Survivor Fan Friction – Hannah Shapiro

We’re keeping Fan Friction train rolling, the series of essays where one of our columnists writes an ode to one of their favorite Survivor players while defending them against any potential naysayers (both real and imagined). Here to finish off our special Millennials week coverage is Blurry Denzel defending one of his top three favorite Survivor nerd girls.

Why She’s Great

In a season that was chock full of breakout stars and interesting, zany characters, one person stood out to me and quickly became my favorite. Hannah Shapiro arrived on the beach, got off to a noticeably bumpy start, fades into the background, recovers, make connections, becomes a decision-maker in the majority alliance and makes it to the end. She has a fascinating arc that helps elevate a pretty damn good season. Along the way, whether she was prominently featured or in the background, she had moments that showed her strengths as a character that I couldn’t help but love to the point that I picked out a “Hannah Moment of the Week” for every episode. She is complimenting Michelle during challenges, she is cheerily calling out Adam’s idol hunting, she snuffs out that Bret is a cop, she is flirting with Beautiful Ken on the beach. She delivered in her own weird way every week

Get it, Hannah.

Hannah fills a role for me that a lot of viewers look for when watching Survivor. People like to have someone to relate to. They can see themselves in that person or they would be spend time with that person. They like to cheer for someone that reminds them of themselves and that if that player goes far it is encouraging that the viewer can do it too, at least before the realization that volunteeringly going on an island to starve for 39 days is a fucking insane proposition. She is this nerdy, game-loving player. She is this anxiety-filled person who is socially awkward at times. But she is this funny, warm person that grows on you until you can’t help but love. I see a small portion of myself in Hannah and her success is a boost to me. Plus, I developed a bit of a Survivor crush on her, so I wasn’t rooting for her to leave my screen during the season.

Hannah is a strong character for me but is also a decent player at the game. She is able to make connections with a lot of people. A variety of people speak highly of her as an alliance member at different points. With one notable exception, every person that Hannah wanted out in the post-merge left. It’s a feat that not even the winner of the season can claim. Zeke has done a great job stating how he got people to go to rocks for him. Rightfully so, it’s quite the accomplishment. People also went to rocks for Hannah. Multiple people left their games up to chance before just letting Hannah go. Whether that was a good decision by them is highly debatable, but I think Hannah deserves some credit for that. Hannah had a plan to get the end and completed that path.

Haters Gonna Hate:

What about that 10 minute vote?


Or not leaving Adam and Zeke alone afterwards

About that…

Or that panic attack in the challenge she wasn’t even in 

That’s um…

And the world’s worst well conversation. She said nothing!!

Hannah is not without her flaws in the game. The conversation with Zeke is especially terrible. Some players are somehow in their comfort zones the second they get off the boat while others are completely lost and in for a bumpy ride. It’s fair to put Hannah in that latter category. While some players are never able to get their shit together before exiting the game, Hannah is able to recover and excel. She is able to make quicker decisions, better reads and bolder moves. Who doesn’t like a good growth arc? Hannah is able to not let those shortcomings be the end of game, though she doesn’t get even half the credit David does for his own growth throughout the game.

Hannah was dragged to the end as a goat

Perception is a tricky thing. How you see a situation and how others see it can be vastly different. While Hannah has a plan and goes about executing it, people may have a different interpretation of what happened. Should Hannah have been better at recognizing the perception others had for her? Yeah, probably. Upon reflection she was drawing dead really early on and I don’t think she could done much to change her fate in a way where she is the winner of Survivor. While the viewers don’t see everything that goes on, players don’t see everything until they are viewers. As a viewer, I didn’t see Hannah as someone with the characteristics of a “goat”.

Editor’s Note

Her switch is the eventual catalyst for Zeke leaving. She sees Sunday as a possible spot taker and cuts her in a move similar to much praised Cirie move against Courtney in Panama. David doesn’t leave the game until she wants David to leave and she has the key conversation with Ken in the David boot. Does she have to share credit for some of these moves? Yeah, but you better believe that she deserves some props for the moves and she doesn’t get enough of it. Were all these moves actually good? Maybe not, but they aren’t moves usually made by someone who was dragged. Hard to be dragged from the front.

