Colby Donaldson (born April 1, 1974) is an American television personality, best known as the runner-up on Survivor: The Australian Outback and as the host for the shows Top Shot and Top Guns. He is currently the host of the butchering competition reality show The Butcher and Alone Season 7.
The Australian Outback
Donaldson's first appearance on Survivor was in the second season, Survivor: The Australian Outback. After being placed on the tribe Ogakor, he quickly formed a bond with fellow castaways Amber Brkich, Jerri Manthey, and Mitchell Olson. However, he acted as the swing vote between the alliance between Olson, Manthey, and Brkich and the alliance between Tina Wesson and Keith Famie. Donaldson ended up siding with Wesson and Famie in the decision to eliminate Olson. After the tribes merged, Donaldson joined the rest of Ogakor in systematically eliminating the former members of the rival tribe, Kucha. Colby was also a force to be reckoned with during the post merge phase, winning five individual immunity challenges in a row and three reward challenges.
Near the end of the competition, he won the final immunity challenge, over former allies Wesson and Famie. As a result, he was given the choice of whom to face in the jury vote. He had formed an alliance with Wesson early in the show and stated that he wanted to see that through. He also said that he did not want Famie to have a shot at winning the title. In the end, Donaldson cast his vote to eliminate Famie, who was generally disliked, and who Donaldson perceived as less deserving to win the title of Sole Survivor, should Donaldson not win himself. Ultimately, Donaldson finished in second place, with Wesson winning in a 4–3 vote, earning the votes from Brkich along with former Kucha members Nick Brown and Rodger Bingham.
Donaldson participated in Survivor: All Stars, six seasons later. He was on the Mogo Mogo tribe and was the fifth person voted out with a 3–2 vote. He was the seventh overall to leave the game due to Jenna Morasca and Sue Hawk voluntarily leaving. At Survivor: America's Tribal Council, Donaldson was voted by an online poll as the "sexiest male castaway" out of all players from the first eight seasons.
Heroes vs. Villains
Donaldson returned to play for a third time in the 20th season, Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, and was placed on the Heroes tribe. He quickly became an outsider, after forming an alliance with ex-Survivor: Palau players Tom Westman and Stephenie LaGrossa, who were both eliminated within the tribe's first four Tribal Councils. Donaldson also found less success than previously in the physical challenges, getting outclassed by Benjamin "Coach" Wade. Even though Donaldson was targeted as an outsider, he was spared by the tribe during its fifth elimination, instead voting out the injured James Clement. Donaldson and the rest of the Heroes tribe won the last three immunity challenges before the merge. As a result, both tribes entered the merge with five members each. After Villain Parvati Shallow gave hidden immunity idols to allies Sandra Diaz-Twine and Donaldson's Australian Outback tribemate Jerri Manthey, his own ally and fellow Hero J.T. Thomas was eliminated, giving the former Villain tribe members the advantage in numbers. After Thomas's elimination, all four remaining Heroes were eliminated within the next five tribal councils, with Donaldson being the last Hero remaining in the final episode. Ultimately, he was voted out on Day 37 and became the eighth jury member. He cast his jury vote for the season's winner, Diaz-Twine, along with villain Courtney Yates and Heroes tribemates, Thomas, Amanda Kimmel, Candice Woodcock, and Rupert Boneham over Shallow and Russell Hantz.
In the official issue of CBS Watch magazine, commemorating the 15th anniversary of Survivor in 2015, all three of Donaldson's seasons were voted by viewers as being among the top ten greatest seasons of all time - All-Stars came in sixth, Australia came in fourth, and Heroes vs. Villains was ranked #1. In another poll for the same magazine, Donaldson was voted as the second most attractive male contestant in Survivor history, only behind Malcolm Freberg of Survivor: Philippines and Survivor: Caramoan. Donaldson was one of only two three-time contestants to appear in this list, the other being Ozzy Lusth (one spot below him).
With his five consecutive immunity challenge victories (the final five challenges) in The Australian Outback, Donaldson set the record for the highest number of immunity challenge wins in Survivor history, later matched by Tom Westman, Terry Deitz, Ozzy Lusth, Mike Holloway, and Brad Culpepper. Of these five, only Deitz matched the same record for consecutive challenge wins.
Donaldson hosted Top Shot, which premiered on June 6, 2010 on the History Channel, for five seasons.
Other television appearances
Donaldson prominently appeared as himself on an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. On May 22, 2019, he began hosting duties on the competition series The Butcher on the History Channel. He is currently hosting Alone: Tales from the Arctic on the History Channel.
Donaldson grew up in rural West Texas. He has stated that he has a passion for the outdoors which is rooted from him and his father hunting.
In 2016, Donaldson married long-time girlfriend Britt Bailey. Donaldson and his wife reside in Austin, Texas.
Donaldson inspired Survivor: Caramoan contestant Sherri Biethman to name her son after him. It is estimated that over 2,000 babies were given the name Colby in 2001 because of Donaldson's popularity.