity.
Back at Kucha, Jeff Varner became physically sick and Debb told people that Jeff wanted to go, which outraged him. At Tribal Council, Mike was regarded as the leader. While Jeff got a vote for being considered weak, it was Debb's bossiness and isolation that cost her as she was voted out.
|16||2||"Suspicion"||Recap||February 1, 2001||29.04||11.9/28|
At Kucha, Mike put rice on without asking anybody and eventually overcooked it, which bothered everyone. At Ogakor, Kel tried to catch fish while the rest of the tribe went to the “family whirlpool”. Colby said that Kel couldn’t fish a rubber ducky out of a bathtub.
Once Kucha got their clue for the reward challenge, Rodger became worried because he did not know how to swim. At the challenge, Kucha fell behind once Rodger hesitated at the top of the cliff. Ogakor took the lead and never relinquished it, winning their second challenge in a row.
The Ogakor women questioned Keith’s cooking skills considering his background, and Jerri took charge and made some tortillas, which the tribe loved. At Kucha, Mike was discouraged that he was seen as the leader (a role he didn’t really want) so he caught some fish and hoped that it would keep him around to at least the merge.
Jerri told the entire tribe at Ogakor that she saw Kel eating what looked to be beef jerky. The entire tribe started talking about it while he was out, and they rifled through his bag where they found nothing. Kel overheard them talking and confronted everyone, saying it was a blade of grass. He then offered his razor blades for everyone to use, which Jerri thought was a huge sign of guilt.
At the immunity challenge, Kimmi was worried because she was a vegetarian and refused to eat any land-dwelling animals. Mike and Maralyn ate mangrove worm; Keith ate cow brains, while Kimmi refused to; Nick and Jerri ate mud well; Elisabeth and Kel got apples; Mitchell and Jeff Varner ate witchitigrub larvae; Alicia and Amber ate bugs; Rodger and Colby ate a piece of a candy bar. For the last round, Tina couldn’t keep down tripe while Michael scarfed it down, so the teams went into a tiebreaker. Ogakor selected Kimmi to represent Kucha, and Kucha picked Tina for Ogakor. Kimmi ate her mangrove faster, giving Kucha the win.
At Tribal Council, the tribe discussed Keith’s cooking and Tina puking at the challenge. While Kel stuck to his side of his agreement with Maralyn, she did not and Kel was voted out.
|17||3||"Trust No One"||Recap||February 8, 2001||29.04||12.2/28|
Mike became fixated on being the provider at camp and was determined to ambush and catch a pig. The rest of camp was sceptical that he would catch a pig and thought he was spending too much time and wasting materials.
Ogakor selected Colby and Kucha selected Michael to bear the weight for the reward challenge. After running out of buckets, it became a test of endurance; both were holding more than 400 pounds of water. The pole broke over Michael before anyone quit, so a runoff occurred. There was a 5 minute timed race to see who could put the most buckets on the opposing team. The lead went back and forth; at the last second, Ogakor got two more buckets on Michael’s pole.
Amber and Jerri caught the first fish for Ogakor. Tension continued between Jerri and Keith as they argued how to cook the fish, which ended up being a success for Keith. Over at Kucha, Kimmi continued to provide water for the tribe, feeling vulnerable because she hadn’t made any connections with anyone. There was a talk between voting off Kimmi or Rodger; while Rodger was not the physically strongest, he knew how to work around camp. Maralyn and Tina bonded over at Ogakor, as did Jerri and Colby. Jeff Varner and Alicia made a final 4 alliance.
At the immunity challenge, the tribes were even to the river. Kucha took a lead on the third leg, and although Rodger fell twice during the sprint, Maralyn proved too costly for Ogakor as they dropped their second straight immunity challenge.
Jerri and Mitchell both received a vote at Tribal Council, but Maralyn’s weakness in challenges caused her to be voted out.
|18||4||"The Killing Fields"||Recap||February 15, 2001||28.23||11.7/29|
Tina and Keith were concerned about their position in the tribe following the previous night’s Tribal Council where Jerri said she was friends with everyone except them.
Kimmi directed Kucha to a win at the reward challenge, where they won Henrietta, Polly, Ruby, and Rocky. Mike wanted to eat the chickens as soon as possible so that he could go back to being a provider, but Nick told him that they needed to make decisions as a group.
