Ultimate Survivor Winner Bracket Introduction

Introducing the Purple Rock Podcast’s Ultimate Survivor Winner Bracket, where you will vote on head to head match-ups to answer the question: who is the greatest Survivor winner of all-time?

Traditionally, our stance here at the Purple Rock Survivor Podcast is that comparing winners is a fool’s errand – so much of an individual win is subject to the conditions that formed it, and that there’s no one way to win the game. But we’re doing this anyway, because having fun is more important than avoiding hypocrisy.

For the next month or so, we’ll have weekly polls pitting former winners in head-to-head match-ups until we get from 32 down to 1. While we cannot tell you how to vote, the intention of this tournament is to judge winners by the season in which they won, not their collected body of work. So, for instance, Tina being the first boot of All-Stars should have nothing to do with how you evaluate her win in The Australian Outback, nor should Tyson voting himself out of Heroes vs Villains affect your opinion of his performance in Blood vs Water. Now, if you want to give someone more credit for winning on their first try than than their second, third, or fourth, that’s up to you. Same if you give someone more credit for beating returnees. But we hope people will be looking at each individual win as its own thing. (It’s all up to you, of course).

Putting together this bracket is incredibly simple: since all wins are their own thing, we did NO pre-tournament rankings. There is no seeding, because we didn’t want to introduce or own biases. The match-ups are determined only by chronology. That should lead to some interesting early match-ups and perhaps a more interesting end game.

The Sandra Diaz-Twine Play-in Game

There were only two issues in putting this bracket together:

  1. You can’t do a tournament with 33 entries.
  2. “Sandra is the Ultimate Winner ever because she did it twice” is boring (and a repeat of our original Ultimate Survivor Bracket).

The solution is simple: only one of Sandra’s victories will enter the bracket, after which we implore you to judge it as its own win, not one of a pair. Which Sandra win will make it? That’s up to you.

Voting ends on Tuesday, February 14th.

7. Sandra Diaz-Twine (Pearl Islands) vs 20. Sandra Diaz-Twine (Heroes vs Villains)

Sandra Diaz-Twine (Pearl Islands)

A loyal team player who didn’t care where the vote went as long as it wasn’t her, who proved her worth early in the season by being generally helpful around camp. This value combined with her tribe’s initial challenge dominance kept her safe in the early portion of the game, while playing under the radar and not being threatening kept her safe in the middle portion of the game when bigger threats were targeted. A shocking blindside of her main ally motivated her to exact revenge on the blindsiders, who happened to be the villains of the season. She managed to strike that defiant tone against the transgressors while still working with them throughout the end game of the season, thereby currying favour with future jury members who fell victim to those villains and staying out of the crosshairs of the shot callers. The lack of threat she posed combined with the general surly attitude she presented to the aggressors made her a tempting final tribal council opponent, only to find that the person she went to the finals with was far more disliked than she.

Sandra Diaz-Twine (Heroes vs Villains)

Holy shit, she did it again, but against All-Stars this time.

Ultimate Survivor Winner's Bracket: The Sandra Diaz-Twine Play-in Bracket

  • 20. Sandra Diaz-Twine (Heroes vs Villains) (75% Votes)
  • 7. Sandra Diaz-Twine (Pearl Islands) (25% Votes)

Total Voters: 111

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Andy
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Andy

Co-host of the Purple Rock Survivor Podcast and the Canadian of the group, Andy has been watching Survivor continuously since the very beginning and likes to treat that as some kind of virtue to lord over others.

Favourite seasons: Heroes vs Villains, Cook Islands, Palau, The Amazon, Cagayan
Favourite players: Boston Rob, Kim Spradlin, Tony Vlachos, Cirie Fields, Yul Kwon, Rob Cesternino
Andy
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  • Black Dynamite

    While I don’t believe it’s as good as her HvV win, I just want to take a brief moment to appreciate Sandra’s game in Pearl Islands. She was always moving, always available for votes and always gathering information in ways a lot of castmates weren’t on that season. Sandra is amazing.

