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100 Most Entertaining Survivor #78: Ethan Zohn (Africa)


Ethan Zohn was the winner of Survivor: Africa. He also participated in Survivor: All-Stars, but this post is solely for his appearance on Survivor: Africa.

This is Ethan. As I stated before, he was the winner of Survivor: Africa. He was the first winner who, I believe, was well-rounded on all aspects of the game. His social, strategic, and physical games were all equally strong. Until Africa, we hadn’t seen such a contestant.

One of the reasons that I loved Ethan so much was because of his alliance. His alliance included four people: Big Tom, Lex, Kim, and himself. The fact that Ethan was able to put up with this alliance is astonishing. He had Big Tom, who didn’t say one discernible sentence the entire game. He had Lex, who made decisions with his heart rather than his head and almost cost their alliance the game. And finally, he had Kim. The invisible one who seemed to just be along for the ride. However, these four together made for incredibly entertaining television.

Now, one of the moments that, in my opinion, made Africa entertaining was Ethan and Lex on a reward trip. This, in my opinion, is the most entertaining reward in ANY SURVIVOR SEASON. For those of you who don’t remember, Ethan and Lex won two goats and a trip to a nearby town (of course, in the middle of Kenya, nearby means about 3 hours away). They could barter these goats away so they could buy various goods from the town. This became one of the best scenes in the first three seasons. We had Lex talking about pooping. We had Ethan talking about butchering his goats. And they even ended it with an inspirational moment where Ethan gives his luxury item to some of the local kids. They need to do more rewards like this nowadays. As opposed to “go have a meal on a boat”.

Eventually, Ethan became the “nice guy” winner of the first 9 seasons. Eventually Tom did also win that label, but Ethan did it first and some say best.

This win wasn’t without its moments, however. Ethan provided us with laughs and inspirational moments along the way. As I’ve said, I honestly believe that he is one of the most well-rounded players to ever play the game. It is unfortunate that he is fighting cancer right now. However, everyone in the Survivor community will always remember his long, curly hair and his fun attitude.

 

Clue to #77: Karma doesn’t work so well in Survivor.

100 most Entertaining Survivors # 79: Clay Jordan


Clay Jordan was the runner up in Survivor: Thailand.

 

 

Clay was known as the hero of Survivor: Thailand. The funny thing about Clay, you see, was that everyone loved him. He was truly one of the most kindhearted people to ever play Survivor. His kindness emanated from every pore in his body. It is truly a shame that he didn’t win.

 

If you believed a word of that, then you need to watch Survivor more. Clay was kind of a despicable human being.

 

In Survivor: Thailand, Clay was known for being a sexist Southerner. If he had the chance, he probably would have been racist too. Oh wait, he loved Ghandia. Nevermind.

 

Clay was the king of making me laugh at truly terrible things. The thing about Clay, you see, was that he was a despicable human being. He is one of those people who doesn’t joke about women being in the kitchen, he TRULY believes that is their place. (Well, the bedroom too, but we will get to that). So you would think that as a moral being, I wouldn’t find Clay the least bit humorous or entertaining. But dammit, every time that guy opened his mouth I was laughing. But let’s start from the beginning.

Clay began as the underdog. He was the last person picked from any tribe. He was clearly a physical outcast. He was older, he was shorter, and let’s face it… he had a bit of extra largeness on him. Nothing about him SCREAMED challenge dominator. But hell if he didn’t win the hell out of that game just as much as Crystal Cox (yes, sarcasm).

To further his underdogness, in the reward challenge in episode 3 reward challenge, Robb decided to have some fun with Clay. You see, in this challenge, the Survivor’s could attack one another in Jeff’s beloved “Attack Zone”. Robb decided that “attack” meant “Grab that old Southerner by the throat and throw him to the ground!” Well, Jeff was less than pleased (especially since Robb stepped out of the “attack zone”). Clay completed the run, and Robb got angry. This provides with one of the best moments of the season. Robb’s impression of Clay. But, that is for Robb’s entry, not Clay’s. Therefore, I will use this paragraph to further the fact that Clay is an underdog.

