The Perfect Season of Survivor: The Best Episodes of All-Time

After 32 seasons of Survivor, we’ve seen some incredible moments from some incredible episodes. In this article, I talk about what the perfect season of Survivor would be by looking at all the seasons of Survivor and choosing the best episode 1, the best episode 2, the best episode 3 and so on. This is the best possible season of Survivor.

My Perfect Season 

Episode 1 – Slay Everyone, Trust No One (Heroes vs. Villains)

Episode 1 of Survivor Heroes vs. Villains was everything we could have asked for and more. With all of the most famous returning players coming back to try their hand at the game once more, it was the most anticipated season and ever and the premiere episode of this wonderful season did not disappoint. There was so much to cover in this episode that it still remains as Survivor’s only ever 2-hour episode in which only one person goes home. This episode was also our first taste of the Russell vs. Rob power struggle, our first sense of the alliances that would form on the heroes tribe throughout the season and our first look at Coach’s man crush on Rob Mariano. Other highlights from this episode include Sandra and Rob betting on whether Coach could climb a coconut tree or not, Coach and Jerri’s surprising love connection and a gruesome opening challenge in which Stephanie dislocates her shoulder, Rupert breaks a toe and The Dragon Slayer dominates one of the greatest challenge beasts ever in Colby. The vote is also interesting as even though Sugar was a predictable first boot, the edit does a nice job of giving us a reason as to why a number of different people could go home. It is truly an incredible premiere.

Best Quote: “Colby must be thinking… I might as well just become a woman. Because there’s no point in trying to maintain my masculinity now…” – Tyson on the Coach vs. Colby Affair.

Other Episode 1 Honourable Mentions: Beg, Barter, Steal (Pearl Islands), The Marooning (Borneo)

Episode 2 – Hot Girl With A Grudge Part 2 (Cagayan)

Cagayan’s Premiere Episode was also a standout in the show’s history, but mostly for it’s second hour, in which Garrett Adelstein goes home. The Brain tribe of Cagayan was in a shambles at the start of the season and in large part that was thanks to J’Tia Taylor. Not only was J’Tia bad in challenges but she was also bossy around camp. When building the shelter, she put herself in the leadership position bossing everyone around without actually doing anything herself. This quickly put her on the bottom of the tribe and it was looking destined for her to go home. But then after Garrett told everyone not to strategize for the rest of the day, and forced his tribemates to stay in the shelter the rest of the day and not talk so that J’Tia couldn’t have any hope of strategizing. The moment everyone else left the shelter, J’Tia dumped the rice in to the fire. That looked to be J’Tia’s final act on Survivor and she continued to be destined to go home. But then suddenly, Kass flips her vote and Garrett goes home with an idol in his pocket. Other highlights of this episode  Tony finding his first of many idols and building his spy shack, which he would use to later discover that Lindsey and Cliff wanted him out. It’s a wonderful second boot episode that has a massive impact on the rest of the season.

Best Quote: “Today is definitely beautiful on the beautiful tribe. But there’s a lot of people playing dumb out here and I’m onto it. Alexis is just being the flirt out here. Just kinda like, y’know, definitely all about her sexuality and always in her panties, kinda like, ya know, (imitating flirtatious voice) “You want some coconut water?” So I definitely kinda see her game. Jefra, on the other hand, I don’t know what her game is. All of her crayons in the crayon box aren’t bright – Brice on his teammates.

Episode 2 Honourable Mentions: Dire Strengths and Dead Weight (Cook Islands), The Sounds of Jungle Love (Micronesia)

Episode 3  – No Pain, No Gain (Marquesas)

Episode 3 of Season 4’s Marquesas was one of the most memorable from the early seasons and is still considered to be one of the best in the show’s history. Maaramu had just lost their third immunity challenge in a row, the longest losing streak at the beginning of a season in the show’s history up to that point and Sarah Jones was looking like the next one to go on to the tribe. But then on came Boston Rob Mariano to the scene. For the first few days of Marquesas, Rob and his bro Sean Rector let Hunter Ellis take control of the tribe and made him be the standout leader of the team. Hunter thought he was in complete control of his team until in this episode, Rob saved Sarah by banding together with Sean and Vecepia to vote out Hunter. It was a gamechanger for Survivor strategy. For the first time ever an Alpha Male, a leader of a tribe, was voted out pre-merge, something that had never been concocted before. As well as the memorable Hunter boot, this is also the episode in which John Carroll gets stung by a sea urchent and the watching world learns how to treat a sea urchent sting as Kathy volunteers to pee on his hand as a form of treatment. Not only is it one of the best episodes of the older seasons of Survivor, but it’s also one of the most hilarious as on top of Kathy peeing on John Carroll, we get the best segment of Maaramu’s morning radio show in this episode as well.

