The 8 Survivors Most Screwed by a Twist

It may be over a week later, but I like to think that we are all still mourning the loss of Malcolm from Survivor: Game Changers. Perhaps I’d just like to think this so this blog isn’t considered completely irrelevant, but the lists are basically evergreen anyway, right? Plus JT going home is related to Malcolm’s boot, so whatever, I’m going for it.

In addition to being idoled out of the game by our favorite fan favorite, many people have exposed the theory that Malcolm was primarily screwed by the “two tribes, one vote” twist. Some even say he is the most screwed by a twist ever! But I am not here to make that argument, I’m here to find out who was already considered to have suffered most from a change in the game.

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These are the screwed. These are their stories.

8. Jenny Guzon-Bae – Survivor: Cook Islands

Double boots are tough, especially when you’re not expecting it. After Rebecca was voted off, the bottle twist revealed that the Rarotonga tribe would be immediately vote off another member. There had been talk of voting out Penner beforehand, but without an opportunity to strategize, the white people worried that Jenny would rejoin Yul and Becky (and the rest of the Aitu Four) at the merge, so they voted her off instead. It sucks, but who’s to say the tribe wouldn’t have come to the same conclusion three days later?

7. Anna Khait – Survivor: Koah Rong

Getting screwed by a tribe swap is pretty passé, to the point that only a select few will be mentioned on this list. Anna going from a tribe that hadn’t lost immunity to a 3-2-1 sort-of minority is unfortunate, sure, but is one of those things that is basically expected in Survivor now. The real trouble is that one of her Beauty allies was sent to Exile Island and would replace whoever was voted out. Naturally, the Brains (and even Scot) weren’t willing to give the Beauty tribe a majority, so one of them had to go, and Tai sure seemed more malleable and useful than Anna.

Luckily, Anna sucks as a person in just about every way, so not a huge loss.

6. Silas Gaither – Survivor: Africa

It’s tough to prepare for a twist that’s never happened before. With his new tribe throwing the challenge to vote him off, it’s hard to argue that there was anything Silas could have done after becoming part of the Boran tribe. That said, it was an even swap with three people from each original tribes. Perhaps if he had treated the olds better back on Samburu, perhaps T-Bird and Frank wouldn’t have been so willing to lose him.

5. Shii Ann Huang – Survivor: Thailand

With 10 people left, and Jeff Probst saying the two tribes will live on the same beach, it’s totally understandable to assume it’s time to merge – especially in season five. But you know what they say about assumptions…

By making it clear she was willing to work with the other side, not even bothering to lie and say she was loyal to her original tribe, Shii Ann was an incredibly easy target when Sook Jai lost immunity.

4. Aaron Reisberger – Survivor: China

Aaron was in a great spot on Fei Long. He was in an alliance with Todd and Amanda, who would go on to the final three, and he was respected as a strong and nice guy. Then came the twist: each tribe was to pick two “warriors” from the other tribe, so he and James – clearly the strongest no matter what Jean-Robert might think – were sent to Zhan Hu. In a pretty justified instance of throwing a challenge, Aaron and James were both on the chopping block. But James didn’t have the same social bonds on original Fei Long, and the Zhan Hu tribe could tell. So Aaron was the bigger danger, and he was voted off. Could he have worked harder to bond with Peih-Gee, Jaime, and Erik? Probably. But with James basically asking to be voted out, it would be difficult to be seen as less of a player.

3. Wanda Shirk and Jonathan Libby – Survivor: Palau

They never got to join a tribe, and there was never a vote cast against them. Being picked last for gym is a fond memory compared to Wanda and Jonathan’s Survivor experience. But it wasn’t purely based on first impressions. They did at least have an opportunity to spend a full day with the other castaways, unlike…

2. Candice Cody – Survivor: Blood vs. Water

With the exception of the above (which wasn’t really a proper vote anyway) any “first impression” votes have turned out to not actually cause the person in question to be voted out (see Survivor: Tocantins and Survivor: Cagayan). Technically, Candice was not eliminated from the game, but being sent to Redemption Island is an uphill battle, even if you happen to get back in the game. Laura Boneham had the benefit of being a loved one, meaning her husband Rupert was inclined to take her place. Since Candice had played twice before, it would be a much bigger sacrifice for John to take her place. Simply being voted off before the game starts would be bad enough, but an extra wrinkle of bad luck if that the Codys were alternates on a half-returnee season, meaning they didn’t have a chance to properly pregame. They weren’t even at Ponderosa to share smiles and winks with people for a week. Thus, Candice was an easy person to eliminate before she had a chance to bond socially.

