Guest Post: The Most Useless Players from Every Season of Survivor (part two)

Every season of Survivor has at least one player you look at late in the game and think Who?, How?, and Wait they’re still on the show? A recent conversation here sparked me to go back and ask who the most useless player in every season to go deep was, both in terms of the story and in terms of the game. So I developed a completely unscientific process to answer this question.

This could be a game changer.

I took four factors into account in analyzing usefulness:

  • Strategic significance: Players who run the strategy are obviously going to be useful, but Survivor is better when people take a run at the majority alliance, so I gave credit to people who made plans and failed.
  • Challenge performance: I’m not a challenge guy, but I can acknowledge that sometimes challenge performance affects the game (see e.g.: Holloway, Mike). That said, not all challenge wins are created equal. Wins that end up having no effect on how the game plays out are treated less importantly than wins that do.
  • Being a pocket vote: If someone is consistently being told how to vote by someone else, it’s a knock against them even if they’re on the right side of the numbers. Going with the flow because it’s the right time to do so is one thing, being a yes man is another.
  • Entertainment value: Did you have no game or clue what you were doing, but at least made good TV? Congratulations, this is your saving category! This is, though, the least important category.

As for what “go deep” means, I settled on surviving at least two votes after the merge. So good job, Julie, you were not the most useless player in San Juan del Sur. If I have two solid contenders for most useless, I’m also generally going to favor the one who made it deeper into the game, just because it’s more baffling.

If you missed part one of the list, I covered the most useless Survivors from Borneo to Micronesia here. Now, without further ado, let’s get to part two.

Survivor: Gabon – Bob Crowley

Gabon- Bob useless face
This is also the expression I make when I think about Gabon.

“But Bob won!” you say. Sure. He did. Ask him how. See if he can explain it.

Bob won because the competition self-destructed around him, he scored some late immunities, and he had a chaotic influence on his side in Sugar.

Gabon is the Sugar story. She chose who was going from week to week, and Bob had no idea what was going on. The power of picking who went home, plus just being Sugar, made Sugar toxic to the jury. So Bob is the safe choice. He’s the inanimate carbon rod of Survivor winners, an analogy I wish I would have thought up when we were talking about Gabon because it would have gotten a ton of upvotes.

Survivor: Tocantins – Erinn Lobdell

Survivor Tocantins Erinn
Editor’s note: Agreed, Erinn.

What to do? What to do? This is a strong cast and I’m not sure exactly who in the post-merge I think shouldn’t be there.

The Jalapao 3 are obviously out of contention. So is Coach. I’m also taking Sierra out because she had a huge story arc and because she was memorably a useful pawn in the Tyson vote.

So that leaves Debbie and Erinn. Personality wise, Debbie mostly disappears into Coach’s shadow, but she seems to be a power player on Timbira and is on the right side of the vote most of the time. Erinn,  by her own admission, was invisible for huge chunks of the game. She emerges late, but it almost feels like that’s because somebody, anybody at all, has to be shown as a force in the way of the Stephen/JT machine. So Erinn it is.

Survivor: Samoa – Mick Trimming

Me? What a feckless choice.
Me? What a feckless choice.

The story goes that, having determined Russell to be an unacceptable choice, the Samoa jury went in planning to vote for Mick, but then he was so underwhelming in Final Tribal that they voted for Natalie White instead. I can’t think of a more perfect metaphor for Mick’s game.

Mick gets elected leader on day 1. It’s a stupid gimmick, but whatever imaginary authority he might have had he almost immediately cedes to an abrasive bully who sets the game on fire and then rolls around in the ashes laughing. And Mick just stands there watching the whole time. Then he makes it to the end, and all he has to do to win is to be a less objectionable winner than Russell Hantz, and he couldn’t do it.

This wasn’t even a close one. Invisi-Brett at least has his challenge run, all Mick has is… losing.

Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains – Colby Donaldson

Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains
“Do any of you even know who this ‘Sharculese’ guy is?”

Heroes vs. Villains was hard for me because I have two absurdly worthy candidates, so I’m going to have to hash out their value.

On the one hand you have Colby. He is out of the loop for basically the whole game, he’s the worst in challenges, and when he actually tries to play it’s like watching a dog try to walk on its hind legs. But, the thing is, watching a dog try to walk on its hind legs is really funny. There are so many great Colby moments in HvV, even if all of them involve him failing at things.

Then on the other hand you have Danielle. Everything I remember about Danielle involves her being told what to do by Parvati. She is as pocket vote-y as it gets.  Except she found that idol clue that one time, which Colby made Amanda give back to her because he would rather watch a movie than play Survivor and, oh man, HvV Colby is such a hilarious disaster.

In the end I went to the tiebreaker and asked who lasted longer, so it’s Colby, but I’ll try to justify it a little. Russell forces the Danielle vote because her allegiance to Parvati is a threat to him. She has power, if only by proxy. Colby is the last of the Heroes to get the ax because why would you bother voting out Colby. That’s about as useless as you can get.

Survivor: Nicaragua – Dan Lembo

Survivor Nicaragua Dan in the big chair
It’s funny because it’s a big chair!

My first issue here was to deal with the Purple Kelly paradox. By quitting Kelly had both a bigger impact and a bigger image than she ever would have had by staying in. If she hadn’t quit she probably would have gotten a more prominent edit, but all evidence points to her being strategically and socially inert. I mean, one of her few big scenes involves Chase pointing out that it’s weird how she never talks.

And then I remembered, “oh wait, it’s Nicaragua. I have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to useless idiots who should have gone pre-merge. Let’s see which one lasted the longest.” It’s Dan Lembo.