Hannah played up her quirkiness for the cameras

I mean, yeah that seems probable. These are people who are aware they are on a TV show and she wouldn’t be the first one to heighten different aspects of their personalities for the cameras. She was pretty damn good at it if you ask me.

Embrace Debate

Hannah didn’t play the neatest game in a season that was a little sloppy strategic-wise all around. She made critical mistakes that was never out of mind. But she was a super fun personality that was able to accomplish a lot on her time in Survivor. There is a good player there that deserves more recognition than she gets. If she ever plays again, don’t be surprised when you are impressed by what she can bring to the table. The rise of Hannah continues. Hannah forever! We are all witnesses.

Blurry Denzel
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Blurry Denzel

Blurry Denzel (the artist formerly known as Black Dynamite) came back to Survivor after a 13 year hiatus since the first season and instantly fell in love. Now he spends a near obsessive amount of time talking Survivor, occasionally with rankings.
Favorite Seasons: Heroes vs Villains, Palau, Philippines, Cagayan, Pearl Islands
Favorite Players: Cirie Fields, Parvati Shallow, Stephen Fishbach, Natalie Anderson, Earl Cole, Jerri Manthey
Blurry Denzel
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161 thoughts on “Survivor Fan Friction – Hannah Shapiro

  1. Tell me someone did Ken? Are we really going to cover the least handsome 2/3 of the MvG final 3 and not Sir Lord Handsome?

      1. I feel like you could do one paragraph, talking about handsomeness, and then just a collection of carefully organized GIFs and screen caps.

        1. See, this is why I’d write a Ken post. There is so much more to Ken’s greatness.

          But fuck yes, there would be so many pics/gifs. Gotta give the people what they want.

          1. I’m sure there is more to Ken’s greatness. We’ve never seen bare cheek or family jewels. There are a whole two erogenous zones more to his greatness!

          2. Kinda like writing a Debbie Wanner post. You gotta include that modelling picture that looks like it came from a Whitesnake video.

          3. I also hope this. While writing my Abi post, I considered that many of the same arguments I was making could be applied to Debbie, which felt terrible because I so despise Debbie. The essential difference for me was that I don’t ‘love to hate’ Debbie, I just don’t want to ever watch her. And compared to Abi, I think Debbie is actually a bad person.

          4. I agree with most of what you’ve said except that I am not convinced either is or isn’t a bad person. I am certain, however, that I have disliked both on their seasons of Survivor.

          5. Well, the word one the street for Abi is generally that she’s nice and fun outside of Survivor. The truth of that, and details surrounding it, is all up for interpretation. By comparison, there isn’t much saying Debbie is or isn’t as awful in real life, but she is a water felon, and that’s damning enough for me, when added to her icky press interviews and unenjoyable time on the show.

          1. I stopped the hashtag. The hashtag is dead.

            Of course, now is not the time for a hashtag including the words “Woo” and “Caucasian”.

      2. Ken had nice abs. Then he wasn’t on the show for a while. Then he voted out David. The end.

        There. I wrote your Ken post for you.

          1. You’ll be glad to know that he already turned that down.


          2. Fun fact: In two seasons of playing Survivor Savage has totaled 42 days in the game. That is four days more than Rodney played in his first season.

  2. Without Hannah, I don’t think MvGX is as great as it was. People when they talk about this season, mention a lot of more times Jay, David, Michaela and Adam as stars of this season, and it’s so weird to me. And I don’t say they aren’t great, because they ARE, and I love all of them, but Hannah deserves much more recognition, because she’s a type of character that brings out the best of the others in terms of entertainment and likability, while she HERSELF is very entertaining and likable. The only critique that I can kind of get is that we’ve seen that story just the season before in Aubry, and that story was a bit better cause she was in the end a better player, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that Hannah’s awesome.

    And I disagree completely with the argument that she was just dragged to the end. Like, she was the person who was running the game from F9 to the end! I disagreed with a lot of decisions she made there (voting out Sunday and Bret), but her being then one in control, despite being seen as a dorky girl, is impressive in my opinion. If she comes back (and I hope she will!), she definetely has the chops to make it to the end again.

    Ashley Underwood, we’re forever grateful for what you’ve brought to the game. We are not worthy of the joy you bring us.

    1. It’s weird how much of these moderns seasons set in Fiji have these seasons where people are actively goat hunting both literally and figuratively becuase that was what Hannah was doing.

