Ralph Kiser, ‘Survivor: Redemption Island’ Contestant, Dies at 56

by Samantha Whidden
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Ralph Kiser, a 2011 “Survivor: Redemption Island” contestant who competed against two of the biggest villains in the franchise’s long-running history, has died at the age of 56. 

According to Deadline, Ralph Kiser tried out for “Survivor” numerous times before eventually snagging a sport on the show’s 22nd season, with “Redemption Island” as the title. The season also featured “ubervillain” Russell Hantz and the season’s eventual winner Rob Mariano.

Kiser notably finished in ninth place on the “Survivor” season and lasted until the 33rd day. The media outlet shared that for his intro questionnaire for the season, he explained that he thought he’d do well due to being an “outdoors mountain man.”

“I know plants, trees, and what most of their uses are,” Ralph Kiser declared in his “Survivor” questionnaire. “I can also build anything; start a fire anywhere; and make people believe anything I say!”

Michael Allbright, who is dubbed “Survivor” Superman, announced the news about Ralph Kiser’s passing through his Facebook account. “I have some unfortunate news for the ‘Survivor’ community. Ralph Kiser passed unexpectedly from a heart attack this morning. His brother, Gilbert, messaged me this morning to let the ‘Survivor’ community know.”

Allbright also described Ralph Kiser as one of the key “Survivor” players from Zapatera. He also said that Kiser targeted Russell Hantz and wasn’t “mesmerized” by Boston Rob. Like many of the “Redemption Island” cast. “[He] even voted for Phillip Sheppard to win the game. It was really fun to meet Ralph and his family at the ‘Redemption Island’ finale. And then later at a few charity events.”

Ralph Kiser Opened Up About His Experience on ‘Survivor: Redemption Island’ 

During an interview with HitFix, Ralph Kiser opened up about what it was like during his “Survivor: Redemption Island” experience. “The game was very hard. I was feeling… I held my head high. But I was getting closer. It broke my heart that I couldn’t do better on the puzzle. But I had my head up anywhere. And I went out with that little smile.”

When asked what went wrong for on “Survivor: Redemption Island,” Ralph Kiser explained, “It was like everything broke me. I just could not get started on [the puzzle]. The pieces, they all looked the same to me. I don’t know if I was excited that I was so far ahead or I just wasn’t worth a damn at it. I wasn’t great at the puzzles anyway, But I just couldn’t do nothing.”

In regards to what drew him to “Survivor,” Ralph Kiser shared at the time, “When I first started ‘Survivor,’ I’d get up in the chair and I’m a very active, pretty good-sized guy. And I’d jump right on off and say, ‘You can do better than that! You can do better than that! Come on!’ I thought I could go out and just whup the crap out of everyone who was in the game. Unless you hand-picked somebody to just beat me.”

Outsider.com