Best Quote: “It’s a tough principle, but fear keeps people loyal. If they’re afraid they have something to lose, then they’ll do what they’re told to do. That’s straight out of the godfather” – Rob Mariano

Episode 3 Honourable Mentions: I Should Be Carried On The Chariot-Type Thing (Micronesia), Shark Attack (All Stars)

Episode 4 – We’re A Hot Mess (San Juan Del Sur)

I’ve probably memorized every single line of this episode. I love it that much. The Drew Christy vote off in San Juan Del Sur’s “We’re A Hot Mess” is amazing for a number of reasons. Most importantly it is one of the biggest ever downfalls of one of the most hilariously dumb Survivor contestants ever on the show. In the previous episode, Hunahpu, one of the most stacked tribes in the history of the show, lost their flint and needed to trade a reward they had won in order to get a new one. So when “We’re A Hot Mess” starts off with Natalie finding the flint, Drew becomes particularly annoyed. After a couple of confessionals about Drew saying how great he is, Kelley Wentworth has a great confessional about how lazy and annoying he is. Then at the reward challenge, Drew tries to trade back the flint for the fishing gear reward which Jeff Probst unsurprisingly denies. One of the other opening lines of this sequence is Drew’s brother Alec, member of the Coyopa tribe saying “Are we going to be able to pick ourselves up? Or are we go down in history as the worst tribe in the history of Survivor?”. This would prove to be an essential theme in the episode as well. Hunahpu had won the first three immunity challenges of San Juan Del Sur and Coyopa was desperate for a win. When Jon wins another reward challenge for Hunahpu, he sends his girlfriend along with Drew to go to exile island, which Drew absolutely relishes. He says, “The good thing about being here with Jaclyn is I got an awesome clue. That’s number one. Number two is I got a pretty, Miss Michigan type looking chick out here…The fact that I’m a ladies man seems to work in my advantage but I haven’t been trying to work that angle too much…I’m really out here just trying to strategize and manipulate minds”. Yep that’s Drew Christy for you. Basically, he’s a badass (inside joke). So anyway, Drew tells Jaclyn that he’s going to throw the immunity challenge to Coyopa so that he can get some of the “snakes” off of his tribe.  Then later at the immunity challenge, Drew puts himself in the limelight as the ring tosser and misses a string of consecutive shots, while also purposefully not listening to Jeff’s instructions on how to do the challenge. This means that for the first time of the season that Hunahpu lose the challenge and in the pre-tribal scheming as Natalie would tell you, they were “A Hot Mess”. Drew declares that Kelley Wentworth is the most dangerous player in the game and needs to be the one to go. The Drew Christy prophecy of Kelley Wentworth would eventually come true, but unfortunately he was a season too early and everyone was looking around at Drew like he was crazy. Jon meanwhile was making a plea to get Julie out, Jeremy wanted Keith out, and the women wanted Drew out. So again as Natalie would say, they were absolutely one big “hot mess”. When tribal council arrived, the votes came in all directions. Drew voted for Kelley, Jon voted for Keith, Reed and Keith voted for Julie and Jeremy sided with the women to take out Drew. Rarely in modern day Survivor do you see four people get a vote at a tribal council. This was one of the craziest pre-tribal scheme sessions ever and the end-result with Drew going home after he was the one who threw the challenge to get rid of the “snakes” on his team was just a spectacular ending to a spectacular episode.

Best Quote: “I kinda decided on Exile that if I had the opportunity to throw this game, I would. And uh, I did. I don’t know if they knew I was throwing it but I could care less because we need to start getting rid of some of the snakes in our tribe. So um, basically I’m a badass!”- Drew on how amazing he is.

