Survivor Birthday: Neal Gottlieb (Kaoh Rong) Turns 40


Neal Gottlieb was one of the many people who received a medievac procedure on Survivor Kaoh Rong. We hope his 40th birthday treats him a lot better!

Player: Neal Gottlieb
Occupation: Ice Cream Entrepreneur
Hometown: Sausalito, California
Season: Survivor: Kaoh Rong
Tribes: Chan Loh (Turquoise Buff, “Brains Tribe”), Dara (Black Buff)
Finished: 11th out of 18 Survivor castaways (medievac), 1st member of the jury

Neal is an interesting character. Survivor: Kaoh Rong, distinct by its “Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty” gimmick, was full of loud, bombastic, eccentric characters. Neal Gottlieb, however, kept his personality close to the chest and made sure he knew which way the winds of fate were blowing.

He only went to tribal council once, where he switched his vote from Peter to Liz after a re-vote. The rest of the time he was laying back in the shadows until Day 10, where he found an immunity idol. Unfortunately for him, though, Neal Gottlieb never got the chance to play it.

On Day 17, the three tribes merged into one and the brains were finally found placed in a minority alliance against the teaming brawn and beauty players. That hidden immunity idol could have flipped the game entirely, had Neal used it properly to take out an opposing tribe member.

As Day 19 came along, however, illness took its course in a season where players were medevac’d time and time again. Doctors came to the tribe to check out Neal Gottlieb’s many bruises and cuts. His knee had a particularly gnarly infection that doctors weren’t sure could be life threatening, so he was pulled from the game. Nobody was eliminated at tribal council because there was no tribal council that game and Neal became the first member of the jury.

Neal Gottlieb is an intensely thoughtful person, one with a kind heart and a noble spirit. He has pursued acts of political activism in his time, including planting the rainbow flag on the peak of a Ugandan mountain and setting up a rainbow-colored bathroom stall with the transgender flag on the tallest mountain in North Carolina last year.

Next: Survivor: 6 Seasons to Watch to Prepare for Game Changers

Neal is a Survivor player that left too soon and deserves another shot at playing sometime in the future. Congratulations on turning 40, man. Happy birthday!