A forest fire inched closer to the Ogakor camp, but the tribe wasn’t too concerned as it had to cross the river to reach them. Tina voiced her dislike for Jerri with Colby and Mitchell in an attempt to pull one of them over to get Jerri off. Keith also talked to Colby about Jerri’s comments at Tribal Council. Mitchell complained that he was feeling weak both emotionally and physically. Colby made a final 3 deal with Jerri and Amber, and Jerri continued her flirtations. At Kucha, Mike caught and killed a pig with help from Nick. It made him feel much more comfortable with his position in the tribe.
Ogakor took a 3-2 lead in the immunity challenge, but eventually Kucha pulled even. The challenge came down to Alicia vs Mitchell. In the end, Alicia got the final question correct, giving Kucha another immunity win.
Mitchell wanted to vote for Keith badly, but Colby didn’t want to vote for Keith because he was a huge asset at camp. In the end, Colby sided with Keith and Tina to vote for Mitchell while Amber, Jerri, and Mitchell voted for Keith, forcing a 3-3 tie. Although Mitchell said he couldn’t compete with Keith and that he was physically drained, the revote was still 2-2. Probst announced that in the event of a second tie, the person with the highest number of previous votes goes home; with the one vote cast against Mitchell at the last Tribal Council (by Keith), he was the one sent home.
|19||5||"The Gloves Come Off"||Recap||February 22, 2001||28.78||11.9/28|
The Ogakor beach was overcome with smoke and haze from the impending forest fire. Kucha moved their fire after ash was jumping from the fire into their sleeping area, burning through one of Jeff Varner’s shirts. However, moving the fire made sleeping at night much harder. Michael told Kimmi to stop being so involved with the chickens, but she didn’t listen and still got upset and made a scene when they wanted to kill another one. On the other hand, hunger started to set in at Ogakor. Jerri and Keith once again argued about where to dump the fish guts. At Kucha, Kimmi argued with Alicia about eating another chicken, which led to a verbal tussle in front of the entire tribe. Kimmi found Alicia to be very condescending and Alicia continued to get more irritated and impatient. After the fight, Kimmi started complaining about everything.
At tree mail, the tribes were given a catalog and were instructed to pick 2 things they could win in addition to the reward. Kucha chose blankets and spices, while Ogakor chose spices and soup mix. They were told at the challenge that the winner would take both tribes’ choices. Ogakor took an early lead, but Kucha caught up during the second leg and pulled ahead during the final leg, winning their fourth straight challenge.
Ogakor became very frustrated at losing, especially Colby and Amber. Meanwhile, spirits were at an all-time high over at Kucha.
At the immunity challenge, the tribes were pretty even through two medallions, but Ogakor pulled ahead to win immunity. Alicia discussed voting off Kimmi for their personal issues, but Rodger and Elisabeth entertained the idea of voting Alicia off instead. The tribe discussed leadership at Tribal Council. After the vote, Jeff Varner received another vote but it was Kimmi who was voted off.
|20||6||"Trial By Fire"||Recap||March 1, 2001||31.32||13.7/34|
After a rough downpour, Michael said that his outlook on life had changed already after 16 days. He thought it was amazing that “city people” could come in and live this way. The merge was on Kucha’s mind; they wanted to go in 6-4 and knew the next immunity challenge would be key. Jerri and Amber constantly talking about chocolate and food started to annoy Colby, who just wanted to merge. Kucha went through the chicken feed and tried to utilize as much of it as possible for food. After cooking it, they realized that it was actually popcorn and that it was pretty good. At Ogakor, Keith and Jerri again argued, this time about tomatoes; Keith wanted to leave them on the vine to ripen, while Jerri wanted to make fried green tomatoes. They then argued about the rice until Tina told them both to stop arguing.
Ogakor became ridiculously excited at the thought of a picnic and did yoga to prepare themselves; Kucha was more focused on not having Ogakor win, and Nick directed his blindfolded tribe around camp. At the challenge, Nick and Jerri were the leaders of their tribes. Keith and Amber were useless for Ogakor as Colby did the majority of the work. Even so, Ogakor took the lead after their wine barrel overflowed first. Amber picked up the picnic basket and moved toward the table but veered off track; Kucha, once overflowing their bucket, had Alicia pick up their basket and run to their table. She and Jeff Varner put it on about 2 feet before Amber, giving Kucha the win. Frustrated, Colby filled up a bucket of water and threw it at Jerri.
