WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS SUPER SPOILERS AS TO WHO THE PAST WINNERS OF SURVIVOR SEASONS ARE! PLEASE READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!!
I'm a Survivor fan. I wouldn't consider myself a SUPER fan as I can't list every single person who got voted out in order for each season... but I am still a pretty big fan! I listen to Survivor podcasts, am active on the message boards, and I have seen every season... some of them more than once! (Okay, except Season 22, but more on that later!)
Being the Survivor fan that I am, I love to read season rankings. I don't care if the rankings are done by EW, The Wire, or Jo Shmoe.
I want to be that Joe Shmoe! When people Google, "Survivor season rankings", I want Meg Go Run to pop up on the list... even if you have to sort through 30 other Google pages until mine comes up!
I realize many of you will not read this. That's okay. Honestly, this isn't for you. It's for me. And maybe Kristen.
Here are my ultimate Survivor season rankings!
But first... let me explain my list.
My definition of a "good" Survivor season has both characters I love and hate. It's funny. There are power shifts. Ideally someone I like wins, but there are seasons where I don't like the winner but still like the season.
I am also including a list of characters from each season that I loved and hated. When I say I love or hate a character, I mean the CHARACTER on the show. I realize these are real people and I am in no way trying to say they are good or bad people. I'm just basing it off their character on the show and what CBS decided to show us. I'm sure they are all awesome people in real life. Oh, and just because I like a character doesn't mean I want them to win. Sometimes I just like someone because they are a train wreck! (Cough, Shambo.)
When I give my thoughts on the winner, please know that they aren't necessarily my thoughts on whether I think they deserved to win or not. There are a lot of winners I like that didn't play a very good game and winners I don't like but played a great game. I'm just sort of giving my general feelings on the winner unless I directly say something about whether they deserved it or not.
OKAY, NOW THE RANKINGS!!!
Very Top Tier Survivor- These are the best of the best, my absolute favorites!
1. Cagayan- Brains - Beauty - Brawn
Tony is what made this season for me. Kass and Spencer also livened things up.
Characters I loved: Tony, Spencer, Trish, Woo, Brice
Characters I hated: Kass, J'Tia, Sarah
Winner thoughts: Tony is one of my favorite winners! He flew fast and loose, which was fun to watch.
Reasons I loved China: Lots of characters to love and lots of characters to hate. There were power shifts and good game play. Courtney was hilarious.
Characters I loved: James, Courtney, Todd, Amanda, Denise (for entertainment purposes only)
Characters I hated: Jaime, Peih-Gee,
Winner thoughts: Not only do I love Todd, but he did play the best game.
3. The Amazon
The main reason I loved this season was ROB CESTERNINO. Seriously, if you are a Survivor or Big Brother fan and not listening to his podcasts, you are missing out.
Characters I loved: Deena, Butch, Rob, Matthew
Characters I hated: Heidi, Jenna, Shawna, Alex, Joanna
Winner thoughts: Rob was robbed. He was the best player that season. I do not like that Jenna won.
4. Borneo (Season 1)
Borneo has to be listed as top tier Survivor. Not only was it an excellent season, but it has a lot of nostalgia associated with it. I watched this season when it aired in 2000. The whole concept of reality television game shows was brand new. And to think, it's 2016 and this show is still on the air and in it's 32nd season? It's just crazy!
Characters I loved: Greg, Sue, Rudy, Rich
Characters I hated: None.
Winner thoughts: Rich is one of the greatest Survivor winners! I love hearing his insights on the current seasons when he is a guest on RHAP. (Rob Has A Podcast)
Top Tier Survivor- These are seasons I enjoyed a lot.
5. Cambodia (Second Chances)
It is so cool watching a season of returning players when you really enjoy a lot of them. The only sad part is that Teresa wasn't chosen. That was just heartbreaking.
Characters I loved: Jeff, Kimmy, Keith, Stephen, Terry, Spencer, Jeremy
Characters I hated: Abi-Maria, Ciera, Tasha, Shirin, Joe, Monica
Winner thoughts: What's not to love about Jeremy? Also, I think he has the BEST Survivor body. After he starves for like two weeks, his muscles are POPPING!