1. Michelle Yi – Survivor: Fiji

If you make the merge with with a six-four advantage, you’re typically pretty safe – at least for the first vote. Michelle Yi was tight with power players Earl and Yau-Man, thus she seemed to be in a pretty good spot. Then the merged tribe was randomly divided for a reward/immunity challenge, and Michelle was put in a group with three of the four horseman, along with an alliance member she wasn’t particularly close to in Stacey. Not only that, but when their group lost the challenge, they were sent immediately to tribal council, without a chance to strategize. In such an uneasy situation, once Alex (smartly) makes it clear he’ll be voting for Michelle, it’s no wonder others fall in line in order to keep themselves safe. The real surprise is that Mookie didn’t vote for Michelle. Working with the power players isn’t much of an advantage when you’re separated from them, through no fault of your own.

Emma
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Emma

Emma is the token chick of the Purple Rock Podcast. She has watched the show continuously since the second episode and is pretty sure she's never seen the pilot.

Favorite seasons: Heroes vs. Villains, Micronesia, Cambodia, Cook Islands, China, Philippines

Favorite players: Courtney Yates, Parvati Shallow, John Cochran, Cirie Fields, Yul Kwon, Kim Spradlin
Emma
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  • EmAndScoutInBK

    Good list – Michelle Yi has and always will be #1 on the “screwed” list (I’m aware of how many jokes are about to be made). As for Anna, you’re right – I’d forgotten about the “beauty replacement” issue momentarily. However, as you rightly pointed out, she sucks. So much. I wouldn’t have thought to put Candice second, but I think it’s totally right on.

    The only other I can think of is possibly Savage and Ryan (the pelican one) by the Outcast twist.

    • Purple Rock Emma

      SHIT. I definitely meant to include Savage. PLEASE FORGIVE ME, MATT.

      • Purplerockmatt

        Never. Emma is dead to me now. You all heard it here. Dead to me

        • Super duper fan

          Oof. Don’t worry, he suffers from Sierra-ism, which causes people to lie that people are dead to them. Dead.

        • Purple Rock Emma

          But.. but… we’re Blackjack and Hookers!

          • Purple Rock Emma

            WHO ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE YOUR OWN PODCAST WITH NOW? Oh god, it’s Mark, isn’t it?! *sobs*

          • purplerockandy

            One person podcasts are TOUGH to pull off.

          • Purplerockmatt

            Again we are still making the podcast but now the podcast is Emma and Hookers. No fancy nickname for her now

          • Purplerockmatt

            Now we are just Emma and Hookers

          • Purple Rock Emma

            🙁 🙁 🙁

        • Maritimer

          Should we get the old Abi gif out?

  • PurpleTally

    The only other one I’d add is the outcasts twist in Pearl Islands f*cking over Savage, but this is a solid list.
    And now I’m angry. Michelle, you were too good for Fiji.

    • purplerockandy

      I guess the argument against Savage is that he wasn’t SPECIFICALLY screwed by the Outcasts. That could’ve bounced back on anyone. He made it him.

      • PurpleTally

        That is a very good point. But the twist also put Lil back in the game, so I suppose we all get screwed by that twist.

        • Max_Jets

          Except Lil is largely responsible for giving us the best Survivor postmerge, so we all actually got very lucky.

          • sharculese

            I too remember when Lil vowed to screw Fairplay and Burton, and did.

          • PurpleTally

            Okay, okay. Y’all win.
            It is my #3 favorite season, so I was exaggerating a bit. She just annoys me.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            Psst… pretty sure he was on your side there.

          • Max_Jets

            Sandra obviously makes Pearl Islands great, but Lil is the perfect pawn for everyone to use in the game which results in the wildly unpredictable postmerge. She serves the same function as Tai did in Kaoh Rong (except Tai was more of a player)

    • Wait, Tally are you Matt now?

      • Purplerockmatt

        There are dozens of us Savage lovers out there! Dozens!

      • PurpleTally

        I have no strong feelings either way about Savage. I just have strong feelings about the Outcast twist.

        • Fair enough, it’s still your third favorite season, right?

          • PurpleTally

            Yes, because that’s how awesome Pearl Islands is.