    • Kemper Boyd

      Truth. Sandra sneaking off into the woods with Tijuana because she knew that Tee wouldn’t believe her so she had to show her Burton and Fairplay scheming is such a great Survivor player moment.

  • I am so excited for this idea. Does that mean Hatch would face Todd or would he face Adam because either way, that could be interesting?

    On the topic of this match-up, I went with HvV Sandra because I think her win here is based slightly more on the relationships she formed rather than the jury not liking the other finalists.

    • purplerockandy

      He will face either Parvati or Bob, depending on how this vote goes.

      • I am not good with brackets apparently.

      • gouis

        As the only physics teacher in Survivor, I am always saddened by his placement in the worst tier of winners.

    • purplerockandy

      I went with HvV due to strength of schedule.

      • HBO CEO of Tits

        I went with Pearl Islands because I enjoyed that season more. That’s probably because I had every notable aspect of HvV spoiled before I watched it though.

        • Did you watch it live?

          • HBO CEO of Tits

            Watched neither of them live. Maybe saw the first ep of HvV live but checked out after that.

          • Gotcha.

        • Alycia Swift

          I did too re enjoyment but I was not spoiled on HvV. I just enjoyed PI. And at the time, I hated Fairplay.

      • gouis

        Same

  • Hornacek

    This was more of a “voting against one choice” than “voting for one choice” vote.

    • Alycia Swift

      I know. It was the hardest question I’ve had all day. I did not want to vote either. I’d rather them both enter and cut someone else out.

      • purplerockandy

        Just wait. At least at the end of this, you still have Sandra. This is not a tournament for the weak-willed.

        • Alycia Swift

          That’s me lately. Weak-willed.

  • PurpleTally

    Heroes vs Villains for sure. One, she managed to use the same strategy for a second time without anyone calling her out. She faced a tougher FTC opponent (Parvati, not Russell). And her social game was on point 95% of the time. She played enough of a villain to get credit for her gameplay without pissing people off, which is the hardest part of the game.

    • Kemper Boyd

      Hey @disqus_GpYJ355BVM:disqus your friend knows her shit.

      I fully agree 100%.

  • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

    Is this why you haven’t done a Winners ranking thus far? Waiting for the right number of entries? (also so you can outsource the work of creating the rankings?)

    • purplerockandy

      We honestly believe that Winners rankings are too subjective in a way that we don’t like to bother doing them (at least with seasons, you can simply say “I enjoyed this more” without saying “strategic players are better than social players”).

      But… this was the only time we could do something like this and have the numbers work out. And it alleviates the biggest hassles associated with running these things (deciding what gets in and how to seed them), so we figured it could be fun.

      Also, it absolves us. We’re just voters like y’all.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        Yeah, even Rob C. feels the need to use a pseudo-objective standard (control of the game) as the basis for his winner ranking. This leads to outcomes that seem unjust, like Heidik being near the top of the ranking.

      • Kemper Boyd

        This is fair, I’ve always thought Sophie doesn’t get enough credit, sure her game is boring but she wins the only way she can from the way the season was set up.

        • purplerockandy

          I feel it’s perfectly fair to apply your own standard to a season, because ultimately, we’re evaluating a TV show and whether or not it worked for us. But a win? A win is a win. I’ve only ever been comfortable with general tiers for wins.

          But we’re throwing all of the window now, because making hard choices is fun.

          PS- If this vote goes the way we think it will go, Sophie has a TOUGH draw.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Sophie cannot win this bracket but she gets a bit of a raw deal on how we remember her win because her season is pretty terrible and she won from the lead. But what she did as a 21 year old woman on a show that doesn’t take women seriously is impressive. Same theory goes for Denise who won as the oldest woman to do so.
            I think it sucks to try and rank them because frankly every season has strength and weakness. You could easily mark Boston Rob and Kim down for playing against morons or Brian for being a complete monster.

          • purplerockandy

            Yep. Sophie is actually one of the reasons why I don’t like ranking. Because there’s nothing interesting about her game, but it was also kind’ve perfect. She set herself up VERY early, then did the proper maintenance to ensure it didn’t go off track (and was aided by a structure that season that did nothing to force change).

