Monthly Archives: February 2012

100 Most Entertaining Survivors #86: Yul Kwon


Sorry for my longest entry yet, I just have a lot to get off my chest from Survivor: Cook Islands.

Yul Kwon is the first winner that you see on the list. He won one of the least auspicious seasons of Survivor to date, Survivor: Cook Islands.

For those of you who don’t remember, this is Yul Kwon. He was the winner of Survivor: Cook Islands. He played arguably one of the best strategic games in the history of Survivor. He was able to maneuver his 4 person alliance to the final four despite being outnumbered. He did this with a Hidden Immunity Idol, but unlike Russell Hantz, who achieved the same feat, Yul was able to get his four through the game without actually using the Hidden Immunity Idol.

Survivor Cook Islands became famous for being the first season where contestants were divided by race. There were four tribes, Aitutaki (Hispanic), Puka Puka (Asian), Rarotonga (White), and Manihiki (Black). Survivor fans did not know how to approach this twist. Survivor producers were probably shaking their heads because they were losing sponsorships and viewers. Then we see Yul, a member of the Asian tribe, make some of the most apropos and astute comments ever made by a Survivor contestant. The comments that he made were about how the Puka Puka tribe was racially diverse within itself. He also said that this was going to be an interesting social experiment. I believe that this legitimized this season. Viewers saw a well-spoken Asian man discussing legitimate social issues and advocating for what the Survivor producers were doing. I honestly believe that Yul is the sole reason that many people continued watching this season of Survivor. It is no wonder that he is now a politician.

Yul found the Hidden Immunity Idol incredibly quickly in the game. Once he found the HII, I knew that he was going to be a huge threat within the game of Survivor. The HII this season had different rules than it does now. At this time, you could play it AFTER the votes are read. This means that it is basically complete power over the game. There is no chance that you could play it uselessly. This made Yul an incredibly powerful person in the game of Survivor.

When there were twelve people left, Jeff announced a mutiny. This meant that anyone could leave their tribe and join the other one immediately. The tribe count was 6-6 at this time, but Candice and Jonathan left Aitutaki and went to Rarotonga. This left Yul’s tribe at an 8-4 disadvantage. Ozzy, Sundra, Becky, and Yul were left alone.

The next few episodes were tense. Everyone liked some of the people on  the Raro tribe, but the Aitu tribe provided a wonderful underdog story to be told. Never in the history of the game had such a disparity been overcome. And never until Russell would it be overcome again. There were two more tribal councils for the Raro tribe before the merge. However, at one of those tribal councils, there was a twist and they were forced to vote off two people, Rebecca and Jenny.

Aitu made what they thought was a very strategic move at this point in the game. I, however, disagree.  (Yul was the obvious strategist in the Aitu alliance, which is why this is going in his blog post.) This is the only point in which I believe that Yul played with his heart rather than his head. It seems obvious to me that there was no way in hell that they were going to merge with 8 people (which would, in a perfect world, mean that there would be a 4-4 tie. Yul sent Candice to Exile Island twice before the merge happened. This left Jonathan incredibly vulnerable to being voted out by Raro. Yul should have known that his best bet of getting someone to flip at the merge would be Candice and Jonathan, as they have friendships and they both have wronged the Aitu in some way. However, he sent Candice to Exile Island, which meant that she wasn’t getting to bond with her tribe, and he left Jonathan vulnerable because Candice wasn’t there to go to bat for him. I think that Yul should have sent one of the original Raro people to Exile Island to give Candice and Jonathan the best possible chance to stay in the game until the merge. I know that this isn’t a reason that Yul is necessarily entertaining, but it is something that I have had on my chest for a while now. Thank you for letting me rant. Back to the fun stuff.

Yul obviously has a way with words. He is a natural speaker, and it seems that he could sell condoms to a nun (One of my favorite sayings). This made for a very entertaining moment as he attempted to persuade Jonathan. He was so persuasive, in fact. that I, as an audience member, wanted to jump up and vote with Yul. The man has a way with words. This is probably why he won, he was able to articulate his points very well. Anyway, he pulled out his Hidden Immunity Idol for the first time in the entire game and showed it to Jonathan. This provided us with literally the only suspenseful moment in the entire season: would Jonathan flip to AItu or not. He was ultimately successful, of course. He also illustrated a brilliant move in sacrificing Jonathan when he was no longer necessary in order to appease the Raro tribe. Although this probably should have been done one tribal council earlier, it was enough to get the votes from the jury.

