Todd Herzog

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Todd Herzog
Todd Herzog LF.JPG
Born (1985-01-29) January 29, 1985 (age 34)
TelevisionSurvivor: China (Winner)

Todd Herzog (born January 29, 1985) is a former reality TV personality who became the winner of Survivor: China in 2007. In late 2013, Herzog appeared on the television show Dr. Phil due to an alcoholism problem and was considered to be "closer to death than any other Dr. Phil guest".[1]


On Survivor: China, the 15th season of the reality TV show Survivor, Herzog initially placed on the Fei Long Tribe. The tribe overcame its opponent, Zhan Hu, by winning immunity early on. During the first few days, Herzog made an alliance with Amanda Kimmel and Aaron Reisberger. When the tribe faced tribal council, Leslie Nease was voted out. Prior to her elimination, Nease had given Herzog a clue to the hidden immunity idol, which she had received from Jaime Dugan. In the subsequent reward challenge, the two tribes learned that each would send two members to the other. Fei Long received Michael "Frosti" Zernow and Sherea Lloyd. However the swap deprived Herzog and Kimmel of their alliance member Reisberger and James Clement. The Zhan Hu tribe then threw the following immunity challenge, thus eliminating Reisberger.

Herzog and Kimmel had found the immunity idol and Zernow, Denise Martin, and Courtney Yates were informed of the discovery. When Fei Long won the reward challenge and kidnapped Clement, Herzog gave Clement the immunity idol and told him to throw the immunity challenge, in an attempt to eliminate Dugan. However, the plan backfired when Martin was unable to swallow a chicken fetus in the immunity challenge. Zhan Hu won immunity and Fei Long was sent to Tribal Council where Lloyd was eliminated. Clement found the second immunity idol at the Zhan-Hu camp later, before the two tribes merged. The original Fei Long members, both old and new, planned to vote out the new arrivals: Peih-Gee Law, Jaime Dugan, and Erik Huffman. They voted as a bloc, and Dugan was sent to the jury.

Herzog deviated from the plan to eliminate Law and got his alliance to vote out strategic threat, Jean-Robert Bellande. Law was targeted in the next vote, but her immunity win forced Herzog and his alliance to eliminate physical competitor Zernow. With seven survivors remaining, Kimmel was able to get Clement and his two immunity idols eliminated from the game. In the final six, the four Fei Long members vowed to stay together and voted out Huffman (since Law had immunity), and then eventually Law. With four remaining, Martin was eliminated and became the final juror.

At the final Tribal Council, Herzog was confronted for his actions by several members of the jury. While Kimmel was criticized for apologizing too much and not giving direct answers and Yates for riding on coattails, he was seen as the most deceiving and manipulative of the three. Bellande, in particular, interrogated Herzog on why he betrayed their alliance, to which Herzog admitted his fear of being eliminated by him. Although he had lied, the jury felt that he was the most honest about it and was playing the game since Day One, unlike Yates. In a 4–2–1 vote, he defeated allies Yates and Kimmel to win the million dollars and title of "Sole Survivor."

Subsequent to winning Survivor: China, Herzog was on the cover of December 2007's issue of Instinct, advertised as the "Million Dollar Man". According to the interview, when Herzog was 15, the first season of Survivor had just begun to air. He stated, "I knew immediately that I wanted to do the show! It was so different than anything I had seen at the time."[2]

Personal life[edit]

Herzog's hometown is Pleasant Grove, Utah. Before appearing on Survivor, he worked as a flight attendant for SkyWest Airlines.[3] Herzog is openly gay,[4] and dated Survivor: Tocantins contestant Spencer Duhm.[5]

Herzog had both American and Canadian citizenship when he was on Survivor; however, for legal reasons, he had to renounce his Canadian citizenship in order to claim his million dollar prize.[6]

In 2013, Herzog was suffering from alcoholism. For not immediately obvious reasons, his mother contacted Dr. Phil's producers.[7] Other Survivor contestants, including close friends Courtney Yates and Sandra Diaz-Twine, offered encouragement and support to Herzog, while his mother reportedly received "thousands" of e-mails and messages. Herzog maintained sobriety for a period but then suffered a relapse.[8][9] Doctor Phil did an update on his case and reported that Herzog was suffering vivid hallucinations and was taken to a hospital emergency department with a blood alcohol level of 0.5[10] In 2017, Herzog told journalists with Stat and The Boston Globe that he was not intoxicated when he arrived at the Los Angeles studio but he was given a bottle of vodka and a Xanax pill before his TV appearance.[11]. In 2017 the National Don't H8 organization named Herzog "King of Don't H8." The respected title was previous held by Sordid Live's star Jason Dottley and Hatchetman star Ronnie Paulley. The organization stands for anti-bullying and acceptance. Herzog was selected based on his heart and dedication to the LGBT community.


  1. ^ "Survivor's Todd Herzog: an alcoholic who's "closer to death" than any Dr. Phil guest – reality blurred". November 11, 2013.
  2. ^ Riggs, Jonathan; Wood, Mike (December 1, 2007). "Todd Herzog - Million Dollar Man". Instinct Magazine. Archived from the original on December 12, 2007. Retrieved December 19, 2007.
  3. ^ Forman, Ross (January 9, 2008). "Todd Herzog: 22, Gay—and a Millionaire". Windy City Times. Retrieved February 18, 2008.
  4. ^ Aterovis, Josh (December 17, 2007). "Interview with "Survivor"'s Todd Herzog". AfterElton. Retrieved December 19, 2007.
  5. ^ Michael Jensen (March 9, 2009). ""Survivor: China" winner Todd Herzog dating "Survivor: Tocantin"'s Spencer Duhm".
  6. ^ " - RTVZone". Retrieved August 19, 2012.
  7. ^ Dr. Phil Show, Survivor Winner's Losing Battle, August 11, 2014
  8. ^ Dr. Phil Show, Survivor Todd's Shocking Relapse: The Life or Death Intervention, November 13, 2014
  9. ^ Dr. Phil show, Will Survivor Todd Take Dr. Phil’s Help? Plus, What Happened to “Homeless Joe”? November 14, 2014
  10. ^ Todd Herzog, Survivor Winner, Battling Alcoholism People
  11. ^ "Dr. Phil says he rescues people from addiction". December 28, 2017.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Earl Cole
Winner of Survivor
Survivor: China
Succeeded by
Parvati Shallow