When I started this “competition” I simply grabbed a piece of notebook paper and wrote down the most entertaining people from each season with no barriers. Some seasons had only 5 people on the list, some had 13. All in all, from seasons 1-22, I had 190 Survivors. I was scared because the thought of cutting almost half of my list made me sad. These were people I learned to love (or hate) over the course of a season, or two, or three, or four.
However, I did have to make one decision that I stand by above all others, some people will be on this list more than once. I evaluated each person on a single season basis. Therefore, if someone was entertaining on more than one season, they made the top 190. I did this for a few reasons:
1) Some people blew their entertainment value on subsequent seasons.
2) Some people redeemed their entertainment value from previous seasons
3) Some people would have been in the 90’s-100’s for one season, and the top 10 for another, therefore they would have been in the 50’s overall, a terrible injustice in my mind. This is mainly due to the fact that if someone wasn’t entertaining for a few episodes, I would downgrade them in my mind.
The next step in my quest towards the ultimate Survivor list was to put people in groups, a la America’s Got Talent. Some would move on automatically, some would be cut automatically, and some would have to go through a tiring process of evaluation. All in all, 72 moved on without question. 45 had to be cut immediately, and 71 would go through the evaluation process. Yes, I understand that this doesn’t add up to 190, but there is a reason. Some people, I noticed, were only entertaining because of their pairing with someone else in the cast. Therefore, I combined some people into one entertaining character.
The following 45 people were those who were cut from the competition immediately.
From Survivor: Borneo:
From Survivor: The Australian Outback
From Survivor: Africa
From Survivor: Marquesas
From Survivor: Thailand
From Survivor: The Amazon
From Survivor: Pearl Islands
From Survivor: All-Stars
Kathy Vaverick O’Brien
From Survivor: Vanuatu
Lea “Sarge” Masters
From Survivor: Palau
From Survivor: Guatemala
From Survivor: Exile Island
Bobby “BobDawg” Mason
From Survivor: Cook Islands
From Survivor: Fiji
From Survivor: China
Steve “Chicken” Morris
From Survivor: Micronesia Fans Vs. Favorites
From Survivor: Gabon
Danny “GC” Brown
From Survivor: Tocantins
From Survivor: Samoa
From Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains
From Survivor: Nicaragua
From Survivor: Redemption Island
For those people who were eliminated in the grueling process, I will write a few statements about why I chose not to include them. I am sure that some of these will be controversial, but these are my opinions.
Gervase Peterson: I like the guy, and he was entertaining. However, I feel like overall he was boring. There were plenty of episodes where he was just plan meh.
John Carroll: While his story was hilarious and the peeing incident was uproarious, he was virtually invisible for enough of the game for me to warrant cutting him.
Butch Lockley: Invisible for too much of the game with a big change at the very end.
Jenna Morasca (Amazon): I know that people probably won’t agree with me, but she played the game like a whiny jerk for 39 days.
Andrew Savage: I really wanted to put him on the list, but I have trouble putting my finger on anything he really did to warrant a spot on the top 100
Bobby Jon Drinkard (Palau): He was a beast at challenges (not quite enough though) and his camplife was pretty disgusting. But he was funny, just not funny enough for me to give him a spot.
Cindy Hall: With the exception of the car decision and her expulsion line, she was fairly invisible for the game. Although I did like her discussion of zoo animals. I would have been interested, but Judd apparently wasn’t
PG Law: I don’t know why I put her on the top 190, or the top 143. I think it was out of guilt. I see a lot of PG love on the message boards and Sucks, but I don’t see it. I don’t think her game was all that masterful, and I don’t think she was entertaining.
Steve Wright: Again, I don’t know why he made either list. His fight with Phillip was funny, but I think it was his pre-show that got him on the list. I saw him through rose-colored glasses for the entire season because I was convinced he would be a good character.
Matt Elrod: More annoying than entertaining. I am a Christian, but this guy takes it way too over the top and tends to give us all a bad name. His insistence that God was helping him was irritating at best, and he didn’t realize that God probably doesn’t care about the outcome of a reality TV show.
Grant Mattos: I personally liked Grant, just not enough to put him on the list
Jake Billingsley: Someone who was difficult to keep off of the list. I actually think he would have made it if the list were 5-10 more people or if my strategy had changed. (I had so much trouble deciding who to cut, that I just started picking who I wanted to include. I feel like I had lots of trouble cutting him, but I ended up not choosing him as one of the included.)
Lex Van De Berghe (All-Stars): He was entertaining for the few episodes between the switch and his boot, but overall he was fairly meh throughout the beginning of the season.
Chad Crittenden: His story was inspiring, but he didn’t make enough of an impact entertainment-wise to warrant a spot on the top 100.
Stephenie LaGrossa (Guatemala): She will be on the list for Palau, but for Guatemala she was too focused on the game, and not focused enough on making good TV. She wasn’t entertaining, she just had an ego and wasn’t too entertaining.
Bobby Jon Drinkard (Guatemala): This was the closest that Bobby Jon was to making the top 100, mainly because of his fight with Jaime. I even considered merging Jaime and Bobby Jon into one entry, but Jaime had too much on his own without Bobby Jon that I felt it would be an injustice to Jaime’s page. Therefore, Bobby Jon got shafted, and he is here.
Aras Buskaukas: This will be a controversial entry. Some will say he should have made it in the Top 100, some will say he shouldn’t have been in the top 190. However, I think he was probably number 102 if I had kept going. I think he was intelligent because he kept one of the most dysfunctional alliances in Survivor history together, and his fight with Terry was funny. But overall, his entertainment value wasn’t quite enough.
