The 40 Most Influential Survivors: Kim Spradlin-Wolfe

Kim Spradlin-Wolfe

One WorldWinners at War

To celebrate the 40th season of Survivor, we’re counting down the 40 Most Influential Survivors to ever play the game. Because Survivor is a game, a tv show, and a rabid fandom, we’re taking all forms of influence into consideration for this list. Go here to view the criteria we are using to determine what qualifies for the list. Note: this list is presented in chronological order and there will be spoilers for various Survivor seasons.

Kim Spradlin-Wolfe is the 29th entry in this series.

Kim Spradlin is often cited as having played the best winning game for a first timer. So she must be influential, right? However, when you look at her game, it might be more difficult than expected to find impactful moments. One World featured the first all-female final five, but it was a gender-split season and Micronesia was an immunity run away from accomplishing that without such a division. While making everyone love her is certainly one of her superpowers, it’s hardly something that future players hadn’t thought of – they’re just not able to achieve it. “Oh, I should just play on a season full of idiots,” isn’t quite the thing either.

There is something to her strategy of keeping her options open. Kim had a strong alliance on her initial tribe, and was able to form a new mixed-gender one on her successful swap tribe. Using this, she was able to get newer allies Troyzan and Jay to vote out their fellow men under the guise of them being on the wrong side. When the time came, she was able to commit to an alliance, but even the smaller groups within that alliance always thought they’d choose her in the end. Only Sabrina and Chelsea were right.

In a way, this is why large merges often feature one of two so-called “easy votes” by super-alliances that are never going to last. It’s a way of punting the decision of a final three, or even a final five. Many players have talked about playing with options, though few have done so with the grace and charisma of Kim.

But it’s really her dominance that leads to her influence. When superfans are calling someone the GOAT, players take notice. When he felt on top of the world (however briefly) in Ghost Island, Bradley said he was playing a “Boston Rob or Kim Spradlin type game.” At that time she had one season under her belt to Rob’s four, and yet they’re mentioned in the same breath. That’s power.

Kim is so revered by the majority of superfans that all first-time winners since have been compared to her. And that doesn’t look like it’ll change anytime soon.

Who else made the list?

You can see each entry on the list by clicking this link.