Dan Lembo who wore $200 shoes on Survivor. Dan Lembo who asked if challenges were mandatory. Dan Lembo who tried to get himself nicknamed “Teflon Dan”, even though that didn’t make a lick of sense. Dan Lembo whose most iconic image is of him sitting in an oversized chair like a gross, creepy parody of a child’s portrait. Sure, I’ll go with that guy. That works.

It’s Dan. Why not? Picking the most useless person from Nicaragua is like picking the whitest person at a Chase Rice concert. You can try, but how do you even begin?

Survivor: Redemption Island – Natalie Tenerelli

Screen grabs from "Survivor: Redemption Island" -- Ashley smells Natalie.
“You smell that? That’s uselessness.”

Ugh, early 20s Survivor you are killing me. I really wanted to just call this one for ‘everyone who isn’t Rob or Phillip’ but my sense of honor forces me to take this project seriously, so I couldn’t do that.

It’s obviously not Rob, because he’s the only person who really matters in RI. I also ruled out Phillip because, as distasteful as he can be, he is a huge presence in the season, and that counts for something. Of the remaining eight names left in contention I ruled it down to three.

First is Steve Wright, because Steve just kind of gives up after the merge and lies in the Zapeteras comically sized shelter until they get around to voting him out. (Yes, “Rice Wars” is a thing. We’re not talking about it.) The other two were Grant and Natalie who, of all the Ometepes, seemed like the ones most duped by Rob.

I couldn’t pick among them, so I tiebroke it. And Natalie, by virtue of making it to Final Tribal, is the winner. But really, it could have been any of these dinguses.

Survivor: South Pacific – Rick Nelson

Survivor South Pacific Cowboy Rick
Here’s a thumbs up just for remembering me, Sharculese!

After multiple hard choices, finally a no-brainer. Probably the biggest no-brainer on this list, because who has ever been less relevant to their season than Rancher Rick?

I could stop here and everyone reading this would think “Well, duh, of course it’s Rick.” But, as with Redemption Island, I am being scrupulously professional in my decision to embark on this weird project, so let’s delve into the hows and the whys of Rick going deep while showing up like 3 times.

Rick is kind of like a throwback version of Survivor. South Pacific comes at the tail end of the show’s “no swaps” era. Not having swaps makes it easier to not feel like needing alternate plans, and Rick seems very much like a “trust these people to the end” kind of guy. He even comes out and says in his Final Tribal speech that he doesn’t like liars. Seeing Rick on Africa or Thailand would have made sense. Seeing him on South Pacific does not.

And then, and I will say that this last part is speculative, I think there’s a certain type of dude, an older dude usually, who does not like the probing questions production has to ask and responds poorly. That ends up meaning that production doesn’t bother and just makes him invisible. If that is a thing, and I very much believe it is, Rick feels like someone who would fall into that pattern.

So there you have it. I think I’ve now written more about Rancher Rick than anyone else on this list. And none of it was jokes because I ended up deeply curious how a fifth place finisher got completely erased from his season. Rick Nelson, this list may officially mark the most attention anyone has paid to your Survivor career, ever.

Survivor: One World – Christina Cha

Survivor One World Christina carrying a log
Look at this dead weight carrying that log.

One World is another case of it coming down to who I want it to be vs. who it should be, so let’s talk about that.

I want it to be Tarzan. He’s a pretentious dimwit who uses words and concepts he doesn’t understand to make himself sound smart. He’s the last man standing for a reason: it was obvious that he had no idea what was going on, and nobody could possibly see him as a threat. And after he voted out Kat (which he only did because the alternative was getting voted off himself) he, a 64-year-old man, decided it would be a funny prank to wear a 22-year-old woman’s dirty underwear as a hat. He is garbage. I do not like him.

Survivor One World Tarzan bikini why

(Fun fact: when you do a Google image search for “Tarzan Smith,” one of the results you get is Photoshops from Disney’s Tarzan where it looks like he and John Smith from Pocahontas are about to kiss. I guess that’s a thing people ship. I told you that story so I don’t have to talk about this picture.)

But then there’s Cha-Cha, and it has to be her. She plays the game super aggressively for the first couple of days and, when that doesn’t go her way, the lesson she learns is “don’t play the game at all”.

Tarzan is a disgusting human being and a terrible player, but the one time it mattered, he did what he had to. I can’t say the same for Christina.

Survivor: Philippines – Carter Williams

The proto-Christy bro.
Alec Christy before Alec Christy.

I’m at a loss as to what to say about Carter. Supposedly he’s one of those casting misfires who are really exciting during the process but fizzle out once they’re on the island. Maybe Carter was even fun for the first two weeks of the game and they didn’t have time to show it because Tandang and Matsing were busy being dumpster fires in opposite directions. Whatever it was though, Penner’s decision to trade away all of Kalabaw’s food (which is peak Penner) clearly breaks him, and afterward he’s like a ghost shuffling through the season.

I think he’s kind of a number for Jeff Kent for a minute, until Penner gets Kent voted out (man, Penner just completely wrecked Carter’s game). Then he’s, I guess, a number for Skupin, which is the most humiliating circumstance I can imagine. Then they run out of other people to vote out and he’s gone.

Survivor: Caramoan – Erik Reichenbach (again)

Survivor Caramoan Erik evacuated
At least he could still poop.

Is there a sadder returnee story than Erik’s? (Yes, and it is Francesca. But Erik is second.)

Erik came into Survivor a huge fan of the show. That was the era before “superfan” was a thing you could say on camera, but it’s obvious how much of a joy and an honor it is for him to be playing. He’s like a kid in a candy store.

Then he ends up boxed in by an alliance he’s not part of but manages to go on a big immunity run. Only, just when it looks like there’s light at the end of the tunnel, he gets conned into letting himself be voted out and looking like the biggest doofus in Survivor history.