Episode 4 Honourable Mentions: One Armed Dude and Three Moms (Blood vs. Water), Tonight We Make Our Move (Heroes vs. Villains)

Episode 5 – The Twist (Africa)

“The Twist” marks the start of one of Survivor’s staple traditions, the tribe swap. This was the first ever “twist” on Survivor and looking back on it, it shook up Survivor Africa in a massive way. Silas, leader of the Samburu tribe, had control of the game. He had formed an alliance with the younger members of the tribe in which he was the de facto leader. This all came crashing down when the two tribes had to send three people “on a quest” which ended up resulting in them getting swapped to the other team. Silas, along with T-Bird and Frank, two people that he alienated from the rest of the group due to their age, and was about to vote off next, had to switch over to the Boran tribe, while Tom, Lex and Kelly were sent the other way to what Lex calls “Samboohoo”. Immediately when the old Samburu members arrive at the new Boran tribe, T-Bird and Frank go to great lengths to throw Silas under the bus and this results in Ethan Zohn and his trusted allies throwing the challenge just to get rid of him. It’s a very historic moment in Survivor history and marks the end of one of Survivor Africa’s biggest villains, certainly allowing it to claim it’s title as the best ever fifth episode of Survivor.

Best Quote: When Jeff said ‘give me your buff,’ I almost turned around and bolted. If he gave me the option to run back to camp with no water for two days, or give him the buff, I’d still be trying to run” – Tom Buchanan on having to switch tribes.

Episode 5 Honourable Mentions: Love Is In The Air (China), Odd One Out (Cagayan)

Episode 6 – Banana Etiquette (Heroes vs. Villains)

Banana Etiquette as I’ve probably mentioned before, is my all-time favourite episode of Survivor. Banana Etiquette involves some of the funniest moments in the show’s history, one of the biggest blindsides in the show’s history and one of the best strategic game-play moves in the show’s history all wrapped up in to a forty-three minute episode. The episode starts off with a reminder to us that Parvati and Russell are on the bottom of the Villains tribe and that James’ injury is going to be something that is going to have a big impact on the Heroes’ ability to win challenges. Then we get to the challenge, where it’s announced that both tribes are going to go to tribal council, meaning both tribes are voting somebody out. After Rob and Candice win immunity from their respective tribes we get a mix of hilarious scenes from the Heroes about James’ injury, how he eats too many bananas and what the proper “Banana Etiquette” is and then we see the Villains once more talking about how Parvati and Russell are the most dangerous players in the game, which prompts Rob Mariano to conclude that they have to split the votes between the two of them. Over at the Heroes camp, Amanda continues to teach James about banana etiquette, and also says that he needs to prove that he’s not really that injured and so he has to race JT, which he loses horribly of course. Meanwhile, Russell convinces Tyson that he is voting for Parvati, which prompts Tyson to flip his vote, which was supposed to be on Russell, over to Parvati as well. Then when the tribes go to tribal council, Tyson votes for Parvati, Danielle, Parvati and Russell vote for Tyson, Russell plays his idol for Parvati, which means that all of the votes on Parvati don’t count and Tyson is sent home by a vote of 3-2. Then the heroes go to tribal council and James pleads his case once again saying “it’s like my superman is wearing a fat suit” in reference to how bad Colby had been in challenges up to that point, but then still gets voted out mostly due to his injury with the banana etiquette as a brilliant sub-plot and secondary reason to his elimination.

Best Quote: “I’m tired of all this social stuff. I want to win, they don’t want to win. They worried about other stuff, they worried about bananas. Apparently there’s banana etiquette. When getting a banana, even though you the one getting the bananas and you pick the bananas that have ripened and you’ve been waiting for these bananas to ripen, an average adult can’t just get their own banana when they’re hungry. They must wait for someone else to offer them a banana…’Hey JT would you like a banana?'” – James on Banana Etiquette.

