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Nikki and Paulo

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Nikki & Paulo
First appearance"Further Instructions"
NameNikki Fernandez & Paulo
(surname unknown)
Los Angeles, USA & Brazil
(Former) professionCon artists/
actress & chef
Portrayed byKiele Sanchez &
Rodrigo Santoro

Nikki Fernandez and Paulo (pronounced /ˈpaʊluː/) are fictional characters on the ABC drama television series Lost, which chronicles the lives of over forty people after their plane crashes on a remote island somewhere in the south Pacific.[1] American actress Kiele Sanchez and Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro play the survivors of the crash of Oceanic Flight 815.[2]

The couple is introduced early in the third season.[3] The producers of the show were often asked what the rest of the plane-crash survivors were doing because the show only focuses on approximately fifteen of the survivors, and the characters of Nikki and Paulo were created in response.[4] Reaction to the characters was generally negative because of their abrupt introduction onto the show.[5] Lost's show runner Damon Lindelof even acknowledged that the couple is "universally despised" by fans.[6] As a result of this, the couple were killed off later in the same season.



Originating from Brazil, Paulo is a con artist working with his American girlfriend Nikki. Paulo works as a chef for a wealthy television executive in Sydney, Australia. Nikki guest stars on the executive's show and also seduces him, which makes Paulo uncomfortable. Paulo murders the executive by poisoning his food, allowing him and Nikki to steal his bag of diamonds, which are worth $8 million. Three days later, on September 22, 2004, Nikki and Paulo board Oceanic Flight 815 to return to Nikki's home in Los Angeles, USA.[7]

Nikki on day 69.

They lose the diamonds in the plane crash and spend much of their time on the island searching for them. Paulo suspects that they are the only reason for their relationship, and thus does not tell Nikki when he finds them on their thirty-third day after the crash. One day while looking in the jungle, they come across the DHARMA Initiative's The Pearl, a scientific research station built in the early 1980s. Nikki is uninterested, but Paulo later returns by himself on his forty-ninth day on the island, hiding the diamonds in the toilet. While in the washroom, Paulo overhears two of the mysterious and dangerous island inhabitants known as the Others speak of capturing some of Paulo's fellow survivors, however he keeps this information to himself.[7]

On their seventy-second day on the island, Nikki and Paulo join Locke when he ventures back to the Pearl Station, hoping to communicate with the Others.[8] Paulo returns to the toilet to retrieve the diamonds, storing them in his underwear thereafter. As they leave, the group witnesses Mr. Eko's death and burial not far from The Pearl.[9] Eighty-one days after the crash, Nikki finds out about Paulo hiding the diamonds from her. Furious, she releases a venomous spider on him that causes Paulo to be paralysed for the next eight hours. As he is entering the state of paralysis, Paulo admits that he only kept the diamonds from her because he thought that she would leave him after she got them. To Nikki's dismay, the death of the venomous spider only attracted more spiders which bite Nikki, so she is also temporarily paralysed. The pair are mistaken for dead after being discovered by the survivors. Nikki and Paulo are then buried alive by James "Sawyer" Ford and Hugo "Hurley" Reyes.[7]


Paulo on day 6.

Paulo was written to be unlikable, with the hope that he would redeem himself when his backstory was revealed in his final episode.[10] Paulo either resents or is indifferent toward the often heroic actions of some of the survivors, spending much of his time golfing.[11] He complains to Nikki about not being included, however he does little to help out around the camp and does not try to improve his status in the survivors' hierarchy.[8] When he does get chances to participate in treks, for example, when Hurley finds a car, Paulo is uninterested and discourages Nikki from joining Hurley on his adventure.[12] Nikki tries to participate, tending to a wounded Mr. Eko[8] and volunteering to go with Locke to the Pearl station, much to the surprise of Paulo.[8] Paulo accompanies her, and he exhibits a constant sarcastic behavior in the Pearl.[13]

Nikki is manipulative of Paulo and appears to care more about the diamonds than her relationship. After the crash, Paulo becomes suspicious that Nikki is just using him to get the diamonds. The first thing that she asks him after the crash is the whereabouts of the diamonds, and avoids answering Paulo when he asks if they would still be together if she did not need him to help find the diamonds. Paulo does what Nikki tells him to because of his fear of losing her, which results in their deaths.[7]


At the end of the first season, the writers had the idea that one of the background survivors would emerge and receive an on-island flashback episode to help answer the question, "What the hell is going on with the other 35 people who nothing ever happens to?"[6] At the end of the first season, Leslie Arzt was introduced, with the thought of giving background characters speaking roles, only for him to explode a few episodes later.[14] It was originally conceived that only a woman would be introduced into the main storyline, however the idea later changed to include her boyfriend, as well.[15] Nikki and Paulo were also originally set "to have anchored a winking arc of stories,"[16] however the writers instead decided to tell their story in one episode and quickly remove the characters, due to complaints about the characters and the third season's decline in viewership.[17] It also became a running gag that Sawyer did not know who Nikki and Paulo were,[7] calling them "Nina" and "Pablo" and asking "who the hell [they were.]"[18] Lindelof later stated that "We had the feeling with Nikki and Paulo that it wasn't right about a month before the fans started reacting. We were already starting to think, 'Maybe our instinct here has been wrong.'"[19]

