Hometown: Walterboro, South Carolina
Previous Season(s): Survivor: Panama, Survivor: Micronesia, Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains
Previous Placing: 4/16 | 3/20 | 17/20
Days Lasted: 36 | 38 | 11
Correctly Voted for Boot: 7 | 11 | 2
Votes Received: 3 | 3 | 3
Individual Immunity Challenge Wins: 0
Most Memorable Moment: Convincing Erik to give up his immunity necklace to Natalie.
What happened in her previous season(s):
Survivor: Panama – Exile Island
Cirie entered her first season as a self-described “couch potato,” she didn’t have any outdoor skills and even had a fear of leaves. She started the game on the “older women” tribe, and with only four people on the tribe, it didn’t leave many places for Cirie to hide. When her tribe lost the first immunity challenge, Cirie was on the chopping block because of her lack of athletic ability, but due to her social skills and strategic mind, she was able to form an alliance with Melinda Hyder and Ruth-Marie Milliman and eliminate Tina Scheer.
The four tribes merged into two on Day 4, with Cirie becoming part of one of the most “functional dysfunctional” tribes in Survivor history, Casaya. She was initially on the outs of the tribe with her alliance mate Melinda, and when Casaya lost the next immunity challenge, the vote came down to the two women. Tribemate Shane Powers told Cirie and Melinda that whichever of them survived would be voted out next. Cirie tried to form cracks in the majority alliance by highlighting Shane’s chaotic mood swings, but at tribal council, her ally Melinda was eliminated.
Despite Casaya’s dysfunctional camp life and constant personality clashes, they were able to win the majority of the post-swap challenges, avoiding tribal council. During this time Cirie was able to work her social game, ingratiating herself with the majority alliance so that when they did attend tribal, on Day 15, she didn’t even receive a vote. Instead, the vote came down to Bobby Mason and Bruce Kanegai, with Cirie and the girls, Danielle DiLorenzo and Courtney Marit, pulling off an impressive 3-2-1-1 vote, which highlighted the scattered alliances of the Casaya tribe.
The Casaya tribe entered the merge with a 6-4 majority over the La Mina tribe. By this point, Cirie had firmly worked herself in with the majority Casaya alliance, and together they voted off the La Mina tribe members one-by-one, all except for Terry Dietz who continued to win immunity. With Terry safe, and Bruce medevaced due to digestive problems, it meant the core Casaya alliance had to vote out one of their own. Cirie started to worry that Shane and Terry wanted to take Courtney to the end as a “goat,” and so while Courtney, Danielle, and Terry plotted to vote out Aras Baskauskas, Cirie created a counter plan, managing to flip Danielle and target Courtney. With Shane out of the loop and voting for Danielle, Cirie only needed three votes and was able to eliminate Courtney in a move that became known as the “3-2-1” plan.
Not only was Cirie becoming a strategic force but her survival skills were also improving. When her husband H.B. visited the camp at a family reward, he was amazed to see how well his wife was doing, claiming it was an entirely different side of Cirie. At the next tribal council, the trio of Cirie, Aras, and Danielle stayed strong, this time blindsiding Shane who had been scheming with Terry. Cirie and Aras had grown a solid bond, and after winning a reward challenge, he took Cirie on a trip down the Panama Canal while sending Danielle and Terry to Exile Island. Cirie and Aras promised to take each other to the final two, while Danielle and Terry promised each other the same. After Aras won the next immunity challenge, and Terry having the threat of the super idol, it meant the two pairs were deadlocked. Cirie and Danielle had to go head-to-head in a fire-making challenge. It was a fierce competition, but in the end, Danielle won, eliminating Cirie and sending her to the jury. Cirie voted for Aras to win the game over Danielle in the Final 2.
Survivor: Micronesia – Fans vs. Favorites
Cirie returned to Survivor in the first iteration of the Fans vs. Favorites theme. She was one of the most popular contestants on the tribe of Favorites and soon found herself as the swing vote in the middle of two warring alliances. After Jonny Fairplay had asked to be voted out at the first tribal council, the tribe was split, with couples Ozzy Lusth/Amanda Kimmell and James Clement/Parvati Shallow on one side and the alliance of Eliza Orlins, Jonathan Penner, Ami Cusack and Yau-Man Chan on the other. Both alliances tried to get Cirie’s vote, but Cirie didn’t commit herself to one group straight away. Ozzy wanted her to join his alliance in voting out Eliza, but Cirie was more worried about Yau-Man as a strategic threat and potentially having an idol. In order to get her vote, Ozzy’s alliance voted out Yau-Man, with Cirie solidifying her allegiance to the couples alliance.
On Day 13 the tribes were swapped, Cirie remained on the Malakal tribe with her alliance mates Amanda and Ozzy, as well as fellow Favorite Ami. They were joined by Joel Anderson, Chet Welch, Tracy Hughes-Wolf and Erik Reichenbach from the Fans tribe. The Fans tribe were in disarray and Chet and Tracy took the opportunity to vote with the Favorites at their first post-swap tribal council, eliminating Joel from the game. With Joel gone it gave the Favorites the upper hand, eliminating Chet and Tracy at subsequent tribal councils. After they lost their fourth post-swap immunity challenge, the Malakal tribe once again had to vote out a member, and it seemed likely to be the last Fan standing, Erik. However, when Erik told Ozzy about Ami plotting against him, it caused Ozzy to become paranoid, and instead, the alliance plus Erik eliminated Ami from the game.
