Survivor Philippines Report Card

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Another season of Survivor is over and the winner of the 25th season in the Philippines has been announced! But were they the best player? Did any other player deserve to make it further than they did? And who was completely underrated and completely overrated? Well we sit down and give each contestant a grade in the official SURVIVOR OZ - SURVIVOR PHILIPPINES REPORT CARD! We guarantee some contestants parents will be glad to see their reports, others will be hiding them on the way home!

(CONTAINS SPOILERS – If you haven’t seen the finale of Survivor Philippines and don’t wish to know the final result, do not click below!)

Zane Knight

BEN’S GRADE: D
JARRYD’S GRADE: D-

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BEN’S THOUGHTS: I liked Zane, I tipped him to go far. And I think he had the smarts to go far had he been either on a better tribe or didn’t come up with a stupid plan for his tribe to vote him off. But it was that moment that forever sealed Zane’s fate. You tell your tribe to vote you off, their going to vote you off. Sandra sold the ‘as long as it’s not me’ strategy, and by Zane saying that, it wasn’t going to be anyone else but him. For a first boot to get more airtime it seemed than Artis and Carter combined, it shows he had potential.

JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: He might have been the first boot but Zane showed enough strategic promise to not receive an F. He made alliances with everyone on the Matsing tribe; was guaranteed to survive a further three days, then put his foot in his mouth; told his tribe to vote him out, which they did. Not the best idea to test your alliance after only three days… but in doing so, you did provide us with some comic relief.

Roxanne ‘Roxy’ Morris

BEN’S GRADE: D-
JARRYD’S GRADE: F

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BEN’S THOUGHTS: Roxy really just wasn’t seen and again had she been on a better tribe then maybe she could’ve been a middle player who made the jury as the ‘extra vote’. But she was outnumbered on a tribe that sucked and there was nowhere to go. Probably lucky not to be the first to go.

JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: Unfortunately, Roxy receives the lowest grade this season. Roxy didn’t exactly set the beach on fire in her six days in the Philippines. She was pretty terrible in challenges, she didn’t have a strong alliance and she certainly went down swinging. Not exactly the greatest ‘Survivor Resume’ but nevertheless, she’s now part of the Survivor Family.

Angie Layton

BEN’S GRADE: D
JARRYD’S GRADE: C

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BEN’S THOUGHTS: You will always think Angie and think Cookies but she had the ability to go deep based on her strategic game. She was very social and that would’ve worked a treat had she been able to be on a tribe that could win. I picture Angie as potentially a Natalie White and attaching herself to Malcolm for the long haul and that could’ve worked for her at the end. But unfortunately her mind was on cookies, not a million dollars.

JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: Everyone’s favourite little cookie monster. She was thrust into a strength role very early on; she tried her best, but just wasn’t made to physically carry a tribe. She struggled strategically and physically but played a reasonable social game. If circumstances were different, she could have gone a long way with Malcolm and Denise who would have bought her along for the ride similar to how Boston Rob carried Natalie Tenerelli through the game. Whether she is remembered for her bubbly personality and good looks; or her famous ‘cookie comment,’ she definitely will go down as one of the more memorable pre-jury castaways.

Russell Swan

BEN’S GRADE: C+
JARRYD’S GRADE: D+

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BEN’S THOUGHTS: I hate to be the guy who blames the edit, but I’m going to be that guy right now. I think Russell’s edit was terrible, and it painted him as this overbearing guy who was so obsessed with winning that he dug himself a hole and that’s why he went home. Well considering who he had to work with, and the amount of people he had to work with, it was going to be hard for him no matter what. Go back to Samoa where if he had 3 people on his tribe who weren’t willing to try in challenges, then he had 6 people to fall back on to still help him win. This time around, 3 people who aren’t bothered to try means he only has 2 people to work with. He was always going to be in trouble based on that situation. And really whoever got stuck on Matsing, be it Penner, himself or Skupin was always going to struggle. I feel sorry for Russ, he was my pre-season prediction of the returning player who would go the furthest and really could’ve gone fairly far had circumstances been different.

JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: What a turnaround from Samoa. Russell was a force in challenges in the nineteenth season… this time around, he was pretty much useless. Without a strong alliance, he was kept around only because of his “strength” that was never really shown. His social game was fairly horrendous, speaking out against his tribe on multiple occasions.

 Dana Lambert

BEN’S GRADE: C
JARRYD’S GRADE: C

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BEN’S THOUGHTS: Another player who I liked and again I tipped to go far, she positioned herself into a fairly good position with Dawson and Katie and it looked like she would easily make the merge. But Survivor being the show it is things can change so quickly and before you knew it she was out of there and the game was changed once again. Would’ve been great to see her go further into the game as I think she had some spunk that could’ve caused some drama, but we never got a chance to see it.

JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: The ‘Kourtney Moon’ of this season; it was ironic their fates were the same. Potentially one of the toughest girls out there, Dana wanted to win badly. Her ‘all girl alliance’ looked set to take over Kalabaw when Denise arrived however her untimely illness put a stop her game. Her strength in challenges helped Kalabaw win early and she was greatly missed thereafter.

Sarah Dawson

BEN’S GRADE: C-
JARRYD’S GRADE: D+

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BEN’S THOUGHTS: I give Dawson props for her game, as I think she is far more than simply the girl who kissed Jeff Probst. She had a good alliance going, and was strategic enough with her ‘baiting’ of Jeff Kent yet had clear reasons as to why she didn’t want to out him as a pro baseball player. Another player who could’ve done some damage later in the season and her killer personality was never given as much airtime as it deserved.

JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: Will forever be remembered as “the girl who kissed Jeff Probst.” Dawson didn’t exactly play the most strategic game; not revealing Jeff Kent’s identity was a major blunder on her behalf. Her physical game also let her down whilst her social game was strong as her exit left a big hole in the Kalabaw tribe.

Katie Hanson

BEN’S GRADE: D+
JARRYD’S GRADE: C-

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BEN’S THOUGHTS: Katie was invisible this season, which is sad as she seems like a decent and nice enough person. She was the last to go out of the female alliance from Kalabaw and after getting a ribbing from Jeff Probst in pretty much every challenge, she then went home as quiet as she entered.

JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: Katie “Purple Kelly” Hanson hardly featured on our screens until Probst began to notice she struggled in challenges. She tried her best to play a strategic game once her alliance was defunct; however she couldn’t win over Jeff and Carter to take out Penner. Like Dawson, her social game was a success whilst she struggled physically.

 Roberta “R.C.” Saint-Amour

BEN’S GRADE: B
JARRYD’S GRADE: B-

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BEN’S THOUGHTS: R.C is incredibly underrated and I feel she had such a chance to go deep and far with strong physical and strategic prowess. Unfortunately she came up against Hurricane Abi and she soon was sent to the outside of the main alliance, despite originally being the instigator of any Tandang alliance. Beautiful, smart and strong, I think she is a prime candidate to return for a future season and would thrive on a second chance.

JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: R.C. probably had the most annoying laugh in the history of Survivor but it didn’t stop her playing an over-the-top strategic game. R.C. created a four person alliance within two minutes of landing on the beach; however it didn’t go as planned. After sharing a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol with Abi, Pete stole and planted the clue in R.C.’s bag, turning the girls against each other. Alone and friendless, her social game suffered and it was only a matter of time before R.C. was sent home. Her strong physical performances in challenges ensured she made the merge, but after her plan to align with Kalabaw fell through, she became the first Jury member.

Jeff Kent

BEN’S GRADE: D
JARRYD’S GRADE: B-

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BEN’S THOUGHTS: If you have one single strategy and don’t seem to want to go away from it, then what are you doing on Survivor? You need to adapt, you need to move on, and that’s something Jeff never did. I grew tired of his “we have to get rid of the returning players” shtick after the 1038th time he said it, but he did provide us with one of the best ever final speeches after his vote out.

JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: Jeff Kent’s downfall was his one-dimensional strategy – vote out the “veterans.” In the end, it was his downfall. If Jeff had developed his strategy, he could have gone very deep in the game; however he couldn’t look past his prejudice of the returnees. Socially, everyone seemed to like him; whilst physically he was an asset to Kalabaw in challenges.

Artis Silvester

BEN’S GRADE: C
JARRYD’S GRADE: C

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BEN’S THOUGHTS: Artis was one of my tips to go far, but much like Katie we never really saw him. Besides a brief grumpy shake of the head or a grunt, he was seemingly invisible which is a shame, because he seems like a nice enough guy. His alliance with Pete and Abi looked likely to send him far but it wasn’t to be.

JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: Little is known about Artis’ game because he didn’t get much air time. From what we do know, strategically he aligned himself with Abi and Pete and was perceived as a bully. His physical game was strong whilst little is known about his social game. Unfortunately for Artis, he won’t go down as a memorable castaway.

Peter “Pete” Yurkowski

BEN’S GRADE: B-
JARRYD’S GRADE: B

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BEN’S THOUGHTS: I thought Pete was going to be in it for the long haul after some of his early efforts and he at one stage was really looking like this seasons villain. Sticking with Abi for as long as he did obviously was his downfall and he is the first to admit that after the game. I would’ve loved to see how he could’ve gone had he moved on from the Brazilian bombshell and established something else.

JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: Pete was in control for a long time during the game. After helping Abi find the Hidden Immunity Idol, the pair, along with Artis and Lisa took control of the Tandang tribe. After recruiting Malcolm, he went into the merge with a strong alliance and began to take out the opposition. Unfortunately, he lost control of the numbers when Artis was blindsided and he was sent to the Jury shortly afterwards. Pete was also a strong physical force in challenges and played a relative good social game. His downfall… aligning with the unpredictable Abi-Maria.

Jonathan Penner

BEN’S GRADE: D+
JARRYD’S GRADE: B

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BEN’S THOUGHTS: My opinions here aren’t going to make a few people happy I can assure you of that, and I for one am a big Penner fan. But I have to say this was by far his worst game he has ever played and he narrowly misses out on getting my lowest grade of the season. He started off playing essentially by himself and had his whole tribe gunning for him, and had Kalabaw lost that first challenge then he very likely would’ve been the first person booted. From there he soon appeared to have found his feet and really started to play the game, only to stupidly turn down a clear alliance chance and then whinge about it when he found himself being voted out. On top of that his final jury speech showed utterings of a true ‘bitter betty’ and while outing Lisa could be seen as ‘smart’, I would have to say it was almost hypocritical given I doubt he ever freely revealed he was an Academy Award nominee to his tribe mates. Sorry Penner, I still like you but I’ll gladly watch your smarts and capabilities during Cook Islands and Micronesia over Philippines anytime soon.

JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: Penner came into the game with a huge target on his back. After finding a Hidden Immunity Idol early in the game, he aligned himself with the men of Kalabaw and went onto eliminate the females of the tribe. When his alliance turned on him after the merge, he rallied, winning Immunity and then working his magic to get back into the majority. However, his insecurity to make a Final Four alliance was his downfall. Socially, Penner played a great game; he got to know everyone and used that knowledge for strategic reasons. Physically… he’s one of the best puzzle makers the game has seen, so whilst he might be a “big fat guy”, his brain makes up for it.

Carter Williams

BEN’S GRADE: C-
JARRYD’S GRADE: C+

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BEN’S THOUGHTS: Fabio 2.0 fell short of replicating the Nicaragua winner, but for a while there I honestly thought he would be flying so far under the radar he could do exactly what Fabio did 4 season ago. Strong in challenges and liked enough to keep around, his one facial expression delighted some and confused many.

JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: Carter played a very under-the-radar type game. Strategically, he wasn’t fantastic, (notably asking Penner whether he wanted to vote himself out), however he made up for it socially; eventually becoming a huge end game threat for likeability reasons. Physically, he performed well in challenges; however, his physical ability coupled with his social ability didn’t make up for his lack of strategic awareness.

 Abi-Maria Gomes

BEN’S GRADE: D
JARRYD’S GRADE: C+

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BEN’S THOUGHTS: Bringing up the word hypocrite again when it comes to the Brazilian bombshell, she went from a bully to being bullied and then complained about everything else in between. She clearly appeared to be a Parvati style contestant but far more aggressive and mean in the way she went about things, and as soon as her back was to the wall without numbers she really fell apart. And what was with the challenge sit outs? Despite the low grade, I would love to see her play again based on the entertainment factor she brings.

JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: Abi really didn’t have much of an idea about strategy, relying heavily on Pete for guidance. When her alliance was broken, her attitude did her little favours as others didn’t want to align with her, thus making her the perfect “goat” this season. Not much can be said about her social game – she was universally disliked by her tribe members. As for her physical game… I think she sat out of more challenges than she competed in – though she did carry an injury through the game.

Malcolm Freberg

BEN’S GRADE: A-
JARRYD’S GRADE: A

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BEN’S THOUGHTS: To me Malcolm was the third best player all season, and he just narrowly fell short of making that final tribal council. It was clear early on that he and Denise had something special and they managed to survive the carnage that was Matsing. From there he soon established himself in alliances and never really was in danger with an idol in his back pocket the entire time. Strong in challenges, he came across as a ‘smart Ozzy’ and just like Ozzy in South Pacific fell short when it counted. I’m sure we’ll see him again, and I look forward to seeing him when that day comes.

JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: Malcolm easily played one of the best, first time player, games I’ve seen. After aligning early with Denise, he survived the early failures of Matsing and after a quick stop at Tandang, made the merge. When the time came, with an Immunity Idol in his pocket, he took control of the numbers, eliminating the majority alliance and taking his Final Four alliance all the way to the end. After playing both a good social and physical game, he became too much of a threat to win and after losing the Final Immunity Challenge, the alliance he created to make it to the Final Three turned against him.

Lisa Whelchel

BEN’S GRADE: F
JARRYD’S GRADE: C+

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BEN’S THOUGHTS: Lisa easily gets my worst player grade of this season. ‘Bi-polar Lisa’ started off looking likely to be the next Holly Hoffman or Dawn Meehan, struggling from the start only to turn it around and be too much of a likeable threat to take to the end. But one week she would cry, the next she would smile, then she would cry, then she would smile. All this served as a distraction to covering exactly what she did out there. She aligned with Skupin, fantastic. What else? Get some advice from your clearly more capable brother, great. What else? Discover Malcolm has an idol. Brilliant! What else? Seriously it pained me to watch her for most of the season which is sad, because from what I can see outside the game she seems like such a nice person. But in the end somebody had to get the lowest grade, and Miss Whelchel, for me it’s you.

JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: Strategically, Lisa didn’t begin to play the game until very late (day thirty-three), after her brother visited and told her it was okay to be a “bad guy” in the context of the game. Therefore, she made some pretty horrible strategic decisions early in the game. Socially, she struggled early, however once she began to fit in, she had a much easier time. Physically, she was pretty horrible but always gave it her all.

 Michael Skupin

BEN’S GRADE: A
JARRYD’S GRADE: A-

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BEN’S THOUGHTS: Oh Skupin. I was rooting for him since day 1 and before the game I honestly thought he would be the first returning player to go. But immediately from the start I noticed how different he was to what I was expecting, and despite appearing with a cut on his head and a missing toe every now and then, we hardly saw him. But this laying low style soon was overtaken by strategy, something which we had never really seen from Skupin over his Survivor career. And it nearly worked. So nearly worked! He also stood up as a physical threat too, winning two immunities, a reward challenge and coming so close in other challenges as well. The biggest surprise to me was that he didn’t get more votes in the final tribal council. Extremely excited to see him back, and I hope that maybe we may see him for a third time.

JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: In the twelve years since Mike has played, Survivor has changed immensely; so a big talking point this season was how he was going to adapt. Overall, he played a reasonable strategic game; however, he did make some pretty terrible decisions that could have cost him a million dollars, (such as voting out Abi). After getting through the tribal stage of the game, Mike began to come out of his shell during the Individual stage of the game when he created an alliance in order to get him to the end. Socially, he was well liked and for his age, he competed extremely well.

Denise Stapley

BEN’S GRADE: A+
JARRYD’S GRADE: A

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BEN’S THOUGHTS: Anybody who says Denise Stapley isn’t deserving of her win needs to get their head checked. She ticks all the boxes of social, physical and strategic player and is a survivor in every sense of the word. To go to every single tribal council, be immune for only one of them and still make it to the end is an amazing stat, and the fact that she beat people half her age along the way is testament to who she is. Coming off the back of pure dominance by Kim in One World, it’s great to have another dominant winner who wasn’t really predictable as a winner. Her relationships with every single player were key, and the fact she was on a tribe with every single contestant in the game is also another amazing stat that she overcame. Easily the best player all season and I would go as far to put her in my top 10 winners of all time.

JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: Whilst she isn’t exactly a Kim Spradlin, she played a fantastic strategic and social game across three tribes, which in the end, lead her to victory. After aligning with Malcolm early, the pair was split and she was forced to align with the men of Kalabaw in order to stay alive. After reuniting with Malcolm at the merge, the pair reunited along with Malcolm’s Hidden Immunity Idol. From there, she found cracks in the Tandang alliance, and after gaining their trust, she aligned with them in order to make the final six. Shortly after, she created a Final Four alliance with Lisa, Malcolm and Skupin. After making the Final Four, she turned against Malcolm; her biggest ally, in order to make it to the end. As well as her strategic and social game, she was one of the strongest female castaways all seasons, gaining the respect of her fellow tribe members around camp and in challenges.

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Do you agree with our report card? Who did we get right? Who did we get wrong? Comment on this post to let us know your thoughts! Remember you can read our episode recaps and download our recap interviews with some of your favourite former contestants here

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4 Comments on Survivor Philippines Report Card

  1. Disagree completely with Ben’s F for Lisa. She knew what was going on at every tribal council. She had a completely valid strategy of sticking with Tandang (Abi-Pete-Artis-RC) and only voted against them when 100% the numbers were lost. She expected they would blame Skupin and she would be able to pick up some jury votes. She pointed this out in her speech. She built personal bonds with every tribe member out there. No one ever voted against her and she was well liked. What other game would you expect her to play? She’s never going to be a leader and she’ll never win a challenge despite trying as hard as a she can. She had the perfect goat in Skupin. Her biggest problem was no one saw her game. She saved it for confessionals and interviews. If the jury watched the season and then voted, I guarantee she comes in sole 2nd place.

  2. I would argue Denise was not deserving of the highest grade… She may have Outwitted and Outlasted, but she never, aside from her one immunity, outplayed. I’m not saying she deserves a low grade, but if she hadn’t won the entire thing, I don’t feel like she could’ve gotten above a B+ Other than that, I like all the grades!

    • Saying she wasnt the best player because of challenge strength is ridiculous.

      1) She was one of the better challenge performers of the season, especially in tribe challenges.
      2) In my humble opinion, the three best players of all time are Earl, Todd and Sandra. None of them have ever won an individual immunity. (Earl threw them intentionally but still)

  3. Zane C-
    Roxy D-
    Angie C-
    Russel C-
    Dana C-
    Dawson C
    Katie C
    RC B-
    Jeff C+
    Artis B-
    Pete B+
    Jonathan Penner B
    Carter B-
    Abi-Maria B
    Malcolm A
    Lisa B-
    Michael Skupin B
    Denise A+

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