          • Purplerockmatt

            Yup one of the worst twists ever, and yet still easily one of the best seasons

          • PurpleTally

            She’ll find out as soon as she actually watches it. 🙂

    • DrVanNostrand

      Yeah, but Savage deserved it.

  • Maritimer

    The one i always kind of hedge on is Shii Ann. She was 100% screwed in the moment, but I have a hard time thinking she would have done any better than a Cochran-esque last Pagonged tribe member if the twist hadn’t happened. Brian hadn’t even bothered to learn her name. Otherwise, everyone on this list is a potential winner to some degree at the point they were screwed (except maybe Wanda. She hadn’t a hope in hell). I remember being really pissed about Aaron when it happened

    • Super duper fan

      I absolutely don’t think that Shii Ann would’ve made past the 6th place. BUT it doesn’t change the fact that this twist cause her being 10th, when if she knew that twist, she wouldn’t have done flipped to the other side. And maybe there is a chance that in she convinces Helen, Clay and Ted that they should vote out Brian, not likely but still.

      • purplerockandy

        On the flip side, it’s basically the only reason she got to come back for another season. So that worked out for her.

        • Super duper fan

          She was the best person that season, besides maybe Helen. That flip only solidified her being the most memorable.

        • Maritimer

          Less so for the rest of us

          • Super duper fan

            *even more for the rest of us

          • Max_Jets

          • sharculese

            Pictured: a person upset because she’s losing Survivor to people who are better at Survivor than she is.

          • Super duper fan

            I don’t necessarily disagree with that assesment, but I still find it really entertaining.

          • sharculese

            I hesitate making comparisons between Shii Ann and Peih-Gee for… obvious reasons, but as players I think they’re very similar. They’re smart players with a good strategic grasp on what’s going on but without the social skills to pitch other people on their vision of how things could be going differently. And when they can’t make things go their way they both blame everyone except themselves.

          • Max_Jets

            I can see it, but I think Peih Gee is better socially and has much more self awareness.

          • sharculese

            She’s better than Shii Ann, but that’s a low bar. She’s charming in other settings, but I think she gets too into her own head when she’s on the show.

          • Max_Jets

            I agree, I just think her Cambodia social game might be undersold a bit because she was an early boot even though she seemed to be well liked by all the non-Abi Marias of the cast.

          • As soon as AM and PG were on the same swap tribe together, PG was screwed.

          • Max_Jets

            I don’t think she’s a good player, but All Stars is awful and she at least completely works as a character that season unlike most of the cast. I’ll take her over Amber, Jenna Lewis, returnee Ruperts, Kathy 2.0, and Big Tom any day of the week.

        • Wow, it’s weird to see the Boston Rob lover defend Shii Ann.

      • Maritimer

        The twist definitely caused her 10th place, and was unfair. For me, the question is how much does “previous chance of winning” affect the math when evaluating the most screwed and that bumps her down slightly

    • jersey_luck

      I think Shii Ann was screwed by the fact that it was a late merge for the first time. If her tribe, Sook Jai, went to tribal council without living with the other tribe; I believe she would have been voted out anyway. The thing is the fake merge just meant that they would not have felt bad about voting her out.

  • Alkanarra

    Production was screwed by the twist that somehow Ozzy lost a challenge, ruining the comeback narrative that they had been banking on for the entirety of South Pacific. Luckily they were super satisfied with the eventual winner and totally made sure to focus on her gameplay.

  • I still do not like that Sierra kissing Malcolm gif.

    • Something Quirky

      Yeah, it still really bothers me, even knowing that at least they were previously friends.

      • It feels a bit smug, especially her look afterwards.

        • Ms. Sweaterfan

          I’m sure that the original impulse came from affection for Malcolm and maybe a bit of sadness that he had to be the target, but the fact that she also had so much glee at being saved by the idol in that same moment really makes it seem too much like gloating :/ So, understandable but not a great look for FFSDT.

        • Something Quirky

          There was even a part of me that considered her thinking she’d never have another opportunity to kiss him, so she got saved, and to do something that would make people jealous.

          But yeah, so it felt smug in a few ways.

          • If you changed “people” to “Dirty 30” then you would be correct.

  • Super duper fan

    Dear women.

    If you are ever gonna be in Survivor, know that women are 50% more likely to be screwed by a twist than men. Even the game ITSELF can’t hide from the problems of society.

  • Mike Hirsch

    Good list! That picture of Shii Ann perfectly encapsulates everything you need to know about who she is in this game and why she wasn’t particularly good at the game of Survivor.