Everyone at Kucha was relaxing around camp when Michael let out a giant yell. All of a sudden, Mike ran to the water and dove in. When his tribe asked what happened, he said he got a breath full of smoke and passed out, falling face first into the fire; his hands were completely burnt with skin hanging off. With the pain intensifying and his tribe helplessly watching from shore, they tried to calm him until the medical team could get to him. When the medics hurried in after about half an hour, they wrapped his hands in cold compresses, brought in the helicopter, and Mike said his goodbyes to his tribe, all of whom were visibly shaken.
Ogakor got a note in tree mail saying that there had been an accident at the Kucha tribe and that no immunity challenge would take place, and that all 5 of them would continue to the merge. With no details, they wondered what the injury was but knew it was serious enough to warrant an evacuation.
The Kucha tribe reflected on Mike's impact on the game and how they were going to go forward as he had wanted, chewing the Ogakors up and spitting them out one by one.
|21||7||"The Merge"||Recap||March 8, 2001||28.72||12.1/31|
Kucha talked strategy about how to go into the merge. They wanted to get rid of Jerri and Colby first, and thought that Keith and Amber would be the first to go. Nick, Alicia, and Elisabeth thought they would be targeted first for Kucha. Since Kimmi told Ogakor that Debb voted for Jeff Varner at the first Tribal Council, Jeff Varner was worried that his previous number of votes would sink him in a 5-5 tie. At Ogakor, they waited for information regarding the accident and Jerri thought that it may have something to do with Rodger.
Ogakor’s tree mail told the men to go to the other tribe to scout the other tribe’s camp; Kucha’s tree mail told the women to go. Colby told the women not to let anything slide regarding who had votes cast against them. While each tribe thought the other tribe had gotten exactly the same tree mail, they laughed when they saw they were actually separated by sex.
When Elisabeth and Alicia showed up at Ogakor, they filled the women in on Michael’s accident. The women were shocked but relieved to hear that it wasn’t life-threatening. The Kucha men were surprised to see Keith and Colby and after a while sensed that Keith was the outsider of the tribe. They killed their last chicken and split it between the five men. At Ogakor, Jerri tried hard to not bad-mouth Keith, even after they realized that he had all of the matches in his pocket.
On day 20, news of the merge came via treemail; they had 15 minutes to take as much as they could from their old camp and were surprised they would be going to a brand new camp. The men were frustrated that they had to move but gathered as much as they could for the hike. Eventually, the two tribes met and moved across the river to their new flag. They opened a box which was full of food for their merge feast. While they were building their shelter, they agreed on the name Barramundi, after the river fish.
At the immunity challenge, the tribes joked around for a little while. Nick, who had been sick for the last couple of days, jumped off first after an hour and a half. Colby was next to go. Colby’s strategy was to get people to vote for him instead of Keith and Jerri since he had no prior votes. After 4 hours, Jeff Probst brought out peanut butter, chocolate, and apples and Rodger bailed. Colby convinced Jeff Varner to jump off, saying that the women were bound and determined to win. After 6 hours and 47 minutes, Jerri and Amber jumped off for ice cream and chocolate. 8 hours and 58 minutes elapsed and Elisabeth stepped down for a boat ride back to the beach. Hot coffee/hot chocolate and a boat ride to shore got Alicia to step down after 10 hours and 17 minutes. Keith told Tina that he needed the immunity, and Tina stepped down as well, giving Keith the first individual immunity.
At Tribal Council, it was clear that Barramundi was still divided. The Ogakor 5 voted for Jeff Varner, while the Kucha 5 voted for Colby. During his vote, Colby said that it was a strategic move that was decided the first week they were there (referring to Kimmi telling them that Debb voted for Jeff at the first Tribal Council). During the revote, they were still deadlocked 4-4. With “the one vote that he knew of," Jeff Varner was sent packing as the final person out before the jury.
|22||8||"Friends?"||Recap||March 14, 2001||28.46||12.0/33|
Rodger felt as though the Kucha tribe had been outwitted by Ogakor, and that they would be picked off one by one. In order to secure his place, he started catching fish, thinking that they would not want to vote off the person providing them with food. Jerri felt herself being distanced by the rest of her tribe, making her paranoid. Elisabeth started to sense cracks in the Ogakor 5, especially between Tina and Jerri, and Alicia sensed a rift between Jerri and Keith.
