Yam Yam Arocho: 5 Things To Know About The ‘Survivor’ Winner

'Survivor' star Yam Yam Arocho has defied the odds and won the show's 44th season. Learn more about the winner here.

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Image Credit: Robert Voets/CBS

  • Yam Yam Arocho is the winner of ‘Survivor’ season 44.
  • He’s the first ‘Survivor’ player who comes from in Puerto Rico.
  • He is a salon owner.

Yam Yam Arocho has been a standout character and impressive game player on Survivor 44. The 36-year-old has controlled the second half of the game with his Tika allies Carolyn Wiger and Carson Garrett. Yam Yam made it to the May 24 finale and wound up being named the winner against Carolyn and Heidi Lagares-Greenblatt. He earned seven out of the eight jury votes, with Heidi receiving the other one. Yam Yam has been a strategic player all season, but also won over the hearts of the other players with his social game. Learn more about Yam Yam below.

Yam Yam
Yam Yam (Photo: Robert Voets/CBS)

Yam Yam is from Puerto Rico.

Yam Yam is from Bayamon, Puerto Rico, but he now lives in San Juan. Yam Yam has made Survivor history as the first contestant to reside in Puerto Rico. He’s also the first contestant to live in a U.S. territory at the time of filming.

He survived Hurricane Maria.

Yam Yam was living in Puerto Rico when Hurricane Maria struck in 2017. He talked about that harrowing experience in his pre-game interview with Parade. “I had to deal with the scarcity of resources that everybody was suffering. And running a business of 25+ people being that young. I was around 31 at that time,” he said. “People older than me were looking at me like I was gonna give them the answers and give them the hope of, “Are we gonna be okay? Is everything gonna be fine?’ ”

He owns a salon.

Yam Yam owns the salon Miranda Beauty in Puerto Rico. The business is located in Condado, a suburb in San Juan. Yam Yam promotes his salon on his Instagram.

Yam Yam
Yam Yam on ‘Survivor’ (Photo: Robert Voets/CBS)

He’s gay.

Yam Yam is an out and proud gay man. He’s actually one of six queer contestants on season 44 of Survivor. The others are Frannie Marin, Josh Wilder, Claire Rafson, Carolyn Wiger, and Matthew Grinstead-Mayle.

He’s married.

Yam Yam shows off his husband, Karim Saenz, on his Instagram all the time! The couple tied the knot on March 22, 2021 in San Juan. On their 1st anniversary, Yam Yam shared an Instagram tribute to Karim. He wrote, “Thank you for allowing us to live together all these days and grow from every experience, conversation, laugher, and tear.”