            So when I rank winners, I know I’m just applying my own standards for what I WANT a winner to be. Not what any given winner should be.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Yep. It’s actually Boston Rob who is the reason I don’t like ranking winners because I personally do think that the fact it took him 4 times and a group of newbies to do it (a group of very poor newbies) makes it less impressive.

          • purplerockandy

            I can already guarantee you won’t be voting for him in the first round (should this vote go the way it’s going).

          • Kemper Boyd

            I admit my biases and one is towards female players.

          • purplerockandy
          • Kemper Boyd

            Says the man who loves Boston Rob more than some of his own friends and family.

          • purplerockandy

            A lot of my friends suck tho.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Don’t be mean to John.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            But it’s so fun.

          • Kemper Boyd

            At least I admit it and don’t try and pretend it’s objective and scientific.

          • Alycia Swift

            Mine is too in some cases. I love Sophie, Denise, Kim, Natalie A, players like that play smart social games (and physical games as well). (Yes, Sophie did have issues in that area – but she had meat shields.)

            I am not crazy about Jenna.

          • Alycia Swift

            Ditto. If you think about it, he did still have a bitter jury the second time he got to the finals just like the first time. Its just they did not have an alternative to vote for – Natalie did nothing and Philip was insane, abrasive, annoying, crazy, etc. Four times is not impressive.

          • purplerockandy

            Which is why if Cirie wins next season, we will properly dismiss it as a garbage win.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            Survivor Tumblr has pointed out how they will absolutely be hypocritical if Cirie wins.

          • Do you have a link for that?

          • Purple Rock Emma

            No, it’s just a text post that’s been reblogged a bunch. Basic gist is:

            me: Boston Rob is so overrated, took him four times to win yadda yadda yadda

            also me when Cirie wins game changers: omg what a queen, best players ever blah blah blah

          • Solid reasoning.

          • PurpleTally

            At least she’s not playing with/against a bunch of people who have apparently never seen Survivor before and given a special season specifically designed for her to win it.

          • Alycia Swift

            You nailed it better than I did. She never would be given that either.

          • purplerockandy

            This, of course, is why Russell Hantz also dominated that season.

          • PurpleTally

            They put Russell on to make it less obvious.
            Obviously.
            (That is a good counterargument to Redemption Island was rigged, though.)

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Or rigged to ensure a Russell vs. Boston Rob war post-merge.

          • gouis

            This is a ridiculous comparison and you know it.

          • purplerockandy

            I admit to nothing.

          • Alycia Swift

            Well, I would not go that far because: That season was set up for Rob with pretty poor, new players and this season is not set up for Cirie. Cirie has returning players and many of them are fair to good to great players. Cirie is not going to outright try and control everything (you are either with me or against me) (or at least show she is controlling everything) and is not going to pick a goat like Natalie T. She’ll get rid of the goats. But also, it depends on who she is up against. Further, she’s not particularly good at challenges.

            I personally don’t think she is going to win and would be surprised if she went far.

            There are certain players that once they play, I don’t think they can win (whether they won the first time or not) when they come back. Other players are just too afraid. I think she is one of them. I think Yau-man is another. I’d like to be surprised but I’d prefer a Sandra win.

  • corndogshuffle

    The Kentucky basketball fan in me loves brackets! Even though our team sucks this year. Anyway…

    I voted for HvV Sandra due to strength of schedule. Sandra had to beat a much deeper and more talented field to win her second game, and she was already a winner at that point. So she at least should have had a target on her back.

    • Alycia Swift

      I’m reading every’s reasoning and am convinced that H v. V is the way to go. I voted the other way just based on my fondness for that season.

      • corndogshuffle

        I’m watching it again right now. I still don’t love it as much as Borneo or Amazon, but I think it might be moving up my rankings anyway. The Outcast thing really bothered me and while I still don’t love it, it was an easier pill to swallow when I knew it was coming.

  • gouis

    In avoiding Nicaragua I completely missed all your off-season/preseason stuff and had no idea you were doing player recaps.

    *waits patiently for Tony*

    PS Sandra is the best.