Jerri, Nick, Rodger, and Amber were the only four to hit the target, but Jerri inched out Amber to win reward. She chose Amber to come along since she got second place. Back at camp, Elisabeth tried to have Ogakor see that camp life was much more relaxed without Jerri. Jerri and Amber expressed concern about Tina and Keith joining the Kucha 4; when Jerri brought it up to Colby, he lied to her and told her that was what Tina and Keith thought was going to happen. Still, Jerri said that Alicia was the biggest threat.
At the immunity challenge, Amber scored first, followed by Nick, and 2 from Colby. Jerri then went on a run of 6, and her next move opened the door for Keith, who scored 17 in a row. Amber then scored 9, and Tina went on a 16 square run, but it wasn’t enough. Keith won his second immunity in a row.
While Elisabeth thought that Jerri would be leaving that night, Alicia thought she was being naïve and that the former Ogakor would be stupid to get rid of Jerri at this point in time. As the rain poured down, the tribe discussed dynamics. In the end, the Ogakor 5 stayed strong and the physical and intimidating Alicia was voted out.
|23||9||"The First 24 Days"||N/A||March 22, 2001||N/A||N/A|
|Recap episode of the first 24 days including never-before-seen footage.|
|24||10||"Honeymoon or Not?"||Recap||March 29, 2001||28.12||11.8/29|
The rainy season hit the Australian Outback, dampening the spirits of some of the tribe. The excessive rains caused the river to become muddy, and most of the fishing hooks were lost. The lack of fish forced the tribe to eat more rice, which diminished their supply.
When news of the reward challenge came and said that they needed to pair up, Jerri wanted to pick her partner (which would have been Colby) instead of drawing names out of a hat. However, they picked names out of a hat anyway, and, through a stroke of luck, Jerri was paired with Colby anyway.
Amber and Keith defeated Rodger and Tina, while Colby and Jerri beat Nick and Elisabeth. Even though they had trouble at the climbing wall and Colby dropped Jerri, they narrowly defeated Amber and Keith to win reward. Once they got off the helicopter and onto the boat, Colby told Jerri he did not want to talk about the game at all, but just to enjoy where they were. When they got back to Barramundi, Colby gave everyone their own piece of coral from the reef. It was revealed later to production staff that removing coral from the Great Barrier Reef is illegal, and a warning appeared stating such before the episode's original Australian broadcast on the Nine Network.
Colby wanted Nick gone before Elisabeth and Rodger because he considered them more of a threat. Nick knew he needed to win immunity to stay alive in the game. Rodger took down Keith, Nick beat Jerri, Colby beat Tina, and Amber beat Elisabeth. In the second round, Colby beat Rodger and Nick beat Amber. In the finals, Nick pulled Colby into the water and won his first immunity.
On the way back to camp, Jerri said that Ogakor decided Elisabeth would be the next one to go. Elisabeth talked to Tina and told her she would be voting Jerri out. Colby said that even though he wants to get rid of Jerri, they should wait until Kucha is gone. Keith said that his gut feeling was to do the same. However, Keith and Colby along with Tina voted with the Kucha 3 to get Jerri out.
|25||11||"Let's Make a Deal"||Recap||April 5, 2001||27.71||11.7/32|
Amber felt very isolated after not being told of the vote for Jerri. The Survivors were down to their final serving of rice and were quickly losing energy. Keith went on a run to catch grasshoppers for bait. However, the turtles in the water were eating the bait instead of the fish, frustrating Elisabeth.
After the auction, people felt sick from all of the new food in their bodies, but they all thought it was well worth it. The next morning, the tribe awoke to find that the water level had risen considerably, and they thought about moving their camp. Tina started to take notice of Nick’s laziness around camp, and Elisabeth was very disappointed in him. Nick said he had to keep winning immunity to stick around.