      1. IIRC even in the OG Survivor Fiji, there was a goat hunt, which Anthony refused to participate in, going a long way toward alienating himself from the rest of his (awful) tribe and making himself a goat candidate.

    2. I agree with this. MvGX is great as a sum of its parts, because almost ALL the players are great, even the invisible ones. I’ve argued before that on a different season, Will and Sunday would have been a much bigger part of the edit. Hannah is one of those people who makes it amazing. I expect she will be back.

      1. I’m gonna have to call an “I just don’t like her’ here. Aubrey and Shirin are two of the best female players in recent seasons. Hannah is just a weak photocopy of them to me.
        To each their own.
        I think it was probably ‘panic attack while not participating in challenge’ that ended her permanently for me. What is that?

        1. That’s fair. I wasn’t the biggest Hannah fan during the season, but I think she’s an integral part of why the season was so good

    3. I think Hannah actively got to the end with the people she wanted to be with. I also think the rest of the cast wanted her to be there with them.

  3. I really like Hannah. Is it because she helped me dominate Champions League during MvGX? Partly. But, I think Blurry Denzel hits on something: Hannah is so relatable to me. When she busted Adam idol hunting, the way she acted was so instantly recognizable as something a little sister does.

    I think Aubry is who nerd girls aspire to be, but Hannah is probably closer to how some of us actually are.

        1. I actually think I am most like Sophie of those three, although not in terms of being amazing, just because I’m way more cold and detached than I am nervous and emotional.

    1. Apparently, one of my good friends was in Max’s class, with Hannah. But when I asked him a ton of questions about it, he acted like it was a huge burden to even pretend to care about the class, at which point I decided he didn’t deserve to be in that class. He did say it was hands down the hardest class that required the most work of his college career.

        1. I think that’s exactly what it is. As a result, people come out of it either hooked on Survivor and in love with the experience or very turned off from Survivor and annoyed by all the work (my friend).

        2. I could also see it being a case where Max self-consciously made way too hard because so many people would assume it was frivolous.

  4. So you totally wrote this about Aubry and then did a find and replace with Hannah before publishing, right?
    But seriously, this was a fun and valiantly argued post. IMO, Hannah’s all right. I’ll concede that she eventually got her game mostly on track and did have some strategery going on by the end. Her particular brand of quirk doesn’t quite work for me, but she was a good addition to her season.
    Random digression that I hadn’t thought about before: did casting intentionally try to set up a cool kids vs. dweebs/revenge of the nerds type scenario in MvGX? Maybe they were going for high school clique comparisons in their clash of the generations season?

    1. The rumor was that they were DESPERATE for casting on the female side at the last minute. I believe, minus Michaela and Figgy, that all of the WOC came from that casting call.

      1. Oh yeah, good point. So it’s probably dicey assuming they did any kind of elaborate stunt casting since they struggled so much…

          1. I wonder how much of a hand casting has in the dynamics of the season. Do you think that they were planning on Zeke and Chris bonding over football?

          2. I’ve always thought it would be fun to watch a really in depth “making of a season” type of feature about Survivor. I’m doubtful they’ll ever do it officially, since it would probably ruin the magic for casuals. But I would be super into a docuseries that followed a season from casting through awarding the winner.
            Maybe RHAP could get close to producing something like that someday?
            Anyway, the impression I’ve had of late is that casting sort of saves people they like until they have a season/cast that they’ll fit with. So theoretically they could have one Sooner fan on deck and come across another, and decide to throw them together. I do suspect that they intentionally built a cast with hidden similarities across generations in the hopes that those players would discover them. In particular I think they probably were hoping for a Zeke/Chris connection (which panned out) and a Michelle/Sunday connection (which didn’t)

          3. I think most of us would be super into that kind of coverage, but yeah, reality TV shows tend to avoid that kind of stuff.

          4. That’s the rumor I had heard, too, that they were trying to match types across the Millennials and GenX tribes (Lucy-Michaela is another one that didn’t pan out). I assume they abandoned it in part because, as @disqus_GpYJ355BVM:disqus noted, they were having trouble filling out the cast at all (there’s no GenX Hannah, for example).