    • Purplerockmatt

      we are doing recaps by invoking russian roulette rules and spinning the wheel to see what we get, we will not do everyone, but the randomness is its own reward

      • Kemper Boyd

        I’d do another if you need more coverage. Knowing my luck I’d end up with Malcolm or Cirie.

        • Yeah…what a pity there.

        • Alkanarra

          I think I’m going to hold out for Lil’s entry in Game Changers 2.

        • purplerockandy

          I can guarantee you wouldn’t.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Well you’ve seen who’s getting who.

      • Mike Hirsch

        I would love to legitimately volunteer for this if you do need anyone else to write. Even if I got saddled with Ozzy.

    • But you follow us on Twitter…

      • gouis

        My life has been a little insane OK!!

      • gouis

        I’m basically moving to Canada in 3 months

        • Purple Rock Emma

          You lucky son of a bitch.

          • gouis

            It’s not ACTUAL Canada, just near it in a non terrible state.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            Well, better than Texas at least, right?

          • gouis

            Isn’t everything.

            Note: I was born in Austin. Don’t @ me Texas residents.

          • gouis

            Easier to sneak across the border though.

          • purplerockandy

            Not once we build that privacy hedge.

      • purplerockandy

        Did this bitch mute us?

    • Kemper Boyd

      You are saying my article about Sandra is the best? Why thank you.

      • gouis

        Yes, that’s it!

        • Kemper Boyd

          Aww shucks. Oddly your opinion means quite a lot to me.

          • gouis

            It’s because I’m old and grizzled.

  • Assistant Dragon Slayer

    Either version of Sandra will be facing a matchup from hell in Round 1: Pearl Islands Sandra vs. Tyson, or HvV Sandra vs. Todd.

    If HvV Sandra gets in, there are two more Sophie’s choices for us to make (Tom vs. Denise and Yul vs. Rob). If Pearl Islands Sandra gets in, there’s only one (Tom vs. Kim).

    • Alycia Swift

      Did they pick them out of a hat for matchups then? That sounds to me like the best way rather than 1 v. 33, or 1 v. 2, etc.

      • Purplerockmatt

        1 vs 16, 2 vs 15, etc

        • Alycia Swift

          so 17 v. 33?

          I still like my idea.

          • Purplerockmatt

            well the sandra season splits it, so it’ll probably be 1 vs 17 and 18 vs 33

          • Black Dynamite

            Another reason to vote for HvV seems to be avoiding the Hatch/Parvati matchup. I know who I would’ve picked but that seemed brutal for a first round battle.

          • purplerockandy

            Our idea is also pretty arbitrary, but less work.

            (But it will guarantee that the finals won’t be weighted toward either recency or nostalgia bias).

          • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

            It sounds like you already have the seeding system set, but I’m with Alycia that it should be random if not temporal in nature. My thought would be that winners with higher jury vote margins are higher seeds, and ties therein are randomly assigned.

            Also, I (and I’m sure others) am glad to do seeding work for this if that’s one of y’alls concerns.

          • You realize that puts Adam as one of the highest seeds, while Kim would be maybe a 3 or 4 seed, right?

          • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

            1) I would parse it as the difference between a better player and a better win. Jury votes are just one (but a key one) portion of how to measure a winner. The rest is the point of this bracket, right?
            2) Out of respect for the NL Central, I think it’s right to have the Pirates Kim be a lower seed.

          • Alycia Swift

            All this seeding talk is confusing me. But I do not follow sports.

            I just meant put 32 names in a hat and pick out 2 at a time. That’s it. If its Bob v. Boston Rob so be it. If its Bob v. Natalie White so be it.

          • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

            I followed that, but to some degree, being completely random is no better or worse than being completely arbitrary. So structured randomness was what I was trying to achieve.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      OK, now that I know how the brackets will really work: Sandra still has a tough, tough draw in either timeline: Pearl Islands Sandra vs. Tom, or HvV Sandra vs. Jeremy (which among other things negates the strength of competition argument).

