August 29, 1970 |
South Vienna, Ohio
Chris Daugherty (born August 29, 1970) was the winner of Survivor: Vanuatu and won $1,000,000 on December 12, 2004. He also earned the title of "Sole Survivor" and was the first male contestant in two years, since the Thai fifth season in 2002, to win Survivor. Jeff Probst considered him one of the most unlikely Survivor winners.
Survivor: Vanuatu - Islands of Fire 
As part of the all-men Lopevi tribe, Chris endangered his position in the game in the first immunity challenge. Chris failed to cross the balance-beam in the challenge, which led to victory for the all-female Yasur tribe. Athletic members of the Lopevi tribe campaigned for Chris to be the first to go, but Chris managed to form an alliance of unathletic men, sometimes referred to as the "Fat Five", consisting of himself, Travis Sampson, Rory Freeman, Chad Crittenden and led by Lea "Sarge" Masters. This alliance controlled the numbers and targeted the younger players, voting out Brook Geraghty at the first tribal council. Lopevi won immunity in the second episode.
In Episode 3, both tribes were informed they would be going to tribal council. When John Kenney won individual immunity, the "Fat Five" alliance targeted John Palyok and he was voted out. When Lopevi lost immunity in the next episode, the alliance once again got rid of another younger male, Brady Finta. In Episode 5, a tribal shuffle resulted in the "Fat Five" losing Travis and Rory to Yasur and gaining two women, Twila Tanner and Julie Berry. This new-Lopevi tribe managed to win the next two immunity challenges. This, however, meant the loss of Travis as the women of Yasur voted him out. When Lopevi lost immunity in Episode 7, Chris, Sarge and Chad recruited Twila and Julie to vote out the last younger male, John Kenney (who, in his farewell speech, expressed his desire to see Chris win the game).
The two tribes merged into one, Alinta. Chris, Chad and Lea "Sarge" reunited with old ally Rory. This four-man alliance believed that Twila and Julie would side with them. However, Twila and Julie joined former allies Ami Cusack, Leann Slaby, Scout Cloud Lee and Eliza Orlins to vote off Rory, when Sarge won immunity. The 6-female alliance then targeted Sarge voting him out next, with even Chris casting a vote for him to let the women know he was a team player. The female alliance stuck together once again and voted out Chad over Chris.
At that point, it seemed like Chris' time in the game was over, as he was the only surviving male. However, his performance and determination in the immunity challenge caused Ami and her alliance to keep Chris around one more week and vote out tribal annoyance, Eliza. But Twila and Scout, not happy with their positions in the game, hatched a new plan. Together they approached Chris about a new alliance. Chris, Twila and Scout managed to lure in Eliza, the next target, and this new alliance successfully eliminated Ami's closest ally Leann. The cross-tribal alliance targeted Leann because Ami would not surrender immunity.
Ami, knowing her days were numbered, tried to convince Eliza and Chris to join her and Julie in an alliance against Twila and Scout. While it seemed as though Eliza might defect, in the end she stayed strong and the four voted out Ami. Chris then struck a deal with Julie and Eliza to vote with them against Twila. However, at Tribal Council, Chris sided with Twila and Scout once again to vote out Julie instead, because she was too well liked by the female-dominated jury and because she had previously betrayed him at the merge by voting out Rory.
In the "final four" finale, Chris again managed to convince Eliza that he was in an alliance with her, despite his obvious alliance with Twila and Scout. Chris decided she was too much of a risk and a flip-flopper, voting her out. Then Chris managed to win immunity, securing him a place in the final two. Comments by Scout at the challenge led Chris to believe that Twila would not have been true to him and their Final 2 pact had she won. Chris confronted Scout about the issue, and Scout said she didn't have a final two alliance with Twila, hoping Chris would pick her instead of Twila. Satisfied, Chris voted out Scout and chose Twila to join him in the final two.
In the end, Chris Daugherty beat out Twila Tanner in a 5-2 vote to become the Sole Survivor. He gained the votes of Lea "Sarge" Masters, Chad Crittenden, Leann Slaby, Julie Berry and Eliza Orlins and only lost the votes of Scout Cloud Lee and Ami Cusack. Many of his votes came from female jury members who were able to look past his gender and recognize his strong gameplay against the unpopular and controversial Twila, who he was well-aware had made many enemies in the game.
Personal life 
On Sunday, February 13, 2005, Daugherty married his fiancée Lorie Groves (who made a brief appearance on the show during the "family visit" segment) in Victory Lane at Daytona International Speedway.
Honorary best man for the couple was longtime NASCAR star Mark Martin. There were some cars practicing on the track, creating background noise. Martin said "every time [the IROC cars] came by, instead of that being an irritation [to them], that was exactly what they wanted." Chris agreed, "You don't pass up an opportunity to get married at Daytona, especially in Victory Lane. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience."
After his appearance on Survivor, Chris Daugherty returned to his home in South Vienna, Ohio, and his job at the Ohio Department of Transportation. In 2005, he asked for vacation time to participate in a European promotional tour for Survivor. Since Daugherty had no additional vacation time, he submitted a doctor's note that claimed Daugherty needed one month off from work due to anxiety and depression. He was suspended from work for twenty days without pay after investigators discovered it was an excuse to appear on Survivor related activities  although after disputing the suspension, State of Ohio arbitrator declared Chris followed the Union contract and was reimbursed his pay for the twenty day suspension.
- "Twila and Scout was the only way to go! The most controversial player and the physically weakest. Eliza was extremely strong physically and mentally. Julie was too well liked by the other women in her alliance – who by the way were on the jury. Basically, Twila was a sure thing! I played it perfect... Absolutely perfect."
|Title of Sole Survivor