Jericho wins Australian Survivor 2017

Melbourne flight attendant Jericho Malabonga has won Australian Survivor for 2017, defeating Queenslander Tara Pitt.

Sydney digital ad producer Peter Conte came third.

Malabonga, who wins $500,000 as sole survivor, won his only Immunity title when it mattered most, after a replay of the gruelling 2016 Immunity Challenge atop wooden poles in Samoa. It was a marathon challenge, lasting over 5 hours, as night fell and waves lashed the trio. While Tara fell short -literally- just shy of 3 hours, it was not without tears and camaraderie.

But the Filipino-Kiwi took Tara to the final Tribal Council, telling her she deserved it more. During his jury pitch, Jericho seemingly talked himself out of winning by telling his former tribe mates he had lied his way through the game, using members as a “shield.”

The self confessed “cookie monster,” so named after using a jar of cookies to curry favour with his tribe, said, “People underestimated me. People thought that I was this angelic boy, when really, I was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I always made sure that resources were used wisely. I had Luke. He was my best friend and we conquered Asaga together.”

This year TEN staged a winner announcement before a studio audience with all cast members returning for a Reunion where Jonathan LaPaglia. But there was no word on a third season, with TEN’s Upfronts due in early November.

“I’m shaking, but I’m proud of my experience, I’m proud of my game and I hope I made Australia proud, my family proud, the fans proud and Australian Survivor proud,” Jericho said.


  1. Happy Jeri won but the format is so flawed post-merge to work against the stronger player and it would have been a disaster for the series for Peter to make the final 2, never mind win the whole thing. Tara just about made her argument but was relying on playing the Kristie card and she was no Kristie.

    • Yeah they could do that and see the number of people applying for Survivor drop dramatically. Most people would not go on such a physically and mentally demanding show as Survivor for only 200k. Seriously even Big Brother gave away more than in 2001.

  2. Congratulations to Jericho. A very deserving winner. And I really enjoyed watching the reunion last night, although Jonathon should have asked questions to all the contestants.

  3. Congrats to Jericho.
    Would have rather seen certain other players in the top 2 but clearly he and Tara are a lot tougher and more cluey than they appear.
    Agree that Jericho seemed to really shoot himself in the foot with his speech and answers to the jury questions.I get that he was trying to explain how well he’d played the game and fooled them all but he didn’t express himself well and just came across as arrogant and gloating. Really thought he was gone then.
    Have really enjoyed this season of Survivor (despite not particularly liking many of the contestants), and hope to see it back next year.

  4. Terrific season, once again production values equaled the US version, and the challenge design was terrific (loved the numbered peg board!). Australian Survivor is a reproduced franchised done to the best standard and everyone involved should be proud. I really hope it gets a well deserved third season. I’m happy Jericho won, though I really wanted (fellow rock climber) Locky to win. And the Reunion show once again nailed the look and feel of the US version beautifully. Wonderful job, Ten – I was hooked on every episode.

      • Yes, Peter deserved better.
        He put up a mighty effort in the final cliff top challenge and came across in the end as very smart and articulate, albeit a bit boring. For him to be singled out as a goat/sheep was pretty unfair -Tara and Jericho were definitely also in that category.

        • jezza the first original one

          No Peter was a poor player imo apart from the final. His social game seemed non existent, he had virtually no influence on others and didn’t make any major moves. He was a passenger, a sheep, whatever you want to call it. Tara was similar, Jericho was ok and definitely the best of the final 3 so he deserved the $$$moolah

          • Yeah, Jericho was the most entertaining of the three and deserved to win but still think he was another goat as he coasted through on the coat tails of Luke for a lot of the game.

  5. I watched it live last night, which means I now have a backlog of shows to catch up with on IQ. I’m glad Jericho won, but I didn’t really like his speech. I felt for Tessa that she was advantaged out of the jury. I don’t think they should have that next year.

