Jud Birza

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Jud Birza
Born Judson John Birza
(1989-06-12) June 12, 1989 (age 25)
Lake St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Residence Venice, California, U.S.[1]
Occupation Television personality
Model
Actor
Drummer
Television Survivor: Nicaragua (winner)

Judson John "Fabio" Birza (born June 12, 1989), is an American male model, best known as the winner of Survivor: Nicaragua.[1] At age 21 at the time of the game, he is currently the youngest person to win the show.[2] Birza is a native of Lake St. Louis, Missouri, and graduated from Wentzville Holt High School in 2007.

Survivor: Nicaragua[edit]

Being the second youngest contestant of the season, he was placed on the "younger" La Flor tribe. He became the tribe's resident goofball, sending his tribemates to endless laughter at every opportunity often by accidentally hurting himself, making jokes, or reinforcing his own stereotype as a blonde male surfer. The one exception to his humor was NaOnka Mixon, whom Birza had a conflict with after the former lost her socks and accused him of stealing them. This led to a tirade from Mixon during their first Tribal Council, outright stating that she hated him and his antics. Birza then stated that it was his real personality, though he would use it as strategy by deliberately fooling them into thinking he was not intelligent enough to be a strategic threat.

Early on, Birza was an alliance outsider. He initially sided with Shannon Elkins, Alina Wilson, Kelly Bruno and Ben "Benry" Henry. Elkins wanted Brenda Lowe eliminated because of her perceived deviousness, but due to Elkins' aggressiveness at their first Tribal Council, two of their allies (Benry and Bruno) eventually voted against him, sending Elkins home. After Elkins' elimination, his remaining alliance partners were in line for elimination, but Birza remained indispensable because of his strength in challenges, though strategically, he was left in the open, remaining somewhat clueless. This reflected in his voting history, where his votes barely eliminated other players.

After a Day 12 tribe swap, Birza, along with Lowe, Bruno, Matthew "Sash" Lenahan, and Kelly "Purple Kelly" Shinn, remained on the La Flor tribe. There, he became friends with the new members Jane Bright, Marty Piombo, and Jill Behm. At the Day 15 Double Tribal Council twist, Behm (the next intended target) won individual immunity. Sash and Brenda shifted their plan to a split vote between Piombo, who had a Hidden Immunity Idol, and Bruno, who was a Jury threat because of her athleticism despite her prosthetic leg. Birza nearly endangered the plan by gaining Piombo's trust, when he fabricated a story of him being a chess grandmaster. But Birza stuck to the plan and voted for Bruno, voting for her again after a tied vote and sending her home, although Piombo's story was his incentive for voting off Bruno. Three days later, Birza and eleven others would comprise the merged Libertad tribe.

Birza would then either join several (albeit failed) alliances, or cast his votes against random people, and would continue to be clueless about voting dynamics. After Alina's elimination (where Birza won Immunity), there was an all-male rebellion led by Marty, which was eventually thwarted after Lenahan and Chase Rice sided with the women. Though Birza was deemed socially clueless for the most part, he was kept for a longer time. But when the remaining castaways realized that this strategy would work because Birza did not hurt anybody's feelings (among them or any of the Jury members), winning Immunity Challenges became Birza's last resort. Birza went on to win the last three consecutive Immunity Challenges, keeping himself safe from the vote, while the formed alliances turned on each other. After winning the Day 38 Immunity Challenge, Birza, along with Lenahan and Rice, made it to the Final Tribal Council. While Rice and Lenahan were lambasted for being indecisive and "spineless" respectively, Birza was seen as strategically clueless, though he rebutted that he nevertheless back-stabbed no one and winning several challenges proved him worthy of winning. In the end, it was Birza who won the 5 votes of Piombo, Mixon, Shinn, Benry, and Dan Lembo. Rice was the runner-up with four votes, while Lenahan received zero. Thus, Birza became the 21st Sole Survivor and won the $1 million prize by a 5-4-0 margin, which ties with Yul Kwon's victory in Survivor: Cook Islands for the record of the closest margin of victory in Survivor history. Birza also surpassed Jenna Morasca's record for being the youngest person to ever win Survivor. [3]

Post Survivor[edit]

Birza continues to work as a fashion model. He is currently signed to "Next Model Management, New York"[4] and "Mother Model Management"[5] and has previously modeled for "Chosen Model Management". He has appeared in campaigns for Abercrombie and Fitch and L'Uomo Vogue, among others.[6]

He has also appeared on the cover of City of Lost Souls, the fifth book in Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments books.

Birza has also acted as "Charlie" in director David DeCoteau's horror film A Dream Within A Dream, also known as 1313 Nightmare Mansion. The film premiered on Video on Demand (VOD) on February 1, 2011.[7]

On January 19, 2011, Birza was arrested by police in Santa Monica, California, for skateboarding in the street and on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance. All charges were dropped.[8]

Birza has a small role in the documentary film Burning Man: Metropolis.[9][10]

Birza is the drummer in Space Funk Odyssey, an electro-dance/rock band from Venice, California.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Sandra Diaz-Twine
Winner of Survivor
Survivor: Nicaragua
Succeeded by
Rob Mariano