The 8 Survivors Most Screwed by a Twist

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

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


These are the screwed. These are their stories.

8. Jenny Guzon-Bae – Survivor: Cook Islands

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

7. Anna Khait – Survivor: Koah Rong

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

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

6. Silas Gaither – Survivor: Africa

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

5. Shii Ann Huang – Survivor: Thailand

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

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

4. Aaron Reisberger – Survivor: China

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

3. Wanda Shirk and Jonathan Libby – Survivor: Palau

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

2. Candice Cody – Survivor: Blood vs. Water

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

1. Michelle Yi – Survivor: Fiji

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