Meet the Survivor season 44 cast: who's been eliminated

Carolyn Wiger, Lauren Harpe, Yamil “Yam Yam” Arocho, Heidi Lagares-Greenblatt, and Carson Garrett on Survivor
Carolyn Wiger, Lauren Harpe, Yamil “Yam Yam” Arocho, Heidi Lagares-Greenblatt, and Carson Garrett on Survivor (Image credit: CBS)

Eighteen individuals arrived on the island in Fiji, but only one is going to get to leave as a Survivor champion. Survivor season 44 sees a new batch of contestants ready to try and outwit, outplay and outlast each other as they compete for a $1 million prize on the long-running CBS reality series.

Leading the way for Survivor, as he has since the very beginning, is host Jeff Probst. Probst assured fans are going to see the social dynamics of alliances and betrayals that have become standard for the series as well as the first Survivor "showmance" in a number of years.

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Probst said of the cast: "This group definitely came to play the game, and here's the truth about Survivor — great players make for great seasons. It's really that simple. I think we got it right this time!"

We are down to the final five contestants as we have reached the Survivor season 44 finale. Who's left on the island and who is going to win it all? Let's meet the Survivor season 44 cast, who's left and who has already been eliminated (SPOILER ALERT).

Survivor season 44 winner

Yamil "Yam Yam" Arocho

Yamil Arocho on Survivor

(Image credit: Robert Voets/CBS)

After the original Tika tribe ended up dominating the game, it was Yam Yam who managed to outlast all competitors, including his two closest allies Carson and Carolyn, to lock up seven votes from the Tribal Council journey.

Eliminated contestants

Bruce Perreault (Tika)

Bruce Perreault on Survivor

Bruce Perreault on Survivor (Image credit: Robert Voets/CBS)

Bruce was the first castaway who left the game, but it was under unfortunate circumstances. After hitting his head in the first challenge for flint, Bruce was treated by the medical staff and deemed OK to continue. Unfortunately, later that night he began to feel lighthearted so the medical team decided that he needed to be removed from the game for further evaluations. While it stinks that Bruce's run ended so quickly and due to bad luck, the good news is his tests revealed he is recovering well.

Maddy Pomilla (Ratu)

Maddy Pomilla on Survivor

Maddy Pomilla on Survivor (Image credit: Robert Voets/CBS)

The first person voted off of season 44 was Maddy. She and Brandon did not see eye to eye on what to do with the key for an unknown package the whole tribe was looking for. Brandon told the tribe, opened the package and received an immunity. When Ratu lost the immunity challenge, Maddy wanted Brandon and his immunity out. The tribe was on edge when it came to vote, so much that Jaime and Matthew played their shot in the darks and Brandon played his immunity. Neither Matthew or Jaime received any votes, though Jaime was the first contestant to pick the "safe" option, per Probst. Brandon received two votes, but his immunity threw them out. With Lauren using her Bank Vote advantage she earned earlier, Brandon's lone vote for Maddy was enough to knock her out of the game.

Helen Li (Tika)

Helen Li on Survivor

(Image credit: Robert Voets/CBS)

The third person to leave Survivor was Helen Li. After losing the immunity challenge, it definitely looked Helen, Carson and Sarah (who did not have a vote after risking it in episode 1) were pushing for Carolyn to be the target, while Carolyn and Yam Yam wanted to go for Helen. However, Carson went to Carolyn and Yam Yam and said that he wanted to vote with them. No one knew which way Carson was going because he had appeared very tight with Helen and Sarah. 

At tribal, Carolyn took the rise of not using her recently found immunity idol, but it didn't matter. Carson told the truth with her and Yam Yam, and they voted Helen out three to one (cast for Carolyn). Helen was disappointed but said she respected the strategy played by everyone. But what will Sarah think, knowing that it was Carson who switched sides to get her biggest ally out?

Claire Rafson (Soka)

Claire Rafson on Survivor

(Image credit: Robert Voets/CBS)

Soka finally lost in an immunity challenge, so quickly all eyes turned to the only member of their tribe that has not competed in one, Claire. With someone always being required to sit out for even numbers, Claire was always that person for Soka. That drew the ire of some of her tribe members, who wonder why would they keep her around when she hasn't proven herself useful when it matters most. Claire tried to swing the vote around to Josh, who most in the tribe agree is hard to get to know. With Matt not being able to vote, it all seemingly came down to Heidi on who would be voted out. Unsure of the result, Claire took a shot in the dark at tribal, but it came up not safe. Her name was then read three straight times and she was sent home.

Sarah Wade (Tika)

Sarah Wade on Survivor

Sarah Wade on Survivor (Image credit: Robert Voets/CBS)

Tika once again found itself on the losing end of an immunity challenge, but this isn't the same old Tika. After a twist in the game that swapped one player from each tribe, Carson was moved from Tika to Ratu, Jaime from Ratu to Soka and Josh from Soka to Tika. But with their forced move they were each given an immunity idol.

Unsurprisingly, some in Tika were immediately ready to vote Josh out, particularly Yam Yam. But when Yam Yam wants to use Carolyn as a decoy, she decides to team up with Josh rather than play second fiddle. He reveals that he has an immunity idol and if they stick together, they can get who they want. But rather than go after Yam Yam, they make Sarah their target. The plan works, as votes for Josh are eliminated after he plays his idol and Sarah is voted out.