But, Clay isn’t an underdog. He makes an alliance with Brian. This provides Clay with safety. And more opportunities to entertain me :).

This is about the time that one of the best fights of the season happens. Or as I like to call it, “Grindgate.” (This name may have come from Mario Lanza, I’m not actually sure. It just popped into my head. I don’t want to take credit when I don’t remember where it came from). Clay is great in this sequence. He stays completely quiet throughout the whole thing. Anyone who knows Clay knows that he is already on Ted’s side. Even if Ted did do something, Ghandia was probably asking for it. Right, Clay? Anyway, Clay stays quiet until Ghandia decides to throw a tantrum. This is, in my opinion, one of the most overused clips of the season. But we all remember it. Ghandia goes to a “secluded” spot and screams at the top of her lungs. Then the editors provide us with a great shot of Clay looking towards Ghandia as she is screaming. Then we get the quote. “If one of my kids did that, I would have whooped its ass and put it back in bed.” There are so many things that go through your mind when you hear that quote. First, humor. You laugh because Clay has said something funny. Then, fear. “Oh crap, Clay probably would do that… he is the type of guy who would “whoop” his kids”. Then, humor. It’s still pretty funny. Admit it.

 

Another great thing about Clay: he is the first person to get yelled at by Probst for being an idiot at tribal council. When Clay finally gets the chance to vote out Ghandia, he writes “Bye Bye Denver Diva”. Probst isn’t happy because Clay didn’t write a name down. It isn’t huge, but it is one of the funnier moments in Clay’s tenure.

Clay is mainly remembered as being one of the most openly sexist castaways to ever play Survivor. He provided the viewers with a ton of laughs, and he was one of the best characters in Thailand. Honestly, I think he should have made All-Stars. He truly made All-Stars watchable after Robb left.

 

Thanks to all for reading. I hope you continue!

 

Clue for #78: Unlike Rob M, this guy sold the goat before the final tribal council

 

 

 

 

On Hiatus


This isn’t over forever, but there are tons of top 100 lists around the web. I’m working on some more unique Survivor ventures right now. But I will finish the top 100, I promise. 

100 Most Entertaining Survivors #80: Stacey Powell


Stacey Powell got 16th place on Survivor: South Pacific

For those of you who don’t remember, this is Stacey. She looks like a happy go lucky person, right? Well that picture is pretty misleading. Stacey is one of the most unintentionally funny people in the history of Survivor, at least in my opinion. Among my friends, she is also one of the most quoted Survivors. Her demeanor and style of speaking is just so damn hilarious that even though she was only on Survivor for five episodes, she makes the list.

Stacey started Survivor as a somewhat normal person. Her first confessional was funny, but it was nowhere near her Redemption Island rant. If you want my honest opinion, I think she just started to go crazy. Her voice got more and more unintelligible, and her comments funnier and funnier. The Survivor producers had to love Stacey because she provided all of the necessary sound effects for the first half of the season. They didn’t even need to hire someone to do that in a studio! She did it all the way from the South Pacific. When ever someone said something surprising, Stacey would punctuate there statement (a la Batman) with some onomatopoeia. For example, when Brandon revealed that he was Russell’s nephew, Stacey waved her hands in the air and exclaimed “BLAM!” It is things like this, the little gems, that truly make a Survivor season enjoyable.

I would be remissed if I ended this entry without  this analysis: Stacey got more and more unintelligible as her time on Survivor continued. I was so angry when she lost, because I wanted to see her at the FTC. Imagine an extra 25 or so days for her! She would have been speaking a different language… Here is my call to Mark Burnett:

Mark, make a Second Chances season. Bring back Stacey. Rig it so she is in the Final tribal. I will pay you.

The one reason that Stacey is on this list is because of her “rantics” at Redemption Island. (I’ve devolved to quoting Kat now…). Here are her speeches transcribed in case you couldn’t understand her slurry talk:

 

To Christine: “They acting like it’s all hunky Dory. It ain’t hunky dory”. This one is only funny when read in Stacey’s voice.