Nick was the first person to go get water, but his fire died out. Keith’s bucket started to rise, but the fire wasn’t high enough to light his fuse. Meanwhile, Colby took his time, came from behind, and lit his fuse first to win immunity.
Back at camp, Elisabeth cried after feeling sick and emotionally broken down. They lost another hook thanks to a turtle. Probst showed up with a can of rice. He said he was very concerned about the lack of energy around camp, especially with Elisabeth and Nick. Probst offered them enough rice to last them for the rest of their time and 25 hooks but asked for something of substantial value in return - the tarp and Colby’s Texas flag. They agreed and tore it down and started to rebuild their camp.
Colby contemplated voting Amber off since she was bonding with Elisabeth quite a bit, and they worried that she could flip to the remaining Kucha members. Amber wasn’t sure who she could trust. At Tribal Council, Nick voted for Keith because he didn’t bring his backpack, which Nick took as a sign of arrogance. The remaining Ogakor 4 voted out Nick for his comments about being ready to leave, and he became the third jury member.
|26||12||"No Longer Just a Game"||Recap||April 12, 2001||27.55||11.7/34|
Amber was in the lead for much of the reward challenge, but Colby overtook her at a cross point and beat her at a sprint at the end.
A huge storm hit about 10 minutes into Colby's horseback ride; walking back from the challenge, the rest of Barramundi had to wait until the river died down before they could cross it and get back to camp. The dry creek bed where Barramundi sat was no longer dry, and the creek completely flooded their camp, washing items away, including their rice. When they finally arrived back at camp, they were shocked at how bad it was and were devastated to see that their rice, knives, and fishing gear were gone. Tina and Keith went downriver to try to see if any of their things had washed up offshore; Keith saw the can of rice, still sealed and went across a heavy current to get it. They nervously watched as Tina and Keith rescued the rice and then were pulled to shore. However, they had no way of starting a fire as the matches that were in Keith's jacket got wet. Colby felt awful returning from his reward, as he saw how good he had it the night before.
At the immunity challenge, Amber was first out, followed by Keith, Tina, and Rodger – all taken out by Colby. Colby knocked two of Elisabeth's plates out to win another immunity challenge.
While Colby and Amber “stuck with the batting order” and voted for Rodger, Tina and Keith voted with Elisabeth and Rodger, and Amber was voted out.
|27||13||"Enough is Enough"||Recap||April 19, 2001||28.41||11.7/32|
The remaining five were excited to receive tree mail that said their loved ones would be involved. While they sent a message to their loved ones, each castaway got a Danish and coffee.
Tina’s husband and children, Elisabeth’s family, Rodger’s wife, daughter, and son-in-law, Keith’s girlfriend, and Colby’s mom answered the questions for their Survivors. Tina’s family got 4 answers correct. Each person got one final goodbye, and Keith took the opportunity to propose to his girlfriend, who said yes.
The challenge boosted everyone’s spirits and everyone was in a better mood around camp. Colby said that for that one day, no one cared about winning a million dollars. The next morning after a long night of rain, Keith and Rodger found a smoldering log from a forest fire, which helped them start their fire back up. After rationing the rice for the number of days they had left, Keith continued to make more rice, even experimenting with the brown and white rice together. Colby finally said something to Keith about how he was contradicting himself from what he said a few days ago. Boredom began to set in, as there was nothing to do around camp.
At the immunity challenge, Jeff Probst told them a story about aboriginal settlers. Keith had the lead but dropped one of his locks on his way back to the center. Unable to find it, it allowed Colby to get back with all of his locks and shackles. It gave Colby his third straight immunity win.
Rodger told Tina that he wanted to go before Elisabeth, as she needed the money a lot more than he did. Colby struggled with whether he wanted to sit with someone that would win him a million dollars, or if he wanted to sit next to someone he’d be OK with winning a million dollars. He contemplated voting for Keith instead of Rodger, thus allowing the most deserving to make it to the end. At Tribal Council, the remaining Ogakor members honored his wishes, and Rodger was voted out.
|28||14||"The Final Four"||Recap||April 26, 2001||26.89||11.2/31|
With the end near, the Survivors talked about how much they missed their families.
At the last reward challenge, the final four had a chance to redeem themselves from past challenges. Colby was the first through the rope course and the puzzle, followed by Elisabeth, Keith, and Tina. Colby and Elisabeth were dead even at the fire station, but Colby’s bucket rose first, continuing his winning streak.
