39 Day Challenge (Day 31 — Best Comeback)
Ori Kohav, Elliot McMurchy, Rob Beasley, Alex Jordan, Logan Saunders, Brandon Alexander, Diogo Almeida, Ben Nehls, James Wall, Francisco Grilo, Ian O’ Brien, Jay Lacanilao, Nelson Escobar, Sarah Casa, Clayton Spivey, – Chris Daugherty (In a season that consisted of a cast which had very pro-man and pro-woman alliances, it seemed like a women’s alliance that managed to go from 6-5 to being up 6-1 would have zero problem eliminating Chris. As LaMont Lidstrom explains in his article, Vanuatu’s past combines with Chris’ male rally to cause the biggest upset in Survivor’s 23 season history. Besides maybe Vecepia coming from invisible into the winner’s circle.
Angie MacNeil, Anne Curtis, David Healy, Brian Wildman, Bren Porter, Aaron Conn, Ryan Weiss, – Holly Hoffman (She dumped shoes and everyone blasted her online for being in the minority and not demonstrating a working knowledge of playing the game. Who knew she could completely control the game and determined who went home regardless of age? Everyone in the cast, including Sash, Brenda, and Marty, were blind to how much power Holly truly exercised throughout the course of the game.)
Julie Bentz, Karl Marquez, – Lillian Morris (She goes from a day 9 vote out to returning on day 21 to blindside Rupert and was the sole reason why Fairplay doesn’t win a million bucks. You could’ve cried less and ditched the scout uniform much earlier. It seemed it wasn’t until day 39 that you figured out what Survivor is all about.)
Diego Costa, – Jane Bright (She starts fire on day 1 and is friendly to everyone at the beginning of the game. She catches fish and is one of the best elderly women to compete in challenges. But then she corrupts her social game by cussing out half of the remaining players and keeps fish for herself then gets voted out after she makes an illegal promise with Sash? Did Diego misread the category?)
Jason Bleau, – Brett Clouser (He is the most underrated strategic player in Survivor history. EVERYONE on Galu makes a Final 2 deal with him. Brett wins Samoa 99 out of 100 times. Unfortunately, everyone on his tribe makes the worst possible decisions to land Brett in the one scenario where he could be considered in trouble. But what happens? Brett rallies from a 6-1 deficit into being about twenty seconds away from winning Samoa. The least recognized mastermind in 23 seasons of Survivor.)
Matt Pike, – Foa Foa Foursome (Marisa goes home for no reason. Betsy annoys the others and presents sexist context to try and turn the tide but goes home. The tribe falls in disarray when racist arguments take place and the tribe has people like Natalie and Ashley who can’t do crap in challenges, Russell who is intentionally dehydrating his own tribe, Jaison who wants nothing to do with the game, and Mick who is a feckless leader, and Liz who goes home despite being branded as the ‘smartest’. Amazingly enough, a tight-knit group of four forms at the merge and they take down a group of eight down reminiscent of a near-Rarotonga fashion. They eliminated Erik’s idol and snagged three of their own along the way.)
Phillip Scherer, – Sierra Reed (She goes from a 102 degree fever on day 1 and is voted to be the weakest link. By the end of day 1, everyone is impressed she was able to successfully build a shelter for eight people while she was alone. Then everyone finds her annoying and hates her for the next 29 days. Comeback?)
Rosey Sigglekow, – Jerri Manthey (She goes from being referenced in Scary Movie 2 as “that b— from Survivor” into a gamebot ten years later who everyone seeks as a swing vote. Too bad this change makes her uninteresting in the eyes of the producers and shall stop her from returning to Survivor ever again.)
Mervin Sanding, – Jenna Morasca (She whines. She was spoiled. She was branded as an evil step-sister. She survives day 36 because she has a sore throat and is down to around 100 pounds in the Amazon. She counters this with two consecutive immunity wins against Cesternino and Crazy Matt, and finishes the game off by winning in the biggest landslide jury vote that we had ever seen on the show at that time. I’m personally not a big fan of her, though.)
Maxime Gauthier-LaFond, – Rob Mariano (He played a self-destructive game in Marquesas. He played an even more self-destructive game in All Stars. He played a game that results in an early knockout in Heroes vs. Villains. In his fourth attempt, he takes control of the least Survivor cast in Survivor history and wins.)
Bobby Harvey, – Aitu 4 (Raro is a tribe of eight. Aitu is a tribe of four. Fast forward to day 38 and we have zero Raro members left but yet four Aitu members left. There has never been a tribe that has eliminated a tribe twice their own size all in a row across the pre-merge and post-merge phase. Although if Yul doesn’t possess the insanely powerful Hidden Immunity Idol 2.0, Aitu would be stopped after eliminating three Raro. It certainly takes away the credibility of their feat. A neat comeback on paper regardless.)
Andrea Zabala, – Erinn Lobdell (She was ostracized from her tribe and was one J.T. loss away from being the only player ever to switch to the minority tribe and win the game. She would have gone down as the most unlikely but yet the greatest winner ever.)
What, I didn’t do any jokes this time?