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Michele Fitzgerald
Hometown: Freehold, New Jersey
Current residence: Hoboken, New Jersey
Previous season: Winner of Survivor: Kaôh Rōng (Season 32)
Occupation: Business Development Manager

Hobbies: I love to travel and play board games.

Pet peeves: People who eat smelly foods on planes, people who invade personal space, and a bad martini.

Three words to describe you: Feisty, fun, and free spirited.

When did you first watch Survivor?
I started watching Season 1 at the age of 10.

Do you still watch Survivor?
Absolutely! In my completely unbiased opinion, it's the greatest TV show of all time.

Who is your inspiration in life?
My family inspires me every day. They are the most thoughtful, funny, and loving people I have ever met and they always push me to be better.

What does Survivor mean to you and your family?
My family and I have always watched Survivor together so it is pretty sentimental. Being on the show has also allowed me to be involved with the Survivor community and I am lucky enough to call many of them my friends.

What is one way playing Survivor changed your life?
Winning Survivor gave me the confidence to know that I can do anything I set my mind to. I did not win by being the smartest or strongest; I won by being myself. I think realizing that in my mid-20s was really pivotal in shaping how I handle challenges.

As Survivor approaches Season 40 and celebrates 20 years on television, what does it mean to be a part of the legacy?
As a super fan, I am absolutely honored to be a small part of a huge legacy. Winning my first season was surreal. Now, I get to return with winners that I admire... I am pinching myself.

How will you play differently than you did in your past season?
I don't think I will play much differently. In my first season, I learned that I am able to calmly adapt to changing circumstances and this is valuable in a game where paranoia runs rampant. Since I am a social player, I will lean into that and make as many personal connections as possible. I would like to make some fun, big moves this time but they have to be smart and not just for shock factor.

The one thing that feels really important is advocating for my own story so that at the final Tribal I have a compelling narrative. Lately, we have seen a trend of strong, confident males winning Survivor so I want to show that you can have a different approach and still be worthy of the title Sole Survivor. The pressure is on this season because everyone wants to prove they are the best to ever play the game so I am expecting fireworks and lots of big moves.