This one was said in front of everyone.

“Those Those are liars so red team look out for those right there. It wasn’t a team. It is Benjamin, Albert, and Sophie. But who is the ending two? Benjamin and Albert. But Benjamin is running the team. Benjamin is running the team. Makes ALL the decisions.”  (Jeff Probst asks, “Coach?”) “No Benjamin. Adults call him Benjamin. So I’m not gonna call him Coach. What’s his name? What was his birth name? It wasn’t Coach, it was Benjamin. And you know, they’re children. 26, 22. They go listen to all of Benjamin’s Halloween jokes. Chuckee the Cheese jokes. They want it.” (this next part I can’t understand, but I will try.) “He go off the Lord take them off their feet. ‘Oh Benjamin! It’s so loyalty’. C’mon. Everyday he got a story. I wasn’t buying it. (rolls eyes, fake laughs). No. So they try like yesterday like the tribe was all cahoots. Benjamin let’s give a hug. PSHT! Keep that hug. (points a “gun” in the air) BOOP! For me. Cause it wasn’t real.”

 

 

Writing this speech doesn’t do it justice. If you boycotted season 23, I urge you to go watch the first 15 minutes of episode five. That is about all you need to watch to realize that Stacey is easily one of the most entertaining early boots to ever play the game.

 

I don’t know that there is much more I can say. I can only attempt to describe the amazingness that is this speech, and I have neither the willingness nor the ability as a writer to capture the true genius. Just go watch episode five. Please. For me. I couldn’t find a version of it on youtube, but please dig. Please look. Please find. BOOM. The gauntlet is thrown. BLAM. It has been said.

 

Thanks for reading. Come back soon.

 

Jeff

 

 
Clue to #79: As one of the first generation Survivors (seasons 1-8), this man was able to use his Southern “charm” to get himself far in the game.

100 Most Entertaining Survivors #81: Stephanie LaGrossa (Palau)


Prepare the cannons. Send me all of the hate comments now. Come on, I’ll take it.

I expect death threats for this one, but I am placing Stephanie LaGrossa from Survivor Palau at number 81 on my list. She got 7th place because Probst convinced Janu to quit. Otherwise, she would have gotten 8th.

 

For those of you who don’t remember, this is Stephanie. She is one of the most liked people in Survivor history. Since playing in Palau (where she is at her most entertaining) she has played twice more, in Guatemala and Heroes Vs. Villains.

Stephanie began Palau as one of the standout characters. Within minutes of the game starting, she had exposed herself as a threat. The 20 people in Palau were given the instructions that on the beach, almost a mile away, there were two immunity necklaces for the first two people (one from each gender) to get to the beach. Stephanie was one of the first two  people to jump off of the boat and try to outswim it. Needless to say, she could not outswim the boat and she began the game with a huge target on her back.

Sensing the fact that she was in danger, Stephanie made an alliance with the seemingly strongest person in the game, Tom. Unfortunately, she didn’t stay with Tom long because of the way that the tribes worked out.

 

So Stephanie is on the Ulong tribe. This is clearly the younger, fitter tribe while Koror is the older, seemingly wiser tribe. All of the smart money in the game of Survivor is going towards the Ulong tribe. While it is expected that Koror will win many of the more mentally taxing challenges, there are many challenges that are purely physical (such as pushing each other off of a platform with pillows). Unfortunately for Stephanie, Ulong loses EVERY immunity challenge. You read that correctly, every single one. In fact, no tribe in the history of Survivor has lost EVERY immunity challenge. (Actually, that is untrue. Ravu in Fiji lost every challenge, but Moto gave up one of their wins to keep their camp.)

 

When it is down to the final 2 on the Ulong tribe, Stephanie and Bobby Jon had to compete against each other in order to see who would be the sole Ulong member. Stephanie wins, and the fans of Survivor have their underdog. Stephanie has to endure one night on the Ulong beach alone, and she eventually gets to join the Koror tribe.