Matthew Grinstead-Mayle (Ratu)

Matthew Grinstead-Mayle on Survivor

Matthew Grinstead-Mayle on Survivor (Image credit: Robert Voets/CBS)

Matthew wasn't voted out of Survivor, rather his exit game because of a decision he made back in the early days of the game, when he climbed a rock, slipped and dislocated his shoulder. Though the medical team looked at him and initially OK'd him to continue and he competed in a handful of challenges, ultimately, his injuries were too much to overcome. Not feeling like he was healing properly, he removed himself from the game.

Josh Wilder

Josh Wilder on Survivor

(Image credit: Robert Voets/CBS)

Josh had seemed like a popular target for weeks now, but the newly merged Va Va tribe finally sent him packing, but not without Josh trying to make one last play. There was debate among his fellow competitors on whether he had an immunity idol or not, which would leave someone else exposed if he did. However, Josh was idol-less, so they ultimately were able to vote him out.

Matt Blankinship

Matt Blankinship on Survivor

(Image credit: Robert Voets/CBS)

Matt was one half of a Survivor romance this season that fans loved along with Frannie, but in a shocking twist, it was Frannie's actions that ended up making Matt vulnerable and eventually voted out. In a balancing immunity challenge that had the contestants competing in two groups, Frannie won individual immunity and could have given Matt a chance to earn an immunity of his own, but ended up going for the big prize for her own team. As a result, Matt was eliminated and became a member of the jury, with Frannie crying as her "island boyfriend" left the game.

Brandon Cottom

Brandon Cottom on Survivor

(Image credit: Robert Voets/CBS)

The former NFL player was blindsided by his elimination from Survivor. With eyes seemingly on Frannie at immunity council, Danny opted to play his hidden immunity idol for her in a ploy to get Brandon out of the game. It worked, adding Brandon to the jury along with Matt.

Kane Fritzler

Kane Fritzler on Survivor

(Image credit: Robert Voets/CBS)

Kane was the latest castaway voted off the island but the thing that fans are talking about with his exit is the fact they didn't get to see what would have happened with the fake idol. Afraid she was going to lose it with someone's Knowledge is Power advantage, Jaime gave the fake idol she's been hanging onto for a while (she thinks it's very real) to Kane in an effort to hide it. However, before the votes are read, Kane opts not to play the idol and is voted out, robbing us all of the chance to see and Jaime's face when they found out it wasn't even a real idol. 

Frannie Marin

Frannie Marin on Survivor

(Image credit: Robert Voets/CBS)

After winning another challenge (this time the reward variety), the other castaways began to see Frannie more and more as a threat to take the whole game. So, when she did not secure immunity this week, a movement orchestrated to vote her out. While she tried to build her own contingency, it wasn't enough and she was ousted. She is now set to join her island fling Matt as part of the jury.

Danny Massa

Danny Massa on Survivor

(Image credit: Robert Voets/CBS)

Danny just missed out on a spot in the top six this season after a brilliant move by some of his fellow castaways. With him orchestrating a plan to get Carson voted out, Carson's former Tika tribemate Carolyn wanted to keep their group strong, so she played the hidden immunity idol she had for Carson. With the rest of the Tika alum voting for Danny and all of the votes for Carson being nixed, Danny was the odd man out. Though it recognized the strong play, saying, "Great move. Great move. Poetic justice."

Jaime Lynn Ruiz

Jamie Lynn Ruiz on Survivor

(Image credit: Robert Voets/CBS)

Jaime's run on Survivor came to end in the final six. She fell suspect to the Tika Three (Yam Yam, Carson and Carolyn) sticking together, though there was a potential blindside in the works. However, when the time came for a vote, Jaime was eliminated with four of the six votes.

Lauren Harpe

Lauren Harpe on Survivor

(Image credit: Robert Voets/CBS)

Lauren Harpe just missed out on making the Final Four, instead she was the first person voted out in the Survivor season 44 finale. Carson and Yam Yam, who enjoyed the benefits of the first immunity challenged, debated ousting their long-time ally Carolyn, but ultimately decided to keep that group together and the original Tika tribemates three of the final four spots.

Carson Garrett

Carson Garrett on Survivor

(Image credit: Robert Voets/CBS)

After winning the first immunity of the season finale to secure his spot in the Final Four, Carson could not repeat the result in the second, which ultimately saw him being ousted just before the jury vote.

Carolyn Wiger

Carolyn Wiger on Survivor

(Image credit: Robert Voets/CBS)

Though she was seen as one of the most dangerous players heading into the final vote, Carolyn was not able to get the support of the jury and fell just short of being the Sole Survivor. Surprisingly to many fans, she received no votes from the jury and came in third.

Heidi Lagares-Greenblatt

Heidi Lagares-Greenblatt on Survivor

(Image credit: Robert Voets/CBS)

Heidi won the immunity challenge to get her into the Final Three, including making the fastest fire in show history, but that was not enough to secure here the win with the jury, though snagging one vote did mean she earned second place.

Survivor season 44 airs new episodes of Wednesdays on CBS and streaming on Paramount Plus.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.