Survivor Contest Rankings #275-251

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  1. Eddie Fox (Caramoan)

Eddie has pretty much no impact throughout the entire season.  He’s never in the majority, and usually votes incorrectly at tribal council.

But, there’s still some good stuff that Eddie does throughout the season.  He’s a part of the Three Amigos, and has a flirtmance with Andrea. Also, he has a great confessional about opening up a dog bar.

Eddie’s a pretty inoffensive, nice guy that has a few good moments.

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  1. Joe Del Campo (Kaoh Rong)

One of the oldest contestants ever on the show.  Joe managed to be a fun background character. He had a few funny moments, and it was fun to see him win a challenge.  Also, Joe’s medevac was heartbreaking to watch, especially when you saw how much he meant to his tribe.

 

Side Note: Even though Joe is old enough to be my grandpa, I wish I was in half as good as shape as he is

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  1. Jan Gentry (Thailand)

Jan is insane.  She has a funeral for a dead baby bat, and has a strange reaction when she gets the auction money.  Her tribe keeps her around because she isn’t a threat.

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  1. Penny Ramsey (Thailand)

Penny is an interesting character.  She was definitely supposed to be the ‘sweet girl’ like Elisabeth or Neleh.  Only, Penny had an edge to her. She lied to Robb (Pre-Merge) about voting for him, and during the merge, she voted for her fellow Sook Jai member Jake.    I also loved Penny’s Jury Speech where she asks Brian if he knew anything about her.

I wish they gave Penny more content as a cutthroat player, but instead she was mostly ignored.

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  1. Monica Padilla (Samoa, Cambodia)

Under-edited in both seasons.  In Samoa she has a great moment where she messes with Russell, and tells him he’ll never win.  Then in Cambodia, she thinks the tribe will hunt all of the clams in the ocean, and gets voted off because… look, I love Cambodia, and even I can’t really remember.  Monica is nowhere bad, but honestly there’s not enough to put her higher.

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  1. Brian Heidik (Thailand)

I find few redeeming qualities about Brian.  I like his line about how Survivor is “A business trip” which does a good job of showing how cold he is as a character. But then after that, he pretty much skates to the end because no one on Chuay Gahn is a good strategist (Maybe Helen, but that’s it)

Most of the time, Brian speaks in a monotone voice and just gives bland confessionals.  Every time he tries to make a joke it usually just falls flat or is sometimes sexist. He also escalates the whole ‘Grindgate’ situation by making a huge deal about it, which makes Thailand feel like such an ugly season.  Being boring is one thing, but boring and mean is way worse.

Please, save me your Reddit posts about how you need to read “Art of War” in order to get a full understanding of Brian as a character; or how Brian barely beating jury goat Clay Jordan actually shows that he is the most dominant player ever.  I know that super-fans are supposed to cream their pants about Brian, because production hated him, but I honestly don’t think he’s that great a character.

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  1. Jeff Varner (Australian Outback, Cambodia, Game Changers)

(Sighs)  This is not going to be fun… Okay, please just bear with me for a moment.

In Australian Outback, Varner is really entertaining. He is one of the few in the cast that is really sarcastic, especially to Kimmi and Skupin.  The first night he describes Kimmi by saying, “Kimmi cannot say a single thing without screaming it. With that accent that just talks and talks and talks and talks and talks… I just want to grab her by the neck and shake the _____ out of her, you know?”  He’s one of the funniest contestants on the season, right up to when he gets voted out after choosing to get peanut butter instead of winning.

When Varner returns for Cambodia, he is a breath of fresh air.  He does a great job of explaining how much the game has changed, and how hard it is for an old-school player to return to the game.   Varner gives consistently funny confessionals, and helps make the pre-merge worth watching.

Unfortunately, Varner returns for Game Changers.  Honestly, he’s pretty good for most of the season.  That is, until he outs Zeke in the middle of Tribal Council. And… Yeah, it’s easily the ugliest moment ever on the series, and taints Varner.

At the same time, I’m doing these rankings based on how the character is for all of their appearances, and I still really like Varner’s first 2 appearances, so I’m putting him here, and honestly, I’m not sure if I made the right call.

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  1. Rodney Lavoie Jr. (Worlds Apart)

As far as being a villain, Rodney was the perfect foil to Mike.  Where Mike was hardworking, Rodney was lazy. While Mike was loyal, Rodney was willing to backstab. Rodney was in a solid position to win the game.  He ran the majority alliance, and had plenty of allies to go to the Final Three.

But as far as personality goes, I wasn’t a fan.  He said some sexist stuff, like how women need to be held to a higher standard.  Also, he is remembered for crying because he, “Had to do the dishes on his own damn birthday!”  Which is a funny moment, kind of.

Even though he’s low on the list, I actually wouldn’t mind seeing Rodney return.  I’ve heard him on podcasts, and the real Rodney is a kind-hearted, funny guy, that I don’t think the edit captured. Instead they focused on making him the bad guy for the season.  I think a mature Rodney has the potential to be a great player and character.

