- Ryan Ulrich (Heroes v Healers v Hustlers)
Ryan is easily the winner of “Unnecessary Survivor Internet Hate 2017”. I think part of that is because of what people expected Ryan to be; the nerd that slowly gains self-confidence.
However, Ryan does not fit this archetype at all. He’s comfortable in his own skin, and at times a little cocky. An example of this is when he says, “Everyone wants to ally with me. I don’t know why, I’m kind of a weasel.” It just sums up why he would be off-putting to viewers.
Still, Ryan made me laugh at some points. Lines like, “What am I, a Russian acrobat?” and “Who would’ve thought my ability to not make fire would help me get to the Final 3” is actually a pretty funny line. (I just wish the latter was made under better circumstances).
Unfortunately, they kept giving Ryan content, even if it isn’t good; like his ‘Birthday Party’ analogy at Tribal Council. Seriously, that line was so bad, how do you expect anyone to want to root for this guy after hearing such a cringeworthy line. I think his weak jokes/confessionals outweighed his good at times.
Don’t worry Ryan, I’m sure by your 2nd or 3rd appearance on the show, fans will adore you and everything you say.
- Kim Powers (Africa)
Kim is a positive character on her season. Most of her content is about how hard it is to vote people out after bonding with them. She takes Lindsey being voted out really hard, and has a great scene where she befriends Big Tom. Likeable castaway, but Kim isn’t the most memorable.
- Zeke Smith (Millennials vs. Gen X, Game Changers)
Zeke is mostly the same character in his back-to-back appearances. Both seasons he spends most of the time talking about strategy and how to play the game. Zeke gets labeled as a gamebot, which is pretty accurate. In his defense, he is at least energetic when talking about strategy, so he isn’t as painful to listen to as other gamebots. Ultimately, this is as high as I can rank him.
- Caryn Groedel (Palau)
The popular opinion is that ‘Caryn Sucks.’ However, I think Caryn is the most unintentionally funny players of the series. Whether it’s her feud with Katie, or Caryn’s ‘acting’ to trick people that she’s going home, Caryn manages to be a fun character on Palau.
221.Kim Johnson (Africa)
Kim was the older woman of the Boran tribe. She was on the bottom for being bad at challenges. However, by the end of the game, she wins the final 2 Immunity Challenges.
Throughout the game, Kim has some interesting gameplay moves. She is always tempted to flip over to work with T-Bird, but ultimately decides not to. Also, she tries to signals to her former tribemates to target Lindsey Richter.
Honestly, I think if Kim was on a season of ‘Modern Survivor’, she probably could’ve won. Still, Kim is a solid character form the earlier seasons, so she goes here.
- Rory Freeman (Vanuatu)
Rory walks a fine line between funny and annoying. He is always complaining in his confessionals, whether it’s about camp life, or how the women act in challenges. At the same time, he’s pretty funny when he complains about everyone, or how he wants to burn down the camp. Fortunately, Rory is gone before he completely wears out his welcome. A little bit of a mixed bag for me, but I definitely still enjoy him.
- Jefra Bland (Cagayan)
Not the most memorable member of Cagayan, but I still enjoy Jefra. She gives good confessionals, and is always excited to be in the game. This is going to sound like an insult, but I mean it as a huge compliment; Jefra is able to keep up in the season.
The Final 6 of Cagayan are some of the biggest personalities the series has ever had, and Jefra really isn’t. Still whenever Jefra has a confessional or gets some screen time, I’m never bored. I find her engaging and she moves the story along well. She gets just the right amount of content, and is still entertaining.
- Boo Bernis (Fiji)
Boo was the person I was most shocked to like in Fiji. At first I thought he would join the villainous 4 Horsemen alliance, but he’s actually a key part of Earl’s alliance. Boo seemed like a nice guy, and was good at challenges. Not the most complex character ever, but I found him to be likeable in all his scenes, and there’s really not much else you can ask from a background character.