Nikki and Paulo's original introduction onto the show was deleted for time from the final cut of the episode, "Further Instructions."[20] They were supposed to be accidentally found by Claire Littleton in Jack's tent having sex in the middle of the episode.[21] They were instead introduced at the end of the episode when Locke makes a speech.[3]


Santoro in New York City in May 2004.

Half-French, half-Puerto Rican[22] Kiele Michelle Sanchez[23] portrayed Nikki in six episodes of the third season of Lost. She had trouble filming her burial scene due to her claustrophobia.[24] Rodrigo Junqueira dos Reis Santoro,[25] who has been called "the Brazilian Tom Cruise" and "the Brazilian Russell Crowe,"[26] was cast in his first major American television role as Paulo on Lost.[27] Appearing in a total of seven episodes, Santoro was reportedly paid "between $2634 and $6427 a week."[28] Lindelof called Santoro "talented"[29] and "perfect for Lost because he's a face that the American audience is not familiar with," despite being an award-winning actor in his home country of Brazil. A similar reason was given for casting actress Yunjin Kim, "the Korean Julia Roberts,"[30] in the role of Sun Kwon.[31] Part of the reason that Santoro was cast over other actors was because of his attractive physique, however the writers said that they were not interested in writing for his character with that in mind, nor did he want them to.[26] Santoro has stated that he enjoyed working with Sanchez, and hopes to return to work on Lost.[32]


Reaction to the "devious, but doomed"[33] characters was more negative than for other Lost characters.[34] One Entertainment Weekly journalist gave Paulo the nickname, "Paulo Poops-a-Lot," referencing scenes from the episodes, "The Cost of Living" and "Enter 77."[35] America Online's TV Squad criticized the writing for the characters,[36] and the characters were called "incredibly annoying" by Maclean's magazine.[37] Television Without Pity called Paulo "walking collateral damage".[38] TV Guide wrote that they were "too darn perfect-looking to be believable as humans."[39] When rumors circulated the Internet and were mentioned in ABC commercials that characters were going to die, some viewers hoped for a "double murder"[40] of Nikki and Paulo and rejoiced when their wish was granted.[41] Over three months before the episode aired on television, Santoro stated in an interview with Brazilian Rolling Stone magazine that his character would die in the middle of the third season.[42] It was also announced that Sanchez had signed on to film a fall 2007 pilot for another ABC show, Football Wives[43] and thus, it would have been unlikely for her to continue to act as a "murderous femme fatale."[33]


