Arrogance and the Downfall Edit of Survivor

Is there anything more satisfying than watching an overly-confident Survivor contestant get their comeuppance? Yeah, likable underdogs winning is pretty cool, but if you’re a fan of this podcast/website, you know there’s nothing quite like sweet, sweet, schadenfreude. In case watching Nick’s blindside face appear right before your eyes didn’t quite scratch that itch, here are some memories to tide you over before the (hopefully) inevitable karma befalls Jason and Scot.


5. Ami Cusack – Survivor: Vanuatu


Although her lieutenant Leann gets voted out first, it clearly spelled the end for Ami’s game and she knew it. The show spells this out directly, with Ami’s boot episode starting by Twila justifying her betrayal because of Ami’s arrogant attitude. Though the eventual winner removes some of the shine from this downfall, nothing can ever take away Eliza’s echoing of Ami’s smirk when Leann’s blindside is successful.

4. Ozzy Lusth – Survivor: Micronesia


Loyal readers know by now that I am a big fan of the Black Widow Brigade. As such, I will never get tired of the fall of Ozzy, even if I originally had a soft spot for him in Cook Islands. But when Ozzy isn’t the plucky little underdog, he’s walking around like he owns the place, planting the worst fake idol that the world has ever seen, and even hooking up with one of the hottest girls on the island. The fact that he takes his blindside so personally only makes it that much more satisfying for viewers. Go cry some more at Ponderosa, Ozzy. Amanda can’t save you now.

3. Three out of the Four Horsemen – Survivor: Fiji

After weeks of descriptions of the initial fall of the horsemen in our Ultimate Tribal Council bracket, there really isn’t much more to say. So I will leave you with this, to gaze upon for eternity.

Never. Gets. Old.
Never. Gets. Old.

2. John Carroll – Survivor: Marquesas

John Carroll oiled

The first victim of those at the bottom of an alliance realizing they could team up with those outside of the alliance. John was so cocky that he not only thought he was going to win, he thought that Pascal and Neleh wanted him to win. A true pioneer for alpha males going down in flames at the hands of those he underestimated, his edit would be a model for many seasons to come. John Carroll, we salute you. Now leave Jeff Probst alone.

1. Drew Christy – Survivor: San Juan del Sur

badass drew

Say what you will about San Juan del Sur (personally, I say it’s middle-of-the-road and those who say it’s one of the best or the worst need to calm the eff down), but “We’re a Hot Mess” is in contention for the best self-contained episode of Survivor history, and it’s all thanks to the hubris of Drew Christy. Peter and Nick still don’t have enough cocky arrogance to be on the same island as Drew. The editors love to show challenge throws backfire on those who throw them, but it usually takes a few episodes for the other shoe to drop. Not for the Drewchebag. He decides they need to get rid of dead weight, and manages to inspire a tenuous women’s alliance despite the women being outnumbered. I guess we can concede that he was right about Kelley Wentworth, but he still probably shouldn’t have talked about her when she was standing two feet behind him.


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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
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  • What’s your opinion about Silas from Africa?
    Mad props for including a female in this list that typically calls to mind arrogant men.

    • Purple Rock Emma

      Silas was definitely arrogant, but since the swap was such a major factor in his boot, he didn’t seem to be a proper fit for this topic.

      • Fair enough. You could lump in a few of the swap boots into the asterisky area-Silas and Max for sure.

    • EmAndScoutInBK

      Silas/Chip was my gut reaction for people left off the list – but I totally get the reasoning, given that the swap was totally his downfall.

  • Hornacek

    That shot of Earl with that grin after the horsemen realize what’s happening may be the best thing to come out of that (in my opinion) awful season.

  • Roswulf

    The fall of the pretty young white people (especially Adam) in Cook Islands is also a great one.

    And as you allude to Emma, there’s a neat inversion with Micronesia, as in Round 1 Ozzy is a guileless appendage to the lovable underdogs while Parvati is a core member of Team Satisfying Downfall..

    • gouis

      If you’re a certain type of person, Adam is possibly the most unlikable survivor of all time.

      • Roswulf

        No one who ensures that Yul beats Ozzie can possibly be the most unlikable Survivor of all time!

        But he’s plenty unlikable.

      • sharculese

        Adam is terrible, but he’s not Troyzan.

    • andythesaint

      We discussed the fall of the white people (and Nate), but Emma wanted it to be about one person, not a group.

      • Roswulf

        …and then you added Fiji anyway because you kind of have to add Fiji anyway.

        • andythesaint


        • Purple Rock Emma

          And because for Fiji I wouldn’t have to write an actual entry.

          • Side Character

            I don’t know who made that GIF in the first place, but it is a godsend, and I thank them eternally for it.

  • andythesaint

    I’ve been setting myself up for the downfall edit all season, but look who’s still here?!? I OWN THIS SEASON!!!! NO ONE WILL DEFEAT ME!!!

    • Other Scott

      Michele vs. Andy, the greatest season of all time.

      • andythesaint

        Even I fear what I’ll be like if she gets voted out.

        • Purple Rock Emma

          Call in sick that day.

  • Mike Hirsch

    As someone who also finds SJDS to be fairly middle of the road, thanks for also being not overly enthused or annoyed by it. And, the Drewchebag episode is a thing of beauty.

    • Can someone refresh my memory what he said about Wentworth that was accurate? Because I have a terrible long-term Survivor memory, and I’m sure I had him on mute the whole season anyway.

      • sharculese

        In the Drewchebagging, Kelley is Drew’s target because she’s seen every episode of the show and is therefore dangerous.

        Nobody actually thinks Drew’s proclamation is based in reality, it’s just funny to talk about his prophecy coming true now that she’s shown some skill at Survivor.

      • Mike Hirsch

        I seem to recall him saying she was sneaky and dangerous.

    • Ms_Woozah

      It really is a work of art.