In an era of Survivor where returning-player seasons occur far more frequently than they once did, there is now growing opportunity for some of the game’s all-time greats and all-time undervalued contestants to return to the show. Recent all-star seasons have given us players like Jeff Varner, Kimmi Kappenberg and James ‘JT’ Thomas that we never thought we’d see return to the show and now that they have there is a growing belief that anyone could be asked back to the show at any moment. These are the ten contestants that I would most like to see return to Survivor someday.
10. Brice Izyah Johnston
If there was one contestant who was unfortunate not to go further in Survivor Cagayan than they did, then that man has to be Brice Izyah Johnston. The Purple Pants Badass is not only one of the most comical contestants in Survivor history but is also a highly capable strategist as well. For such an amazing character on the show to go home in just the 4th episode was incredibly disappointing, especially when he had such a great start to the season and was so much fun during his early confessionals. Since his time on Survivor came to an abrupt end, Brice has made a name for himself on Rob Has A Podcast as one of the listeners’ favourite voicemail guests. It is on Rob’s show where The Purple Pants Badass has really shown how much fun of a character and personality he truly is and how amazing he would be to have back on any future season of Survivor should he be given the chance. Hopefully in some strange Survivor Best Players to Never Make the Merge type scenario, Brice Izyah Johnston can make a triumphant return to the show.
9. Mike Holloway
In a season of unlikable and horribly repugnant Survivor characters, watching Mike Holloway win Survivor Worlds Apart was a truly special, special time. As the season came to a close, Mike was the person all the fans of the show were rooting for to win and against all odds, with his back against the wall, the oil driller managed to seal the deal and win the million dollar prize. An underrated strategist, Mike often gets knocked for one crucial moment at the Survivor auction that turned him into public enemy numero uno out on the island. However, who wouldn’t want to see one of the greatest challenge competitors and one of the most exciting contestants of the show’s recent history (maybe even all time) return to the show? Mike gives everything his all, his 100 & 15,000 percent in fact, and gives the fans everything they want to see. If Mike Holloway’s name is not on the cast of the next Survivor all star season, I will be shocked and abhorred. An underrated winner, the Texas native could easily win the game again and I cannot wait to see him try.
8. Josh Canfield
Incredibly popular during the original airing of his season, Josh Canfield has silently and suddenly been forgotten about by the Survivor community since. The New York actor is an excellent Survivor player and had Coyopa not lost so many challenges early on he could have easily gone far. Early on in Survivor San Juan del Sur, Josh was a key cog between both the men and the women of the tribe and had the trust of every single person on the island. In Jeremy Collins Second Chance style, Josh managed to make himself everyone’s best friend and everyone’s closest ally, keeping himself out of danger and silently in control. But when the merge hit, Josh was instantly seen as the most dangerous and strategic member of the minority alliance and was taken out by Jeremy and five of the final six players in the game. When San Juan del Sur ended, Josh seemed like a shoe-in to return to Survivor, but somehow he hasn’t been approached by production. He seems to be doing just fine with his incredibly successful career on Broadway, but should the New Yorker return to Survivor someday, he could be a serious dark horse to win the game.
7. Kelley Wentworth
Kelley Wentworth was absolutely incredible in Survivor Cambodia. I had always believed in the San Juan del Sur 14th place finisher, but what she managed to accomplish in her second go-around on the show was better than anything I could have ever imagined. The sneaky sneaky immunity idol queen makes for such amazing television and is the type of player on the show where you never know what she is going to do next! She’s also incredibly strategic and so amazing socially while also somehow always able to keep herself in the good graces of everyone else on the island. I feel as though Kelley has a certain degree of unfinished business after coming so desperately close to winning Survivor Cambodia and I cannot wait for her inevitable return to the greatest game on television.
6. Earl Cole
This is a return to Survivor that I still don’t know if we’re ever going to see but one that I would absolutely love to see happen and one that is long overdue. Earl Cole is one of the best and one of the most underrated winners of this game and he hadn’t even watched a single season of the show before playing in Survivor Fiji. Early on, Earl was able to align himself with a strong group of people, most notably his best bud in the game Yau-Man, and then take his alliance to the end of the game with two immunity idols on his side. He then recognized the importance of voting out his best bud Yau Man and swept all nine of the incoming jury votes. Now, after it has been so long since he last played the game (11 years), Earl could do it all again and win in the exact same way. The California native is just such a likable figure and the kind of guy everyone out there on the island can get along with. Similarly, he’s also the kind of guy that all Survivor fans worldwide are going to like and it would be nearly impossible to despise someone so infectiously charismatic. Whether it’s All-Winners, Heroes vs. Villains 2 or any generic all-star season I don’t care, I want Earl Cole to return to Survivor someday and show everyone exactly why he is one of the best players this game has ever seen.