Back at camp, they received a mirror and a scale in tree mail to see how much they had lost and how they looked. Tina lost 16 pounds, Elisabeth lost 12 pounds, Keith lost 27 pounds, and Colby lost 25 pounds. The girls brought a car warming gift of wildflowers for Colby, which he really appreciated. Jeff Probst took Colby to his new car and joined him at dinner. They feasted on appetizers for a few minutes, until Probst had the food brought out – by Colby’s mother. He was in disbelief and excited to see her and gave her a long hug. His mom said she wasn’t prepared to see how much weight he lost. Colby brought his mom back to camp, who gave everyone a big hug and updated everyone on what was going on at home. Colby’s mom brought care packages from everyone’s families. Eventually, the helicopter came to take Colby’s mom away.
At the immunity challenge, Colby led the entire time and won his fourth straight immunity. Colby was torn between keeping Keith who he believed would win against, or Elisbaeth as she deserved to go further. At Tribal Council, Elisabeth became the sixth member of the jury.
|29||15||"The Most Deserving"||Recap||May 3, 2001||36.35||15.9/39|
At tree mail on day 40, the final 3 were given wood to carve into idols and paint and feathers to decorate, which would be given back to the land. On the way to their immunity challenge, they walked past the torches of those who left before them. At the end of the walk, they found a quiet spot to reflect on their time in the Outback, then threw their idols into the river. Keith said he’s realized that it’s not about the money, and it shouldn’t be, that you should walk away with something much more valuable; Tina said she has learned how much her family means to her; Colby said making the idol made him appreciate and remember why he was here.
The final immunity challenge took place at Tribal Council. Colby took the lead after 7 questions, but Tina pulled even. After 11 questions, they were tied. On the last question (Who stated on their Survivor application form that their proudest accomplishment was being on the Dean’s list in college for five semesters?), Colby said Amber while Tina said, Nick. With the right answer being Amber, Colby continued his dominance and got to choose who to take with him to the final 2. Colby finally chose philanthropy over strategy, choosing to take Tina with him and making Keith the final member of the jury.
On day 42, Tina and Colby broke down the camp and made an agreement that the winner would get the flag. They had one more chance to take in their camp and the scenery around them.
Colby and Tina both pleaded their case for a million dollars. Tina asked the jury not to vote for someone because they got their feelings hurt and that what she was going home to was worth more than a million dollars. Colby said he didn’t think he beat Tina in strategy, but that he did everything pretty well. Rodger asked for an instance where they did not tell the truth, and if they felt they played the game as ethically as possible (Tina said she lied about Amber getting voted off, and said by her definition, yes; Colby said he lied about taking Amber and Jerri to the final 3, and that he had a struggle with ethics); Amber asked what three things got them to the final and what three things they would do with the money (Colby said refusing to mentally check out, drinking water, and taking time out to enjoy, and that he would buy a Harley, buy a building for his father, and take care of his mother financially; Tina said strategy, Colby, and heart/God, and that she would pay off a house, her best friend’s house, and set up a fund to draw out of once a year for a family in need); Elisabeth spoke about being deserving, and asked if they had the power to give 5 jury members the million dollar prize, who are the two they would leave out (Tina said Jerri and Rodger, Colby said Jerri and Keith); Keith asked them to give an example when they used manipulation to get where they are (Colby said manipulating Tina to vote off Mitchell to get their team stronger; Tina said the same thing); Alicia asked what one thing they were personally proud of and least proud of (Tina said the role she has played here and every Tribal Council; Colby said the fire-making challenge and realizing how little respect he’s shown the land and taking it for granted); Nick said that if Mike hadn’t gone, neither of them would be sitting there, and asked if Mike had never had his accident, what two people would be in their place and why (Colby said Nick because he had the mental game and Mike because he helped his tribe in every challenge; Tina said she couldn’t answer the question because she didn’t really get a chance to know them all that well, but by the way they described him there was no doubt that Mike would be one of the two); Jerri spoke about making and breaking alliances and asked them to clear their conscience by bringing up moments of feeling regret or guilt (Tina said going through Kel’s bag; Colby said Rodger, Elisabeth, and Alicia’s vote-offs because they were shallow, but that he had no regrets).