But he’s back. Five years older, five years wiser. He’s a favorite, not a fan, now. Surely things are gonna go better, right? Nope. Serious leg infection that takes him out with days left in the game. And, even before that, there’s all the stuff with him asking to have people point to the merge flag and tell him who to vote for. Very rarely do we get such concrete evidence of someone being a total pawn, but we get it here. Maybe he was delusional long before the point where they have to evacuate him. It still isn’t a good look.

I love that Erik appears to still be a huge fan of the show; I think it’s a testament to his character that he can let what’s happened to him slide and still enjoy Survivor. But man, going over that record has to suck.

Survivor: Blood vs. Water – Katie Collins

Survivor Blood vs Water Katie
For marriage inquiries, contact

Sometimes you go on Survivor with your mom, and you let her run your entire game for you. And then your mom’s alliance gets yanked out from under her, she gets voted out, and you’re like, “Welp, don’t know what to do now.” And then the guy who voted your mom out mocks you on the way out the door, but he apologizes at Final Tribal, so you still vote for him.

Okay, that only happened the one time, but it’s the Katie Collins story.

Katie came in at a disadvantage. She started on a tribe that was heavily tilted towards favoring bros who could bro down, and, even after that, she was under the wing of Tina, who is both her mom and someone who’s won the game before. She had to start really playing later than any of the other loved ones, and that’s a handicap.

On the other hand, she never really seemed like she knew what was going on. She was a number for Hayden and Caleb. She let herself get tricked into admitting she didn’t have an idol by Ciera, whose main strategy is yelling at people. You can argue that agreeing to a rock draw was a strong move, but it’s not like she had another choice.

Maybe Katie would have been a stronger player had Tina not been there. I suspect we’re never going to find out.

Survivor: Cagayan – Jefra Bland

Wait, what?
Wait, what?

Cagayan is a perfect storm of elements that make it hard to talk about. First, Cagayan has a stellar final six in Tasha, Trish, Spencer, Kass, Woo, and Tony. It might be the best final six of all time. There is not a dud in that group. Second, like Gabon and Samoa before it, it’s largely centered around the antics of one chaotic player (the difference is, this time that player won, and it was awesome), so nonentities are marginalized more than usual.

I have three names to work with here, all Beauties – LJ, Jeremiah, and Jefra. It’s not Obvious Winner LJ, who at least made his mark on the season. So it’s Jeremiah or Jefra. Both are boring. Jeremiah has that one weird discussion with Tasha and Spencer where he tells them to Google him; Jefra has “Are ya’ll peein’?” I think that’s it.

This is one that seems like it should come down to tiebreak but it doesn’t. Jeremiah, simply by being on post-swap Aparri, ended up having to do things to stay in the game. He was bad at doing those things, but he tried. Jefra got to be complacent because the swap kept her on Solana, and she only went home because of Tony’s insane “how many of my allies can I put on the jury” strategy. That’s more useless, so Jefra gets the pick.

Survivor: San Juan del Sur – Blood vs Water II – Alec Christy

Survivor SJDS Alec Christy face
I rest my case.

Survivor: Worlds Apart – Sierra Dawn Thomas

Pondering how to change the game.

And now we come to the player who inspired this list.

On paper, Sierra’s strategy makes a ton of sense. She looked around and realized she was in an alliance with a bullying misogynist, another bullying misogynist, and a third bullying misogynist. And all of them sucked at challenges. Given those circumstances, it’s not at all unreasonable to consider going to the end with two of these assholes and saying that you were inoffensive by comparison.

The problem is that being bland and inoffensive is a death trap for young women on Survivor, and Sierra dove heartily into it. I don’t fault her for not predicting Mike’s improbable run to the end, but she did suffer from it.

This isn’t a total condemnation. In a season dominated by sexism, bullying, and sexist bullying, being the person who kind of just doesn’t do anything isn’t the worst mark. It does make her the most useless, though.

Survivor: Cambodia – Second Chance – Keith Nale

Cambodia- Keith flails and falls into water

I get it. San Juan del Sur was a desert of bad strategy, no strategy, and the most ludicrous final 3 plan ever designed. Why not feature the antics of a curmudgeonly firefighter from Louisiana who is weirdly good at balancing balls on paddles?

Fortunately, Cambodia is not San Jan del Sur. It turns out that when you have a season of good players doing interesting things, including Keith Nale as a sideshow becomes much less of a priority.

There’s three memorable Keith Nale moments for me in all of Cambodia.  The first is the whole “volunteer taxi” thing, which, I will concede, is charming. The second is a random shot where people are having a strategy discussion, and you can see him in the background struggling to get into a hammock.

Survivor Cambodia Keith in hammock
Yay! He did it!


But the big one is that third thing, the time he volunteered to be voted out, not because he wanted to leave but because he thought that was it was the right thing to do. In one of the biggest moments in Survivor history, Keith threw up his hands and said “screw it.”

Keith agreed to be in the running for Cambodia because retirement was boring, and we got precisely what we deserved – a bored retiree taking an expensive vacation.

Survivor: Kaôh Rōng – Joe Del Campo

Kaoh Rong- block hits Joe in the head during immunity challenge

We close this list with a man who manages to nail every single one of my factors. The rare quadruple non-threat.

He showed no interest in strategizing. He tried his best in challenges, but aside from the Reynold Topher Memorial Throwing Things at Other Things challenge, it never seemed to amount to anything. He did what Aubry told him to, except for that one time she changed her mind at the last minute. And he was absolutely invisible in confessionals.

This is the second dude on the list I’ve had to consider who got pulled because he couldn’t go to the bathroom. The difference is that Bruce was a Casaya; Bruce was fun. Joe was there.

So there you have it, the most useless players in 32 seasons of Survivor. They didn’t make waves, but their names take up more space in my brain than I’m really comfortable with.