Danielle DiLorenzo (Exile Island): I really liked her the first time I watched this season. I was also 13. After watching a second (and third and fourth) time, I don’t see it anymore. She wasn’t as entertaining.
Bruce Kanegai: A victim of the “didn’t have one defining entertainment moment” curse. Overall, he was awesome, but I didn’t see one moment that I could put my finger on.
Courtney Merit: Probably one of the decisions I wish I could take back. When I look at it though, I don’t see the entertainment value. I know she was crazy, but something kept me from putting her on this list, and I almost regret it.
Cao Boi Bui: Another decision I regret. I don’t know what kept him off, honestly. Maybe it was his lack of longevity. Maybe it was the guilt factor that made me think he might actually be crazy, and putting him on the list would make me a bad person. But when it comes down to it, he didn’t make the cut and I almost regret it.
Jessica Smith: Same as Bruce, didn’t have ONE moment. She was fun to watch, though.
Parvati Shallow (Cook Islands): After re-watching the season, I realized that she wasn’t much. I think she was lucky to be called back for FvF, and because she was, she has become one of the best Survivor characters ever. But this season, she didn’t make the cut.
Candice Woodcock (Cook Islands):Actually made the cut for this season. Wasn’t even considered for HvV. but overall, while her mutiny and Exile Island stint were fun, nothing much to speak of.
Denise Martin: I liked her, and she helped make China awesome, but when it comes down to it, there were too many other entertaining people. She would have been in the top 110 I think .
Amanda Kimmel (China): I fully expect people to be angry at me for not putting Amanda on the top 100. However, if I wasn’t so active on message boards and Sucks, I wouldn’t have even let her get this far. I just don’t see what she did that makes people like her so much. To me she wasn’t interesting, funny, or even entertaining. I don’t see why she was brought back for FvF or HvV. Overall, I’m not her biggest fan.
Amanda Kimmel (Micronesia: Fans vs. Favorites): Almost the exact same explanation as above. Although, I will say that Amanda in FvF was much closer to making the top 100 than Amanda in China.
Marcus Lehman/Charlie Herschel: Their relationship was semi-cute. However, I wasn’t that big of a fan of Marcus as a stand-alone. I feel like he was too one-dimensional. Charlie, I liked, but again wouldn’t have been able to make it to the top 100 (or 143 for that matter) alone.
Ken Hoang: One of the most disappointing characters in the history of Survivor in my opinion. I feel like he had a wonderful hold of the game after the first few episodes, and then went downhill after that. But was fun to watch with Michelle and Fang the first few episodes.
Brendan Synott: Brendan had a wonderful hold on the game in Tocantins and was a legitimate threat to win the game, which is why he was voted out. I liked him, but he fizzled out and ended up being uninteresting his last few episodes.
Erinn Lobdell: When I started this list, I thought Erinn would be on the top 100 easily. But upon further inspection, I can’t really point to any legitimate entertainment aspect that she provided. I do like her as a player, but I don’t think she deserves to be in the top 100.
Ben Browning: He is the earliest boot to make it to the top 143. His entertainment value was irrefutable. However, I can’t decide if I classify him as entertaining or just a jerk. I feel like had he made it a few more episodes, he would be in the top 100 easily.
Yasmin Giles: She was one of my least liked characters in Samoa. However, she provided some great quotes and moments, but not enough.
Erik Cardona: Had some great moments between being clotheslined and his confessionals in a tree. However, just couldn’t quite make it to the top 100. Probably top 115 material though.
Laura Morrett: I hated her in Samoa. I think that her only good moment was the “fish in the ocean” line. Other than that, a pretty flat character all around.
Rob Mariano (Heroes vs. Villains): Rob did make for great tv, and would have made for better TV this season had he made it further. But he just didn’t have enough screen time this season to justify a spot in the top 100. Probably in the top 110 though.
Tyson Apostol (Heroes vs. Villains): Victim of the same things as Rob this season. You will definitely see him on the top 100 for Tocantins
Courtney Yates (Heroes vs. Villains): Probably should have been in the top 100, and I admit that. However, I can’t figure out one thing this season that would have put here on the top 100.
Marty Piombo: Another regret. Definitely in the top 110.
Brenda Lowe: Fun for a few episodes and her interactions with Chase, but after that she was really boring.
Sash Lenahan: Overall, I really liked him, but I don’t think he was entertaining enough to deserve a spot.
Jerri Manthey (Heroes vs. Villains): Jerri is definitely number 101. I even had her circled to be in the top 100, but there was another Survivor who I just couldn’t leave out. I had a huge moral dilemma on my hands. In the end, Jerri finally changed my mind about her, and I really ended up liking her this season. I feel like with more air time spent on her, and less on Russell and Parv, she would have easily broken the top 100, and possibly the top 72, but alas. That is the pain of editing.
There you have it. The 90 people who didn’t quite make the cut. Is there anyone there that you irrefutably think should be in the top 100? Or anyone you think shouldn’t have even made the top 190? I would love to hear your feedback.
I now have the horrible task of sorting the top 100. Wish me luck. I hope to have the first post here by next week at this time, if not earlier.
Also, if you haven’t already, I urge you to read my Survivor: South Pacific blog. I write two blogs, one while I watch the show, and one post show blog that sums up my thoughts.
Thanks again for reading, please check back for updates!