- Sebastian Noel (Ghost Island)
Look, I hate to make a stupid joke like this, but Sebastian is basically stoned the entire season. He has weird sayings like, “Brendan and Michael are like two penguins on an iceberg with nowhere to go” and “The Malolo-low can get no more low, y’know”. It’s a shame because he’s the last person to try and take a shot at Dom and Wendell, only it ends up so badly. He was kind of entertaining, but outside of saying stupid things, Sebastian really didn’t offer a lot.
- Alex Bell (Amazon)
If I were to describe Alex in one word it would be ‘nice’. He has a cute relationship with Shawna (pre-merge) on the new Jaburu tribe. He also stood up to Roger when he was spouting some homophobic BS. Ultimately, he got voted out after telling Rob that he would vote him out at 4th place
Enjoyable character, but Alex is nowhere near one of the more interesting ones from the Amazon.
- Brandon Bellinger (Guatemala)
Probably one of the most underrated characters in the series run. As the merge boot from the ‘forgotten’ season, he’s pretty easy to forget. Good narrator early on in Guatemala, Brandon is actually one of the most entertaining castaways on this season. Mostly I remember him for being really good at cutting ropes.
- Albert Destrade (South Pacific)
Albert is a solid part of the South Pacific cast. In the end he keeps wanting to make big moves, but he keeps getting shut down by Coach and Sophie. He ends up being a massive ‘Jury Goat’ because of this, but he’s never annoying or unlikeable. Honestly, I always wished Albert got a second appearance.
- Jonas Otsuji (One World)
Easily one of the better characters on the season. Jonas is a likeable guy, and gives great confessionals for the Manono tribe. Unfortunately, he is too likeable, and is seen as a threat.
There’s a lot of ugliness in One World, but fortunately Jonas is around to try and give some decency to the season. Seriously wish he lasted longer, and maybe the season would’ve been better.
- Jim Rice (South Pacific)
One of the more strategic players in South Pacific. Jim is willing to blindside members of his own alliance, and was even willing to work with the bottom of the alliance, Cochran. Unfortunately, he goes out early in the merge because of a Pagonging. Still, I thought Jim had potential as a character, and I wouldn’t mind seeing him return, which is more than I can say for a lot of the South Pacific cast.
- Nate Gonzalez (Cook Islands)
Nate is surprisingly one of the more entertaining castaways on Cook Islands. As first he falls into the characteristic of being the arrogant young guy. However, there is a bit more to Nate than just being cocky. He flirts with Parvati on the Rarotonga tribe, and acts as an older brother to the women of the Manahiki tribe. Throughout most of the season, Nate is a charismatic guy. However at the merge, the editors decide that we’re supposed to hate him. So they make sure to give him a lot of negative content, like targeting Yul and threatening Penner. Still, I actually thought Nate was a solid character, and for all the returnees that came out of Cook Islands, I’m surprised he never was one.
- Bruce Kanegai (Panama)
Bruce is a part of the some of the most bizarre moments of the Casaya tribe, and that is saying something. He decides to build a rock garden instead of helping build a fire, then gets mad when Courtney uses the garden. Bruce also gets drunk with BobDawg (Pre-Merge) in the Charmin bathroom, which is one of the funnier scenes on Casaya.
When the merge happens, Terry tries to get Bruce to flip. Debating to flip takes up a decent part of Bruce’s story. However, he has to be evacuated because he can’t use the bathroom.
Still, Bruce is everything you want in a comedic background character. He never really impacts the main story, but all of his content is so strange, that it’s entertaining.
- Steve Wright (Redemption Island)
Redemption Island has a pretty weak cast, but Steve manages to be one of the more likeable guys on the season. He’s a nice guy and one of the better narrators on the Zapatera tribe. Also, during the whole ‘Rice Wars’ incident, Steve tries his hardest to be understanding but is mostly just confused, much like the rest of the audience.
Sadly, when he’s compared to other seasons, Steve is really just an average contestant at best. Still, I’m placing him higher than most of his cast, because he at least made the pre-merge interesting.