In case you missed it: Part one- Most useless Survivor players: Borneo through Micronesia.

Sharculese (definitely his real name) spent way too much time writing this thing about Survivor. Don’t try to find him on Twitter. If you must interact with him, he can often be found in the comments section here. 



Sharculese first saw Survivor when his roommate wanted to watch Cagayan. He has now seen every season because he has a skewed sense of priorities.

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401 thoughts on “Guest Post: The Most Useless Players from Every Season of Survivor (part two)

      1. Actually Matt and I both have extremely left-wing parents. But we are also both in the Survivor community where HIS NAME IS COWBOY RICK.

          1. What? (I only know the difference between a farmer and a rancher because of the movie Shane)

          2. Ranchers owns the land. Cowboys are typically employed by ranchers to work the land or the cattle. Although, ranchers are typically more seen in the West because they are able to have more land out there. My grandfather, who is a farmer, hires cowboys from time to time to work his cattle. The more you know.

        1. My mum was genuinely a paid up member of the Communist Party of Great Britain until the early 80s.

          1. My uncle used to be a card-carrying member of the Communist Party! My mom said she was registered Peace & Freedom for a while, but later decided she wanted her vote to you know, count.

          2. Ah the Peace and Freedom party. The people who made voting Green in 2004 look reasonable by comparison.

          3. I mean, this was like the 70s. But that does remind me: my dad voted for Ralph Nader in 2000.

          4. My dad is pretty far to the left now, but that only started to happen in 1980. If I want to poke fun at him I remind him of the time he voted for Richard Nixon. Which I got to do last weekend, actually (remind my dad, not vote for Nixon, obviously.)

          5. I suppose there are now a large number of voting-age millennials who don’t really remember the 2000 election, but goddamn there was no excuse for voting Green in 2004.

          6. Yeah, but in 2004 the Peace and Freedom Party nominated Leonard Peltier. Who still won’t get out of prison for 25 years. So degrees of insanity.

          7. The Greens really just come along every 16 years to fuck everything up. They’ve proven quite good at it.

            As a voting-age millennial, I can confirm that absolutely no one (who doesn’t pay attention to politics) remembers 2000 enough to realize that voting third party is a terrible idea.

          8. My mum never voted anyone but Labour because you vote for political parties who can win because a compromised left wing political party winning is better than a right wing party winning

          9. If I could we wouldn’t be haveing a leadership contest where the lefty leader every MP says isn’t up to doing the job is probably going to win again despite the party polling 29% of voting intentions (at this point in the last cycle Labour was polling 44% and still lost).

          10. I was a registered Socialist when I lived in DC, but we don’t have party registration down here because all primaries are open.

  1. Also after Jeff Kent gets voted out, Carter’s biggest ally was… Penner, who cost him the game by waffling on Lisa Welchel’s final 4 plans.

    1. When Philippines was on I was still a pretty casual Survivor fan – I didn’t watch super closely and I may have missed a couple episodes (although I loved the season). There was a scene where Carter actually did something very shortly after the merge, and I legitimately did not remember him being on the season before that. At all.

    2. Yeah, the greatest irony is that the Raros were not the people most screwed over by playing with Penner.

      1. Is Penner the rare Survivor castaway to complete the trifecta of screwing his alliance every season he is on?
        CI: Flips from the Aitu 4 back to Raro back to Aitu
        Micro: Gets medevaced and dooms the older people
        Philippines: See above.

        1. Hey! He didnt just screw over the older people in Micronesia. He also screwed over Eliza.

          1. I haven’t watched the Micronesia pre-merge ever so I don’t remember who was on what swap tribe, but I should have had that figured because Ami and Eliza were separated and Parvati and Amanda were separated.

        1. We have the gif of Keith practicing his golf shot while Savage talks strategy and the image of Keith staring blankly off into the distance while Ciera talks strategy.

          Keith vs. strategy is a hilarious subplot in Cambodia. And it’s hilarious because it’s *only* Keith that’s strategy-averse. That’s the key to it being entertaining.

          1. It’s hilarious until it prevents what could have been an amazing final 5 tribal. I don’t think it would’ve worked, but it would’ve been really entertaining.

          2. To be fair to Keith, the golf shot thing was when Savage was yelling at someone (Kass I think). It’s the correct move when people start yelling at each other.

    1. The Alec gif made me laugh aloud. As it always does. But the Keith gif was a close second…

      1. It’ hard to tell the difference, but that version isn’t a .gif. I couldn’t find the .gif.

        1. Considering the difference would have only been in background motion, this does not bother me to the slightest, and my point still stands. 🙂

        1. Tyson was ineligible too, not that I would have picked him. The rule wasnt “first two out,” it was “survive two votes” so Joe doesnt count.

          1. Brendan was the dragon!

            In all seriousness, if Brendan had made it deeper, theres a chance Coach’s weird jealousy towards him would have kept him out of contention.

          2. I love the shot of Coach barely hiding his contempt at the idea of Brendan being named leader.

        2. I was the editor. I also did most of the pics and captions, which is why the Erinn pic is captioned with my agreement with her disdain for Sharculese’s choice.

          1. Like I said in my e-mail, I wasn’t sure if you wanted a picture for every entry.

            Also, John knows my true name now, so he can banish me to the ocean from wence I came if he so chooses. I think you have to do that in person though, so he has to drive up here.

          2. It’s actually easier when you don’t bother with the pics, since we have a ton already in our library. Plus, the written content is what we wanted.

            And my commitment to letting people maintain their privacy/anonymity is absolute. I’m not going to be doxxing anyone. Your secret is safe with me, D’Brickashaw.

            But I’ll let you know next time I’m going to be in the ATL area if you’re looking for a good banishment.