Ultimately, Yul was the mastermind behind the entire season. Anyone who was voted off, Yul had a hand in. In fact, Yul has a rare distinction (I haven’t officially counted, but I believe that about 15 people have done this EDIT: I did do an official count, the total number of people who voted the correct person out every time is 38. However, there is a caveat to most of these, leaving only 15 people to do it legitimately (Yul is one) to see the whole list, look at the thread on Previously on Survivor or e-mail me) to have cast his vote for the person leaving at every tribal council he attended. This simply goes to show just how flawless his game was. In fact, I would argue that his only shortcoming was the fact that Ozzy won all of the challenges. If there wasn’t a huge physical player sitting next to him in the final three who was much more visible throughout the season, I believe that he would have swept the jury a la Earl or JT.

Thank you all for reading, please comment.

Jeff

PS: Clue to Number 85: This person was the biggest proponent of a specific alliance I have ever seen. Unfortunately for them, the entire alliance was smuffed in the end.

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100 Most Entertaining Survivors #87: Rodger Bingham


Rodger Bingham got 5th place on Survivor: The Australian Outback.


For those of you who don’t remember, this is Kentucky Joe AKA Rodger Bingham. It is people like Rodger which made me excited about the top 100 Most entertaining Survivors. Everyone remembers Coach and Russell, but it’s people like Rodger who tend to get overlooked, I hope to change that.

 

Once Rodger landed in Australia, nearly instantly he formed an alliance with Elisabeth. Actually, this was less of an alliance than it was a friendship. Rodger and Elisabeth kept this alliance for the entire game, until he got voted off at 5th. Rodger also had a great Southern accent. Whenever he talked, you smiled because he was kind and seemed to be just one of the most genuine people to ever play the game.

 

Rodger played at a time before there was a lot of strategic gameplay. Today, he wouldn’t last very long in the game. However, at the time you could go a long way by being a nice person. Rodger also gave us a great story arc in the second episode. In this episode, the entire tribe had to jump off a cliff, into the water. Rodger had never swum in his life. However, he was able to get over his fear and jump off of the cliff. His tribe was proud of him, and the challenge continued.

 

There wasn’t any defining moment for Rodger in the game of Survivor. With the exception of his relationship with Elisabeth, there wasn’t one thing that you could point to and say “That is why he is entertaining.” However, if you have watched season 2, you know exactly what I am talking about. Rodger made this season fun. His overall demeanor and willingness to just be everyone’s friend and be on the game just to survive made him incredibly fun. At a point in time where NO ONE comes on Survivor “just for the experience,” Rodger seems like a fish out of water.

 

Overall, Kentucky Joe was incredibly fun to watch in Survivor: The Australian Outback. He made the season enjoyable to watch. While this isn’t the longest entry because he didn’t have any amazing moments, I don’t think that anyone will deny the fact that he was an incredibly entertaining person.

 

 

Thanks for reading. Please comment and rate!

 

Jeff

100 Most Entertaining Survivors #88: Sierra Reed


Sierra Reed got 7th place in Survivor Tocantins, one of the most represented seasons on this list.

 

For those of you who don’t remember, this is Sierra. She was one of the most hated players in the game by some people, while some people rooted for her to win the entire thing. One thing, however, was for sure: She was entertaining.

 

Sierra began her Survivor experience in a way that only two people ever have. The producers decided to begin the game of Survivor: Tocantins by immediately “voting” two people off the second the game started. Seeing as Sierra had a fever and was a smaller girl, Timbira quickly “voted her off”. In all actuality, this simply meant that Sierra (and Sandy who got “voted off” of Jalapao) did not have to participate in the first hike to camp, the got a helicopter ride.