- Christa Hastie (Pearl Islands)
She’s in an alliance with Sandra and Rupert, so you know that she’s supposed to be a hero. Christa also has a little bit of sass to her, like when she says, “Shawn is the biggest puss I’ve ever met in my life.” Sadly, she ends up taking the blame for Sandra dumping out the fish.
In the end, Christa is a likeable character, she sadly is just overshadowed by the larger than life personalities in a stacked cast.
- Sean Kenniff (Borneo)
Sean is kind of the goof of the season. He wants to be the provider of the season, so he builds a giant fishing pole… only to fail and have to rely on Richard to catch all the fish.
Sean also can’t pick up on the fact that his tribe formed an alliance without him. So he decides just to vote out each person alphabetically. His rationale was that he wouldn’t upset anyone in the tribe because he voted in an order; only everyone in the tribe was pissed at him because they knew exactly when he was voting for them. Sean really is the kind of character that could only ever exist in the first season of this show.
- Jessica Johnston (Heroes v Healers v Hustlers)
Jessica was one of the bigger characters in the pre-merge. Most of this was because she had a showmance with Cole. Although she was embarrassed to date him because she’s (gasp) 30! A lot of the pre-merge was her having to put out problems Cole was starting, and strategizing for the both of them. Half of them time I was yelling at my screen for Jessica to cut the dead weight of Cole and control the game by herself.
Seriously, Jessica was one of the better female challenge competitors on the season. She was also really good at strategy. Her big move of stealing Devon’s vote at the Tribe Swap Tribal Council was amazing and one of the best moments of the season.
Unfortunately, Jessica goes out at the merge because she’s least likely to have an idol. Which is a shame, because she deserved better than how she went out.
I’d love to see Jessica return on her own, just to see what she can do
- Morgan McLeod (Cagayan)
Morgan was the type of contestant you would expect to be on the ‘Beauty’ tribe. She knows she’s attractive, and expects that to be an advantage by having people do what she wants. She gives all the vain lines you would expect like “She hates me because I’m cuter than her” or “I think people would rather be cute than not cute if given the choice.”
She lasts just long enough to be entertaining, but not long enough to wear out her welcome.
- Pete Yurkowski (Philippines)
Pete has one memorable moment in the Philippines. It’s when he hides the idol clue in RC’s bag, and has Abi turn on her. It’s a really good play that breaks up the duo.
Mostly, he’s just the background villain while Abi gets all of the attention. It’s kind of a shame, because Pete clearly had a good head for the game and could’ve been a massive threat if Abi could keep it together. Still, Pete is a pretty fun background villain, so he lands here.
- Janu Tornell (Palau)
Janu has a solid growth arc. She’s on the bottom of Koror because she is weaker in challenges. Once her ally Coby is booted, Janu doesn’t think she can win the game. She gets sent to ‘exile island’ where she is forced to survive on her own for 24-hours. Janu manages to build fire, and finally has the confidence to survive on her own. She realizes that she got what she wanted out of Survivor, and quits so that Stephenie can stay in the game.
Solid story and great ending. There are just a lot more entertaining players than Janu to put her higher
- Gregg Carey (Palau)
Gregg was on the Koror tribe and helped them win a lot of challenges. He’s also one of the less interesting Koror members. He has a nice flirt-mance with Jenn, and is seen as a threat to Tom and Ian, but that’s all I can really remember of him.
- Hannah Shapiro (Millennials vs. Gen X)
Hannah had one of the stronger arcs in her season. Initially, she lets her anxiety take control over her. She takes forever to vote in her first tribal, and ends up flipping over to Michelle and Jay. Then while sitting out of a challenge, she has a panic attack.
Her story picks up once the merge hits, and she goes into full ‘game-mode’. After her ally Michaela is blindsided, Hannah flips over to David’s alliance. She helps David’s alliance take control of the game and proves herself as a great strategist, and nearly wins the FIC. In the end, she can’t compete with Adam, even after giving a solid FTC performance.
Still, Hannah has a solid story – she’s the nerd that finds success in Survivor