          5. I think they definitely hold players in the casting pool for the right season/theme/cast. Jay is another example. He was an alternate for KR, but they kept him in mind when MvGX came around, which I think was a much better fit for him – both theme and cast wise. Who would he have played with on KR – Caleb or Nick I guess?

    2. “So you totally wrote this about Aubry and then did a find and replace with Hannah before publishing, right?”

      Now I wish he had written an entry entirely about Aubry in Kaoh-Rong but just replaced “Aubry” with “Hannah”.

    3. I decided against writing about Aubry. Mostly because I did a lot of it just last season and I didn’t want to ramble on about her shitty edit in Game Changers again.

    1. No matter what I do on this site in the past or future, the avatar will be my greatest contribution. I’m happy with that.

  5. I’ll admit that I often think of Hannah as a goat. Not to say I dislike her or didn’t enjoy her time on the show, but while her gameplay may not have been goat like, her social actions lacked the confidence to avoid being seen as one. I think in this way, Hanna suffers from Tai-syndrome. She’s got the skills to play the game well, and has done so, but her outward character is perceived by others as lacking control, confidence, and decision making, and thus by FTC, no one is willing to believe her game wasn’t completely dictated by Adam. Tai had the same issue, even though he was central to some of the biggest moves, his dramatic emotions, size, and accent meant that no one gave him any credit. Both were likable and made really good relationships and connections, but none of those came through for them in the end.

    This also reminds me of the KR edit of Debbie as weird and strange. Debbie was so willing to play into that, never considering that it would destroy her chances at an FTC (Also, Debbie really isn’t very good at playing the ‘weird and kooky’ role, because she’s been voted out as being too smart almost immediately after saying that both times, lol) The mastermind role is already super hard to pull off in Survivor, because you have to sit at FTC and convince everyone you actually did everything, and it’s often your word against the word of those sitting next to you. When you add in a character trait that makes others underestimate you, it’s probably easier to get to the end, but even harder to convince them of what you did.

    So I give Hannah a lot of credit, particularly because as a viewer I can actually see her gameplay, but I also see exactly why she is so often given the title of goat, and why she just couldn’t win MvGX. I would be super interested to see her return though, because if she could play a little more relaxed and calm on a second go, she could be very deadly.

    1. One of the issues I’ve seen going around with the definition of “goat” is that people are basing their opinions on results – i.e. a 0 vote finalist is a goat – when that’s not necessarily the case. To me, a goat is someone who couldn’t beat anyone, and I don’t think Hannah falls into that category. I think she just couldn’t beat Adam. Similar arguments can be made for Ken, Spencer 2.0, and a whole host of other recent “goats”

      1. I think Hannah and probably Ken, as well, were drawing dead going into that finale. The MvGX jury was looking for certain things, and they just weren’t things those two provided.

        1. That’s true, but prior to that, there were conceivable ways for them to win – if they made the right move, if Hannah took a little more ownership. When I think goat, I think Abi – like there is basically no way post merge Philippines could have gone which would result in her winning (I suspect Petebro beats her in the her-Pete-Artis situation). Maybe my definition is too specific

          1. It’s probably best to say there are types of goats.

            1.) True goats: people who just could never win Survivor. Great to sit next to at the end, hard to bring there because they tend to be awful to be around. (Abi-Maria)

            2.) Seasonal goats: people who could never win this season, but could theoretically win a different season. Harder to spot, because it means guessing what the jury wants to reward, but easier to bring along. (Ken)

            3.) Situational goats: People who take actions that lock them out of a chance at FTC. Easiest to bring along, but you have to luck into having one of them on your season. They look less goat-y than other goats, but I’d still call them goats. (Hannah)

          2. I like this. It makes sense to me. It the situational goats I don’t like generally calling goats but, I guess its the situational goats I feel need a better/different term

          3. I don’t really think Hannah took actions that locked her out of a chance to win. I’d say Tai would fit into that category, but I think there was something about the anxious wreckage of how Hannah dealt with things that people weren’t ever going to take her seriously, no matter what she actually did.

            Hannah is some combination of category 1 or 2. Maybe she gets a cast that doesn’t see her as a nervous mess, but I’m not sure I see it.