  1. ^ Fordis, Jeff, (January 22, 2007) "ABC Studios Lost Show Description Lead Press Release Page," ABC Medianet. Retrieved on April 8, 2007.
  2. ^ Fordis, Jeff, (February 16, 2007) "ABC Television Studio Lost March 7, 2007 Episode "Enter 77" Entertainment Press Release," ABC Medianet. Retrieved on April 1, 2007.
  3. ^ a b "Further Instructions." Lost, ABC. October 18, 2006. Episode 3, season 3.
  4. ^ White, Cindy, (January 22, 2007) "Executive Producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse Promise That They Have Found the Plot Twists That Will Bring Lost's Viewers Back," Sci Fi. Retrieved on April 1, 2007.
  5. ^ Catlin, Roger, (January 30, 2007) "Nikki and Paulo Rising," Hartfort Courant. Retrieved on April 1, 2007.
  6. ^ a b Jensen, Jeff & Snierson, Dan, (February 8, 2007) "'Lost' and Found," Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on April 3, 2007.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Exposé." Lost, ABC. March 28, 2007. Episode 14, season 3.
  8. ^ a b c d "The Cost of Living." Lost, ABC. November 1, 2006. Episode 5, season 3.
  9. ^ "I Do." Lost, ABC. November 8, 2006. Episode 6, season 3.
  10. ^ Goldman, Eric, (January 16, 2007), "How Will Lost End?," IGN. Retrieved on April 4, 2007.
  11. ^ "Every Man for Himself." Lost, ABC. October 25, 2006. Episode 4, season 3.
  12. ^ "Tricia Tanaka is Dead." Lost, ABC. February 28, 2007. Episode 10, season 3.
  13. ^ Star magazine, (March 26, 2007) "The Hunk," DarkUFO. Retrieved on April 13, 2007.
  14. ^ "Exodus (Part 2)." Lost, ABC. May 24, 2005. Episode 24, season 1.
  15. ^ Cuse, Carlton & Kitsis, Eddie & Horowitz, Adam, (March 30, 2007), "Official LOST Podcast 03.30.07," ABC. Retrieved on April 4, 2007.
  16. ^ Jensen, Jeff & Armstrong, Jennifer, (April 13, 2007) "'Lost' in Transition," Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on April 13, 2007.
  17. ^ Nielsen Media Research & ABC Medianet, (April 13, 2007) "ABC's LOST Ratings at a Glance," Yet Another Useless Website. Retrieved on April 13, 2007.
  18. ^ "Enter 77." Lost, ABC. March 7, 2007. Episode 11, season 3.
  19. ^ Littleton, Cynthia, (October 12, 2007) "Lost: The Weight of the Wait," Variety. Retrieved on October 13, 2007.
  20. ^ Veitch, Kristin, (October 19, 2006) "Where the Hell was Nikki's Story? Bloody Good Lost Redux," E! Online. Retrieved on June 15, 2007.
  21. ^ Fordis, Jeff, (October 2, 2006) "ABC Television Network Lost October 18, 2006 Episode "Further Instructions" Entertainment Press Release," ABC Medianet. Retrieved on June 14, 2007.
  22. ^ Factor, David, (October 29, 2006) "Spotlight> Kiele Sanchez," Maxim magazine. Retrieved on June 14, 2007.
  23. ^ UGO visitors, (2006) "Kiele Sanchez Picture, Profile, Gossip, and News," Celebrity Wonder. Retrieved on June 15, 2007.
  24. ^ Malcolm, Shawna, (March 29, 2007) "Lost Boss Explains Last Night's Double Demise," TV Guide. Retrieved on April 2, 2007.
  25. ^ M., Luciana, (2006) "Information," Rodrigo Santoro Fan. Retrieved on June 15, 2007.
  26. ^ a b Ausiello, Michael, (July 25, 2006), "Lost Snags "Brazilian Tom Cruise"," TV Guide. Retrieved on April 3, 2007.
  27. ^ Fordis, Jeff (July 25, 2006) "Lost Gets a New Mystery Man," ComingSoon. Retrieved on June 30, 2007.
  28. ^ Boscov, Isabela, (March 28, 2007), "He's Almost There," Vega magazine. Retrieved on April 3, 2007.
  29. ^ Malcolm, Shawna, (April 2, 2007) "Lost Fans Dramatically Divided Over a Double Death," TV Guide. Retrieved on May 11, 2007.
  30. ^ Maxim magazine, (Spring, 2007) "Yoon-jin Kim Picture Pages," SuperiorPics. Retrieved on April 7, 2007.
  31. ^ Before They Were Lost. [Documentary]. Lost: The Complete First Season: Buena Vista Home Entertainment. 
  32. ^ Veitch, Kristin, (June 5, 2007) "Hawaii - News - Spoiler Chat: Are House's Minions Gone for Good? Will Hiro Get Some Lovin'? Find Out!," Yahoo! TV. Retrieved on June 14, 2007.
  33. ^ a b Roush, Matt, (March 29, 2007) "Lost: Who Were Those Pretty People? Roush Dispatch," TV Guide. Retrieved on June 29, 2007.
  34. ^ Dahl, Oscar, (November 6, 2006) "Hate the New Lost Characters? Prepare to Get Your Wish!," BuddyTV. Retrieved on october 7, 2007.
  35. ^ Jensen, Doc, (March 27, 2007) "A "Lost" Cause?," Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on April 1, 2007
  36. ^ Carreau, Isabelle, (March 22, 2007) "Rodrigo Santoro: In the Limelight," AOL TV Squad. Retrieved on April 2, 2007.
  37. ^ Weinman, James J. (July 9, 2007) "Another One Bites the Dust," Maclean's. Retrieved on July 1, 2007.
  38. ^ Bates, Lulu, (March 13, 2007) "Locke and Load Recap," Television Without Pity. Retrieved on April 8, 2007.
  39. ^ Weiss, Sabrina Rojas, (March 29, 2007) "Razzle-Dazzle!," TV Guide. Retrieved on May 11, 2007.
  40. ^ Ausiello, Michael, (March 14, 2007) "Ask Ausiello," TV Guide. Retrieved on April 2, 2007.
  41. ^ Van De Kamp, Justin, (March 26, 2007) "LOST Spoilers #314: 'Expose': Die, Nikki and Paulo, Die!," Televisionista. Retrieved on April 3, 2007.
  42. ^ Rolling Stone magazine, Brazilian edition, (January 10, 2007) "Santoro Says That His Character Dies in the 3rd Season of 'Lost'," Folha. Retrieved on April 2, 2007.
  43. ^ Zap2It News,(February 14, 2007) "'Lost's' Sanchez Playing 'Football'," Zap2It. Retrieved on June 14, 2007.

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