 

This ended up giving us the first reason why I loved Sierra. When she and Sandy got back to camp, they had the option to either look for the hidden immunity idol or begin building camp. While Sandy decided to look for the hidden immunity idol, Sierra thought that she would try to improve her stock in the tribe and begin to build a shelter. I immediately knew after this that I would like Sierra. This move showed me that she was conscious of how she was perceived and that she had a social conscience.

 

The next thing that Sierra did was something that she didn’t actually do: The Exile Alliance. I thought that the Exile Alliance was the most interesting prospective move in the game for a few seasons. I know it didn’t pan out, but the editors gave it so much screen time that everyone thought that it would. The Exile Alliance consisted of Taj, Brenden, Stephen, and Sierra. The alliance was possible because Exile Island included a twist where two people (one from each tribe) would go to Exile together. This alliance was amazingly entertaining while it lasted, which wasn’t long.

 

Another entertaining moment for Sierra was a moment that she, Brenden, and Debbie perpetrated. Brenden and Sierra were looking for the hidden immunity idol. They were digging a HUGE hole in the middle of the beach (away from camp). Debbie stumbled upon this, and asked what was going on, Sierra quickly responded “We are building a fire pit”. This led to Debbie advocating for the fire pit more than Sierra or Brenden. This moment was played out pretty heavily because it actually led to some controversy within the Timbira tribe. And it all began because Sierra had to cover her ass.

 

Finally, Sierra was entertaining because of her constant bickering with Tyson. While there was never a full on fight, we did often see Tyson hating on Sierra for reasons that were never really understood by the audience (or at least by me). This made the character of Sierra incredibly entertaining, but we will get to the specific comments made by Tyson in his entry (oh you bet he is on this list).

 

Overall, Sierra was an entertaining person to be on Survivor. I feel like she doesn’t get much credit, however, because she was overpowered by some incredibly entertaining people on that season (I haven’t done an official count, but I believe it to be the most represented season on this list). Coach and Tyson may have overshadowed Sierra, but she will always have made Tocantins more entertaining in my book.

 

 

Thanks to all for reading, please comment. I hope you enjoyed.

 

Jeff

100 Most Entertaining Survivors #89: Sugar Kiper (Gabon)


Sugar Kiper got 3rd place in Survivor: Gabon.

 

 

 

For those of you who don’t remember, this is Sugar. She is famous for a few different things. One, according to her best friend, Corrinne, is crying. A few more records she holds: She was exiled five times, more than any other Survivor, she is one of only a few Survivors to never have her name written down (literally, at regular or final tribal councils), she also had one of the quite possibly worst Final tribal council performances of all time (in my opinion).

Sugar is on this list for a few reasons. She was not originally on this list, but after a while I decided that she needed to be here. She began her time on Survivor by getting into an alliance with one of the most annoying people to play the game, Ace. Everyone was rooting for the two of them to be voted off when she decided to make a move that made her wildly popular: voting him off. In fact, it was her vote that got him voted off.

Some people were incredibly annoyed by Sugar despite her move to get Ace off, and that is fine, however I really liked her. She was my fourth pick to win for the rest of the season (behind Randy, Corrinne, and Bob). She beat all of the odds and ended up finding the hidden immunity idol on one of her stays on Exile, beating out the phenomenal legal mind of Dan Kay, who didn’t realize that “A sandy crater” didn’t mean “the bottom of the lake”.

While Randy was by far my favorite person in Gabon, I have to give Sugar entertainment points for what happened at the auction. For those of you who don’t remember, Randy uncharacteristically bought cookies for the entire tribe. He offered one to everyone and Sugar declined. After Randy had given everyone else on the tribe a cookie, he offered Sugar his cookie as a nice gesture. She took the cookie and gave it to Matty. While this might not seem like a big deal, Randy was incredibly upset. You read that correctly folks, Sugar is the only person in the history of Survivor to get a 49 year old man upset over a cookie. The moment was pure magic.

The next reason why I love Sugar is something that is purely personal. She saved Bob. Bob is historically one of the most disliked winners in Survivor history, but I completely disagree. He is one of my favorites, by far. The situation is thus: the final four is Susie, Sugar, Matty, and Bob. Bob, after a huge immunity run, loses immunity and it seems like his life in Survivor is over. He decides to play to the emotional side of Sugar and plea for her vote to make it a 2-2 tie. She obliges, Bob wins the tiebreaker challenge, and eventually the game. It isn’t a big moment for Sugar, but it is one of the reasons she will always have a special place in the Survivor cockles of my heart. If Matty had won, I would have disliked Gabon a lot more.

