Friday, May 21, 2010

Survivor: Ranking the best players

10. Rob Mariano

The player who probably deserved victory in Survivor: All-Stars ended up failing to make the jury in his two other seasons, though he was admittedly targetted as a threat in Heroes vs. Villains. Played the original version of the Rusell Hantz game - dominate the strategic side of things, social side be damned. Shockingly improved his challenge play to be the most dominant in Heroes vs. Villains and All Stars.

9. Colby Donaldson

The most dominant challenge player in a season. Should have won Australia but instead chose honour over cash. Transformation in Heroes vs. Villains to an all-round inept hanger on might have been the most jarring realization of the season.

8. J.T. Thomas

Unfairly maligned as the person who made the stupidest play ever - - what is ignored is how he ran the Heroes tribe in Heroes vs. Villains by choosing who would be voted out each time the Heroes went to tribal council. Combine that with his performance in Tocantins and you have a great player.

7. Yul Kwon

Not just added because of his position in the Obama administration, Yul presided over one of the great comebacks in Survivor. His victory in Cook Islands waas pure strategy. I'd love to see him play the game again.

6. Russell Hantz

The most polarizing person to ever play the game. His play could conservatively be called aggressive. He dominated the play in both seasons he was in, even being in the minority in Samoa and still making it right to the end. It could be easily argued that he deserved the victory in Samoa; others would argue he also deserved the victory in Heroes vs. Villains. However, his absolute lack of attempt to empathise with the jury that he brutally disposed of ended up costing him the victory.

5. Todd Herzog

Conniving, but willing to eliminate people with a smile. One of the best to take ownership of his underhanded moves, but able to spin it as a positive for the person he dumped. Underrated in a lot of parts.

4. Brian Heidik

Singlehandedly made the Thailand season boring by dominating and being an uninteresting character. Might be the best combination of challenge threat and mastermind in any one season; might also be a reflection on the weak competitors that he faced.

3. Sandra Diaz-Twine

Going 2 for 2 in Survivor wins has to put you in the running for best player ever. What does her in is the way she won the second title. Her final tribal council strategy was spot on, but her admitted strategy before that ("Vote out Russell") failed horribly, and she was only in the position she was due to her annoying habit of running her mouth. She is easily the weakest challenge player to ever win the game.

2. Richard Hatch

The originator of Survivor strategy.

1. Parvati Shallow

Winning a season against people who have already played is an accomplishment in and of itself. Making it to the end and coming close to winning again after winning that previous season is enough to earn you the right to be called the best Survivor player of all time.

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