I saw Africa when it originally aired and barely remembered it. We re-watched it a year or two ago and I was like, "Damn, this season is good!" Lots of drama and lots of power shifts!
Characters I loved: Linda, Frank, Teresa, Tom, Lex
Characters I hated: Silas, Lindsey
Winner thoughts: Ethan's nice.
7. Pearl Islands
Very good seasons with twists, power shifts, and moments that would forever go down in Survivor history. This is the season with Johnny Fairplay and the dead grandma lie. When I watched this season when it originally aired, I remember loving Rupert. When I re-watched it a year or two ago, I couldn't stand him. He was so emo.
Characters I loved: Fairplay, Christa, Lill (for entertainment purposes)
Characters I hated: Sandra, Rupert
Winner thoughts: I really wish Sandra had made it to the end with Fairplay and he had won it all.
This season has consistently been rated pretty low, so I was prepared to hate it. On the contrary- we LOVED it! So much drama. Great characters. Dreamz was casting GOLD.
Characters I loved: Earl, Yau Man, Dreamz, Rocky, Lisi (Note: Dreamz, Rocky, and Lisi I loved because they were train wrecks!)
Characters I hated: Mookie
Winner thoughts: Earl deserved it!
I was glad to see Skupin back but didn't really need to see Penner and Russel Swan. Surprisingly, Lisa did not annoy me at all. In fact, I really, really liked her.
Characters I loved: Denise, Malcolm, Lisa, Michael
Characters I hated: Russel Swan (baby), Pete, Abi-Maria
Winner thoughts: Denise deserved it, but I would have been happy with anyone in the F3 winning.
10. The Australian Outback
This season also has a lot of nostalgia for me. It is probably the main reason it is in this particular tier.
Characters I loved: Jeff, Colby
Characters I hated: Jerri, Alicia, Amber
Winner thoughts: Colby should have taken Keith and won it all.
11. Caramoan - Fans vs. Favorites 2
I can understand how one might not like this season if they don't like Cochran. I happen to like Cochran and think he's really funny. One thing that surprised me this season is how mean the jury was to Sherri! They accused her of not playing the game, but half the jury didn't play the game! Oh well, I am always amused by a bitter jury!
Characters I loved: Phillip, Brandon (for entertainment purposes only), Cochran, Dawn
Characters I hated: Corinne, Malcolm, Andrea
Winner thoughts: Love Cochran!!!
Middle Tier Survivor- These are also seasons I thoroughly enjoyed. I am glad I really enjoy even mediocre seasons of Survivor!
Oh man. Russel. I hate to say it, but without him and Shambo, this season would be nothing. It's one of those seasons where all the characters I like are train wrecks!
Characters I loved: Russel Swan, Russel Hantz, Erik (cause he was in the tree), Shambo
Characters I hated: Laura, Monica
Winner thoughts: I know people said Russel played a better game, but he pissed of the jury and he didn't account for that. Sorry Russel, I was happy Natalie won.
Paul and I binge watched this season while he was in the hospital. I think it only took us two nights. The best way to watch Vanuatu is in the binge format because once Ami Cusack's snotty, cocky bitch alliance starts getting voted out, it is soooooo delicious.
Characters I loved: Eliza, Twila, Chris
Characters I hated: Ami, Julie, Leann
Winner thoughts: It's cool Chris prevailed against all odds and beat the women, but I did feel bad for Twila.
This was another season that got very low ratings yet I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a shame Helen has never been asked back!
Characters I loved: Helen, Jan
Characters I hated: Clay, Robb
Winner thoughts: Based off Survivor ONLY, I thought Brian was a really good player.
There were so many crazy, quirky things going on this season. I remember laughing a lot- mostly thanks to Shane, Bruce, and of course the Aras vs. Terry story line.
Characters I loved: Bruce, Terry, Courtney, Shane, Cirie
Characters I hated: Aras
Winnter thoughts: I wish it had been Terry in the end. Aras was a brat.