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  1. Neal Gottlieb (Kaoh Rong)

Mainly I remember Neal for 2 things. First, he is medevac’d for an infection with an Idol and becomes the first juror.  Second, he is removed from the jury from a twist, and says some nasty things to Michele. Normally, I’d put Neal in the range from mildly enjoyable-forgettable.  But his last moment with Michele is so mean and cringe-worthy, that he gets knocked down a lot.

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  1. Whitney Duncan (South Pacific)

She flirts a lot with Keith in the pre-merge, so she doesn’t get a lot of content.  However, once the merge happens, she has a bit more personality. She says Cochran disgusts her after he flips, and calls out Albert for being wishy-washy.  Fortunately, there’s a surprise Tribal Council, and she gets voted out so we don’t have to suffer through the Pagonging too much

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  1. Desi Williams (Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers)

Desi didn’t get a lot of content.   Part of the reason is because the Healers are so dominant, and she goes out early in the merge, so you never really get a grasp for her as a person. Even her elimination doesn’t make a lot of sense.  The majority alliance spends the whole episode complaining about Joe being a threat, and how that he needs to be the next person gone. So they split votes between him & Desi; then vote out Desi in a re-vote?  If that doesn’t make sense to you, it’s because it doesn’t in the episode.

All that we know about Desi is that she is good at challenges, and at times a little over-confident.   Desi isn’t great, but she’s not bad by any means.

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  1. Erik Huffman (China)

Erik is…nice.  I really don’t have much else to add about him.  He’s a part of the Zhan Hu tribe, so he’s an underdog.  But it’s usually Peih Gee or Jamie that is getting the screen time.  Even though he doesn’t do anything memorable, he’s still pretty enjoyable.

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  1. Missy Payne (San Juan Del Sur)

Missy was an overprotective mother that only looked out for her daughter, and tried to give her extra food.  I also was annoyed by the fact that she got to stay in the game even though she couldn’t compete in any challenges.

Missy did manage to have a decent storyline of learning to respect her daughter and trust her as she grew up.

Even though she has a decent storyline, she isn’t really my favorite player.

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  1. Matthew von Ertfelda (Amazon)

Matthew is one of the characters that could only really work on an old school season.  He’s really good at challenges, and survival skills. Unfortunately, that’s really all there is to him.  Beyond that, he doesn’t do much. All that I remember about Matthew is negative things his tribe said about him.  Whether it’s Rob thinking that Matt is going to kill the tribe with the machete, or Christy saying that he’s creepy.

While not really bad, Matt isn’t exactly the most interesting guy, so I really can’t rate him that high.

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  1. Chelsea Townsend (Ghost Island)

Not much to say here. Chelsea cries over a cup of coffee, and wins a couple of Individual Immunities. She seemed… nice.

{Editor’s Note: The following is a brief tirade that mostly deals with Ghost Island as a whole and to a lesser extent Chelsea.  Please Feel Free to Scroll Through to the Next Section}

Okay, does anyone know what the hell happened with Chelsea’s edit? With 4 confessionals in 12 episodes, Chelsea is statistically the worst edited player of all time, and quite frankly, she doesn’t deserve it.

Look, I get why characters like Purple Kelly or JP get the invisible treatment.  Either they have zero impact on any voting decision, or are so bad at giving confessionals it’s better to use anyone else to give a confessional.  But Chelsea is neither of these things. In fact, by not giving her screen time, it makes the show confusing at times.

Let’s take Chelsea’s minimal screen time in the pre-merge.  After the first tribe swap, it’s implied by others that Chelsea is on the bottom of the majority alliance, but is still going ‘Naviti Strong’.  Okay, fine. I’ve seen players like this before, she’s clearly just going to blindly follow a leader until she gets voted out. HOWEVER, after the second tribe swap, Chelsea wants to flip and take out Bradley, someone that we’re told she’s been aligned with since Day 1. WHY? Does she hate Bradley? Did she finally recognize she was on the bottom of the alliance? Was she closer with Domenick than the other Naviti’s?  These are all questions I wish I knew the answer to.

I know I’m breaking my own rules here, but watch this secret scene.  Chelsea manages to explain her anxieties, and how she feels the need to win Immunity, then she later wins Immunity.  That’s almost like a story, wouldn’t it be cool if we got to see it. Sure, she’s not the most engaging speaker, but are we seriously going to pretend that Laurel, Jenna, Angela, Michael, Libby or Des had such raging personalities that we couldn’t throw 2-3 more confessionals Chelsea’s way.

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  1. Brett Clouser  (Samoa)

There’s a reason why the fans have nicknamed him CGI Brett.  He really doesn’t do much in Samoa. He goes on an Immunity Run late in the game, so he becomes the last obstacle Russell has to deal with, but other than that he’s kind of just there.  The season probably would’ve been more interesting if he was the one to beat Russell, but he doesn’t. In the end, he’s memorable for lasting long, not for his personality.