          3. I already had a few I knew I wanted, either because I had a good caption or it needed to be there. The Four Horsemen .gif, Dan Lembo in the chair (I was actually just looking for a still and lucked into the .gif,) and of course, the Alec Christy thing.

            As for your note on the Tarzan banana hammock picture, the why is that I was looking for a shot of him wearing Kat’s underwear and couldn’t find one, but I saw that so now all of you have to see it, too.

          4. In retrospect, the fact that it’s the e-mail my disqus notifications go to should have been a clue.

          5. That kinda reads like you are agreeing that Erinn is the choice. i.e. “Agreed, [it’s] Erinn.”

    1. I wanted to defend Erinn, but I can’t really think of any good strategic reason. She gives good confessionals, but the post-merge Tocantins cast is good enough that that isn’t enough.

      1. I think I maybe gave the only strategic defense for Erinn, because that probably gave her a greater placing than what she would have had for sticking with Timbira.

  2. Dan Lembo’s shoes cost $1,600 and it’s straight-up terrifying that I remember that.

        1. I still haven’t jumped into that sea of awfulness. Though I plan to watch after HvV unless I get distracted by basically anything.

          1. You guys should wait until the official PRP rewatch of Nicaragua. I have a feeling there are going to be precious few people actually watching along rather than just snarking away in the comments. Barbara, seasons 21-24 can be watched in any order. Nothing affects a future season until Caramoan.

          2. Unfortunately, my watching is kinda dependent on my friend. How about this, I will watch now and then I will suffer again along with all of you. Then, I can be a more experience guide into the Inferno that is Nicaragua.

          3. I’m hardly in a position to call anybody’s Survivor fandom unhealthy, but watching Gabon once and Nicaragua twice in the same year might qualify. Although who knows, maybe you’ll be ga-ga for Chase or something.

          4. You might be reverse-overhyped on Nicaragua by now. It’s still recognizably Survivor, not Hotel Rwanda. It’s basically Gabon with a bit more strategy, no wild animals, and no fun.

          5. Wasn’t there some discussion of Nicaragua being the next rewatch after MvGX? Presumably to decide once and for all whether it or Gabon should rank last.

          6. Hey, I am game for that. I want to try to finish HvV (which is really doable as I am 2/3s) and finally finish Phillippines and Cagayan once and for all before MvGx.

          7. This is the distraction. I love those seasons so much I will happily watch them again and again.

  3. Fun fact: I didnt remember that “like a kid in a candy store” is how Cirie described Erik’s reaction to Amanda and Ami’s topless shower until after I wrote this.

  4. I remember before Worlds Apart started I told a friend that Sierra would win. I then immediately forgot she was on the show until the aftermath of the Lindsey vote out. I got excited thinking this was when she will shine. She will turn her back on the awful blue collar tribe and go far. I promptly forgot about her again. I think she played her plan correctly, it just didn’t work out.

    I wanna use this space though to talk about how useless to good Survivor Will is. He sucks at all aspects of the game besides being the biggest goat. He’s bad strategically, socially and perhaps the worst ever in challenges. The Shirin incident still pisses me off when I think about it along with his bullshit “apology” at the reunion. I’m even more annoyed that he is considered a runner up on the season. Will is the fucking worst and the main reason among many why Worlds Apart is awful.

    1. I have to agree here about Will’s apology. It makes me sick when he doesn’t really apologize to Shirin, but rather Shirin’s family, who she has said on the show and in post-game interviews that the only family she has now is her mother and her boyfriend, and even her relationship with her mom is strained. It just rubbed me the wrong way.

      1. Also his insistence that she had to forgive him. That apology was only about his ego, not the pain he caused Shirin.

          1. Is that his wife? If so, she had no business getting involved and talking over Shirin.

    2. I like the phrase “useless to good Survivor” as a description to Will. Most other toxic players are at least disruptive in a potentially game-changing way. Will is, well, a dead fish.

      1. i think that is still too kind to Will. Will is a fucking self-righteous scumbag, who incidentally is also useless to good survivor. fuck Will

        1. Wills biggest contribution was making Dan not the most awful person on WA.

          Also, Shirins hand raise.

          1. OMG – I never realized what that was. It was automatically generated. I never looked at it closely. I am like that 80 old woman still trying to figure out the VCR sometimes. Now I need to change it. And I forgot that season was in Nicaragua so I was racking my brains as to what you meant about the other awful Nicaragua season.

          2. Yes they are. But the one when someone says Nicaragua that automatically comes to mind for me is Nicaragua – with Fabio, Brenda, Sash, Naonka.

            How do I change this profile picture?

          3. If you click on your name, it showed you a summary of your activity. You should also see an “Edit Profile” button. Click that and you can edit your picture.

          4. I love the Drunk Jenn avatar they use for guest contributors, although it might not scale down.

          5. I definitely got an avatar just so I could avoid the dead fish. I think Barbara Anderson did as well.

          6. During Cambodia John’s shtick was a parody of Stephen’s blog called “The People’s Survivor Blog” where he celebrated mediocrity and failure. Every week he awarded someone the “Dead Fishy.” That was the trophy.

            It’s the default image here if you don’t associate a picture with your account.

          7. I understand. Now that I know what it is, I don’t want to have it. I really was not looking at it before. I just have no pictures at work and should actually be, you know, doing stuff.

          1. But that’s where I get all my videos of one type of animal washing another type of animal!!!

          1. Sidenote: when did everyone know what the word ‘chryon’ is? I feel like in the past 6 months it went from nothing to completely saturating any and all TV discussion.

          2. The first time I heard of that word in regards to the Survivor onscreen occupation was Kah-Rong, with all the discussion of Debbie’s chyrons.

          3. Is that not a commonly known word? I just assumed it was, but that’s maybe an artifact of having to take media class in high school.