      If Pearl Islands Sandra gets in, some very good winners will be hosed by their matchups, but only one vote is likely to be close–Hatch vs. Parvati (I guess Amber vs. Chris will be close, too, but not in a good way). If HvV Sandra gets in the only really tough one is JT vs. Adam (although Natalie W. vs. Michele is an interesting matchup of Obvious Winners).

      • Black Dynamite

        I don’t think JT vs Adam is a particularly tough matchup.

        • gouis

          Yeah because JT is awesome

        • Kemper Boyd

          Just took me like 2 minutes to realise that Adam actually was a winner. I was all like “doucheface Adam didn’t win Cook Islands”

      • Man, two of those matchups are utter killers.

      • purplerockandy

        I love that you took the time to figure this out.

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          Beats working.

          • The Purple Rock Survivor Podcast
            Beats working.

      • corndogshuffle

        I am *not* looking forward to voting against somebody in the pairs you mentioned. If I did the match ups correctly, one of them will be Natalie White vs. OWM. One of them will advance, but four of the people you mentioned will be cut. This bracket will get crazy on day one!

        • purplerockandy

          Your math checks out

          • corndogshuffle

            I like the way this bracket sets up from the start. As unfortunate as it is that Kim or Tyson are guaranteed to be cut in week one, this is guaranteeing a lot of really fun conversation.

            If you tried to seed them (which I think is against the point of this exercise anyway), there would be way too much of “yeah… Kim is better than Bob. Next?” going on in early rounds. Instead we get some great match ups like Brian vs Yul to chew on (assuming HvV Sandra wins). Even a Natalie White vs. OWM will be entertaining in it’s own way.

  • PurpleTally

    I feel like I should formally introduce myself, as I believe I have been a topic of conversation around these parts for a bit. I’m Barbara Anderson’s friend who just watched all of Survivor (minus most of Thailand, because screw Thailand) over the past year. I also placed 15th in the MvGx fantasy league last year. Not quite witch status yet, but I’m working on it.
    Going in, the only things I knew were who won Borneo and Australia (I saw the tail end of Borneo and all of Australia back when they were first airing, but remembered very little) and that there was once a season divided by race. That’s about it.
    Here are my season rankings:
    1. Heroes Vs Villains
    2. Micronesia
    3. Pearl Islands
    4. Cook Islands
    5. Tocantins
    6. Cagayan
    7. Panama
    8. Philippines
    9. China
    10. Australia
    11. Cambodia
    12. Amazon
    13. Borneo
    14. Blood vs Water
    15. Caramoan
    16. Kaoh Rong
    17. Millennials Vs Gen-X
    18. San Juan Del Sur
    19. One World
    20. Palau
    21. Guatemala
    22. All-Stars
    23. Samoa
    24. Vanuatu
    25. Gabon
    26. Fiji
    27. South Pacific
    28. Africa
    29. Worlds Apart
    30. Redemption Island
    31. Nicaragua
    32. Marquesas
    33. Thailand

    Yeah. So. Hi.

    • Hey, guys, guys, look where she has got Cambodia.

      • Purplerockmatt

        that is how we know she is your friend

        • Hey, she got there from her own volition. I did not push her there. I had even gotten to my true trolling areas of Cambodia when she was like, “I don’t love this”.

          • Purplerockmatt

            Honestly I am more offended by where she has Palau

          • She has a fairly valid reason, but I knew that neither you or BD will be happy with that placement.

          • Purplerockmatt

            I am a huge Palau fan so guilty as charged

          • Ethan Kyle

            I find to much strategy insanely boring so same here

          • Purple Rock Emma

            That was the only major outlier, the top 10 is pretty solid.

          • PurpleTally

            It was #10 in my rankings at one point.

            *When I’d only seen 16 seasons.

      • corndogshuffle

        I would have thought Cambodia was your 34th favorite season. Surprised that you like Tally placing it at #11, I think an eleventh ranked season is a pretty big honor.

        • Come on, you really think I would put Cambodia below Nicaragua? No, even I have my own standards. Currently Cambodia is 10th on my list, but I have not seen a lot of the big seasons, so it will probably be around 15th when all is said and done.

