Ethan Zohn was the Sole Survivor of Survivor: Africa thanks to his outdoor survival skills and his big brain strategies. Zohn was often forming alliances, proving himself as a leader, and making negotiations with outsiders to stay ahead of his competitors. He became known for his strong social gameplay, earning him the nickname “The Politician.”
It’s insane to think that Survivor: Africa is about 18 years ago at this point. But everyone still remembers Zohn after nearly two decades since the show aired.
Due to Zohn’s likeability, he was brought back for All-Stars but was immediately the target. Luckily, his strength forced his team to keep him around for future challenges. He made it quite far in the show despite being one of the initial targets. It should also be mentioned that he was nominated for Sexiest Male.
Despite not coming out on top of All-Stars, Zohn didn’t have enough of Survivor. He appeared on Winners at War and immediately formed an alliance with other contestants he was familiar with. But this time around, Zohn was voted out quite early since the new school competitors were hoping to weaken his alliance. He finished in 18th place but his time on Survivor was still considered one of the most iconic in the show’s history.
Zohn has appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, Rosie O’Donnell, and even Survivor Millionaires: Where Are They Now? He was inducted into the Survivor Hall of Fame in 2012.
Ethan Zohn: Inspiration and Everything Bagels
So what made Zohn such a strong contestant in Survivor? The Massachusetts native was a professional soccer player — competing in Zimbabwe, Cape Cod, Hawaii, and even Israel! This gave him a physical advantage, of course, but soccer wasn’t just a way for Zohn to stay in shape. For him, it was about teamwork, determination, and bringing communities together.
Said Zohn: “I lived and played professional soccer in Zimbabwe. While I was there, I witnessed firsthand what was happening with HIV and AIDS and how it was destroying this community I was a part of. At that time of my life, I didn’t know what to do about it. Fast forward a couple of years, I went on this television show called Survivor and ended up winning a large chunk of money. I used a part of that to help co-found this charity, Grassroots Soccer.”
Since then, Zohn has become an inspirational speaker, inspiring people with his stories of survivor both on television and beating cancer. His speeches vary from social sports for good causes, his cancer experience, and Jewish values — like community, philanthropy, and the preservation of Israel.
This was all made possible due to his time on Survivor all those years ago.
“In the ‘pinball machine’ of life, one thing can change everything about a person’s life. Survivor was that one thing. It gave me opportunities that I only dreamed of. I got to see the world, help make small differences in people’s lives, got to meet incredible people across the globe, and brought joy and laughter to my family from all the crazy stories I got to tell after each adventure,” Zohn said ahead of Winners at War.
Zohn’s life revolves around charity, motivation, and supporting others. But when asked about himself, Zohn has opened up a bit about his personality and interests. He describes himself as “neurotic” and “really, really funny.” He also is a huge advocate of classic bagel flavors like sesame, poppy, and everything bagels — his pet peeve is weird bagel flavors.