First of all, it is a crime that Wanda has never been asked back to Survivor and Stephenie has been back twice. What's up with that? I would also love to see Ian again. I know part of the reason I rank this season so high is because I loved Tom. I realize if Tom annoys you, you might not like this season! Speaking of people who annoyed me, Katie is probably one of the Survivor contestants I hate the most!
Characters I loved: Wanda, Bobby Jon, Stephenie, Ian, Tom
Characters I hated: Katie
Winner thoughts: Tom is like the ultimate Survivor winner. He is good at everything and controlled his alliance from day one. The only bad part about him having such control and always having immunity is that he never got to show his strategic chops.
I couldn't wait to watch Tocantins because I always listened to Stephen on RHAP's Survivor Know It Alls. It was cool to finally see him on the screen!
Characters I loved: Sierra, Coach, Taj, Stephen, JT
Characters I hated: Tyson, Debbie
Winner thoughts: JT definitely deserved it. I liked him too.
Kathy is one of the reasons I enjoyed this season so much. It was also the fact that even though it was old school survivor, there was still a lot of strategy and alliances going on.
Characters I loved: John, Sean, Kathy
Characters I hated: Tammy
Winner thoughts: A was happy for Vecepia, but the F2 was so lackluster for me. I really wanted Kathy to win in the end. I was happy for an all female F3, though.
So here is another season that is always rated really low but I enjoyed it very much. There were a lot of people to root for and against.
Characters I loved: Marty, Jane, Holly, Fabio,
Characters I hated: Shannon, Brenda, NaOkna,
Winner thoughts: I was glad Fabio got it. If it couldn't be Holly, then he was good.
20. San Juan Del Sur
I'm so on the fence about this season. I mean ultimately, it was entertaining. But there weren't many people in the game I actually was rooting for. They all left too early.
Characters I loved: Keith, Josh, Reed
Characters I hated: John, Missy, Baylor
Winner thoughts: I didn't like Natalie.
21. Cook Islands
Characters I loved: Yul, Cowboy, Penner
Characters I hated: None
Winner thoughts: I was proud of Yul and his alliance.
I know this season is not usually rated very high, but I did enjoy it. It wasn't super action packed but I liked the challenges and I liked how Sugar kept messing up everyone's plans! Oh, and Corinne is a horrible, horrible person.
Characters I loved: Ken, Randy, Sugar, Matty
Characters I hated: Corinne
Winner thoughts: Bob was nice but that whole F3 was very lackluster!
Bottom Tier Survivor- Seasons I did not like at all. The only thing that keeps them out of the very bottom tier is that there were some good characters I liked.
23. South Pacific
The only thing that saves this season for me is Cochran, Dawn, and Coach. I enjoyed these characters. Sophie annoyed the crap out of me and is one of my least favorite winners ever.
Characters I loved: Coach, Cochran, Dawn, Brandon (for entertainment purposes only)
Characters I hated: Sophie, Ozzy
Winner thoughts: Like I said, Sophie is one of my least favorite Survivor winners. Her and Parvati can just eff off!
The reason I hate Guatemala is that I didn't like Stephenie or anyone in her alliance. I loved Stephenie in Palau, but in this season, she acted SO entitled and like she knew everything about Survivor. I was so annoyed that she made it to the end. The only reason this season doesn't make the very bottom of the barrel for me is because Danni ended up winning and I liked her. After all, who doesn't love an underdog?
Characters I loved: Brian, Bobby Jon, Lydia, Danni
Characters I hated: Judd, Cindy, Stephenie
Winner thoughts: Good job, Danni!
25. Blood vs. Water 1
I think the reason I didn't enjoy this season a lot is that when I watched it, I hadn't seen a lot of the past seasons that these contestants came from. Most of them were new to me. Now after having watched all the old seasons, it's hard for me to understand why they picked some of these players to come back! Colton, Kat, and Monica? Really??? We plan to watch this season again and I hope to enjoy it more the second time around. But of the characters I feel very "meh" about so sometimes it's hard to get into a season when you just don't care about anyone.
Characters I loved: None.
Characters I hated: Laura M, Ciera, Tina, Katie
Winner thoughts: Is Tyson really such a great player? It took him three tries to win.