    • Super duper fan

      It’s a shame, cause I really like her. I’m happy at least that she’s the only person to come back from Thailand, she was easily the best thing in Thailand and was one of them in All-Stars.

      • Mike Hirsch

        I agree that she was a stand-out presence in Thailand, but I am not a fan of that presence. To me, calling anything the best thing about Thailand is like calling any part of Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music the best…it’s all a lot of grating, irritating unpleasantness.

        • Super duper fan

          I can understand why someone can’t be a fan of her. I just find her an entertainng charecter both her seasons. And being just good in there makes someone great by comparison.

          • Mike Hirsch

            I get it, for me that would be akin to liking the song “Keeping The Summer Alive” off The Beach Boys album Keeping The Summer Alive. It’s by no means a great song, but compared to most of that album, it’s vastly preferable and seems better due to its surroundings.

          • Alkanarra

            Really going pretty specific with those references today, huh?

          • Mike Hirsch

            Yes, I was like, “come on music nerd, start music nerding!” to myself.

        • sharculese

          Rob C summed it up pretty well: she’s a lot better at talking about how bad everyone else is at Survivor than she is at playing Survivor.

      • Dutch

        Honestly, I would’ve loved to see Robb Z. play a second time. He underwent one of the most incredible transformations of any Survivor player from day 1 to his vote out. It would’ve been interesting to see him play in a “new school” era of Survivor.

    • purplerockandy

      Srsly, that was BEFORE she started playing with anyone.

      • Other Scott

        They really gave her the Lucy treatment with her pregame picture.

  • sharculese

    According to Tyson Candice’s problem wasn’t that she couldn’t pregame but that she tried to hard to pregame. Like she was calling everyone up before the season to let them know she was an alternate and they should have plans ready just in case, to the point where she made herself look too opportunistic and it was easier to just get rid of her.

    • I still think it’s funny that the only people who didn’t vote for Candice was either Aras trying to be funny and the HvV returnees, even though Rupert could have easily justified his vote as revenge for her betrayal.

  • sharculese

    Even if Zhan Hu successfully threw both challenges and James didn’t have the idols, that plan still doesn’t work because there’s no way Sherea doesn’t flip at the merge. The only thing Peih-Gee and Jaime did was make production want to make them look stupid.

    • Max_Jets

      Has Sherea suggested this in interviews? I had never heard it before.

      • sharculese

        No, it’s just based on everything Sherea said or did on the show. She made it clear that she wasn’t a team player and felt no loyalty to Zhan Hu. If it even looked like the tribes were coming into the merge tied, all Todd and Amanda would have had to do was take her aside and say “hey, Sherea, there’s this thing called drawing rocks. Let me tell you about rocks,” and I’m certain she would have flipped in a second.

        • Max_Jets

          It seems likely. I’m glad they did it anyways, because those are my favorite episodes. #Jaime&ErikForBvW3

        • Maritimer

          I’m also not convinced that Frosti would have gone back to them, so they pretty much were screwed anyway

          • sharculese

            Given the circumstances under which Frosti was pulled over to Fei Long I can’t fault them for not knowing that. I do fault them for not realizing Sherea was unreliable.

    • Other Scott

      Yeah but they didn’t know that yet at the Aaron vote. They started to suspect when they got the cold shoulder from Sherea at the reward challenge after, and that’s why they didn’t throw the next challenge that James reluctantly beat Denise in with the balut.

      • sharculese

        It’s not like they didn’t have evidence in the form of every single other reaction involving Sherea prior to the swap.

        • Other Scott

          Yeah but they probably just assumed that Sherea’s resting state was displeasure and a new tribe wasn’t going to change that.

          • sharculese

            Doesnt matter. That’s still enough information to conclude that Sherea wasn’t going to force a tie. She didn’t have to have made bonds on Fei Long, they just had to be aware she had no bonds with them. (I will defer from taking this opportunity to evangelize as to Todd’s greatness.)

            But it also points to the second flaw in the plan – once they did it, they had to follow through it. numbers advantage at the merge wasn’t possible for them. Literally the best they could hope for was lose both challenges, merge at 10, and Sherea somehow stays loyal. To the extent that their bad plan had any merit, it evaporated the second they chickened out and tried to win the second immunity.