          4. I think her challenge going into a second season will be the same if not more difficult then Aubry. She’s made it to a FTC, and while she didn’t get any votes there, I don’t think it will just be ignored. Thus, she will have to balance the potential that others will treat her like a bigger target than she was on MvGx. If Hanna was to come into this season ready to go, it could be fun to see her navigate. For example, if she retains the awkward, anxious Hannah of MvGx, will people ignore it, or not take her seriously because they know she did that while still playing well? Or, if she’s confident and collected, will people identify her as an even bigger target? And if she were to make it to the end in the same fashion as MvGx, could she actually win this time, but showing that her first FTC wasn’t a fluke? Or would she be knocked the same way? Very interesting, and all great reasons why Hannah would be awesome to see again.

          5. I’m not sure most players would remember Hannah as having “played well”. In order to have that opinion, you really need to stop and think about it while having a charitable opinion of her. I’m sure to many of them, she’ll just be the girl who hyperventilated a lot. Like how Ciera twice has been “she voted out her mom”.

          6. Agreed, but there is a potential someone will remember she made it to FTC, and that could make them weary. Largely depends on who she plays against and who else is playing. In a second chance styled season, I could see people being weary of her.

          7. I disagree in that the popular opinion of Aubry going into Game Changers was that she should have won and was basically robbed by a bitter jury. The popular opinion about Hannah is that she was mostly a goat dragged to the end. I don’t believe either of those statements are 100% true but All Star players play based on perception moreso than fact.

          8. Her missteps were every conversation she had with Zeke and waiting to vote out David until there was no one who could confirm that she did it.

      2. Well, there are different species of goats. Just off the top of my head I can think of toxic people (Will Simms II, Sherri), inanimate carbon rods (Nat Ten, Troyzan), and people who are actively playing, but get to the end in a way that loses almost every jury vote (Dreamz, Tai). I would argue that Hannah was in the latter category, but that doesn’t mean that she should be lumped in with, say, Philip.

        ETA: Hannah was fantastic at FTC. A little more of that earlier in the post-merge and she would have had a chance (or she might have been voted out).

        1. Yeah, that makes sense. I guess its the last category I’m taking issue with being called “goats” and moreso are just “people who didn’t win” but I guess by the end of the season, they are goats

          1. I always thought Hannah was not so much a goat, but just a player that you have a good chance of beating in the end. Always considered that goat status requires being an active irritant or annoyance or weirdo throughout the game.

          2. Yeah, that’s what I’m trying to get at. There’s “goats” and beatable players, but there is a key distinction

          3. This is actually a really good point. We do often throw anyone who got beat into the goat category, and sometimes it’s just a case of one player being better and outplaying the others. I mean, looking at the whole of Cambodia, I wouldn’t consider Spencer and Tasha ‘goats’ so much as just, getting beaten by someone far better suited to what the jury wanted.

          4. Tasha actually might have been, but Spencer wasn’t for sure, he just got smoked because he was against Jeremy. That doesn’t make him a goat

          5. Tasha is in the unfortunate category of finalists who do their most impressive work pre-merge. Denise stands out as a winner who fits in that category.

          6. True in terms of strategy work, though I think she had a couple of decent post-merge attempts, if not successes. But didn’t it also come out later that pretty much everyone on both her seasons hated her?

          7. I seem to recall a couple people saying she got a generous edit because of the underdog story in Cagayan and that she annoyed people in Cambodia

          8. So, basically she’s a secret goat? Like, the edit doesn’t make her a goat, but she was treated that way in actuality. Interesting.

            Yeah, I think that, simply from a ‘what we can see’ standpoint, Tasha did have some important strategic moves that got her to the end, particularly navigating some trouble pre-merge. She’s quieter post-merge, but in general the FTC for Cambodia is pretty quiet compared to those they take out.

          9. I think what distinguishes my third category from a mere “beatable player” is that a) this kind of goat does what they need to do to get to the end, but those very actions destroy their FTC chances; and b) someone else recognizes this and helps the goat get to the end. So based on this Hannah was a goat, but Spencer and Tasha weren’t because of (a) (at least if you ignore what people said about Tasha post-season) and Sugar, for example, wasn’t because of (b). This category definitely needs refining, though, since Samoa Russell and SP Coach would count as goats.

        2. I’d say there’s a 4th type of goat, which is the goat everyone at some point arbitrarily decides is the goat and is just stuck with that role. At some point, the reason Hannah got to final tribal, in the minds of the jury, was because everyone saw her as a goat and didn’t bother to take her out.