    3. I’ve said it here before – what the fuck was casting looking for with Will? I haven’t seen any of his Youtube videos (and will never out of my hatred of him). Was he funny or something?

      1. No. He was not. He sang Living on a Prayer at a gas station. I remember reading he was cast at the last minute.

      2. If the Dirty 30 is to be believed, there was a African American football player that was supposed to be on White Collar while Tyler was going to be on No Collar. However, the football player was removed last minute, so they decided to swap the narrative on Tyler to make him White Collar and find an African American male who could be No Collar.

        1. I can’t decide what makes me happier about that alternate reality – not having heard of Will Sims 2 or making Tyler’s boasting about his failed football career even sadder.

          1. As I’m fond of pointing out, if So Kim’s sister hadn’t been blocked, SJdS would have been one quarter WoC.

          2. Teaching English is the wooooorst. But that’s probably because I have to focus on commas prepositions and other boring shit like that. If I got to teach kids about cool books it would probably be a lot more fun.

          3. Okay, good. Because I didn’t want to have to yell at you for being one of the teachers who force me to unlearn students the idea that you can’t start a sentence with ‘because.’

        2. Damn I missed my shot on being on Survivor. I would’ve been way better than Will or out first.

          1. A little over 6 years ago my friends were getting married. The bride applied and got accepted to be on Bridezillas. As one of the groomsmen, I end up on camera a couple of times.

          2. Definitely. She lived up to the title. I’m glad I was just a bystander and not the target. I think she now regrets the decision.

          3. There are large swaths of the east coast where you are in no danger of encountering them. Even John doesn’t have that problem.

          1. That’s the way those no collar’s roll. They don’t wait for people to sing their praises, they do it themselves.

    4. I would argue that Will is decent both strategically and socially when he’s not starving and losing his mind. No collar Will was a decent player in a couple different regards, and so was merge Will. Late merge Will was the dead fish.

      1. Pre-swap Will was such a challenge liability that it becomes a factor in the Vince vote-off. Post-swap/early-merge Will is largely invisible, but it sounds like a lot of his decision to join the Axis of Evil had nothing to do with gameplay; he was just tired of Joe, Jen, and Hali and wanted to be around people his own age. Which is fine and sensible (except for the part where he joined an alliance led by Rodney), but makes recruiting him their move, not his.

        And then there’s post-auction Will and… welp.

        1. That’s a bit of a harsh way to put it in terms of the pre-swap Will. It became a factor in terms of Vince using it as a potential target, which Will then used to pretty much single-handedly get rid of Vince, which is what you’re supposed to do when someone targets you.

          Plus he was the only one to make a connection with Nina, which served him well in getting through those first few votes.

          His decision to join the Axis of Evil was a good one, considering he went from 4th or 5th banana to Rodney’s second in command. (In other words his age made him an outsider in the alliance, it wasn’t just a matter of him not feeling it). And it was impressive how the No Collars didn’t know he had flipped until something like 2 votes later.

          I’m going to stop defending Will now, please stop making me.

    5. I also had picked Sierra as my winner. I was thoroughly disappointed at how it all played out.

      Fuck Will. Actually the worst.

  5. I try to not be a horndog man about the scantily clad ladies on Survivor…

    But damn is Christina Cha fine. Especially on the island.

    I’ll see myself out now.

    1. Christina was the rare Survivor player who got hotter the longer she stayed in the game.

        1. Whether it’s rare or not is probably affected by your tolerance for facial hair (though admittedly not all of the guys end up with a full lumberjack beard).

          1. To give you some perspective, I am a bigger fan of Boston Rob’s attractiveness in the mid-point of the game than at the end of the game with his terrible facial hair.

          2. I’m pretty sure he fattens himself up intentionally, because with minimal food your body will start burning fat reserves pretty quickly. So it’s not a terrible idea to have a decent amount of fat stored up.

          3. I’m pretty sure Rob has explicitly said he’s on the “fatten up” side of that debate.

          4. Joe and Malcolm both got the Three Musketeers facial hair which is the opposite of attractive in my book.

          5. I’ve complained about Malcolm’s decision to keep that horrid facial hair far more than any straight man should.

          6. Nah, bagging on dudes who think they can grow facial hair but can’t is the sacred prerogative of dudes who can grow facial hair.

          1. But did JT get hotter the longer he stayed in the game? I’m man enough enough to admit that he’s attractive, but I would say his hotness level stayed the same the whole game.

            Christina Cha was like a Benjamin Button of hotness. You could almost see it happening in front of your eyes.

          2. I agree. I think JT is attractive from the start and stays that way. As for my answer of who gets hotter, Natalie Anderson is the first name to jump out to me. Also Aubry from Kaoh Rong. I think there is at least one person in the majority of seasons.

          3. Nick from Ka Rong – the beard worked on him. I did not think he was good-looking in the first place.

          4. Agreed. Island beards have helped a few men along the way. I end up disappointed that they shave it when they reach the jury.

          5. I think one thing those two women have in common is their hair. They have a lot of thick curly hair and it looks really good after weeks of washing only in salt water.

          6. Yeah JT. When he loses that baby fat and then consists entirely of brutish country strength…. meow!

          7. Eh. He’s ok.

            Ethan. Yul Kwon. Tom Westman. Ian R. Earl Cole. Jeremy. But all were good from day 1.

          8. I just finished Africa and was struck by how good looking Ethan was the entire time during that season.

          9. Yeah, end game Yul still looks great. And bearded Earl still has it.

            Kourtney Moon still looks great by the end.

            (of day 2.)

          1. Tom was definitely a silver fox.

            Is this the opinion you were looking for?

            I think it’s tougher for women because they tend to cast skinny women. Thus, they get worse as the season goes on. Stephenie benefited from island-hot, because she gets a good tan and gets the Jersey off of her.