5. Todd Herzog
Todd Herzog is a man who has gone through a significant amount of hardship and has come out of it as a better person. The Survivor China contestant is one of the greatest winners in the history of the show and he, at 22-years of age, managed to accomplish what hundreds of other players couldn’t manage to do. Todd is one of the most self-aware, in-tune and strategically sound players in Survivor history and his win is just absolutely incredible on all fronts. When he speaks, you just can’t help but listen and you just can’t help but believe everything he says, even if he is lying straight to your face. Now 10 years on from Survivor China, Todd could be a completely changed character but he’d likely still have all of the tools need to win the game. I sincerely hope that Survivor China‘s Todd Herzog plays this game again and I hope that it happens sometime very, very soon.
4. Danni Boatwright
Danni Boatwright is one of my favourite winners of the game and she’s also right up there as one of the nicest, most kindhearted contestants to ever play. The sports radio host overcame one of the greatest odds to ever win the game, bouncing back from a 6-4 numbers disadvantage at the merge that was later reduced to 5-1, her being the one, to end up being the Sole Survivor. Her game was just so low key and elegant, with so much of it done off-camera and hidden from production so that nothing would ever jeopardize her game. She managed to completely fly under the radar while maintaining close bonds with every single person on the island, something very few players in this game’s thirty-three season history have managed to do. Danni in my mind is one of the likeliest winners to come back to Survivor someday and also one of the likeliest winners to come out victorious on her second go-around. Now that I’ve said that, I really hope she comes back and proves me right!
3. Brian Corridan
I’ve spoken so much and so highly of Brian Corridan so many times on The Mastermind but I really just can’t get enough of the Survivor Guatemala contestant. Guatemala is one of my favourite seasons and Brian is a major reason why. Underrated, undervalued and underappreciated are all words that describe Corridan and what the Guatemala star must have felt like for the past twelve years as he continues to desperately await the call to return to Survivor. He’s probably the best pre-merge player of all time and it’s a travesty that his ‘Bait Blake’ strategy isn’t considered to be one of the greatest moves and moments the show has ever witnessed. Brian is one of the most underrated players to ever play the game, was so much fun to watch for six episodes of Survivor Guatemala and I really hope that Survivor opens their eyes and gives him his deserved chance to play the game again.
2. Natalie Bolton
Natalie Bolton is one of my favourite Survivor players of all time. It is mostly for her amazing and hilarious confessionals that she produced in the tail-end of Survivor Micronesia, but her incredible game-play in eliminating Erik and Jason is also very high on my mind as well. Natalie should have returned for just about every single all star season that Survivor has had since Micronesia. She would have fit in perfectly on the Villains tribe in Heroes vs. Villains, would have certainly brought a “She Voted Out Her Mom!” level of ruthlessness on Blood vs. Water, would have made for the quintessential Second Chancer, and is definitely a Game Changer. So the question has to be asked, how on earth has Natalie Bolton not returned to Survivor?! Seriously production, put Nat B back on Survivor, she makes for amazing TV, is such a fantastic strategist and it would be just so much fun to see how she has changed since Survivor Micronesia. Please production. We need Natalie Bolton back on Survivor!
1. Natalie Anderson
I love Natalie Anderson. The San Juan Del Sur winner is one of the best social and strategic players in the history of the show and almost effortlessly managed to navigate her way through the game in flawless fashion. We still have no idea why Natalie had to drop out at the last minute for Survivor Game Changers but it is incredibly disappointing as she would have made this already amazing season infinitely better. Her end game in Survivor San Jan del Sur is probably the epitome of what makes Season 29 so great and her entertainment value is also through the roof. What makes her inevitable return even better (and I know I keep saying this) is that she could easily do everything the exact same way and win again for a second time. If Natalie Anderson does not return to Survivor within the next six seasons I will be shocked beyond all belief and I cannot wait for the day when this incredible Survivor player makes her triumphant return.
So there it is! The 10 players that I would most like to see return to the world’s greatest reality-tv series, Survivor. Who do you want to see make another appearance? Comment below to share your thoughts and don’t forget to click the Follow button so that you don’t miss out on amazing articles like this in the future. See you soon!