The 40 Most Influential Survivors – The Full List

We counted down the 40 Most Influential Survivors to ever play the game. Here is that list.

The PRP staff chose 40 players from the first 38 seasons of the show based on their influence on how the game is played, how the show is made, and how fans engage with the product as a whole. These are the elements that make Survivor the experience it is, and these are the players that most shaped those elements. We wanted to take a holistic view of the entire series and all of the different ways players have influenced Survivor, from the beginning until now. A few reminders about the list:

  • The list is unranked, presented in chronological order of the first season a player appeared on.
  • While the true author of many moments in Survivor history is disputed by fans and former contestants, influence leans on who those moves are accredited to in the edit. As much as some might hope differently, post-game interviews, unconfirmed rumors, and AMAs can only be so influential. Probably less than the stuff actually on the show.
  • It’s possible for someone to be influential without being “great” or “popular”. It’s possible for someone to be “great” or “popular” without them being influential.
  • The first person to do a thing might not necessarily be the most influential. Sometimes it takes a different person to really be an influence, even if they weren’t the original.
  • There’s a difference between being the first example of something and being influential.
  • Not every season is represented and there was no attempt made to try.
  • Some players will be influential for many reasons; some for just one.
  • Not all influence is good influence.
  • Influence doesn’t necessarily have to be lasting influence. Players who were heavily influential in an earlier era are eligible even if their influence is less felt today.
  • Only players were considered, not other people associated Survivor, but their influence was not limited to their time as players.
  • We decided to not include anyone from season 39 because there hasn’t been any time to see what their influence might be on the show going forward.

With no further adieu, here is the complete list, with links to each individual article on the Survivor in question: