Survivor Marquesas was the fourth season of Survivor and was set on the island Nuku Hiva, part of the Marquesas group of islands in French Polynesia. It aired in the United States early in 2002. The two tribes were named Maraamu and Rotu.
Maraamu (the Marquesan word for ‘southern wind’) consisted of:
Gina, Peter, Sean, Sarah
Rob M, Patricia, Hunter, Vecepia
Rotu (the Marquesan word for ‘rain’) consisted of:
Zoe, Robert, John, Kathy, Gabriel
Paschal, Neleh, Tammy
Maraamu lost four immunity challenges in a row. Not even a tribal shuffle could improve their challenge performances much. By the time the merge occurred, Maraamu had only managed to win a single immunity challenge. The new tribe was called Soliantu.
For the first time, the final three was made up entirely of women – Kathy, Neleh and Vecepia. In the final immunity challenge, Kathy dropped out early after a mistimed boob check. Neleh managed to negotiate with Vecepia that she would step down if Vecepia promised to take her to the final two. She agreed and voted out Kathy.
In a final tribal council characterised by bitterness and proclamations of divine inspiration, Vecepia was voted sole survivor by four votes to three.
Memorable Moments and Contestants
In all previous seasons, the tribe which was in the minority going into the merge was “pagonged” without resistance. This season was the first in which members of the minority tribe teamed up with the few members of the majority tribe in order to overthrow the dominant four-person alliance.
In an immunity challenge which required the contestants to systematically eliminate their opponents, the dominant alliance of John, Robert, Zoe and Tammy – known as the Rotu 4 – revealed the order in which they were planning on voting off the other tribe members. This resulted in the five people not in the alliance to vote together to blindside John and subsequently eliminate the remaining members of the Rotu 4.
Kathy Vavrick-O’Brien looked like one of the first boots on her tribe due to her domineering attitude. She managed to tone down her bossiness and ended up becoming one of the fan favourites for the season thanks to her perceptive gameplay and memorable scenes, one of which saw her peeing on tribemate John Carrol when he was stung by a jellyfish. Her game came to an end when, in the final endurance challenge, Neleh Dennis pointed out that her breast was showing and Kathy lost her balance trying to check.
In the final four vote, both Kathy and Neleh had the same number of votes and no previous votes against them, so the survivors (with the exception of Vecepia who had immunity) were forced to draw rocks from a bag. Paschal English drew the purple rock and was eliminated because of it. This is the only time the purple rock tiebreaker ever came into play.