Episode 6 Honourable Mentions: Trial By Fire (Australian Outback), Big Ball, Big Mouth, Big Trouble (Guatemala)

Episode 7 – Head of the Snake (Cagayan)

The merge episode of Cagayan not only proved to be the best of the season but one of the best episodes in the show’s history. We never knew which way it was going to turn and there were so many names floating around before tribal council that it made it impossible to know who was going home. Going into the merge Kass McQuillen was part of an alliance of six. But one of the members of the alliance, Sarah Lacina, kept on waivering between Kass’ alliance and Tony and Trish’s alliance. After Sarah and Tasha offend Kass, instead of Sarah flipping, Kass flips over to Trish and Tony’s side and they take out the swing vote in Sarah in one of the most shocking merge boots of all time. This episode also includes one of the most memorable tribal councils ever with LJ and Tony playing idols for each other, thinking that it was going to be one of them going home, even though it never was. In an exhilarating 6-5 vote,Sarah is shockingly sent home. Believe me, it was a shocker and a blindside. Just look at that reaction (courtesy of CBS). 

 Other highlights from this episode include the emergence of Chaos Kass as a serious contender to win the game, a clue that tells Tony there’s an idol with a special power in the game and a bit of masterful social game-play from Trish to pull Kass on to her side.

Best Quote: “I’m in the middle. It’s a Sarah sandwich! It’s perfect! I never expected to be the decision maker, so it’s… It truly is a predicament, but whichever side I go, I’m sitting pretty because I will decide the fate of this game” – Sarah Lacina hours before she was voted out.

Episode 7 Honourable Mentions: Girls Gone Wilder (Amazon), Play To Win (Second Chance)

Episode 8 – You Call, We’ll Haul (Second Chance) 

Although very recent, Second Chance will go down as one of the best seasons in Survivor history and “You Call, We’ll Haul” was it’s finest episode. Although Keith Nale has the greatest line and funniest scene of this episode, it is Kelley Wentworth who steals the show. On Kelley’s original season, she didn’t make much of an impact, getting voted out in Episode 5 after getting kind of screwed with a tribe swap. But in Second Chance, Kelley came out of the gates with guns blazing. She found an immunity idol on the very first day and we were all waiting for that perfect moment when she was going to play it. Finally that moment came in this episode. The merge of Survivor Second Chance had created a large divide between two groups of people. There was an alliance of nine in which Andrew Savage and Jeremy were the clear leaders of, and then there was an alliance of four: Kass, Abi, Ciera and Kelley, who were all on the bottom. After Kass went home in Episode 7, the assumption was that it was going to be either Ciera or Kelley going home this episode. Andrew Savage, meanwhile who made himself known by being an arrogant leader of the alliance of nine, was trying to get Stephen Fishbach out until Jeremy managed to steer him away from that direction. “The three witches” also become noticeably tired of being on the bottom and of Andrew Savage’s arrogance at tribal council. Before tribal council though, Joe and Keith who had tried to remain open to working with “the witches” both mentioned to Kelley that she was the one being targeted, without knowing that she had an immunity idol in her pocket. So when tribal council came, and it became clearer that she was going home, Kelley played the idol and saved herself. One by one, Jeff read the nine votes for Kelley, which were all cancelled out, the most votes cancelled out ever, before he revealed that “the three witches” had voted for Andrew Savage, sending him home. We get one last memorable moment from Andrew Savage on his way out as Abi taunts him by saying “At least you made it to the jury” (which he had said as being his second chance story) to which he replies by turning around and flipping her off. It was a roller coaster of a ride and one of the best episodes in the show’s history involving one of the best idol plays in the show’s history as well.

Other highlights of this episode of course include Kieth Nale’s hilarious moments driving the tuk tuk at the reward and calling them “toe toe’s”, and all the scenes of pretty much every member of the alliance of nine saying “Kelley Wentworth does not have an idol” to which they would be proven horribly wrong.

Best Quote: “They took us up here on the beach and I said I used to have a little motorcycle like that in Louisiana just buzzing along, I said I can do that, so we went and ate and then we took a little ride around the beach…Shoot there’s a mile around the beach here at the little cafe here that we’re at so we just kinda made a little exploring trip around and back, nothing too major..but that’s a pretty good gig just hang out right there and I said uh you call we’ll haul, you know, we’ll drop you off at the beach, we’ll come pick you up off to the cafe you go, seems like a pretty good time!” – Keith Nale at the reward

Episode 8 Honourable Mentions: Jury’s Out (Marquesas), Dead Man Walking (Philippines)

Episode 9 – It’s Psychological Warfare (Kaoh Rong)