The final reason that Sugar is on the list is because of Corinne’s jury question. I know that it was not because of Sugar that this moment was entertaining, but Sugar didn’t detract the moment whatsoever, she actually added to it. Corinne, being what Sugar would call a “not nice person” , decided to insult Sugar in just about every way in her jury speech. She even brings up her recently deceased father. How does Sugar respond? She doesn’t break down into a blubbering mess of a person, she just very politely flips Corinne off.

The story of Sugar doesn’t end well, however. She eventually ended up on Heroes Vs Villains where she was quite possibly one of the most annoying Survivor contestants ever. She then decided to get into the drug game and ended up on Celebrity Rehab. This is the last we have heard from Sugar, and that just might be for the best.

 

 

Thanks for reading I hope you all enjoyed and please comment.

 

Jeff

 

 

PS: no clue this time, I am working on re-ordering the rest of the list

100 Most Entertaining Survivors #90: Ozzy Lusth (South Pacific)


Ozzy Lusth has played Survivor three times. He received second place in Survivor: Cook Islands, he received ninth place in Survivor: Fans Vs. Favorites, and he received fourth place in Survivor: South Pacific. This specific entry is for his appearance on Survivor: South Pacific. Ozzy will appear on this list once more a bit later.

For those of you who don’t remember, this is Ozzy Lusth. He is arguably the best physical player in the history of Survivor, as was evidenced by his Redemption Island run, but more on that later.

Ozzy appeared on Survivor for the third time along with Benjamin “Coach” Wade. He began his third appearance on Survivor continuing his physical dominance from his previous two seasons. He won the first challenge between Coach and himself. While his tribe as a whole didn’t dominate physically, Ozzy was a powerhouse in almost every challenge.

However this list isn’t about people who can dominate challenges physically, it is about people who are entertaining in some capacity. The first and most obvious reason that Ozzy is on this list: his move right before the merge. Ozzy decided to use Redemption Island to his advantage. His team was going to be down one person because they lost the immunity challenge. Ozzy didn’t want to go into the merge one person down, so he decided to take quite possibly the biggest risk in the history of the game of Survivor: He decided to ask to be voted off so he could (hopefully) win on Redemption Island and come back to make the numbers even for the merge. This, of course, was incredibly stupid on face. There are a few assumptions he makes here that are dangerous even for a rookie of the game of Survivor. The first assumption was that there would be a merge right after that vote. The next assumption was that someone would come back from Redemption Island after the next duel. The third assumption was that Cochran would be willing to give back the Hidden Immunity Idol (Ozzy gave it to him in case he didn’t end up winning the duel). He also was assuming that Christine was planning on going back with the Upolu tribe. The final assumption was that he would win the duel. Ozzy may be the most physically dominating character in the history of Survivor, but there are challenges even he can be beat at.

This move was entertaining in its stupidity, but it was also entertaining in the fact that Ozzy was the first person to take a risk in Survivor for a long time. I remember being on the edge of my seat for two episodes because I wasn’t sure if Ozzy would take the risk, and then there is an inherent tension after someone takes a risk to see if it works out for them. While I still regard this as one of the stupidest moves on Survivor (I tend to weigh stupid moves on Survivor not on their outcome, but on the stupidity when they are actually taken. I think “What are the risks” and “what are the potential rewards” and decide whether it is stupid before I see the outcome.) it did work out for Ozzy.

Ozzy did come back from Redemption Island and he lasted two more votes, where he was voted out by the Upolu tribe and Cochran (Dawn and Whitney also voted Ozzy out, but that doesn’t really matter…) He then tied Matt for the most Redemption Island duel wins in a row (Matt won 6 in row, as did Ozzy. Matt did stay on Redemption Island for more duels than Ozzy, but he did not win most of those duels, he often got in second or third but stayed on Redemption Island because there were sometimes 3-4 people on Redemption Island in season 22).

