The Best Tribal Council Vote Reactions in Survivor History

Well, since we now all know what it’s like to still be reeling from a vote, I think it’s okay to have this post reflect an episode from two weeks ago. Michaela’s reaction to being voted out was basically the platonic ideal of entertainment. Everyone who makes Survivor-related lists (looking at you, Black Dynamite) had to update their rankings after that moment. Which means the real question is, what did that list look like before Michaela changed the game?

7. Edgardo Rivera’s Blindside – Survivor: Fiji

For every other moment, I’ll be including a video clip, but this is all you really need to see.

I could probably save myself a lot of time and effort by just ending the explanation for the moment's greatness right now. Everything is redundant after this GIF.
Never gets old.

6. Candice Woodcock and Adam Gentry Make Out – Survivor: Cook Islands

(First off, apologies for the video quality of some of these clips. Combining the pre-HD era with YouTube is a recipe for blurriness.)
Even Faylor didn’t pull out the PDA when Figgy got blindsided. Nor did the ignoble Keith and Whitney – and they got married! But Adam and Candice just couldn’t resist one more disgusting, bad breath, plaque-ridden kiss. Bonus points for the savagery by Probst at the end.

5. Boston Rob Makes Coach Feel Small – Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains

Perhaps, as someone who is less than a fan of Coach, I am biased on this one. While this isn’t quite as big of a blindside as most of the other entries on the list, there is still something so special about Boston Rob just completely shutting Coach down after Rob is voted out. Coach, who sanctimoniously preaches honor and integrity stuck by his guns to vote for Courtney and “keep the tribe strong” and definitely not to avoid making a decision between voting with Rob or for him. But when Coach goes to hug his favorite sharpener, Rob ain’t having it. “You’re a little man”. There’s not many sentences that would have crushed Coach more.

4. Steve “Chicken” Morris is the First Boot – Survivor: China


3.Judd Sergeant Hopes You All Get Bitten By a Freakin’ Crocodile – Survivor: Guatemala

There’s nothing like the instant bitterness of a Survivor blindside. As Judd was wont to be, his exit was very colorful, starting with some sarcasm (“Nice, guys”), wishes of bodily harm (“I hope you all get bitten by a freakin’ crocodile”), and finally some good old-fashioned name calling (“Scumbugs”). My personal favorite part is the resigned repeating of “scumbags” after his torch was snuffed. It’s just a damn shame, man.

2. Andrew Savage Makes the Jury – Survivor: Cambodia

The gap between the number three and number two spot is a wide one, but it was a true battle for number one. Savage’s blindside just misses the top of the list, but it’s definitely a tribal council for the ages. In fact, it inspired my list of the most entertaining idol plays in Survivor history last year. It also made it to the Sweet Sixteen of our Ultimate Survivor Tribal Council Bracket from earlier this year. Suffice it to say, it’s a pretty exciting moment. First you have everyone completely gobsmacked that Wentworth even has an idol: the majority knows one of them is screwed, Ciera – who could have gone home if there had been a vote split – declares “This is my favorite moment.” Then Wentworth has to up her reaction as a record nine votes are read against her until the devastating blow hits Andrew Savage. The cherry on top is when the queen of passive-aggressive behavior, Abi-Maria, tries to help him look on the bright side. “You made it to the jury!” Savage flips her off.

1. No Super Idol for Scot Pollard – Survivor: Kaoh Rong

(The only clip I could find had that drawing in the corner to sidestep copyright infringement. Apologies.)
It might seem like recency bias, and maybe it is, but it’s hard to deny how compelling of a moment this is. There’s a hint of entertainment before the votes are read, when Julia is whispering for Tai to play the idol (because she wants to flush it) and Scot is whispering for him not to (because super idol). Of course, he doesn’t, and then the votes are revealed, and Scot has the plurality. And he waits. And he waits some more. Imagine you’re one of the players who doesn’t know about the super idol. What is Scot doing? Why doesn’t he get up? Finally, after what feels like an eternity, Tai confirms he will not help form a super idol, and Scot’s torch is snuffed. Unlike Michaela’s boot, this has the added benefit of being deeply satisfying to the majority of the audience. Before there was #WHAT, there was #WOW.