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  1. Natalie White (Samoa)

Natalie falls victim to the worst edit ever. Most of this is because she actually won her season, but there is little personality for her. She explains that she’s going to use her social relationships to win, and helps the Foa Foa 4 survive by taking out Erik at the merge.

Still, she has only 15 confessionals in the season.  For comparison fellow competitor Russell Hantz, the man she beat, had 108

The end result of the season isn’t that Natalie won, it’s that Russell lost.  So her victory isn’t satisfying. Natalie was around for 14 episodes, and won Survivor, and all I can say about her personality is that she killed a rat one time. It’s a shame, because I think Natalie had potential to be interesting, but the audience never got a chance to learn much about her.

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  1. Jane Bright (Nicaragua)

Jane is a mixed bag of a character.  On one hand, it’s kind of cool for this older woman to win a bunch of challenges.  But on the other hand, it is annoying to watch her hate Marty for no real reason. A lot of her confessionals are pretty hate filled. Still, it was kind of sad when her alliance tells her they are voting her out, and she has to stay there waiting to be voted out.  I don’t hate her, but she wasn’t really one of my favorites for the season.

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  1. Denise Martin (China)

Denise is set up as the blue-collar older woman of the season.  She has some nice moments where she gets to experience the culture in China.  Her best moment is when she goes to a Shaolin Temple and practices her martial arts.

Unfortunately, she spends most of her time as a number for Todd and Amanda.  Also, she arguably “Sucks at life”. Denise is a fine character, but not necessarily a great one considering how long she lasts.

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  1. Rick Nelson (South Pacific)

It’s hard to rank Rick, because he’s invisible for most of the season.  He’s a part of Coach’s alliance, so he makes it to the Final 5, but doesn’t really have a lot of content. Uh… He makes fun of Albert for being sneaky, and doesn’t hug Coach when he’s voted out.  That’s all I’ve got.

His mustache and hat make him one of the most unique looking castaways. To be frank, that’s really why he ranks this high.

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  1. Libby Vincek (Ghost Island)

Libby is like a modern version of Penny Ramsey, a character that had the potential to be interesting but the edit was not interested in developing her.

Libby had the setup to be an all time villain.  When someone gets voted out they literally point at Libby and say “Never trust the cute blonde”.  How do they follow up that amazing setup? They pretty much ignore Libby for the rest of the season.

Occasionally Domenick makes a comment about her being untrustworthy because she voted for Morgan. (Donathan & Laurel also did this, but he trusts them because reasons.) But outside of that, Libby is mostly ignored.

Which is a shame because she was actually pretty smart.  She correctly identified Chris as being less of a threat than Domenick, and tried to vote out her closest ally Michael.  Both of those things are kind of interesting.

But rather than doing any work to make Libby a character, they just had Domenick call her Parvati 2.0, and thought that made her compelling.

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  1. Chris Hammons (Millennials vs. Gen X)

I like Chris, but overall he was just pretty forgettable.  I remember he had a nice friendship with David. Also, there’s a nice scene where he and Zeke both bond over being from Oklahoma… Yeah, that’s mostly what I’ve got.

He fits in perfectly for the likeable but unmemorable tier.

Side Note: Chris was great on The Amazing Race

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  1. Tyler Fredrickson (Worlds Apart)

Tyler was one of the nicer guys in the World’s Apart cast.  A lot of Tyler’s confessionals were about gameplay. He has a good relationship with Carolyn, and the two make a pretty good team.

Couldn’t really get a feel for the guy, so he just comes off as kind of a gamebot.

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  1. Chad Crittenden (Vanuatu)

He’s not a bad character, just not exactly the most interesting.  Chad’s the sanest member of the ‘Fat Five’ Alliance, and he also has a prosthetic leg.  Nice enough guy, just not really memorable.

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  1. Angela Perkins (Ghost Island)

Angela has all the makings of perfect background character. She’s not a major focus of the season, but you know she’s there, and she’s fun when she appears.  She has great lines like, “My own family SLIT MY THROAT” when she gets voted for. It’s a funny line, but it comes with such real emotions behind it.

I love the episode where out of nowhere Angela decides she wants to ruin Michael’s game.  So she decides to walk up to everyone and say Michael wants to vote for Wendell. What makes the scene is that they give Angela her own theme of military music.  Angela’s also great in the challenge where they have to eat the strange food, and she just eats 3 sea slugs like they’re nothing.

However, I’m knocking Angela down a lot for her role in the finale. There’s a plan to stop Wendell and Domenick from cruising into one of the easiest Final 3’s ever.  Angela gives a confessional about how she’s excited to be part of a plan, and the worst possible thing for her would be if Domenick found out about it. She follows this up by literally walking up to Dom & telling him that there’s a plan to blindside him, and that he should play his idol.  If you’re confused, so was the audience. THIS IS WHY NO ONE LETS YOU IN THE LOOP ANGELA!!! This is one of the most frustrating moments in any TV show, and for that reason, I’m knocking Angela down to this spot.

 

 

Next Post: Survivor Contestant Rankings #250-226

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