Tonight at 8 p.m., a winner of “Survivor 41” will be crowned. With only two immunity challenges and five players left, fans will get to see the final 5 – Ricard Foyé, Erika Casupanan, Heather Aldret, Xander Hastings, and Deshawn Radden – battle it out for a million dollars.
Although Ricard Foyé may be a fan favorite who many have picked as their #1 going into the finale, within the game he is currently on the outs. Deshawn Radden has been trying to get him out for several episodes now, and has finally convinced Xander Hastings and Erika Casupanan to join him. Ricard, however, has won several immunities so far, and there is no indication he is slowing down. He only needs to win immunity once more at the final 5 to secure at least a chance of going into the final 3, via the relatively new final 4 fire-making twist. Most fans, analysts, and even contestants alike agree that if Ricard makes it to the final 3, he is a shoe-in to win.
For those interested in learning more about the power player and his background, here is everything you need to know about “Survivor” fan favorite Ricard Foyé:
Ricard Is a Family Man Who Called His Husband His ‘Hero’
Ricard’s family is very important to him. According to Hollywood Life, Ricard comes from a Puerto Rican family, and as he recently explained in a story on Instagram, his family is quite large, and growing.
According to his CBS biography, Ricard is originally from Lynnwood, Washington, but has since moved one county over, to Sedro-Woolley. He was born December 4, 1989, according to his Facebook page, meaning that he was 31 when he competed on the show, but turned 32 about two weeks ago.
In his aforementioned Instagram story, he described his mother as “the most important [person] to me,” and also explained that he has had two father figures in his life – his biological father, and his step-father, who came in and “[took] over the role of father.” He is also one of four boys growing up; now, he has five nieces and nephews – three from one brother, and one from each of his other brothers.
Ricard, who is very open about his queer identity, has been married to his husband Andy, a transgender man, since at least 2016, and together the two have two biological children. Their first child, a daughter named Aurelia, was born in 2019; their son, named Lucia, was born in June 2021, meaning that Andy was pregnant with him while Ricard was out playing “Survivor.”
As Ricard said in an interview with Parade right before the season started filming, “A week after I get home from filming this season, I have a second baby due. The due date is the week I get home! (Laughs.) And so, I really need to take advantage of this opportunity.” Filming for “Survivor 41” wrapped up around May 10, meaning that Lucia, who was born June 1, was born a bit late; about three weeks late, in fact.
Ricard described Andy in his CBS bio as his “hero.” “He has navigated through life after many setbacks, struggles and the tragic loss of a parent in a car accident,” Ricard said. “Andy focused on putting his physical comfort behind his and my desire for our family to grow and carried our children as a transgender man. I cannot think of a better human.”
He Was Inspired By the Original ‘Survivor’ Season
Ricard came from a fairly white-passing family, and, due to his darker complexion, didn’t quite understand race as a child. As he explained in Parade, “I’m the one dark brown one in the mix. So I didn’t understand my race, really. I just knew I looked different.”
Then, in 2000, when he was 10 years old, he saw his mother watching the original “Survivor,” and felt inspired seeing people who “looked like [him].” Ricard elaborated, “I see all of these brown people. They actually weren’t brown people; they were just in the sun for a long time. But I was like, ‘Oh my god, they look like me! What is this?’ So I sat down, and I started watching it.”
He went on to explain how he was also inspired seeing his mother root for Ricard Hatch, a very openly gay man. Ricard knew at that time that he was gay, even though he didn’t know what the word “gay” meant. “I knew I was different,” he explained. “And I knew I was ashamed of being whatever that different side was.”
He went on to explain that he “knew” his mother would “never root for me as a gay person,” so was shocked and encouraged by her cheering on Ricard Hatch, the season’s eventual winner. He said it was one of the first moments of his childhood where he realized, “Oh, maybe my mom could root for a gay version of me.” As a result, watching “Survivor” “really stuck with me and became a passion of mine.”
In February 2020, Ricard posted a screencap of his official online application to “Survivor,” with the caption “WHAT HAVE I DONE,” and tagged former contestant Kelley Wentworth. A little over a year later, he would go on to compete in the 41st season of the show.
Ricard Is Also an Actor and Musician
Ricard is a volatile “Survivor” player, and not just because of his skill in the game. Although the 32-year-old’s official profession is “flight attendant,” Ricard has also had a number of other vocations and interesting hobbies. For one, according to IMDb, he is also an actor and model, and has done “various commercial work, national screen and print campaigns, industrial ads and stage productions.” He took a hiatus from this work, however, around the time his first child was born in 2019, in order to focus on his family.
In terms of acting, he is known for his role in the 2014 short “Abandoned,” and has also appeared in TNT’s “The Librarians” and NBC’s “Grimm.” According to his IMDb bio, he has also had experience as a dancer, sabre spinner, and chorus member. He also appeared in a music video for the band X Ambassadors, titled “Renegades,” in which he plays the harmonica.