 

All looks dead for Stephanie. She outnumbered 8-1. Tom doesn’t look like he is interested in rectifying his alliance with Stephanie. She does make it through one vote when Koror sacrifices Coby. But all looks lost for her now. Tom and Ian are dominating the challenges, and Stephanie doesn’t have a chance.

Then comes Janu. Or as I refer to her, Stephanie’s saving grace. Janu is tired of the game. She doesn’t want to play anymore, and she mixes no words. I am a personal believer in that Jeff Probst actually persuaded her to quit at that tribal council. The feelings were there, don’t get me wrong. But I believe that Janu wouldn’t have quit without Jeff’s prodding.

What happens next is one of the reasons that Stephanie is one this list. It is the look on her face. She expresses a look of pure joy. There is no filter to it, her face is emoting an absolute and unadulterated happiness.  This is something that is missing from Survivor nowadays. This is something that was missing from Survivor in season 10. No one was playing with their heart. There was no emotion left in the game (keep in mind this is coming off of Chris winning. He is one of the best winners ever, but still). Nowadays, people seem way too entitled. Especially when they bring people back, they have egos. They feel as if they have a right to be on the show, rather than they have earned the privilege. When someone shows that they are thoroughly happy that they have been given the opportunity to be on the show for another three days, it is endearing. I was incredibly happy for Steph, because she was so happy.

Steph was a thoroughly entertaining character throughout the entire season of Palau. Her personality and status of the underdog endeared her to viewers. While she couldn’t make it all the way through the game, she stuck with people and she is one of the people that people remember from Palau. She had one of the craziest rides of anyone on Survivor. Unfortunately, when she came back for Guatemala she was simply there to play the game and not enjoy it. And Heroes Vs. Villains was a total mess. (I was on James’ side. He may not have displayed his message the right way, but his message was correct.)

 

Anyway, that is the story of Stephanie LaGrossa. I hope you enjoyed reading. Please rate and comment!!

 

 

Jeff

 

Clue for number 80: This person didn’t make it far, but she did make a big impression on the viewers. In fact, she is one of the most quoted Survivors that I have seen in the past few years.

 

100 Most Entertaining Survivors #82: Jud “Fabio” Birza


Fabio Birza was the winner of one of the weirdest seasons of Survivor, Survivor: Nicaragua.

For those of you who don’t remember, this is Fabio. He was one of the biggest “surfer dudes” to ever play Survivor. In other words, he was clueless the entire game, almost to a laughable point. Ok, it was completely to a laughable point.

One of the first shots that we get of Fabio was him hurting himself on the beach. He stepped on a rock or something and hurt his foot. Not soon after he cut himself with the machete and ended up with a nasty looking thing on his hand. The entire time, he just laughed through it. Come to think of it, he was quite a bit like Robb Zbacnik from Survivor: Thailand.

One thing has to be asked about this season is “How the frick did Fabio win?” It is an interesting question that I often ask myself. The obvious answer is that he made enough friends on the jury to vote for him, I’m sure that there is a more complicated answer, however. I just don’t know what it is.

From the beginning of the game, Fabio had a huge thing going with NaOnka, for some reason she just didn’t like him. She wasn’t able to verbalize the reason; just that she didn’t like him. She even stole his socks at one point, which was overshadowed in that episode by Holly stealing Dan’s $1600 shoes. (Btw the most expensive shoes I own are about $30 and I thought that was pretty egregious when I was at the store).

The way Fabio played the last half of the game completely confused me. He somehow made it through without an alliance whatsoever. This made it even more entertaining when he won, because it surprised everyone that he even made it that far. The obvious reason that he made it that far was because of his immunity streak. He had to get to the final 7 before he got to this point, however. He was able to navigate the first part of the merge without an alliance whatsoever. Even once he started his immunity streak, he had no alliance. He made it to the final 7 and voted alone. He made it to the final 6 and turned down an almost guaranteed final 3 spot. At the final 5, he voted off Dan in order to attempt to save his own hide, and at the final 4, the other 3 people would have almost assuredly voted him off if it weren’t for immunity.