Wow! What an episode of Survivor Kaoh Rong this was. After a pretty predictable Nick boot in the episode before, this was really something to grab our attention and keep us watching for the rest of the season. “It’s Psychological Warfare” starts out with Jason, Scott and Tai coming back to camp after the Nick blindside trying to figure out how they are going to advance themselves in the game. So, they decide to sabotage the camp. They steal the machete, they steal the axe and then they pour water on the fire, in hopes that someone in the majority alliance would crack under the pressure, and they get exactly what they bargain for. At the reward challenge, Jeff tells the contestants to pick their own teams for a change rather than draw names from a hat or have a schoolyard pick as they usually would. So that leaves Tai, Jason and Scott going up against Michele, Cydney, Aubry, Debbie and Julia. Only problem is, that’s an uneven number so one of the girls has to jump over to the other side and go with the guys. After minimal deliberation, Julia decides to go with the guys to try and remain neutral and advance her position in the game. Now, Julia’s working back and forth between the two alliances, forcing Aubry and Cydney to lose trust in her. This prompts a conversation between Aubry and Debbie in the water, in which Aubry says that Scott deliberately sabotaged the camp so that everyone would vote for him and then he’d play an idol and he’d be safe. Being fearful of the idea of the boys having idols, Aubry decides that Julia should be the one to go, but Debbie puts her foot down and refuses to vote for Julia. Still though, Aubry decides to make plans behind Debbie’s back to vote out Julia. Then in a twist of events, Julia wins immunity, forcing Aubry and Cydney to have to change their plan. After Debbie tells Julia the plan in front of everyone else, Aubry and Cydney begin to become even more weary of Debbie and start to make plans to vote her off, fearing that she is telling far too many things to the wrong people. Aubry tells Joe to vote for Debbie, but Joe refuses. Meanwhile, Scott tells Julia that the three men are voting for Cydney out of revenge for flipping on them. This gives Julia a decision to make on whether to go with the guys and vote out Cydney or go with the girls and vote out Debbie, leaving the vote up in the air. But the roller coaster of a ride doesn’t stop there! At tribal council, the roller coaster of events takes a turn of events again when Jason and Tai stylishly pull out their idols in front of everyone declaring that there’s no way they are going home. This causes a magnitude of whispering around tribal council to occur and the audience still has no idea where the vote is going as Aubry whispers to Debbie “original plan”. After the contestants cast their votes, Jason gives Tai his idol and Tai sits back down. Then the votes are read. The first four votes that Jeff reads are two for Cydney and two for Scott, then shockingly, he starts to flip over votes for Debbie. Debbie, Debbie, Cydney, Debbie, and then the last vote is for….Debbie! After this crazy string of events, Debbie ends up being the one going home in a shocking move. This move has everlasting effects on the rest of the game as the three men become more powerful and then at the final vote, Debbie remains a bitter juror and votes for Michele to win instead of Aubry. This was a crazy episode with so many twists and turns and it ended in stylish fashion with a memorable tribal council and in Debbie’s words a “total blindside”. This episode was so good that it knocked Palau’s classic episode “Neanderthal Man” off of our list.

Best Quote: “Hold on! The idol’s got a brother!” – Jason while standing up and showing his idol to everyone at tribal council.

Honourable Mentions: Neanderthal Man (Palau), Nothing Tastes Better Than Five Hundred Dollars (Gabon)

Episode 10 – Going Down In Flames (Heroes vs. Villains)