Unsurprisingly, Ricard told CBS in his pre-game interviews that his proudest accomplishment was his adaptability – essentially being able to change his life course, including his career, at will. As he explained in his bio:
I’ve always been willing to make a change, pickup and go. It makes me feel brave to know I’ve changed my career when unhappy. I’ve purchased a one-way plane ticket not knowing what to expect, just to audition to dance around the country and succeeded. I’ve moved alone to new states on a whim. I only have this one life, I don’t want to waste it doing what’s easy.
Ricard is also a noted violin player. He said in his bio that, along with running, and “winterguard[ing],” his hobbies include playing the violin. In 2015, he posted a clip of himself practicing the violin on Instagram.
He Got a Personalized Collectable From a ‘Survivor’ Winner
Todd Herzog, who won “Survivor: China” back in 2007, is now well-known for making personalized funko pop toys through his self-made company, Todd’s Pop Shop (@ToddsPopShop). He has made many funko pops – of past and current “Survivor” players, as well as celebrities, fictional characters, and regular fans who request it – since he began the company several years ago. Back in November, one of those who asked for a funko pop was Ricard, who shared the result on Instagram.
Ricard called Todd, who was 22 when he played and 36 now, an “inspiration and absolute idol of mine,” and said that he “mailed me the best collectible I will ever have. Period.”
The caption also read: “A mini me! Todd, thank you so much for this. You’re a dream. I will treasure this for all my days.” Ricard went on to point out their similar demographics, saying, “Gay flight attendant archetype players, UNITE.”
Although some fans of the game may recognize the similar attributes between the two and assume that Ricard would have said Todd was the past “Survivor” player he would play the game most like, Ricard actually mentioned someone else; in his words, he would play most like “Aubry Bracco, but win. :)”
He expanded on his admiration for Aubry, who was the runner-up in season 32, “Kaôh Rōng,” and her gameplay in Parade. “I know she kind of struggled with the awareness part,” Ricard said, “which is what I mentioned will be my strength, I assume. But I really love her character. I love her energy, and I always root for a nerd.”
When asked which winner he identified with the most, Ricard interestingly still didn’t mention Todd, but instead answered Natalie Anderson of season 29, “San Juan del Sur.” He said of Natalie:
She started pretty slow; she wasn’t [the] most physical. But she was endearing. She was lovely to be around…And then, all of a sudden, she’s this challenge beast, and everyone looks up to her. She’s so aware, and she’s so conniving, and it’s amazing. That’s really the kind of game I want to play.
As viewers of “Survivor 41” know, Ricard has already won one individual reward as well as three individual immunity challenges. If he wins the final two immunities tonight, he would tie for the record of most individual immunities ever won on a single season.
For those interested, two other “Survivor 41” players, however, did mention Todd in pre-season interviews, and one is still in the game. Evvie Jagoda, who placed 9th after being voted out in episode 9, referenced Todd when she discussed her strategy of being close to the center of power without being perceived as the one making the calls. Erika Casupanan, who is in the final 5 along with Ricard, said she would be like “Brenda [Lowe] on the outside, [and] Todd underneath.” She also said that Todd was her “all-time favorite player.”
Ricard Sees Parallels Between His Career and the Game of ‘Survivor’
As most viewers of the current “Survivor” season know, Ricard is currently a flight attendant, a career which he has held since at least 2018. When it comes to the game of “Survivor,” Ricard said before filming began that his job would help prepare him for his time on the island. He said in his Parade interview that “being able to be kind to people that are absolutely awful to me” and “being able to read lips on board the airplane when I really can’t hear what most people are saying” will both come in handy when it comes to playing “Survivor.” For those unfamiliar, Ricard is referring to his hearing loss – he is completely deaf in one ear. As a result he not only reads lips, but is also fluent in American Sign Language, according to his CBS bio.
He added that flight attendants are “really able to blend into a space with a lot of different personalities,” given that they not only have to interact with strangers as part of their job, but their fellow flight attends are also mostly strangers. “Every single flight that I go on,” he said, “I’ve never met these people before. These are new flight attendants that I have not flown with before. And yet most people think that we’re all best friends.”
“I really think that’s going to transfer over into this game with all these different people,” he added.
Notably, he also said his “ability to show kindness, but also not take certain attacks and situations seriously” will be one of his most handy traits when it comes to “Survivor;” traits which he believes have been many others’ downfall. “They succumb to the emotions and get voted out,” he said. “I have awareness of my being while also being very observant of others and loyal, but not to a fault.”
Anyone who has been keeping up to date with the current season will know that Ricard was pretty effectively able to put those words into action; episode 10, which was widely considered by fans to be one of the best episodes in the show’s history, saw Ricard emotionally but steadfastly put a plan to blindside his closest ally Shan Smith into action. Such a move put him on course to the final 5, and may have put him on course to win. He has also been involved with a number of other blindsides this season, while also maintaining positive relationships with players and even jury members. Such a strategy could be key to a winning game.
Tune in tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern to see if Ricard will indeed be the one to outlast all others on “Survivor 41.” Season 42 will premiere March 9, 2022.