Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Deeksha's 10 Best Survivors of All Time
So let me preface this by saying that this is a list of 10 people who in my opinion are some of the best survivors of all time. Because of that some of my personal favorites (Rupert, Courtney) didn't make the list since I think their game lacks certain crucial elements necessary to win Survivor. Here's my list:
10. Ozzy Lusth (Cook Islands, Micronesia: Fans vs. Favorites, South Pacific) -I know that's really far down for Ozzy but I think although he is a great player, his game still needs a lot of improvement. In Fans vs. Favorites, although Parvati definitely outplayed Ozzy, Ozzy let his arrogance get the better of him. From the start he was almost disdainful of the Fans not allowing himself to believe that a Favorite like Parvati could see any reason to ally herself with the Fans. Before going in to the tribal council leading to his demise, he even said that he had a weird feeling and might play his idol, but then didn't. I think for Ozzy to ever really win the game, he needs to let go of his arrogance and start giving other people credit for also being smart players of the game.
9. Johnny Fairplay (Pearl Islands, Micronesia: Fans vs. Favorites) - I loved watching Fairplay on Pearl Islands. A lot of players say that they will say and do whatever necessary to get ahead in the game, but Fairplay is one of the only ones who is truly able to play the game in that manner. He would probably be higher on this list had he not quit the game in Micronesia.
8. Amber Brkich (Australian Outback, All-Stars) - Amber was so much fun to watch in All Stars. She was perfect at having a hand in making most of the strategic decisions alongside Rob, but letting him take the heat for them, ensuring that she was always liked just a little bit more than Rob. Although I love Rob, I do think his betrayal of Lex was unnecessary and I respect Amber for at least trying to take the high road on that decision and making a case for keeping Lex around to Rob.
7. Todd Herzog (China) - I adored Todd's handling of the final tribal council and I think Amanda's pitiful, doe-eyed performance, made watching Todd all the more spectacular. I think Todd is a very good strategist. Voting out James when he had 2 immunity idols was a bold and genius move. I also think Todd has an amazing ability to know exactly what people want to hear which he used impeccably at what was probably the best final tribal council in Survivor history.
6. Stephenie LaGrossa (Palau, Guatemala, Heroes vs. Villains) - I respect Stephenie so much as a player. I think she is probably the strongest woman to ever play the game of Survivor, both physically and mentally. The fight she has in her to never give up and to always try to stay another day in the game is admirable and got her much further in Palau than was expected. James's silly superstitions led to her early departures in Heroes vs. Villains but I would have really liked to see her around for longer in that season.
5. Yul Kwon (Cook Islands) - As I commented on Diana's post, I think any list of the best survivors ever must have Yul above Ozzy. I thought Yul was brilliant in his season. Without his move of using the immunity idol to get Jonathon to vote with them upon the merge, the amazing Cook Islands foursome would have probably still been annihilated due to their numbers disadvantage. Yul also managed to be a great strategist and make some game changing moves, while still maintaining a certain level of honesty about his game and not rubbing people the wrong way. I love everything about Yul and would love to see him back on the game. Unfortunately given his position with the Obama Administration that's probably very unlikely.
4. Sandra Diaz-Twine (Pearl Islands, Heroes vs. Villains) - A brilliant player of the game, Sandra takes the vote one day at a time, always making sure there is someone else to vote off instead of her. "As long as it ain't me" is right. Staying under the radar in a game like Survivor is hard work and she does that perfectly. I think in some ways Sandra deserves the number 3 stop above Russell since she knew how to play him perfectly. She planted the seeds that led to the elimination of Coach and Danielle and never let Russell get a whiff of the fact that she was actually the one trying to plot his demise. Still, I would pick watching Russell play the game over Sandra any day because of pure entertainment value and so he still remains at my number 3 spot, pushing Sandra back one to number 4.
3. Russell Hantz (Samoa, Heroes vs. Villains, Redemption Island) - Russell has some obvious flaws in his gameplay which will always make convincing a Jury to give him the million dollars a challenge for him. However, in every other aspect of the game the man is brilliant and the most entertaining survivor ever. Whether he has to steal, lie or bully, he will do whatever it takes to get himself ahead in the game. Diana said it perfectly. Russell MADE Samoa and he did it again in Heroes vs. Villains. One of my favorite Survivor moments is when Russell decided the reason he wasn't winning was because the game itself was flawed and needed to include audience votes when deciding the winner.
2. Boston Rob Mariano (Marquesas, All-Stars, Heroes vs. Villains, Redemption Island) - Redemption Island almost made Rob take the number one stop but I love Parvati too much to ever uproot her from that place. Rob played a perfect game. He knew what needed to happen before a blindside could take place and always made sure his alliance functioned in a way that a blindside was never possible. There was no window for planting doubts into the players minds or for scheming or doubting the alliance, the way Rob structured his alliance - making sure they were separate from the old Zapatera members at all times. It actually made the season a little boring to watch for me because no bid move was ever made. However, like the season or not, Rob's mastery of the game has to be acknowledged and respected. He should have really gotten further in Heroes vs. Villains but Tyson's stupidity is not Rob's fault.
1. Parvati Shallow (Cook Islands, Micronesia: Fans vs. Favorites, Heroes vs. Villains) - Blindsiding Ozzy; Getting Eric to hand Natalie his immunity necklace; Playing two immunity idols in one tribal council neither of which was to save herself - Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! I cannot believe how amazing Parvati is at Survivor. She has given us some of the most shocking and amazing Survivor moments. She knows how to use her looks and charm to floor men but also how to form loyal alliances and friendships with women. A very smart and strategic player, Parvati also doesn't turn her back on her friends or allies unless there is an absolute need to - something that neither Rob or Russell can claim to do.
Other survivors I love: Rupert Boneham (for being an amazing person and an awesome survivor), Courtney Yates (for being so much fun to watch in all her seasons, whether she's playing the game or on the Jury), Heidi Strobel (for being much more of a fighter than winner Jenna Morasca throughout the Amazon), JT (for really playing and winning like a Hero in Tocantins), Andrew Savage (I really liked him and wish he had stayed longer in the Pearl Islands), Rob Cesternino (A really strong player and so much fun to watch.)
Check out Jeff's Top 5 Survivors of All Time. I am a little surprised to see Cirie on the list but I also haven't seen Panama. I think if Jeff loves her enough to say she is one of the 5 best survivors to ever play the game, there must be a reason and I must see that season.