After a long pre-merge, the heroes and villains came into the merge with a five to five division. Just like Russell said in this episode, whichever tribe would come out on top of this vote would be able to dominate the rest of the game. In the previous episode, fearing an all-girls alliance in the Villains camp, JT gave his immunity idol to Russell at the challenge in hopes that Russell would send Parvati home. So coming into this episode, Russell had some explaining to do when the two tribes merged and JT saw that Courtney was sent home instead of Parvati. When Russell arrives to the heroes camp he tells JT that he and Parvati stood up at the exact same time to play their immunity idols and that Courtney was sent home as a result. The Heroes foolishly think that Russell is on their side until Sandra warns them otherwise and tells Rupert the truth about what was going on in the Villains camp, which Rupert completely believes. But when Rupert tells this information to the rest of his Heroes tribe, none of them believe it’s truth and they continue to think Russell is on their side. The following day, Parvati and Amanda talk to each other in private about how the Heroes want Parvati out. Of course everyone wants Parvati out, she was known as one of the best players ever even before this season so of course she was going to be the number one target. Parvati knew this fact as well and so she asked Amanda to promise to let her know if she was going to be the one going home. Then at the immunity challenge, Parvati steps down to let Danielle win, causing the villains to get very suspicious that she had an idol. Colby and JT discuss about how the vote should go to either Sandra or Jerri in hopes that if Parvati had an idol that she would play it aimlessly for herself and that they could get rid of the idol and a different Villain. While this is going on, Russell hands Parvati the idol that he received from JT in order to protect her for the night, without realizing that Parvati had already found a hidden immunity herself that she had kept a secret from him. Shortly before the vote, we see one last final push from Amanda to try and force Parvati to play the idol. Amanda says “It’s you tonight so play that idol”. Parvati, being able to read people like a book, realizes then that the Villains aren’t voting for her and so when the tribes get to tribal council, Parvati gives both of her idols away to her teammates, one to Jerry, one to Sandra and so all of the Heroes’ votes which all went to Jerri do not count and JT is sent home by his own idol that he foolishly gave away to Russell. Parvati’s double idol play worked brilliantly well and the Villains were able to take control of the rest of the game. Not only is this regarded as one of the best moves in Survivor history, this episode as a whole is considered to be one of the best in the show’s history as well.

Best Quote: “I think it would be downright depressing to sit and watch green bananas turn yellow without my debaucherous little Villains. So Sandra, this is for you (pulls out immunity idol) and Jerri, this is for you (pulls out another idol)” – Parvati in one of the best all time moves.

Honourable Mentions: Mad Scramble and Broken Hearts (All Stars), Zipping Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (Caramoan)

Episode 11 – I’m Ruthless and I Have A Smile on My Face (Micronesia)

Natalie Bolton is possibly the greatest ever non-winner who hasn’t returned to Survivor and this episode showcases that fact to perfection. After an incredile blindside of Ozzy Lusth led by Parvati Shallow, the women of the Black Widow Brigade were now able to take control of the game. Jason Siska should have seen the vote coming. It made no sense in the world why he wouldn’t be the next one to go. But Natalie managed to pull off the spectacular and managed to convince him that he wasn’t going to go home. At the Survivor auction, Natalie won the right to send someone to exile island, so she chose Jason, claiming that she was helping Jason by allowing him to go and look for the immunity idol. When Jason returned, Natalie was quick to tell Jason that she sent him for a reason and that they could use the idol and work together to blindside James. This was never going to be the case, but Jason believed it to be true. Natalie made Jason feel so comfortable that he said at exile island,  “I feel that for the first time in the game, I am now part of a successful alliance. Right now, I am the most comfortable I have ever felt in this game”. So when tribal council came, he didn’t play the hidden immunity idol and just like Ozzy was voted out with the idol in his pocket.

Best Quote: “It would be brilliant for Jason to go out just like Ozzy, blindsided, no idea what’s hitting his face, flossing my teeth with his jugular” – Natalie Bolton.

Honourable Mentions: Surprise and Surprise Again (Vanuatu), The Great Lie (Pearl Islands)

Episode 12 – Rustle Feathers (Blood vs. Water)

In the history of the show there has never been a more incredible or historic final six episode/vote. With six people left in the game in Survivor Blood vs. Water, there was a four person alliance of Tyson, Gervase, Monica and Ciera, and a two person alliance of Katie and Hayden. After Caleb was sent home in the previous episode, it was made clear that either Hayden or Katie was going to be the one going home this episode. During the reward challenge, Tyson won and decided to take Gervase and Monica. This could have potentially left Ciera to feel left out but she brushed it off by saying that she had already taken part in a lot of food rewards and despite several attempts by Hayden and Katie to sway her over to ther side, Ciera remained loyal to her allies. When tribal council arrived, it was one of the most chaotic in the history of the show. Hayden was desperately trying to save himself in the game by trying to convince Ciera to flip. Meanwhile, Gervase and Monica constantly argued back and forth with Hayden by saying that if Ciera flipped she would have a shot at going home that night. Unfortunately when Gervase and Monica were making their cases, they constantly referred to Ciera as “number four”. Despite the attempts by Tyson to convince her that she wasn’t number four in the group, the damage had already been done and Ciera decided to force a tie on two occasions, before forcing a rock draw. Katie, Ciera and Tyson were forced to draw rocks and Katie was sent home. It was one of the most exhilarating tribal councils, one of the most shocking votes and one of the best survivor episodes in the history of the show.