The tribes merged on Day 22, where Cirie, Amanda, and Ozzy were able to realign with Parvati and James. While on their swapped tribes, the Favorites had formed relationships with the Fans and were able to use them for a whole host of moves throughout the merge. Firstly, Eliza tried working with Jason Siska, who won the first immunity challenge at the merge, but when she realized that his idol was just a “f**king stick,” her hopes were dashed. Cirie voted with the majority to get rid of Eliza. The next tribal council is when Cirie really started to work her magic. The target was firmly on Jason, and Parvati tricked him into stepping down from the immunity challenge, promising him that her alliance wouldn’t vote him out. Ozzy, Amanda, James, and Erik decided to go back on the promise. However, Cirie saw an opportune moment to blindside Ozzy while he felt comfortable. Working with Parvati, Cirie and the remaining women (except Amanda) plus Jason voted for Ozzy, blindsiding him in spectacular fashion with an idol in his pocket.
The blindsides continued throughout the merge. Jason was sent to Exile Island and located the rehidden idol, but again, Cirie and the women were able to convince him he was safe and therefore he didn’t play his idol and was blindsided. After James was medevaced, Cirie decided to work with the remaining fans, Erik, Alexis Jones and Natalie Bolton to target Amanda, but Amanda had found the rehidden idol and played it to protect herself and send Alexis to the jury. Cirie was able to patch things up with Amanda and Parvati, plus Erik was becoming a huge threat due to his immunity winning streak and needed to be taken care of. With the immunity necklace around his shoulders, it seemed an impossible feat to eliminate Erik, but with some masterful persuasion from Cirie and Natalie, they convinced Erik that he was safe regardless and that giving up immunity for Natalie would earn him back tons of goodwill. At tribal, Erik gave his immunity necklace to Natalie and was subsequently voted out.
Cirie, Amanda, and Parvati got rid of the last remaining Fan, Natalie, at the next tribal council and expected to be sitting in the Final 3 together. However, Jeff Probst revealed that the season was instead a Final 2, and there was one more immunity challenge to complete. Amanda won the challenge and her and Parvati realized that neither of them would stand a chance against Cirie in front of the jury, so after 38 days, Cirie was voted out of the game. Once again, so close yet so far. Cirie ultimately voted for Parvati to win.
Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains
Cirie returned to Survivor just four seasons later for the epic Heroes vs. Villains. She was a member of the Heroes tribe along with fellow Micronesia players and alliance mates Amanda and James, while Parvati was part of the Villains. Once again she proved to be a fantastic social player, working her way into the majority. When the Heroes lost the first immunity challenge, Cirie wanted to target Stephenie LaGrossa or Tom Westman, seeing them as big threats. But the rest of the tribe wanted to get rid of Sugar Kiper who was a challenge hindrance and an annoyance at camp, rather than push her agenda, Cirie voted with the majority to eliminate Sugar.
Cirie formed an alliance with Amanda, James, Rupert Boneham and fellow Game Changers cast member JT Thomas. Also, Candice Woodcock was on the fringes of this grouping. When the Heroes lost their second immunity challenge in a row, Cirie was able to get her way, with her alliance voting out Stephenie 6-3. The Heroes won their first immunity on Day 8, with Cirie proving dominant in the sumo challenge. Everything seemed set up well for Cirie going forward, she had her majority, she was well liked, and it seemed once again she was going to make a deep run in the game. But when the Heroes lost yet another immunity challenge on Day 11, things fell apart.
Tom decided to target Cirie, seeing her as the orchestrator of the majority alliance. He formed a plan with Colby Donaldson which involved Tom playing his idol and getting JT to switch his vote to Cirie. JT was the perfect person to approach, as he was playing a much more outwardly villainous game than his previous season. After some careful consideration, JT decided to flip, seeing the opportunity to remove an enormous strategic threat and place himself at the head of the alliance. The majority split their votes between Tom and Colby, but Tom correctly played the idol for himself, negating the three votes against him and sending Cirie home, the earliest she had ever left the game.
Biggest Strength: Cirie has an excellent social ability that draws people towards her and makes them drop their guard down. She knows how to gain people’s trust and how to exploit that trust for her own benefit. She also has the skill to think outside of the box and create a counter plan if things aren’t going her way. Cirie’s first two games were absolutely stellar, and she came very close to winning. Even her third game started very well, but her threat level caused her to be the target of an idol play.
Biggest Weakness: Other than her challenge ability, which isn’t even that terrible, she is great in strength challenges, Cirie’s biggest weakness is her threat level. After the game she played in both Panama and Micronesia, everybody knows how incredible she is both socially and strategically. Even with her early exit in Heroes vs. Villains, I’m not sure this will make people any less worried about Cirie as a player.
Cirie is one of twenty returning castaways who will compete on Survivor: Game Changers which premieres March 8 on CBS. Stay tuned to Inside Survivor for more cast retrospectives and other pre-season content.