Whatever the reason, he did it. He even won the necessary 5 jury votes, one of which was from NaOnka, his supposed arch enemy. I am still confused by this jury decision. Moreso than any other I would say. If I were on the jury, I would have voted for Sash to be honest.

A lot of people don’t know this, but Fabio is also an expert on Freud. This came out at one of the tribal councils where Sash made a “Freudian slip”, which meant that Jeff needed to give a psychology lesson. But alas, Fabio already knew this material, and he explained it to the Survivors.

Fabio is arguably one of the most fun-to-watch winners of all of them. I loved watching him. Everything, from his voice to his performance at Tribal Council’s, was entertaining. I would not be surprised if we saw Fabio back on Survivor. While everyone was surprised he won, no one was disappointed.

 

Jeff

 

Clue to #81: This person was the best of the absolute worst.

 

 

100 Most Entertaining Survivors: #83 Dave Cruser and Sherea Lloyd


This is the first dual-entry. That is, this is the first entry where two people are congratulated on being entertaining only because of each other, and for no other reason. Dave Cruser got 13th place on Survivor: China. Sherea Lloyd got 11th, just missing the merge.

       

For those of you who don’t remember, this is Dave and Cirie… I mean Cassandra… Crap! I mean Sherea!
Dave and Sherea were wonderful characters on Survivor, because they fed off of each other so well. It wasn’t intentional, but it sure was entertaining. It seems like the fighting between them began on day 1. They were always bickering about doing work vs. saving energy for challenges. I firmly believe that Dave is in the right on this argument (That work needs to be done). But I don’t believe that you need to do as much work as he was insisting on. I also hated the way in which he argued, which made me root for Sherea all the more.

The two constantly argued about the mud bricks and the fire and the challenges and the water and the food and the list goes on and on. At one point, Dave had left a bucket of shells out so he could take them home to his family. Sherea, being Shereatastic, decided that she didn’t want them smelling up her camp. Thus, she tried to throw them back into the water, which gave us a hilarious scene that I think everyone should watch. It starts at :50 in this clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPbaZ-2sbcQ.

 

Words cannot describe…  This clip basically describes the relationship that existed between Sherea and Dave. It was basically both of them acting like young children, while everyone else in their tribe just watched… and presumably laughed.

Overall, I did not find Sherea entertaining. I did not find Dave entertaining. I only found the wonderful combo of Sherea and Dave together entertaining. Survivor casting did a wonderful job on this one, and then they put them on the same tribe. Bravo to Burnett and Probst (and CBS)…

If you haven’t watched Survivor: China, you need to go to itunes right now and buy it. And watch it. It is one of the best seasons of Survivor yet. I personally would put it in my top 3 or 4 seasons. Sherea and Dave make the beginning of this season enjoyable, while Amanda’s amazing FTC performance makes the end laughable.

 

 

Thanks for reading once again, please comment and enjoy.

 

 

Jeff

 

 

 

100 Most Entertaining Survivors #84: Rory Freeman


Rory Freeman got 10th place on Survivor: Vanuatu

For those of you who don’t remember, this is Rory Freeman. He was on the 9th (and possibly best) season of Survivor. He didn’t have a long stint on the show, but he definitely made an impression on the viewers. Rory was a very loud person, and for some reason was disliked by most of the people on the show.

 

Rory was a founding member of the “Fat 5.” This was the five men on the original Lopevi tribe that were deemed as the “older” and thus “weaker” men. Seeing as there were five of them, they decided to get rid of the physically superior younger men. No wonder the women ran this game like no other until the end… The “Fat 5” successfully disposed of 3 out of the 4 younger guys, but then they hit a road bump. They had to switch up the tribes, and the “Fat 5” was split 2 and 3. Rory and Bubba were on the Yasur tribe and Chris, Sarge, and Chad were all on Lopevi. Bubba was quickly disposed of on the Yasur tribe, leaving Rory and a bunch of women. Thus, our story begins.