Other highlights from this episode include the Rustle Feathers vs. Ruffle Feathers debacle and Gervase shouting his confessional and purposefully spelling Hayden’s name as “Haydone” when casting his vote.

Best Quote: “Don’t hate the players homie, hate the game. This isn’t Big Brother, this is Survivor, we do things different here. You’re about to get a lesson in how to play the game.” – Gervase shouting his confessional to make sure Hayden would hear.

Episode 12 Honourable Mentions: The Straw That Broke The Camel’s Back (Cagayan), The Martyr Approach (Tocantins)

Episode 13 – If It Smells Like A Rat Give It Cheese (Micronesia)

Erik giving up the immunity necklace at final five was arguably the most shocking moment in the show’s history. It was both one of the dumbest moves in survivor history by Erik and one of the best moves in Survivor history by the four women pictured above. In the previous episode, Erik won immunity forcing the Black Widow Brigade to blindside one of their own. After Amanda played the hidden immunity idol, Alexis was sent home. Now going into final five, the women knew they had to win the immunity necklace in order to get Erik out and go to the final four together. But Erik was too good at challenges! Erik had won the previous two immunity challenges and was able to take home the necklace yet again on this episode. So now the women had to come up with a plan. Refusing to go down without a fight, Cirie says to the group “I wonder if he would give Nat his necklace?”. Natalie had been one of the Black Widow Brigade’s most lethal weapons. Being an original member of the fans tribe and a master of manipulation, she was always able to convince the other Fans, like Erik, that she was willing to work with them and so Cirie knew exactly which button to push when trying to convince Erik to give up his necklace. Moreover, before the reward challenge, Erik had promised both Amanda and Natalie that he would take them if he had won so when Erik won and took Amanda, Natalie was shell-shocked and Cirie and Nat were later able to use the guilt that Erik had for not taking Natalie against him. At first when Cirie brought up the idea of Natalie trying to convince Erik to give her the necklace, Natalie was skeptical of the idea but eventually she gave it a shot. This produces one of the most amazing pre-tribal talks in the history of the show. First, Natalie tells Erik that this would redeem him in front of the jury’s eyes but that the only way that Cirie would vote for Amanda is if he gave the necklace to her so that they could fully trust him again. Then, Cirie reassures him of that fact as well by saying that after all the lying he did the day before she just can’t trust him and that this would be the only way she would ever be able to trust him again. Finally, when tribal council arrived, Parvati and Amanda blasted him for lying, making him feel even more guilty and even more against the two of them. Meanwhile, Cirie continued to talk about how Erik redeeming himself would allow him to get more jury votes. So before the vote, thinking he was safe and that Amanda or Parvati would go home, he decided to give his necklace to Natalie. Of course, Cirie and Natalie were never going to vote for one of their own and Erik was always going to be the target. The women banded together once more to blindside the last remaining man, Erik, while also producing one of the best moves in the history of the show.  Truly, an incredible episode with one of the most magical moments in the history of the show. Parvati’s confessional below says it all.

Best Quote: “You’re crazy! You’ll officially go down as the dumbest Survivor ever, in the history of Survivor. Ever” Parvati during her voting confessional while holding up Erik’s name.

Honourable Mentions: Let’s Make A Move (San Juan Del Sur), The Final Four (Borneo)

Episode 14 (Finale): Lie, Cheat and Steal (Second Chance) 

