Ultimate Survivor Tribal Council Bracket Elite Eight

This week, you get to determine the tribal council that epitomizes each type of tribal council: the best blindside, the most historic tribal, the best strategic play, and the most theatrical/entertaining tribal.

Click to see the full-size graphic.

Voting criteria:

  • You decide what makes a Tribal worthy of your vote. Was it your favourite? The best? Most memorable? Most dramatic? It’s up to you. We’ve organized them by theme, but you’re under no obligation to pick the best blindside tribal to represent the Blindsides bracket (for instance).
  • Tribal Council is defined as everything that happened in episode from when the tribe gets to Tribal Council through to the Final Words of the eliminated contestant. Things that didn’t make the air were out of bounds for consideration when putting the list together.
  • For Final Tribal Councils, the reveal of the winner is out of bounds (except for the first Final Tribal). This takes place at a different time and place and is aired on a different episode.

Voting ends on Tuesday, April 5th.

Blindsides Bracket

Click to see the full-size graphic.

1. Fall of the Horsemen vs 2. The Black Widows Blindside Ozzy

1. The Fall of the Horsemen – Fiji, episode 10 “It’s A Turtle” vs 2. The Black Widows Blindside Ozzy – Micronesia, episode 10 “I Promise”

After scraping by against Natalie Anderson the bad ass with a mere seven votes, the Black Widows have another tough battle ahead. Which do you choose: a clever alliance blindsiding a douchebag or a clever alliance blindsiding a douchebag? In Fiji, the Horsemen feel incredibly confident after using the idol to swing the vote in their favor- right up until the moment they realize that they did not, in fact, swing the vote in their favor. Similarly, the Black Widows (and Probst) play the blindside to maximum effect- Cirie holds back her smile until after realizing Ozzy won’t be playing his idol, Probst reads a lone Ozzy vote early on to make it seem like Jason is getting voted out unanimously, and then…

Micronesia- Ozzy blindside reactions

Read more about the Fall of the Horsemen in our 30 from 30 series.

Read more about the Black Widows in our 30 from 30 series.

1. Fall of the Horsemen vs 2. The Black Widows Blindside Ozzy

  • 2. The Black Widows Blindside Ozzy (54% Votes)
  • 1. Fall of the Horsemen (46% Votes)

Total Voters: 260

Loading ... Loading ...

Strategic Bracket

Click to see full size graphic.

1. Parvati’s Double Idol Play vs 3. Cagayan’s Chaotic Merge

survivor_hvv_tribalcouncil_parvartidoubleidol-1 survivor-cagayan-tribal-council-sarah-lacina-blindside

1. Parvati’s Double Idol Play – Heroes vs. Villains, episode 10 “Going Down in Flames” vs 3. Cagayan’s Chaotic Merge – Cagayan, episode 6 “Head of the Snake”

Two iconic tribal councils from two of Survivor‘s best seasons ever go head-to-head here. Four immunity idols were played between these two tribal councils, and only one of them successfully. In Heroes vs. Villains, Parvati outsmarted the Heroes by figuring they would go for an “unlikely” target instead of risking Parvati playing her idol. Well, she did play her idol – on Jerri.  And then she went ahead and gave Sandra an idol generally gifted from Russell to Parvati, which had previously been generously gifted from J.T. to Russell. Which meant the Villains felt pretty safe in voting for J.T.

It was like the Fall of the Horseman, except with fewer overtly objectionable people, two idols wasted, and if Earl and company got the rug pulled out from under him. When Tony pulled out his idol in Cagayan, the other alliance quickly said to vote for plan B. Tony wisely figured out that meant he was safe, and plays his idol for LJ. So then LJ plays his idol for Tony because he’s not as smart as Tony. Neither idol was effective, but it didn’t matter; Kass’ defection had already sealed Sarah’s fate.

Read more about Parvati’s moment in our 30 from 30 series.

1. Parvati's Double Idol Play vs 3. Cagayan's Chaotic Merge

  • 1. Parvati's Double Idol Play (66% Votes)
  • 3. Cagayan's Chaotic Merge (34% Votes)

Total Voters: 261

Loading ... Loading ...

Theatrics Bracket

Click to see the full-size graphic.

1. Erik Gives Away Immunity vs 2. Randy Plays Bob’s Fake Idol


1. Erik Gives Away Immunity – Micronesia, episode 13 “If It Smells Like a Rat, Give It Cheese” vs 2. Randy Plays Bob’s Fake Idol – Gabon, episode 9 “Nothing Tastes Better than Five Hundred Dollars” 


That the final two of the theatrics bracket were the funny ones, rather than the dramatic ones, are why you all are our people. Because it’s always more fun to see someone get clowned than it is to see a bunch tears. And NO ONE got clowned the way Erik and Randy did. Ever.

Erik’s is slightly tragic just because that poor, dumb fool just wanted to have friends and make amends. Randy’s was completely satisfying because he ran into it at full speed. But Erik’s was more monumental, changing its season. Randy’s was just about the revenge. But how glorious was it in both when the votes were cast? I love these tribal councils.

1. Erik Gives Away Immunity vs 2. Randy Plays Bob's Fake Idol

  • 1. Erik Gives Away Immunity (73% Votes)
  • 2. Randy Plays Bob's Fake Idol (27% Votes)

Total Voters: 260

Loading ... Loading ...

Historic Bracket

Click to see full size graphic.

1. Snakes and Rats vs 2. No Votes Count


1. Snakes and Rats – Borneo, episode 13 “The Final Four” vs 2. No Votes Count – Cambodia, episode 14 “Lie, Cheat and Steal”
Recency bias versus the opposite of recency bias. Two great tribal councils from completely different eras. In Borneo, personal relationships weren’t just something you had to keep an eye on to do well in the game; they were the game. While Sue may have had many imitators in future tribal councils, nothing comes close to “Snakes and Rats” because her feelings were raw. Her vitriol was real.

There’s never been a tribal council with no votes counting, and there will probably never be one again. But if it does happen, it still won’t come close to the drama of Cambodia because we’ll have been there before, and we’ll know how it works. You won’t have Keith volunteering to fall on the sword, you won’t have the eventual winner skipping to vote out the ally who got caught in the act of betrayal. In the finale of a show’s 31st season, coming across a moment without precedent is something special.

Read more about Sue’s speech in our 30 from 30 series.

1. Snakes and Rats vs 2. No Votes Count

  • 1. Snakes and Rats (57% Votes)
  • 2. No Votes Count (43% Votes)

Total Voters: 258

Loading ... Loading ...