          • corndogshuffle

            You did a really good job with your Cambodia trolling, to the point where I really was convinced you hated it! That wasn’t fair from my end, I should have known better than to accuse you of liking Nicaragua more than Cambodia.

          • Jim

            I’m never going to get agreement in this Survivor community…but Cambodia is in the high teens/low twenties on my list, and Nicaragua is just outside the top 10.

            I really don’t get how people are putting Cambodia anywhere near the top 5 unless big moves are the only thing they look for in a season.

          • purplerockandy

            “unless big moves are the only thing they look for in a season”

            Well, that and the fact that we’ll never be as smart as you.

          • Can I ask why Nicaragua is so high for you?

          • Jim

            Although it’s clearly not a good strategic season, I care quite little for that. I like it because I enjoy the craziness of the people on the season, and how more “normal” people like Marty or Alina work off it. Fabio is a really fun goofball, Chase’s relationships are quite interesting, Holly’s arc from stealing shoes and wanting to quit to having a legitimate shot at winning is one of the few times I like the redemption arc. Dan, while useless in the game, gives great, unintentionally funny lines. Wendy Jo is my top first boot. I have an irrational love for Alina. Not a fan of NaOnka, but she does bring good drama. I just really like what the non-Jane characters bring to the season. Also, Purple Kelly is terrible editing, but I also find it funny during scenes like the volcano, where Chase says she doesn’t really talk

          • Fair enough. Obviously I do not agree (I tried to give it a fair shake, but large portions of the season nearly rendered comatose out of boredom), but to each their own.

          • Jim

            I thought people didn’t like it because they didn’t like the lack of strategy, or the people were unlikable. Boring is a surprising one.

          • I mean yes, most of the cast is unlikable but I was bored out of my mind during the majority of it. If this season had a bit been more exciting, I could have gotten behind it. I also think any good will and momentum the season is getting with the 1-2-3 boots of Alina, Marty, and Brenda gets sapped by the double quits.

    • Black Dynamite

      Pretty good list, agreed that Thailand is the worst. What jumps out to me is how low you’re on Palau (which Barbara Anderson needs to watch). I’m curious as to why?

      • Alycia Swift

        Ditto – why? Palau is one of my favorites although I’ve never done a ranking.

        • PurpleTally

          I knew what happened with Ulong going in, and it kind of ruined it for me. I did what I could to avoid spoilers as I was watching, but I watched the seasons out of order. I watched it: 1, 3, 12, 2, 13-19 and then went back and watched a bunch of the older seasons before watching HvV. Palau was the last one of the seasons I had to watch before HvV, so it may have suffered from me just wanting to be done watching older seasons. That, plus knowing the biggest moment from it put it at a disadvantage. I did genuinely enjoy it. Just not as much as most, I guess.

          • Black Dynamite

            I could see how knowing what happens to Ulong may affect the viewing. I saw Palau blind and seeing the demise of Ulong was so fascinating in many ways that it never felt dull or repetitive despite occuring over many episodes.

          • corndogshuffle

            I’m also glad I got to see Palau unspoiled, I can definitely see how spoilers would mess up a first viewing. It’s a top three season for me along with Tocantins and Cagayan.

    • gouis

      Welcome! Don’t mind me, if I’m ever a jerk I didn’t mean it.

      • Alycia Swift

        Ditto for me. But I don’t think I’ve been one yet. Well maybe once.

        • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

          Same here. I probably most definitely have been a jerk at least once. But I try not to be.

          • PurpleTally

            Nice to meet, y’all. I’m probably nicer on the internet than I am in real life. I don’t know what that says about me.

      • purplerockandy

        I’m just a dick.

        • corndogshuffle

          Yeah, but you’re *our* dick.

          Wait…

          • Sylvisual

            Given your avatar…

          • corndogshuffle

            I won’t lie, I will never pass up an opportunity to make one of those jokes. If that makes me a 12 year old than so be it.

    • corndogshuffle

      Tocantins in the top five? I like that.

      What was it about Marquesas that turned you off so badly? It’s my one of my favorites but I’m surprised to see it so low.