          • Other Scott

            They chickened out because they knew Sherea was going to be with them! They had further information that indicated the plan wasn’t going to work that they didn’t have previously. We’re just arguing in circles now Shark.

          • sharculese

            I should amend and say it wasn’t a bad plan that was never going to work, it was a bad plan that almost certainly wasn’t going to work, but might have if they hadn’t flinched. If they had sandbagged the second challenge and voted out James there’s maybe of a glimmer of hope that they can win Sherea back over, or, hey, maybe there’s a crack at Fei Long and they only have to draw in one more person, in which case Sherea might as well vote with them.

            Instead they created a situation where 2 below average social players had 3 days to flip 2 members of a majority alliance with no information about the tribe dynamics AT THE SAME TIME. Oh and also one of those six people already fucking hates them. They took a bad situation and somehow invented a way to make it worse.

  • Roswulf

    I’m very happy to see Michelle Yi in her rightful spot. Michelle/Yau/Earl was one of the most likable alliance trios we’ve ever seen. and her loss was a goddamn crime. Three utterly charming people who seemed to genuinely like each other and to not suck at Survivor broken apart by goddamn Alex Angarita, the poor man’s version of Adam Gentry.

    One issue to raise…should Earl and Yau have thrown the challenge? It risked an idol play, but the difference between Michelle and Edgardo surviving to the merge was huge for our two heroes. It was probably too much to expect them to audible to a challenge throw in the moment (especially given that Earl was winging it the whole game), but it was a pretty perfect set-up for a challenge throw.

    I lean towards yes, but I’m hopelessly biased.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      I scrolled down before reading to make sure Emma didn’t do anything crazy like put anybody other than Michelle in the no. 1 spot. As to your question, ultimately I give Earl & co a pass. They didn’t know about the “go to tribal immediately, no scrambling” twist until after the challenge. Without that knowledge, it was reasonable to assume that Michelle and Stacy could have flipped someone. Moto had the numbers advantage and Ravu had been a disaster tribe prior to the merge.

    • Ms. Sweaterfan

      I tend to lean towards yes here as well, except for the fact that Earl’s tribe still kept the majority and Earl ultimately still won. In general you can argue that throwing a challenge, even in a situation like this, is risky because someone could flip or your target could play an idol. Whereas if you win the challenge, you’re guaranteed 3 more days. I still think the risk was low in this case so it was a reasonable move to make, but I guess since Michelle was the only one really screwed by the twist and Earl’s game wasn’t really hurt that badly, I can’t fault him too much for not making the move.

  • Hornacek

    I really expected a picture of Anna where she was horizontal instead of vertical.

  • Head Architect Sylvia

    You guys are killing me. All these opinions that are different to mine lately – how unacceptable! Everyone on the Internet should agree with me all the time. And now you’ve left Sylvia Kwan off a “most screwed by a twist” list. This may just be the final straw. Unforgivable.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      Being someone other than Michelle screwed by a twist in Fiji is like being good at challenges in a season with Ozzy.

      • Head Architect Sylvia

        Ahah true, poor Sylvia, perpetually overshadowed by Michelle Yi. Don’t worry dear Sylvia, I will never forget your hopeless, unfortunate tale.

  • tocantins

    I think that Wanda certainly deserves #1. I mean, Michelle was pretty screwed, but at least she got to play Survivor. To travel all the way around the world (I have no idea where Palau is, but I assume it is far), just to stay one day there, not even get to really play Survivor, and leave… Man, that was the most cruel thing to ever have happened in Survivor.

    (Candice’s case is arguably even worse, but at least she got to spend a cool—and free—vacation with her husband.)

  • forever1267

    “Luckily, Anna (Khait) sucks as a person in just about every way, so not a huge loss”

    How so? I don’t remember her, and Google is not being a help (although it did bring up this page on the first page. Publicity!)

    • During the early goings of KR, Anna got into a fight with several Survivors, but primarily Stephen, over vaccines. She’s an anti-vaxxer.

      • DrVanNostrand

        And Trump supporter. Don’t know which is worse.

        • hardcöre umlaut

          Her twitter bio says she is “redpilled.” For anyone who doesn’t know what that is, I don’t suggest looking it up. Just take my word for it that it is literally the worst part of reddit.

  • DrVanNostrand

    four horsemen*

    *three horsemen + Dreamz

  • Judson Helland

    I agree… Except Johnathan did it to himself

  • Judson Helland

    Where’s pashcal?
    C’mon this is the purple rock