Casting a Jury of All-Stars

Normally when fan casting for Survivor, we focus on who will play a good game, or at least an entertaining one. This is a little different. I don’t care how the following people played Survivor, I care about how they sat and watched other people play Survivor. I’m talking about the jury. But you probably guessed that from the title. If I were able to hand-pick 8 former contestants to serve on a jury for maximum entertainment value, these are my picks:

1. Eliza Orlins

Shocking, I know
Shocking, I know

Why bother saving the best for last? You knew Eliza was on this list as soon as you saw the title for this blog. Survivor fans discuss Eliza for two reasons: “It’s a fucking stick!” and her reactions on the jury. While she truly shined in Micronesia, she also had a hell of a final tribal in Vanuatu.

2. James Clement

Suck it, Erik!
Suck it, Erik!

Possibly a more expressive juror than Eliza, James is wonderful on a jury. Whether laughing in delight after Todd was able to shut Jean-Robert up, or celebrating when he lost his reign as the dumbest Survivor ever, James’s blatant disregard for the rule of no talking on the jury bench makes everything better. Not only that, but he is also not a “bitter Betty” juror, helping to balance out such members as…

3. Sue Hawk

I don't need to quote the speech. You know it.
I don’t need to quote the speech. You know it.

The myth, the legend. Sue Hawk’s jury speech is possibly the most famous moment in reality TV history. The kind of moment that people who don’t realize Survivor is still on remember. Sue is a necessity for an All-Star jury. She brings the drama, and she brings the old-school cred. Much like…

4. Lex van den Berghe

I promise I won’t keep doing those transitions.

something something "stack of greenbacks"
something something “stack of greenbacks”

As much as we bemoan “bitter juries” when the votes don’t go the way we want, it sure can be fun to watch the self-righteous. Final tribal council would be pretty boring if everyone was gracious and congratulatory. Give us drama! Give us fireworks! Give us self-delusion!

5. Heidi

No wait, I said I was going to stop with those transitions! But you have to have someone on the jury who’s just begging to have their ego stroked, and my love of Courtney won’t let me pick Jean-Robert. So it has to be Heidi.

Isn't there anyone else?
Isn’t there anyone else?

Heidi asked Jenna and Matt if anyone else deserved to be in the final two more than they did. When they both picked Rob, she asked again. Just to make sure, you know, they hadn’t forgotten anyone.

Don’t ruin this with talks of how Heidi was trying to get Jenna to say Deena. I’ve heard it. Let’s not trouble our heads with such talk. Let us revel in the awkwardness and ignore the fact that Heidi is doing better than any of us could dream.

Rich, handsome husband, cute family... psh, who needs it?
Rich, handsome husband, cute family… pssh, who needs it?

6. Jonathan Penner

Another juror with the flair for the dramatic…

and terror
and horror

Penner knows how to craft a narrative and deliver a compelling speech. While he may seem overly harsh to some, it’s not necessarily right to call him a bitter juror, as his two votes were for the strong winners of Yul and Denise. Unless you think outing someone as a child star shows more bitterness than calling someone a bitch, it’s safe to say that Penner speaks from the heart, but votes with his head.

7. Sarah Lacina

If any of you make a dirty joke here, you’re banned.

Sure, she’s a poor woman’s Eliza Orlins, but the more the merrier! Shocked faces at tribal council always help highlight a good blindside. Being a good jury member is more than having an entertaining tribal council, for some, they have to provide several episodes worth of jury related entertainment. Reaction faces are a great way to achieve that goal.

8. Alec Christy

Need I say more?


Emma makes these reaction faces alone on her futon because she has no friends who watch Survivor. This is why she live tweets at @emmapurplerock. Yes, she met Max. No, she did not sleep with him, you freaks.