      • PurpleTally

        Honestly, I just found it boring. I watched it immediately after watching 13-19, so going back to old school Survivor just didn’t do it for me. It should probably be above Nicaragua, if nothing else. There are a handful of seasons I should go back and give a second chance, now that I’m done with all of them. I actually like Vecepia as a winner; I think she’s (slightly) underrated, in that no one ever seems to give her credit for doing anything. Apart from the rock draw and the fake morning show (and Neleh and the mint), there’s not much I can even remember about it. But it probably got a little screwed over based on when I watched it.

        • It also didn’t help that you were watching it through different means, should we say.

          • PurpleTally

            The only one I watched through different means was Australia, actually. But this was before I invested in commercial free CBS All Access, so that hurt it, as well.

          • I thought you watched the first few episodes of Marquesas through different means. Man, we have watched too many episodes of Survivor together.

          • PurpleTally

            Actually, you might be right. I’ve watched too much of this show. It’s hard to keep track. At least I can use the Survivor Wiki now. That would have been helpful when I had to try to remember which challenges came from which seasons.

        • corndogshuffle

          That’s fair. Stuff like John Carroll and the coconut chop were huge moments and must have been amazing to watch live, but if you don’t watch the seasons in order (I also watched out of order) I could see where it’s not that exciting. I have it ranked around #20 in large part because of Kathy, but I also think it has a strong argument as one of the two most influential seasons of Survivor.

    • Kemper Boyd

      Cook Islands high, Ilike that. It’s one of my top 5 too, but it was my first so that helps.

      • PurpleTally

        When I started watching last year, I did Borneo, Africa, Panama, and then Cook Islands (I was simultaneously watching Australia while watching Africa and Panama). Panama is the season that made me say “Okay, yeah, I really, really like this.” Cook Islands was the one that made me love it.

        • Kemper Boyd

          The Aitu Four are so unbelievably perfect to get you into Survivor.

          • corndogshuffle

            One of the first five seasons I watched was Cook Islands. Can confirm, the Aitu Four was a huge part of why I got hooked on Survivor.

    • Mike Hirsch

      Welcome! And yes, screw Thailand!

    • EmAndScoutInBK

      How… how did I miss this? (I mean, I know how I missed this, but omg)

      WELCOME! I have heard about you while you were watching, so this is pretty exciting. Yay! I’m glad you’re here. Great name! Thailand is the actual worst. I’m super tired so I should probably stop saying words, but awesome that you are here.

      • PurpleTally

        Thanks. I’m trying to distance myself from my old username that’s everywhere else before I start teaching, and my hair was purple at the time, so it fit. (PS I may be the only person on the planet who was rooting for Purple Kelly when I watched Nicaragua.)
        I am excited to be here.

  • Mike Hirsch

    This should be fun, as I like seeing how others feel about certain winners. Well, mostly Earl.

    • Black Dynamite

      He’s one of the best and I’ll be a very vocal supporter of his game.

  • torchoflaw

    Really conflicted about the immediate Denise-Cochran match in the first round.

    • There are several first round matchups that angry up the blood.

      • Black Dynamite

        I want the Boston Rob/Natalie Anderson matchup to be a war.

        • Kemper Boyd

          Reporting for duty!

          • Black Dynamite

            I feel confident which way you’re leaning and I’m right there with you.

    • Alycia Swift

      That one’s easy for me. Denise. She went to every tribal and had one of the worst starting tribes ever. I think she was generally on the right side of the voting. She was on the outs when she was switched to a new tribe but was able to use her superior social skills to work her way in with the guys and out of the bottom. She was great socially, good physically and good strategically. She knew she did not have to be in charge. The only person she had any issue with was Abby and she was able to keep it under wraps up to a point. The other players for the most part were not idiots, especially on the second tribe. You had some good players and/or characters: Malcolm, Lisa (who got better), Jeff Kent, Penner, etc. She had a great partnership with Malcolm – and he was a good meat shield in a way – until he would not commit and was gunning for her. She did not piss people off. She did not fall into the usual mom role nor did people expect that of her. She did not have to return. She won on her first try.

