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!!





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.



One thought on “100 Most Entertaining Survivors #81: Stephanie LaGrossa (Palau)

  1. Rob Beasley says:

    First off you spelt her name wrong. It is Stephenie with an E
    You focused on one season, on a loser tribe she was unfortunately a part of. Not one mention of her dominance, both socially and physically and how coming into season Guatemala she had a huger target on her head. Despite that she managed to climb to the final 2.
    If this is a countdown, having Stephenie, the greatest female to ever play Survivor is an insult to her and her game.
    In season #20 James focused on her Palau season, when it was evident to me in the challenge leading up to her boot that if James would in fact listened to her earlier, they may not have lost.

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