Ozzy eventually came back from Redemption Island a second time after winning an oddly tailored-to-him challenge between himself and Brandon Hantz. He came back into the game with five people left, and won the immunity challenge.  Ozzy had made it to the final 4 and he was one immunity challenge away from most likely winning Survivor. I have to say right here that I wasn’t rooting for Ozzy or Coach this season. I love seeing returning players in Survivor, but I don’t like the “bring back two players to face a bunch of new people” twist. I think it is unfair and the editing and gameplay is completely biased towards the returnees. I was rooting for Sophie this season (only after Cochran got voted off of course). This means that during this immunity challenge, my friend Taylor and I were screaming and jumping up and down rooting for Sophie. My parents thought we had won the lottery or something. We were incredibly happy when Sophie won that immunity challenge, and I was happy that there was finally a season that (I felt) was entertaining from beginning to end.

So why does this story relate back to Ozzy? He gave me someone to root against. Sometimes, without someone to root against, you can’t really enjoy a season because you are just always happy. There is no dichotomy or stressful moments where you feel the person you hate might actually win or make it further in the game. Ozzy gave me that in South Pacific, and I can’t thank him enough for that.

 

Thanks again to everyone for reading, please comment as I love to read your thoughts,

 

Jeff

 

PS: Number 89 on the list gave one of the oddest final tribal council performances ever in my opinion.

100 Most Entertaining Survivors #91: Christy Smith


Christy Smith got 6th place on season 6 (Survivor: Amazon).

This will be one of the shortest entries because Christy never did any one thing that was especially entertaining, but she was overall an entertaining and inspiring character.

For those of you who don’t remember this is Christy Smith. She was the first handicapped person to ever be on Survivor (unless of course you count Jenna and Heidi from this season).

Christy was entertaining because of her inspirational value. Being deaf seems like it would be a huge handicap on Survivor because when it is dark you aren’t able to turn on a light or go inside. Luckily, one of the tribes were able to light a lantern so she could read their lips. While this may be helpful, you can’t equate it to being able to hear. Christy, however, was able to overcome this. She ended up getting sixth place on Survivor: Amazon, which is still the furthest that any handicapped person has ever made it on Survivor. (Chad and Kelly B (both of which had a prosthetic leg) got 8th and 15th respectively.)

Christy also received notoriety for her open hatred of Jenna Morasca who ended up winning Survivor: Amazon. This hatred wasn’t entirely unwarranted, as Jenna acted like a whiny bitch for 39 days. For example, at one point Jenna mentioned that she also had a handicap in the game of Survivor– her beauty. While this may not be completely untrue, it seems a bit insensitive when there is a deaf girl sitting next to you. There was also an incident during the Survivor auction where Christy won the right to letters from her family. Jenna threw a fit until Jeff Probst got annoyed enough to offer Jenna her letters as well (for the same price). This seems nice, but at some point you just want to tell Jenna to shut up and let the poor girl have her moment.

How did Christy cap this hateful relationship off at the end of the game? She voted for Jenna to win the million dollars. (Some people say that she didn’t understand the rules and she thought she was voting Jenna off as opposed to voting for a winner. However, in one interview she confessed that she did indeed intend to vote for Jenna).

Christy was asked to be on season 16: Fans vs. Favorites. However she declined because she is working on a tv show.

Like I said, this may be the shortest entry on the top 100. Christy didn’t do many things, but the story of someone who was able to overcome a disability and live for 33 days with people who can hear perfectly well.

Thanks very much for reading and please comment!

Jeff

PS: Number 90 on the list is the first person who is on the list more than once. This entry is for their third attempt on Survivor.

100 Most Entertaining Survivors: #92: Paschal English


Paschal English received 4th place in Survivor: Marquesas.

For those of you who don’t know, Paschal was recently caught having an affair with his District Attorney (he was a judge). For this entry, we are going to forget that entry and pretend it never happened. This is mainly due to the fact that it makes his cute relationship with Neleh incredibly creepy and odd.

For those of you who don’t remember, this is Paschal English. He is a judge from Georgia. He quickly developed a friendship with fellow castaway, Neleh Dennis, whom he called Sweet Pea. Their friendship lasted nearly the entire game, until day 37. On day 37, Paschal was put out of the game by one of the most controversial rules in the entire game: the Purple Rock. But we will get there, just wait.