  6. jezza the first original one

    I am glad Jericho, he played fairly well, it would have been a disaster if one of the other sheep/goat in the final 3 won. I hope it gets renewed and that next years so called stromger players knock out so called weaker ones first. Most of the better more interesting players were on the jury. I thought the final Tribal was heavily edited as support for Tara seemed minimal…

    • It did feel that Tara was getting more positive coverage than Jericho at the final tribal. However, I thought Tara’s performance was really good. Locky voted for her – which was a given – but so did Peter and Sarah – who I did not expect.

  7. Well done Jericho! A deserving winner!

    Props to Tara though for a great final tribal performance. She managed to get from Sarah and Peter, which I did not expect.

  8. Excellent Reunion special last night. This was one of the best seasons of Survivor ever made. Great gameplay. Jericho deserves to win out of the remaining final 4 contestants. Very happy a goat player did not win this season. I hope season 3 comes next year but that may not happen with these ratings

    • Ok, I missed a couple of episodes. What is the goat thing? The only version of goat as an abbreviation or label I’ve heard is “Greatest Of All Time” so I was very confused when I heard them discussing that…

      • It’s a phrase that I think goes right back to Survivor Africa in 2002. Comes from the concept of being either the ‘hero or the goat’ – the won who wins the game or the one who loses it for the team. It’s essentially evolved into meaning the person who doesn’t have the game to win, the least strategic player is the goat – the one strong players drag to the end to ensure their win.

  9. I thought Tara was the more strategic game player of the two. That being said, the more deserving winners were sitting on the Jury.

    Really hope that Ten renew Survivor for 2018 and tighten up the format. It probably needs to move away from Sundays as well. I don’t imagine that they would have anything better to replace it with.

  10. So timeshift numbers don’t matter? Seems quite disrespectful to the networks, content makers and readers of your site People can choose to avoid news articles etc, but when you subscribe via RSS the headline screams at you. A simple Spoiler Alert could solve the problem, which is what most other tv sites do.

    • It was a ballsy speech that could have got down differently if the jury took it personally. But Survivor contestants are literally a band of brothers who have gone through a tough battle together. As in war, these soldiers form a bond to is different to most of us outsiders, where they know and respect what the other is saying. Whilst for us, if someone said to us that “I can confidently say that, yeah, I have your blood on my hands, and I’m fine with that. And that’s why I still am sitting here, and I feel like that’s why you’re sitting there” – what would be our first reaction? I get you!!! No, they say yeah he did play us and I respect that and I will vote for you.

      • In the real world, that’s called “feeding the narcissist”. It rarely ends well – it’s a gut-wrenching, soul-destroying way to live even part of your life – and slapping an imagined ‘band of brothers’ façade on it doesn’t make it any better.

        It sickens me that it’s been co-opted as even an aspect of “entertainment”…

  11. Suggestion for future – don’t list winner in article title. The finale is now ruined for the tens of thousands of people who might timeshift the show.

      • Yep I have to agree. I usually watch these shows late or next night so avoid certain sights. Particularly sights like this where people want to discuss it. I hear what your saying, but David does say spoiler alert – if it hasn’t aired. Maybe go watch it first rather than spend time giving out to David

        • In this day and age you just know that if you are following a show and its finale you have to watch it on the night – otherwise turn off your wifi, turn off your notifications, hide under a rock – do whatever you have to in order to avoid hearing the result until you watch it.

          I still remember the days prior to social media and prior to having US award shows (like Emmys, Oscars) live during the day on TV having to go into media black out to avoid hearing any results until watching the telecast at night. This would include blasting your self with pre-recorded music in headphones on the way home from work just in case another commuter was talking about the results they had heard.

    • I can avoid this site easily and David has told us for yrs about spoilers but Ten are so good at flooding fb and Twitter with big pics showing winners and so on ruining it for most, last night I saw the winner on Twitter so I didn’t bother watching

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