Ranking the Merge Boots Who Only Made It to One Tribal

After last week’s epic episode, I know what everybody really wants is a list of the best voting confessionals. Hell, I want one too! That’d be fun to read. However, it would not be fun to research. At least not when you also have to work your full-time job and plan a wedding. What, I’m supposed to watch the end of every episode to find the worthy voting confessional? And then figure out which ones are the most entertaining? Ain’t nobody got time for that. (The kids are still saying that, right? No? Oh well).

If only there was something else notable about the episode, but had a much smaller sample size and could be jotted down quickly on a Tuesday evening. People voted out with the idol in their pocket would certainly be fitting to this season’s theme, but I’m looking for something a little more specific.

After Chris Noble’s untimely departure from this game, it was noted that he is one of four people who never went to tribal council before the merge, only to immediately get voted out. Which got me wondering, purely for the purposes of generating content, which of these four is the best player? Now, normally when I do these listicles, I avoid content from the current season due to recency bias. However, I think we can all agree Chris Noble would be the number one for this ranking. Chris Noble’s accomplishments and skills are known far and wide, to the point that I won’t even bother writing up a paragraph convincing you that he’s the best. That would be a waste of everyone’s time. We already know he’s the best. So this ranking will only go from four to two.

4. R.C. Saint-Amour – Survivor Philippines 

Not just because John would have kicked me out if she wasn’t last.

Yes, you might say she was only voted out because of a split vote, which is technically true. But her own tribe (in a season essentially without a swap, thanks to the failures of Matsing) chose for her to be the secondary target. Sure, Carter and Denise were both immune, but there was still Jeff Kent, and even Malcolm if they chose to expand it to anyone beyond original Tandang. Despite her strong challenge performances being one of the reasons Tandang never went to tribal, it’s hard to imagine her making it to the merge had she visited Jeff Probst any sooner.

3. Nick Maiorano – Survivor Kaoh Rong

When I originally started thinking about this article, I considered having it be based on who was most entertaining. Obviously Chis Noble would still be number one, but I considered having Nick in the second spot. Though he didn’t give us much to work with on the show, his appearances on RHAP and even Twitter have shown a funny side, and his specific brand of arrogance appeals to me in a way I should probably see a therapist about. But this is not a list about who is entertaining, or even about who you are attracted to despite your better judgment. It’s about who is the better player.

Though Nick did manage to get Scot and Jason to instantly tell him about the idol, he struggled to make alliances with the women, and his former tribemates seemed to have little-to-no issue voting him out. Not a great sign. That said, he voted for Aubry to win and that’s gotta count for something.

2. Jessica Johnston – Survivor: Healers vs. Heroes vs. Hustlers

Too good for this world; too pure.

Of these options, Jessica is the only one who was targeted purely for being a threat. She had great relationships with just about everyone she was on a tribe with – the real problem is her relationship with Cole was too good. Yet, even the classic “vote out the girl in the showmance” wasn’t why she was voted out. Both sides targeted the strong women, and the Healers only losing one member ultimately put them at a disadvantage. My bet is that on a season without… distractions she would do much better.

Besides, she didn’t even get to serve on the jury. The least we can do is give her second place after Chris Noble.