For their closing arguments, Colby had no comments. Tina talked about backgammon and how it related to her personal strategy, and that no one’s vote off was personal.
Rodger voted for Colby, saying that he think played the game harder; Alicia voted for Tina, saying she really played this game by using her head; Amber voted for Colby, saying he was more straight forward and played the game better; and Jerri voted for Tina, saying Tina was the mastermind behind all of the strategies that took place including getting Colby to take her to the final two, which she deeply respected.
The remaining votes were read live at CBS Television City in Los Angeles for the first time ever. In addition to the four votes that were shown during the broadcast, there was one more for Colby (from Nick) and two more for Tina (from Keith and Elisabeth), giving Tina the title of "Sole Survivor."
|30||16||"The Reunion"||N/A||May 3, 2001||41.26||18.5/41|
|The castaways return to discuss the season with host, Jeff Probst.|
- The first Tribal Council vote resulted in a tie. Per the rules, a second vote was held where the castaways involved in the tie would not vote and the remaining castaways could only vote for those who tied.
- After two tied votes between Keith and Mitchell, a Tribal Council countback was called as a tiebreaker. Keith had no previous votes but Mitchell had one, therefore Mitchell was eliminated.
- After two tied votes between Colby and Jeff, a Tribal Council countback was called as a tiebreaker. Colby had no previous votes but Jeff had two, therefore Jeff was eliminated.
- No vote; Michael was medically evacuated from the game.
- Keith and Tina were not eligible to vote as the only eligible players they could vote for were each other.
- Colby and Jeff were not eligible to vote in the second Tribal Council vote.
- Keith and Mitchell were not eligible to vote in the second Tribal Council vote.
Survivor: The Australian Outback is still, to this day, the highest-ranked season of the series, as it was the top-rated show for the 2000–2001 TV season. It is still the most-watched season with an overall average of 30 million viewers per episode and a 13.3/33 share in adults 18-49. It also had the highest amount of premiere viewers (45 million), and the second-highest amount of finale viewers (36 million) and reunion viewers (28 million), behind Borneo.
The Australian Outback is still very well-received among the Survivor fanbase. Host Jeff Probst ranked it as the 8th-best season, citing such memorable contestants as "Colby, the prototype for a Survivor 'hero'; Jerri, the original 'black widow'; and Elisabeth 'The View' Filarski," as well as Michael Skupin's infamous injury. In 2013, both Andrea Reiher of Zap2it and Joe Reid of The Wire ranked The Australian Outback as the 3rd greatest season of the series. Since 2012, Survivor fan site "Survivor Oz" has consistently ranked The Australian Outback highly in its annual polls ranking every season of the series; it was 3rd in 2012, 4th in 2013 and 2015, and 6th in 2014. In the official issue of CBS Watch, commemorating the 15th anniversary of Survivor in 2015, The Australian Outback was voted by viewers as the 4th greatest season in the series. In another poll for the same magazine, Skupin's injury in the fire was voted as the #9 most memorable moment in the series.
During a reward trip, contestant Colby Donaldson broke an Australian law by breaking off coral from the Great Barrier Reef which could have resulted in a fine of A$110,000. The helicopter pilot involved in the reward trip also broke an Australian law as he flew over sea bird rookeries. Survivor's producer Mark Burnett apologized on behalf of Donaldson and the production team after the season had aired.
- "Out in the Outback With 'Survivor' Crew". Los Angeles Times. 2001-02-25. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
- McNeil, Alex (1996). Total Television, 4th ed. New York: Penguin. pp. 1143–1161. ISBN 0-14-024916-8.
- "Survivor - The Australian Outback: The Complete Second Season DVD". 2005-04-26. Retrieved 2008-11-03.
- Tyrangiel, Josh (2001-05-14). "People". Time Magazine. Retrieved 2008-11-11.
- Dehnart, Andy (February 2, 2015). "Highlights from the Survivor 30 Seasons CBS magazine". Reality Blurred. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
- "Colby's Great Barrier Reef coral theft, helicopter flight are being investigated". Reality Blurred.
- Bonin, Liane (April 4, 2001). ""Survivor" Head apologizes for ecology gaffe". Entertainment Weekly.