Second Chance was one of the best seasons of Survivor and going into the finale, you didn’t no which way it was going to turn. Out of the six remaining players, three of them, Jeremy, Spencer and Kelley, still had a great shot to win and it was impossible to tell which one of them was going to come out on top. With this finale starting at final six, it’s the first time ever in the show’s history that we get three eliminations all in one episode and all three votes were incredibly intricate.  The first of the three votes, proved to be the craziest tribal council in the history of the show (See “Top 10 Audience Blindsides in Survivor History). Going into the vote, Kimmi Kappenberg knew she was on the bottom of her alliance and so she desperately tried to shake up the game to try and elevate herself into that top three. Jeremy was absolutely convinced that Kimmi wasn’t going to flip but Spencer and Tasha were certain she was. At tribal council, Kelley Wentworth and Jeremy Collins, the two biggest threats left in the game to win, both played hidden immunity idols to save themselves. So when the votes came in, and the vote was a three-three tie between Jeremy and Kelley, for the first time ever we had no votes that actually counted. So then we had to have a re-vote. Tasha, Spencer and Jeremy all voted for Kimmi after realizing she had flipped, while Kelley, Keith and Kimmi voted for Tasha. Again the vote was a 3-3 tie. This now meant that the only way to determine who would go home would be an open forum, in which the contestants had to decide which one of Tasha, Kimmi or Keith was going to be going home since Spencer (immunity necklace), and Jeremy and Kelley (immunity idols) were all safe. At first, out of sheer Keith Nale confusion about what was happening, Keith tells everyone to “Send him to the house” so that he could have a nice cold beer, but eventually Kelley says that she would like Keith to stay so Keith goes “Alright, I’ll stay” and the vote becomes unanimous to vote Kimmi out. Wow! What a crazy tribal council! But the episode isn’t done there! Now it’s final five and the immunity necklace is on everyone’s mind. At the challenge, Kelley wins it for her second time in the game and Keith is voted out, but that’s only after one of the show’s funniest ever segments in which Jeremy is trying to get Keith’s attention for a good thirty seconds before Keith realizes that Jeremy wants to talk to him about the vote. To save himself Jeremy mouths to Keith that the two of them, Kelley, and Spencer should vote for Tasha, which Keith misinterprets as Jeremy telling him to vote for Spencer. Kelley and Keith vote for Spencer but it’s to no avail, and Keith goes home. Then, finally it’s the final four and we all know that Jeremy has to win to fulfill his second chance story, which was all about winning for his wife and kids. The challenge was one of the most nail-biting final immunity challenges in the show’s history and it was one of the purest, happiest moments when Jeremy won. Unfortunately, for Kelley Wentworth it was an incredibly sad moment in which she realized she was going to fall just short of her dream. Kelley was voted out and then we get to an eventful final tribal council. In the final moments of the FTC speeches, Jeremy drops the biggest bomb of all, his wife was pregnant and he kept a secret for 39 days, knowing that he would become a bigger target if people found out.When Kelley asks him what his second chance story was about he said “It’s not even about me. It’s about my family, my kids, I’m doing this for them, I don’t even care about me”. The look on Spencer’s face when he then realized he wasn’t going to be getting any votes was priceless. Then of course the revealing of the votes occurred at the start of the Reunion show and Jeremy satisfyingly won by a vote of 10-0-0, becoming just the fourth person to receive all of the jury votes. He also became the person to receive the most votes in the history of the show (the other three blowouts were 9-0-0 victories) and became one of the greatest winners of all time. Truly an amazing episode.

This episode also includes Andrew Savage calling Spencer and Jeremy arrogant despite him being possibly the most arrogant man to ever play Survivor and Kelly Wigglesworth’s mic drop, “pick a number” question imitating Greg Buis’ question when she was a final two contestant on Survivor Borneo.

Best Quote: “My second chance story isn’t even about me, it’s about my family. I’m doing this for them, I don’t even care about me. So when Val comes at the reward and says to me ‘it’s a boy’, I’m freaking out in my mind and I want to tell someone so bad but I know that I can’t. So it’s not even about me. It’s about my family” – Jeremy’s final words at FTC.

Honourable Mentions: The Ultimate Shock (Palau), Anything Could Happen (Heroes vs. Villains)

So there you have it. This brings a close to my ‘Perfect Season of Survivor’. What episodes were missing? What would be your perfect season of Survivor, let me know in the comment section below.

One thought on “The Perfect Season of Survivor: The Best Episodes of All-Time

  1. With all due respect, this has way too much of recency bias. Missing classic episodes – “The Merger” (Borneo), “The Final Four” (Borneo finale), “Assumptions” (Thailand), and “Swimming With Sharks” (PI) to name a few.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s