      And I like Cochran but he’s middle tier for me. She’s one of my favorites.

      • Kemper Boyd

        I don’t think Cochran’s win is that impressive honestly.

        • corndogshuffle

          I dock a lot of points for his win being in a FvF season. I like Cochran, but I don’t think he measures up very favorably with Denise.

  • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

    So since I was talking about brackets by jury vote (and also since I’m purposefully shirking my work), here’s what a semi-random bracket would look like w/ HvV Sandra. I became so much more attached to this when I found out Boston Rob v. Amber was a first round matchup

    (1) J.T. Thomas [Tocantins]
    (16) Yul Kwon [Cook Islands]

    (2) John Cochran [Caramoan]
    (15) Richard Hatch [Borneo]

    (3) Adam Klein [Millennials v. Gen. X]
    (14) Tina Wesson [Australian Outback]

    (4) Tony Vlachos [Cagayan]
    (13) Bob Crowley [Gabon]

    (5) Danni Boatwright [Guatemala]
    (12) Vecepia Towery [Marquesas]

    (6) Natalie White [Samoa]
    (11) Sophie Clarke [South Pacific]

    (7) Kim Spradlin [One World]
    (10) Aras Baskauskas [Panama]

    (8) Michele Fitzgerald [Kaoh Rong]
    (9) Ethan Zohn [Africa]

    (1) Earl Cole [Fiji]
    (16) Fabio Birza [Nicaragua]

    (2) Jeremy Collins [Cambodia]
    (15) Todd Herzog [China]

    (3) Rob Mariano [Redemption Island]
    (14) Amber Brkich [All-Stars]

    (4) Tyson Apostol [Blood v. Water]
    (13) Brian Heidik [Thailand]

    (5) Tom Westman [Palau]
    (12) Parvati Shallow [Micronesia]

    (6) Jenna Morasca [Amazon]
    (11) Natalie Anderson [San Juan del Sur]

    (7) Mike Holloway [Worlds Apart]
    (10) Sandra Diaz-Twine [Heroes v. Villains]

    (8) Denise Stapley [Philippines]
    (9) Chris Daugherty [Vanuatu]

    • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

      Pearl Island Sandra bracket below. I also want to point out that both brackets guarantee Sophie sees the second round because Sophie deserves at least the second round.

      (1) Earl Cole [Fiji]
      (16) Fabio Birza [Nicaragua]

      (2) Adam Klein [Millennials v. Gen. X]
      (15) Amber Brkich [All-Stars]

      (3) Jeremy Collins [Cambodia]
      (14) Bob Crowley [Gabon]

      (4) Tyson Apostol [Blood v. Water]
      (13) Richard Hatch [Borneo]

      (5) Sandra Diaz-Twine [Pearl Islands]
      (12) Vecepia Towery [Marquesas]

      (6) Jenna Morasca [Amazon]
      (11) Sophie Clarke [South Pacific]

      (7) Natalie White [Samoa]
      (10) Ethan Zohn [Africa]

      (8) Mike Holloway [Worlds Apart]
      (9) Michele Fitzgerald [Kaoh Rong]

      (1) John Cochran [Carmoan]
      (16) Yul Kwon [Cook Islands]

      (2) J.T. Thomas [Tocantins]
      (15) Brian Heidik [Thailand]

      (3) Tony Vlachos [Cagayan]
      (14) Todd Herzog [China]

      (4) Rob Mariano [Redemption Island]
      (13) Tina Wesson [Australian Outback]

      (5) Danni Boatwright [Guatemala]
      (12) Natalie Anderson [San Juan del Sur]

      (6) Tom Westman [Palau]
      (11) Parvati Shallow [Micronesia]

      (7) Kim Spradlin [One World]
      (10) Aras Baskauskas [Panama]

      (8) Denise Stapley [Philippines]
      (9) Chris Daugherty [Vanuatu]

  • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

    Probst: We brought these players back because they were willing to make Big Movez™.

    FFSDT: Part of my downfall was that I didn’t make enough Big Movez™.

    Alright, I see y’all.