          2. Black Dynamite mentioned Aubry. There was a point about 2 episodes after the merge where Aubry hit good levels of island hot.

          3. Yes, I agree. But she was not too skinny in the first place (not heavy either, just not emaciated looking).

          4. This. By the insane standards of TV both Christina and Katie had some pudge on Day 1.

          1. Yeah the answer is probably “Everyone from Australia”, since they were basically dying.

          2. That’s what I meant. The early Survivors were actually really starving. Elizabeth lost hair. While HvV was in the middle, there was more food.

      1. I am going to offer Tai Trang. He was on the beauty tribe but never a beauty in the conventional sense but he was a cutie – great smile. But by the end, he looked ravaged. He looked 20 years older with hair.

        1. I meant to put this on the other thread about those who devolved as time went on looks-wise. Oops.

      2. Am I the only one who thinks they all peak around 5 episodes in? Island Hot, it’s a thing. Aubry got mad Island Hot for 2 episodes in the middle of Kaoh Rong.

      1. And thus concludes the unique part of the internet where two pasty white guys talk about hot Asian women.

  6. I feel bad for Christina. She repeatedly takes shit from Alicia and some from Colton to the point where it seems like the perception that she didn’t deserve to be the game was actually true. She was someone who seemed incredibly enthusiastic to play until the harshness she got beat that feeling out of her.

    1. They absolutely destroyed her will to continue. I remembered watching it and waiting for her to stab Alicia in the back as sweet, sweet revenge — which you can bet was an arc that production was likely trying to push her towards behind the scenes — but instead she just kinda lay around and waited for a chance to lose. Much like the rest of One World.

        1. “Didn’t that person you’re sitting next to and voting with tell you to jump into a fire only 10 days ago? Oh, you’re over it? You’ve accepted her verbal berating and surrendered yourself to her will? I guess I don’t have to worry about losing to you people anymore.”
          – Kim Spradlin –

          1. I forgot you haven’t seen One World yet. No, it’s not. Kim would only ever say something like that with her eyes.

            Those perfect, blue, captivating eyes.

          2. I hope she comes back soon, especially since she has said that after the recent birth of her third child, that both her and her husband will be getting the appropriate surgeries.

          3. I actually get more impressed with Kim’s win thinking about the people she had to manage in her alliance and not have the whole thing fall apart.

          4. Yeah Sabrina and Chelsea were fine though they did have a couple of mistakes Kim had to fix.

          1. A better person than them and me. I would’ve told Colton to fuck off and not think twice.

          2. Twenty/twenty-five years ago, I probably would have done what she did. Today, I’m with you.

          3. Leif. I believe the story is that during an interview he was asked about stuff and he had mentioned that a recent season wasn’t that great because two or three of the castaways were dumb. This was during Philippines or Caramoan, so it didn’t take much for people kinda zone in on One World.

          4. I heard that story but was unsure what you meant by “subtweet”. Again, 80 year old woman with the VCR (I am kidding). I did not know that Christina was the other one.

            And if that’s the case, why did they cast: Drew, Alex, Keith (yes, funny but not extremely bright), Wes, Will, and the list goes on …

          5. I understand casting Keith, because even though he’s not very bright he is both entertaining and a genuine person. Wes was cast simply because they wanted Keith.

            The same applies with Drew- they wanted to fill the douchebag slot, and they succeeded wildly. Alec was the price to get Drew. Had they been cast on normal seasons instead of Blood vs. Water, we probably end up with just Keith and Drew- Alec and Wes get left behind.

          6. I understand that but my point was Jeff was complaining about casting “dumb” people, then casting kept doing it. Plus, those were only a few named. And Christina always hit me as smart otherwise (I thought her attempts to negotiate with the men were smart at the beginning. Wasn’t she actually called out by Alicia who just hated her as a rule?

          7. That was the crazy part IMO–I can kind of understand (not condone obviously) how an oddball loner like Shirin became shunned, but Christina seemingly did nothing (shown on TV at least) to get into Alicia and Colton’s cross-hairs.

          8. I think they just perceived her as an easy target. Someone who wouldn’t call them out on their shit.

          9. I think it’s exactly what I said in my post. Christina put her tail between her legs at just the slightest pushback that she became easy prey for bullies.

          10. That’s very uncalled for to single them out, especially with those words. That season was a disaster for many reasons.

          11. #1 Colton
            #2 Alicia
            #3/4 Tarzan/Troyzan. I don’t know who was worse.
            #5 Men deciding to give up immunity (although it did help Kim)
            #6 Matt Q(?)
            Lief was harmless. He was a Purple Kelly or Purple Brett. Christina was abused.

          12. The dynamics of bullying/abuse on Survivor are so fucked up. Do nothing and your game is toast. Defend yourself and your game is toast. Defend someone else and your game is toast. Perpetrate abuse and you have a real shot at $100,000.

          13. I first heard it from John and Andy on their seasons rankings podcasts (which, if you haven’t gone back and listen to, you should,) and they said it was Kat.

          14. We’re obviously all speculating here, but pretty much any time people guess who Probst might have been referring to, Kat and Leif are the most popular picks.

          15. My only problem with that theory is that they brought her back (and it wasn’t because of Hayden if you believe Kat’s stories). Why being her back if you think she is so dumb she ruined her original season?

          16. Not sure I believe Kat’s story on that one. I think there are better returnee options than Kat. Hayden is a very enticing option as a Big Brother winner.

          17. The fuck was that crawl? I was so weirded out. But yes I could see production wanting that combo.

          18. The powers that be overrule Probst sometimes (cf. Colton for BvW). I also think Probst was referring to Leif and Kat, and Kat was entertaining enough and pretty-blonde enough that you’d see why the powers that be would want her back (regardless of Hayden).