 

Rory Freeman is a man alone. He is on a tribe with five women (which is something that no man wants, believe me.) The five women have a pre-existing relationship and Rory’s only friend, Bubba, was voted off unanimously by the women. Rory needs something. He needs an in with the women. This could be small, but there had to be something. Some might say all he needs is a “little crack.”

 

Rory is doing everything wrong. First, he yells at the women, threatening to burn down the camp if they don’t give him a chance at making it through the next vote. He is also a huge whiner. All of these things are a recipe to piss off women enough to make them not want to keep you around an island for much longer.

 

But alas, Rory does find his “little crack” and he exploits it. He watches a fight explode between Eliza and the “older folk” of Yasur. He is then successfully able to navigate his way through this crack and emerge on the other side victorious (please try to get that out of your head). Lisa is voted off, and Rory makes the merge.

 

Rory is an incredibly entertaining character. First, anyone who watched Survivor: Vanuatu knows why the above was funny. However, convincing those of you who didn’t watch the season might be a hard sell. Rory was just an entertaining guy, and I advocate that everyone read Mario Lanza’s number 47 entry about Rory and his “little crack.” If anyone can convince you, it is Mario Lanza.

 

Rory was just an overall entertaining guy. From what I have heard of Survivor: Vanuatu,  Rory just might be the most annoying person to ever make the merge. According to a podcast with Chris, everyone hated Rory, especially Sarge. However, we didn’t see any of this on the show because of the glory of editing. What we saw was a Rory who was the whitest black man I have ever seen on TV. He is from Iowa, which is interesting because I am from Nebraska and therefore should hate him. (Nebraska/Iowa is a lot like NYC/Jersey).

 

Rory was actually my pick to win (WAIT BEFORE YOU STOP READING GIVE ME A CHANCE TO EXPLAIN). I came into Survivor: Vanuatu halfway through the season because I wasn’t allowed to watch Survivor (Look at the previous entries to get that story) until that time. I may be wrong, but I came in about the time that Rory was in an alliance with the women to get rid of Lisa. With the exception of Eliza, I didn’t see anyone else in that alliance that I liked enough to make them my pick to win. I didn’t realize the relationship between the women when I came in, I thought that Rory+4 was a well-established alliance at the time. Imagine my surprise when Rory was gone at 10th place.

 
Well, that is that about Rory. There is no adequate way to explain the awesome that is Rory Freeman. Please watch Survivor: Vanuatu if you haven’t and you will see what I am talking about.

 

Thanks for reading and please comment.

 

Jeff

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100 Most Entertaining Survivors #85: Ami Cusak


Ami Cusak got 6th place in Survivor: Vanuatu, one of my favorite seasons.

For those of you who don’t remember, this is Ami. She was the leader of an all-girls alliance that made it all the way to the end of the game. OH WAIT…with one exception…. But more on that later.

Ami began the game on an all-girls kick. She was convinced that she needed to take a group of women to the end of the game, simply because no one else had done it before. While Ami was all gung-ho about the girls alliance, she was more than willing to get rid of Lisa instead of Rory simply because he complained a bit (There was more, but that explanation really sums it all about up.)

Ami’s personality is really the reason that she was put on this list. She seemed fun-loving and truly nice (with the exception of hating all men (apparently)). She was nice all throughout the season, and I think that she would be cool to hang out with (if I was a woman).

Ami’s insistence on the all-woman’s alliance bordered on the tragic. She was even willing to vote for Twila (that is right, Twila) for the 1 million dollars at the end. It seems a bit ironic that this is the case, because in season 16, half of the (not-yet-formed) woman’s alliance voted her off after she tried to flip on them (with Tracy).

Back to the “But more on that later”: Chris was successfully able to infiltrate the women’s alliance. That is funny right there. When I write the entry about Chris, I will elaborate on this beautiful comeback.

While this is not the longest entry, I beg your forgiveness. I have a few reasons. The first is that Ami’s personality is what made her quite entertaining. The second reason is that I am trying to keep it short because I made you all read too much on the entry for Yul. Sorry about that.

Thanks for reading, please rate and comment.

Jeff

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