          Their rationale for making her a goat in the first place? That’s a little sketchy.

          1. I think both David and Adam realized that Hannah’s gameplay was pissing off the jury. She openly flirted with flipping, then backtracked and voted with her alliance every single time. I’m not going to review every single vote, but I wouldn’t be surprised if several jury members, whether it makes sense or not, blamed her for putting them on the jury.

          1. If you ask me, the SFF series won’t be complete until somebody writes an entry about someone (anyone!) from Gabon.

          2. Matty?

            Alternatively, I can do an entry on Corinne and force you guys to figure out whether or not I’m trolling.

          3. In the five minutes since I’ve had this idea I’ve come up with sentences like “Imagine the onion alliance catches better break and makes it to the end. You’ve got the hunky doctor, his fawning side-kick, and the judgmental mean girl who spent the whole game making you feel bad. Of course you go with door number 3.” and “But Corinne’s fetishism of gay men is kind of creepy. Counterpoint: how come so many of her friends are gays?”

            So it would be pretty obvious I was trolling.

            But also, I don’t think I could bring myself to write a thousand words about how awesome Corinne is, even sarcastically, and I’m one of the more Corinne-tolerant people here.

          4. Find and replace “Corinne” with “Sugar” and your last sentence describes my last five minutes.

          5. You’ve told us you’ve dated girls like Sugar and Abi. I’m starting to have an unkind sort of fascination with your personal life.

          6. It’s not even that I hate her (I do). I just can’t see us publishing either a praise piece or a hit piece on a “rival” podcaster. It would seem either petty or sucking up.

    2. I think she would also be less underestimated if she came back, which would make it harder to get to the end but possible to win if she did.

  6. OT but Redmond has some new info on S36 Basically, Ghost Island will have advantages from past seasons, particularly ones associated with mistakes – Erik’s immunity necklace and James’ two idols. No indication on how they will be given/used. One can only hope they have mostly real fans to appreciate the references.

    1. So we can expect Redemption Island and a challenge that involves digging in the sand for an hour in 110-degree heat?

      1. I thought for sure we were going to get the effing stick in Cambodia when they said all the idols would look different, and not necessarily idol-like. Alas.

      2. Who knows, maybe? It looks like a really interesting twist, but I hope it isn’t that game-breaking, and as @disqus_sjBnbSyo83:disqus mentioned, I hope there are mostly real fans in the cast, to see them geek out a bit over this stuff

        1. I would so much rather see a Adam/Spencer/Shirin type find these than like a Jon Misch or an Alexis

    2. I’m willing to see how this plays out. Cautiously optimistic, even. But in Redmond’s two examples, wasn’t Erik’s immunity necklace just a normal immunity necklace and weren’t James’ idols just normal idols? I’m confused by the examples, and curious to see how the specific scenarios are recreated…

      1. Yeah, I can’t really get a handle on exactly how it’s going to work, especially given the examples

  7. After a misstep in the MvGx entries in this series, nice to see it rebound (snicker). As I said in the Adam entry, I think Hannah gave a much better FTC performance than Adam. But by that point the jury had already made up their minds and nothing she said was going to stop them from voting for him.

    Also, in the “Haters Gonna Hate” section you forgot the “She’s a carbon copy of Aubry” entry.

      1. Yeah, it was really good. Even though Adam was obviously my main rooting interest, I wouldn’t be at all disappointed with a Hannah win.

      2. Yeah, i remember feeling pretty confident of an Adam win going into FTC, and then half-way through being like “This is a really good FTC for Hannah, I wonder if she can pull this off?” but Nah

        1. Yeah and I went in all “eh whatever” but I LOVE a good FTC performance. Like I was a die-hard Amanda Kimmel fan who couldn’t help cheering aloud for Todd in the finale. So I start actually getting invested as Hannah gives the best answers and suddenly I care enough to be a little disappointed.

    1. I’m surprised no one has chosen to do Richard Hatch or some other old school players. This awesome series leans on modern survivor.

      1. No one is doing Hatch for the same reason everyone always hems and haws when it comes to ranking Borneo: how do you evaluate someone who won a game nobody else knew they were playing?