Very Bottom Tier- Hate, hate, hate, will never watch again, only finished watching the seasons because Paul made me.
I feel bad putting this on the bottom since there were a lot of characters I liked. Plus the old school nostalgia aspect should theoretically bump it up the list. But it's Rob and Amber's straight path to the end and Amber's ultimate win that soured it for me. Now, I do understand why contestants just settled for 5th, 4th, and 3rd place, and if you want to get into that, we can do so in the comments. And understanding does make me a little less butt hurt, but I am still butt hurt about it. Obviously, I am not a Boston Rob fan and it would be easier to enjoy this season if I was.
Characters I loved: Rob C, Kathy
Characters I hated: Boston Rob, Amber, Jenna, Rupert
Winner thoughts: We pretty much covered this. Amber shouldn't even have been on All-Stars.
27. Worlds Apart - White Collar, Blue Collar, No Collar
I wanted to like this season, but there were just so many unlikable people and no one I felt like rooting for. Isn't that the theme of all these "Very Bottom Tier" seasons? Shirin annoyed the ever loving crap out of me and I freaking HATED the Jen/Joe/Hali alliance. When Jen used her idol, I almost threw up in my mouth.
Characters I hated: Jen, Joe, Mike, Shirin, Will,
Winner thoughts: I was so underwhelmed by Mike's win.
28. Heroes vs. Villians
This is pretty much Micronesia Part 2 for me. I heard it was good, I wanted to like it, but I hated it. I wanted to stop watching, Paul made me keep going, and that's 13 hours of my life I'll never get back.
Characters I loved: Tom, Coach, Courtney, Candice, Colby
Characters I hated: Stephenie, Cirie, James, Amanda, Russel, Parvati, Sandra
Winner thoughts: I didn't think anything could be worse than a Parvati vs. Amanda F2, but then I was wrong. Parvati vs. Sandra is at least tied, if not worse.
29. Micronesia - Fans vs. Favorites 1
I really wanted to like this season. In all the season rankings I had read, this one is always near the tippy top. So I was completely surprised that after the first two episodes I wanted to give up and stop watching! Paul, the voice of reason, convinced me to keep going. I'm glad I did, just to say I saw the season, but it is really one of the worst seasons... mainly because there were so many players I just could not stand! And you will notice, a lot of the returning characters I loved in their first season but hate in this season! Why is that? I don't know. They were cockier? Something along those lines. And Parvati... she was a non entity in Cook Islands. Now in Micronesia I couldn't stand her flirting, her laugh, her smile... everything she did was WRONG, which clearly means I am being over dramatic.
Characters I loved: Chet, Eliza, Erik
Characters I hated: Parvati, Cirie, Amanda, Natalie, James, Ozzy
Winner thoughts: I still don't understand why Parvati is considered one of the best winners.
30. One World
I pretty much did puzzles while we watched this whole season. There was no one I liked! I didn't even like Kim! I don't know why she rubbed me the wrong way but she did. I hear her on RHAP and like her a lot on there. But on the TV show... no.
Characters I loved: Tarzan, Colton (for entertainment purposes only)
Characters I hated: Chelsea, Kim, Kat
Winner thoughts: Kim deserved to win but really, everyone else sucked so bad! My left shoe could have won that season.
Are you wondering where Season 22 is? We haven't watched it! I heard it is horrible and there is really no reason to waste my time. For now, we aren't going to watch it but I may change my mind in the future. Never say never!
And now, I am sure you are all wondering my thoughts on the current season of Survivor that is airing NOW... Kaoh Rong. Well, the jury is still out! If Aubrey, Tai or Sydney wins, I think I will rate it as at least a middle if not top tier (not very top) season. If Michelle, or Joe win, it is going to be bottom tier. If Jason wins, it will be very bottom tier!!! There is so much more game to be played, but at the moment, I am really enjoying the season!
Which reality TV show would you be the best or worst at? I would suck at Survivor because I hate people, can't hide my feelings, and get really unreasonable when I am hungry.
Any huge Survivor nerds out there want to tell me ANYTHING? I love talking about Survivor!