Sonja Christopher: An Early Survivor Pioneer

When Sonja Christopher joined the inaugural cast of the reality TV show “Survivor: Borneo” in 2000, she became a historical figure. Sonja, a 63-year-old who had just moved into a retirement community, knew she wanted to start a new journey as soon as she saw an article about “Survivor” in the newspaper.

Even though Sonja’s tenure on the programme was brief, she will always be recognised as the first person to be eliminated from “Survivor.” She left the competition early, leaving a lasting impression on the history of the show. Sonja Christopher died earlier this year at the age of 87.

Her host, Jeff Probst, posted touching tributes to her on the official “Survivor” Instagram page in remembrance of her life. Probst reflected on their fruitful relationships over the years and called Sonja one of the most compassionate people who have ever played the game.

He conveyed his appreciation for the chance to having met her.
On social media, Rob Cesternino, a previous “Survivor” player from season six, also honoured Sonja. She cleared the path for everyone who came after her, he said, recognising her important contribution to the programme.

To commemorate Sonja’s iconic on-screen performance of playing the ukulele and singing “Bye Bye Blues” to fellow competitor Richard Hatch, who went on to win the season, Cesternino included a ukulele emoji in his tribute.

Sonja was eliminated early in the tournament, but her passion for “Survivor” remained unwavering. She even declared with pride in 2017 that she had not missed an episode in the previous 17 years

She said she would watch the show for another seventeen years, and then she would gracefully go to the “giant Tribal Council in the sky.”
Sonja worked as a music therapist prior to retiring.

She received a breast cancer diagnosis three years before she made an appearance on “Survivor.” Her partner found comfort elsewhere during that trying period, leaving Sonja to fight the battle of the survivor on her alone.

During this time, she happened to read the morning paper item about CBS’s 39-day desert island challenge hunt for American participants. It was then that Sonja’s unexpected journey started.

Sonja Christopher will always have a special place in the annals of “Survivor.” Fans of the programme and aspiring hopefuls alike are still motivated by her fearless attitude and daring energy.