          1. Feet of clay and all that. Ceteris paribus, Hatch is the player I’d most love to sit down and chat with, but I know the whole time I’d be thinking, “yeah, but All Stars.”

        1. Hmm, yeah, he really did invent the game. The idea of alliances was bound to evolve naturally anyway.
          I suppose we are lucky that Dr. Sean didn’t win season 1. Survivor may have not survived.

        2. I considered, and John suggested, writing about an earlier player since I spent the off-season watching 1-8. But, there wasn’t anyone I was super pro who needed defending, and I also haven’t been around long enough to get a feeling for what arguments would need to be defended…

          1. I think there’s a lot of fondness and even reverence for many pre-All-Stars players, so there’s less defending to do there.

        1. I mean Sean falls after Hannah, alphabetically speaking. I think he did it by first name.

        1. Brian Heidik? That’s who I’m looking forward to. I particularly want to see the response to “But, he tried murder a puppy with a crossbow”.

    2. I really regret not doing that entry. That is something that legit bothers me. I think both are great in similar ways but also very different ways.

  8. Hannah’s well conversation didn’t pan out that poorly for her in the long-run. It wound up being a stealthily good terrible play.

  9. This is a tough one for me since I literally just called Hannah a goat during the last SFF. That being said she was an important part of why MvGX was great, she was another of many great characters that season.

    Cool thing this post made me realize/remember/reflect on – even goats are playing the game. Whether they were carried or not they were all still playing to win in their own weird way. If that’s the case Hannah actually played pretty damn well for a goat. If she realized she had drawn dead and was just aiming for FTC to cash in on some sweet runner up money then I would give her some kudos. I just don’t think that’s the case though, in FTC she sounded like someone who thought they could win (unlike the super self aware Troyzan who realized he was DOA pretty quickly)

    1. I stand by me as a viewer not seeing her as a goat. I think it comes down to people’s interpretation of what a goat is. I think Hannah was both too active of a player in a productive way and too likable to reach goat status.

      1. I’m going to have to heavily disagree with you on this one. I though she was radiating goatness after the third episode.

  10. Hannah is complicated for me. I did not find her as endearing as others and honestly thought she was actively terrible at Survivor for the majority of the game. I do have sympathy for her and her struggles though.

  11. To be fair to Hannah, I think she had very little shot of winning Survivor from the start. I think she seemed like the type of person who would be unrespected no matter what path she took. I think there were really only three potential ways for her to win.

    1. Last Surviving Underdog (Denise): Being the last member of your tribe/alliance can win a lot of favor, but that is something that either happens or it doesn’t.

    2. At least I’m not them (Sophie): To be fair, I think she took the two people she theoretically should have stood the best shot against to the finals. People just liked ADAM more than her.

    3. Play hard to the jury (HvV Sandra): She failed miserably at this.

    1. None of those three seemed emotionally/socially fragile in the way that Hannah did. Juries hate that.

  12. Millennials vs Gen X may have been one of the best all newbies casts of all time. I think this is a cast greater than the sum of its parts.

  13. I liked Hannah more than most (at the time), but I didn’t like the season nearly as much as many of you did. *shrug*

  14. I had so much fun writing this. I’m glad I got to do this article on Hannah. If for some weird reason she wasn’t available, these are the top five players I would have wanted to write about when I heard about this concept.

    1. Jerri Manthey
    2. Badass Sophie Clarke
    3. Stephenie LaGrossa
    4. Peih-Gee Law
    5. Ciera Eastin
    Honorable Mention: Ashley Underwood

    1. I was torn between letting him decide between Hannah and Jerri and forcing him to do Jerri (phrasing). But I think I also wanted the Hannah article, so… choice it is.

    2. I’m not sure Jerri needs to be defended much around here. I’m in the weird position of having watching Australian Outback pretty recently and being on board with the Jerri hate because I am totally ready to hate somebody for seeming difficult to live with. But even for me she really redeems herself in her later seasons, where it seems like the rough edges have been smoothed a bit and she’s scrappy and funny and the Colby arc is so good.

      1. Her HvV season was such a perfect end to the Jerri Manthey story that I ultimately decided that I didn’t need to do the article in her, even though she is one of my all time favorite Survivor players. If I had to write one, I would’ve went with the angle that she was always great and the fans were wrong about her before HvV.

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