          19. Probst has sway over casting but he can be overruled. Most recently, he’s said he was really against casting Caleb. Before that it was Julie McGee.

          20. Probst isn’t the only person involved in casting decisions. By his own admission he’s been overruled before. And I think casting (and the other EPs and CBS staff) wanted Hayden, so Kat was the price of admission.

          21. Lief. Basically said they never should have cast two contestants who were too stupid (he may have used a different word but this was the jist)

          22. Damn I didn’t know Jeff did that. Poor Christina, she didn’t deserve all this crap done to her.

  7. I’m listening to the RHAPcon Survivor panel right now. At one point Darnell is talking about the pre-jury trip from Kaoh Rong, and Rob asks if Peter was there. Darnell’s response was that he was “until his hand puffed up like a balloon.” In the moment the only thing I could think was, “and none of these people responded ‘So would you say he… had become comfortably numb?’ Really?”

          1. Spencer went to Paidaeia. I’ve never met anyone who went to Paideia who didn’t have a pothead phase. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that campus is just a haze of weedsmoke.

            Also, given their student body, they should have picked a name that’s easier to spell.

          2. He went to UChicago for economics. Politically, that place is determined to produce as many Scalias as possible.

          3. Hey man, nothing personal. I’m just going by the data.

            Just look at the tail at that 538 link I posted. UChicago is crazy conservative. Doesn’t mean everyone is.

          4. actually UChicago undergrad is just as liberal as most places, but its graduate schools (especially the economics school) is conservative

          5. nope, i went to undergrad there hence me sayign the undergrad is more liberal, because it is

          6. Good.

            But my con law professor would be staring condescendingly at you for using ‘hence’ that way.

          7. My writing is so different based upon what medium/purpose it has. my legal writing is very intentionally jargon and anachronism free

          8. Hasn’t he admitted that was sarcasm? Like he wrote it a month or so after the election?

            I have hope for him to moderate as he gets older, although working in finance is probably not going to help.

          9. I work in finance, although in equity research, not prop trading like Spencer. You’d be surprised how mixed it is in terms of political beliefs.

          10. I knew there was a reason for my dislike for him. In fact this Rhap panel was the first time I’d nearly liked him, I still found Alexis more charming than him though,

          11. I like Spencer a lot. I wasn’t a fan of grumpy in-game Spencer in Cagayan, but I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve seen from him since. And he gives really great interviews about the game, with what seem to be objective insights. Most Survivors tailor their post-game press to cast themselves in the best possible light; Spencer doesn’t do that in anything I’ve heard from him.

          12. Nick is the only player I’ve ever seen match Spencer in “my game had gaping flaws in it; here’s what they were,” department. I would rather listen to Spencer explain Cagayan than Tony.

          13. Yeah, I got around to Nick’s interview a few weeks ago. I agree with you (and Andy) that it was surprisingly good.

          14. Yes, it was good. I can’t bring myself to listen to Michelle’s. I still have others from other seasons that I’m not fond of the players that are siting there as well.

          15. I found Michelle charming in parts of the interview but didn’t get good insight at the game she played. I got a clearer picture of how Michelle won by listening to Nick’s interview.

          16. All I really got out of Michele’s interview is that her being charming and an oasis of sanity on the island was probably a real thing.

          17. This was my first podcast I’ve heard with him because I tend not to listen to post-game press interviews.

          18. He’s really good at talking about the game in a smart, thoughtful way. I would rank him behind Tyson and Denise, and that’s probably it. If you have time, go back and listen to surreptitious phone interview he did with Dom and Colin the night before the Worlds Apart finale. They embargoed it until after the season, but he breaks down what he thinks is going to happen and what his plans are when he gets out there (He knows he’s going out there.)

            It’s a really fascinating look at what the Cambodia pre-game looked like.

          19. Kim is excellent, good game discussion but a lot of inane fun stuff too. I can’t listen to Tyson’s voice, I find it too annoying (I know it’s rude but it just hits a pitch that puts my neck up).

          20. I was never a fan of him. One of my biggest problems with him is he called out Kass for flipping (good idea or bad, who cares) but then did it himself (mostly in Cabodia) or tried to get others to do it. How was it bad strategy for someone else to do it if it hurts your alliance but helps them but ok if you do?

          21. In slight defense, Spencer really didn’t have a strong alliance with anybody out there until F8 or F7 (maybe). He was seen as a pocket vote for different groups until that time.

          22. I assume you are talking about Spencer, not Darnell. I have not listened to the panel yet. But I’m with you.

  8. My favorite memory of Dan Lembo (a phrase I never thought I’d say) wasn’t from any of his episodes. The day after the finale the final 5 did RHAP interviews, and Dan and Holly Hoffman were on the same call. After about 5-10 minutes of Rob’s questions, Dan asked “Do I have to be here?” Rob politely said “No” and Dan said good-bye and left the call.

    Yes, the image of him in the Gulliver chair is great, but to me that interaction just perfectly sums up Dan’s participation in that season.

    1. Why don’t you just hit her over the head with a club and drag her into a cave? You’ve got permission from her mom.

      1. As you know I’m female and Tina Wesson is religious so I don’t think I would be Tina’s prefered suitor.

  9. Excellent list! The only one I have to defend is Erinn. She was on the bottom of that tribe, pre-merge, and works her way to the #3 spot. Debbie, on the other hand, goes from the majority to the minority alliance and disappears into Coach’s shadow.

  10. Bob? Useless? Erinn? Useless? Christina? Useless? Carter? Useless? Erik? Useless? I think Susie is more useless than Bob, Debbie is more useless than Erinn, Jay was more useless than Christina, Artis is more useless than Carter and Brenda is more useless than Erik.

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