Paschal was immediately seen as one of the nicest people to play the game. As I mentioned, he quickly developed a friendship with Neleh on the Rotu tribe. They were fairly benign at the beginning of the game.  There is one story at the beginning of the game that involves Paschal. We all remember in Marquesas when Kathy peed on John Carroll’s hand in order to alleviate the pain of a sting. Well at the reunion, we all find out some interesting information about Paschal: He is a bit gun shy. Turns out that Paschal tried to pee on John’s hand but couldn’t produce. We are all happy to know that he got over this shyness eventually, just ask the District Attorney (Ok, I know I promised not to mention it, but that one was just too easy.)

One of the most entertaining things about Paschal was that he was one of the people who gave Survivor its first ever power shift. When we watched seasons 1-3, we all saw 3 Pagongings in a row (with a small exception in Africa). After the immunity challenge in episode 8, Paschal and Neleh realized that they were on the bottom of their alliance. This is because the challenge was one of those “cut the other person’s rope thrice” challenges. Well John, Zoe, Tammy, and Rob were too stupid to realize that this would reveal their entire tribe pecking order and decided to get Paschal and Neleh out right after Sean and Vecepia. It would seem that not five minutes after, Paschal and Neleh were in an alliance with Sean, Vecepia, and Kathy. They immediately took out the other four. This was a huge moment in Survivor history. Like I mentioned, this was the first time that anyone ever staged a coup against their existing alliance. (Lex did get Kelly out, but then went back to his old alliance, so I don’t count that.) I also think that it is this move that saved Survivor. After three seasons of the pecking order being incredibly easy to guess by episode 7, people needed to realize that there was such a thing as a power shift. It was exhilarating to watch for the first time, because it also gave a great underdog story. Sean and Vecepia went from positions 8 and 9, to a possibility at being in the final 2 together. Without this move, I don’t know that Survivor would have been able to survive until season 6, which is when the next big power shift happened. Thank your lucky stars that Paschal English was there to save the show.

While Paschal probably saved the show in that regard, he (actually the producers through him) almost ended it as well. I wasn’t active on message boards or anything at this time but I can only imagine the ire that ensued when Paschal pulled the dreaded purple rock.

This was the single most controversial elimination in the history of Survivor, but let’s get some background.

Paschal has just basically allowed Survivor to stay on the air. He has never gotten a single vote in the entire game, and here we are on day 37 at tribal council. There are four people left in the game: Paschal, Neleh, Kathy, and Vecepia, who has immunity. The vote is deadlocked: 2 votes for Kathy (Paschal and Neleh) and 2 votes for Neleh (Kathy and Vecepia). Neither side will budge. Jeff Probst gives them a choice: “decide between yourselves who will go home, or the three of you without immunity will pull rocks, whoever gets the purple rock will go home.” not wanting to go home themselves, they couldn’t come to a decision. They decide to pull rocks.

This leads us to the moment that I will forever hate. I love Paschal, but for some reason he was fated to be royally screwed in the butt by the Survivor producers. He pulls his rock, and jokingly claims “Oh Jeff it feels purple”. This jovial old man who has made it to day 37 without ONE SINGLE VOTE AGAINST HIM pulls the purple rock.

Well Paschal, joke’s over. You had probably the best chance of anyone to win the game (except maybe Kathy) and you blew it because the two girls pulled yellow.

I know that this doesn’t seem as if it would be entertaining for Paschal, but I feel as if Paschal is the reason that this moment is entertaining. While it was controversial and it makes me mad, I do still enjoy watching that moment because it was such a tide-turner. Yes, the rules have changed. Yes, it is for the better. But we can all remember Paschal as the only person to ever have to pull a purple rock. And for that reason, he is number 92 on this list.
Thanks to everyone for reading, please comment below if you want, I do love reading your comments. Also, check back later this week as I intend to put up 2-3 posts per week from now on. This is the first one for this week, I hope you all enjoyed.

Thanks for reading,

Jeff

Clue to #91: This person had a bit of trouble relating to their tribemates on a very fundamental level.